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How to Play Hockey Card Game: Rules and Instructions

The hockey card game is a simple, fast game played with two players and lasts only 10-15 minutes per game. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy game to add your next together, a hockey card game will be an excellent choice.

Because the rules for hockey card games are so simple, it means that it’s a great game to play with the whole family, including the kids. Still, as it’s only aimed at two players, you’ll have to take turns or play in teams if you’ve got an even amount of players.

This way, you can compete and have the winners play each other or gather points together to have a final winning team.

However, there is also a version of the hockey card game that you can play with four players, which I will go into more detail about later.

This is a fishing-type game, which means cards are matched against the cards which are laid out on the table, so you will need a large flat playing area, such as a big table or hard floor to play on.

If you love playing card games such as solitaire and snap, this is a game you will love, so let’s find out how to play!

The Aim of Hockey Card Game

The Aim of Hockey Card Game
Image Source: gathertogethergames

The main aim of the Hockey card game is to score goals against your opponent, which you do by playing cards in order to attain a breakaway. If you achieve two of these consecutively, you score a goal.

The game is broken down into three periods; each round or period ends when there are no cards left in the deck. However, you can play in the fourth round in the case of a tie.

What You’ll Need to Play?

As I mentioned, you will need to start by ensuring you have a good-sized, flat surface to play your game because the cards will need to be placed in the center.

You will also need a pen and paper or some way of keeping your score. You can also use gadgets and apps to keep score, such as this magnetic game scorekeeper.

Magnetic Scorekeeper

Lastly, you will need a deck of 52 playing cards, which, if you don’t already have one in the games cupboard, can be picked up on Amazon pretty cheap.

Maverick Playing Cards

Get Ready

Before you start playing, select one of you to be the dealer, this will change to the other person after each round.

The dealer then needs to shuffle the cards and deal our five to each of you. Once you have played all five of your cards, you will be dealt five more, which continues until there are only 12 cards left. These will be dealt equally in the final round, six cards each.

Rules & Gameplay

Rules and Gameplay

The person to go first is the non-dealer. You must take turns throughout the game, with the dealer giving out five more cards after each round.

During your turn, you need to play one card at a time in the middle of the playing area to make breakaways, which I discussed earlier.

There are two ways in which you can make a breakaway:

  • Playing a Jack: This is the most straightforward way to win a breakaway. Playing a Jack will instantly win the player a breakaway.
  • Playing the Same Rank: The other way to win a breakaway is to play a card of the same rank as the card previously played.

In order for you to win a goal, you must get two breakaways in a row. For example, if you earn yourself a breakaway, but your opponent gains one for themselves, yours is void.

Once you have two consecutive breakaways, you can play for a goal, which you can only win by playing a card that matches your opponent’s previously played card by rank.

When all of the cards have been played, this indicates the start of a new period. Ensure you shuffle the deck before starting the next period.

Handy Tip

Breakaways can be carried into the next round/hand but can not be carried over to the next period.

Scoring and Winning the Game

Throughout the game, you will need to keep track of your and your opponent’s scores. You can either do this for yourself, track one another, or nominate one of you to track both scores.

The scores come each time a player wins a goal, and the player with the most goals at the end of all three periods is the winner; however, if you’ve reached a tie at this point, then a fourth period may be required to settle it.

In the deciding round, only four cards are dealt instead of five. However, the last round will still be six cards. In this round, the first person to win a single goal is the overall winner.

Other Variations

If you have more than two players and all want to play together, then there is a version of the Hockey card game in which you can play with four players. You will need exactly the same equipment as the two-player option: a deck of cards, a scoreboard, and a flat playing surface.

In this version, cards are dealt out thirteen to a player, which uses the entire deck, and you are divided into teams of two. You will need to sit opposite your team member.

The game works by each person playing one card at a time in the middle of the playing area for everyone to see. The next player then needs to attempt to match the card by rank. If you can match a card, you can collect all the cards on the table.

You receive a point each time you pick up the cards. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Key Points

So, those are the two ways you can enjoy playing a Hockey card game; whether you’re playing with two or four players, the great thing about it is you can be playful with the rules and make things a little more challenging if you like.

For example, you can give certain cards actions, perhaps a card means you get another turn, or one means that you don’t lose your break away. The possibilities are endless. Or you can keep things classic and play by the general rules.

If you want to find out about more games that you can add to your next family gathering, why not take a look at my guide on how to play Quelf?

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