Home » Cards and Dice » 11 Best Family Card Games with a Standard Deck

11 Best Family Card Games with a Standard Deck

Everyone enjoys a good family card game, don’t they? But what should they play together? Well, there are certainly plenty of options, aren’t there?

Family Card games are a fantastic way to have a lot of fun, chatting along with enjoying the same, on a Sunday or a holiday. In this article, we’ll be looking at our top 11. Everyone has a favorite, but any of these games will be great to play with family.

Best Family Card Games

Here’s the list of best family card games with a standard deck and all the necessary details to help you along in your amusing activity. Read on to know.

1. Snap


Let’s start with an old favorite, shall we? Snap is a classic card game, and you can easily play with a standard deck of cards. Best of all, everyone knows the rules. Each player puts a card down one after the other when two cards match; the first player to slam their hand on the pile and shout, “snap,” takes the cards.

While Snap is a classic two-player card game, it can also be played with your family without many changes. You could play in pairs and have both players race to put their hands down to call “snap,” or even split the deck four ways and have multiple players fight for the Snap!

2. Higher or Lower

Higher or Lower

This card game is a bit of a hidden gem, but you might know it by the game show that used the same name. To play, shuffle the cards and place six cards face down in front of each player. You can put down even more if you like.

Each player should turn up their first card, and the player with the highest-ranking card will start playing. They should turn up their next card but have to say “higher” or “lower,” depending on what they think the card will be.

If they guess correctly, they can move on to the next card. However, if they get it wrong, play moves to the player on their left, and they can then start flipping their cards. The game is over when only one player is left with cards to flip.

3. Pairs


This game goes by many names and is simple, fast-paced fun! To play, shuffle the deck and place all the cards face down. You will need quite a bit of space to play this game. Then decide the turn order; we suggest the youngest player first to make it fair.

Each player will get to flip two cards on their turn; if they match, they get to take the pair and will score a point. If they don’t, the cards are flipped over again, and players will need to try and remember which card is where.

Cards match by color, so the two hearts are paired with the two diamonds. The only cards that break this rule are two Joker cards. We think it’s fun to give the Jokers a points bonus if a player gets them, but you don’t need to.

4. The 21 Card Game

The 21 Card Game

You can turn this casino classic into a fun family card game, and you don’t even need to change the rules much! One player should be the dealer, but they can also deal a hand for themselves.

The dealer should then deal two cards to each player, and players can either stick or ask for another card. The aim of the game is to get 21 or as close to it as you can. There are even a few different rule sets you can use.

You can say all face cards are worth 10 or split them up, so Jacks are worth 10, Queens 11, and Kings 12. Aces are usually worth either 12 or 1 point, and the player can decide which. Learn more about the 21-card game with our guide.

5. Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights is a classic family card game where players need to race each other to discard their cards. Players need to match cards to discard them, and as I’m sure you can guess from the name, eights are very special in this game!

An eight will act as a wild card does in games like UNO, so they allow the player to change suits. If you feel like playing this fun card game with your family, check out our Crazy Eights game guide.

6. UNO


Everyone knows UNO; this fun family card game is always good fun! In UNO, players need to be the first to play all their cards; now, normally, people would play UNO with a special card set. But you can play with a standard deck of playing cards too.

The number cards stay the same, but the face cards and aces will act as the special cards you’d find in UNO. While there are several ways you can do this, we think the best is to follow the guide below.

  • Jack Cards – These will normally be your Skip Turn cards, but they can also be used for Reverse cards.
  • Queen Cards – The Queen will act as the plus/ pick-up of two cards.
  • King – The King cards are very valuable when playing UNO; you can change suits with these cards.
  • Aces – Ace cards are another valuable addition to your hand, and they act as Wild cards.

So, if you feel like giving UNO ago but don’t have a card set on hand, the good news is you don’t need one. All you need is a deck of standard playing cards! Learn more about how to play this classic family card game with our UNO guide.

7. SlapJack

SlapJack is a fun alternative to Snap and a great card game to play with your family. Deal the deck out equally amongst everyone, and then every player should take turns playing cards in the center.

When a Jack card is played, players should race to slap the card on the table. If multiple players slap down simultaneously, which will likely happen, then the player closest to the Jack card will win.

The player who wins adds all the cards currently on the table to their hand. Any player who runs out of cards will still have a chance of winning if they manage to slap when a Jack is put down. The game is over when one player has all the cards; learn more about SlapJack with our game guide.

8. Pitty Pat

Pitty Pat

Now, older children shouldn’t be put off; while this game is ideal for younger children, anyone can enjoy it! To play, Pitty Pat players are dealt five cards each and must aim to match cards from the discard pile.

The game is simple, fast-paced, fun, and ideal for families. So, don’t let the name put you off; players of any age will be sure to enjoy a good game of Pitty Pat. Learn more about how to play with our Pitty Pat game guide.

9. Tower of Cards

Tower of Cards

This game is a little different; players work together to build a card pyramid! It’s a great game to play with your family, and all you need is a deck of cards. Cards are built up in a series of triangles, and when finished, you’ll have a complete pyramid.

You could even split the deck and race each other if you want to make the game a little more competitive! You will need a smooth flat surface to play this game, though, and it’s not for the impatient but seeing the tower of cards collapse is part of the fun!

10. Math With Cards

Another fun game to play, especially with young children, is to create math problems with the cards. Sort through the deck and place two cards down. Let’s say you put down two 5s, then let the children sort through the cards to find out what the solution is. You can even create number patterns and sequences too.

11. Go Fish!

Let’s finish our countdown of the best family card games with Go Fish! In this fun game, each family member will be dealt 7 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down in the center; this makes the fish pond.

On your turn, you can ask any other player if they have a numbered/ face card. If the player has that card, they must give it to you. If they don’t have the card, they simply say “go fish,” which means you can take a card from the center.

The next player then takes their turn to request cards from another player till they get a “go fish.” You need to collect as many sets of four as you can. The player with the most sets at the end of the game wins.

Getting Your Cards

There are plenty of great games you can play with your family, and all you need is a simple deck of playing cards. But what cards should you get? Well, there are plenty of great options. Bee playing cards are always a winner; they’re well-known for their high-quality craftsmanship.

But you could always opt for some plastic playing cards; instead, these stronger cards are easy and quick to clean – simply wipe them down. But whatever cards, you can be sure of endless hours of family fun.

About Bar Games 101

Bar Games 101 is a website devoted to helping you learn about the best games to play with your friends. We review the games, research the rules, and uncover helpful tips and strategies.

Get our free guide to the 50 Best Bar Games.