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WTF Card Game: Rules And How to Play?

What The Fish is a fast-paced, exciting card game that is perfect for anyone who loves to play card and board games.

The rules are simple, and the fact that it’s colorful and fun to look at makes it an attractive game for people of all ages. I recently played this with the kids, and they all loved it.

The game is designed for players aged eight and up, and to really get the most out of it, I’d recommend playing with between two and six people.

Each card features different types of fish, and the goal is to save the fish from coming under attack.

So, whether you’re an avid card player or totally new to the game, you’ll certainly find it easy to get your head around the simple strategies involved in WTF (What The Fish), and you can guarantee yourself hours of fun.

What You’ll Need to Play And Setting Up?

WTF card game is easy to find online, and it’s pretty inexpensive, too, especially when you consider how much fun you’ll get out of it.

On Sale WTF (What The Fish) Family Card Game

To begin with, you’ll need to deal out the cards, and this depends on the number of people you have playing with you.

If you’re playing with three to six people, you’ll start with seven cards each, but if you’re just playing with just two, you’ll need ten. Remember, don’t peek at your cards.

The rest of the cards are set down in the middle of the table, face down. This will be the draw pile, or stockpile, whatever you like to call it.

As soon as the dealer is ready to go, they will shout, “WHAT THE FISH” and the game starts.

How to Play WTF (What The Fish)

How to Play WTF (What The Fish)

Unlike most card games, WTF is not played by each taking turns. Instead, everyone goes when they can, a little like a race of a game of SNAPS!

Once everyone has their cards, and the dealer has yelled, “WHAT THE FISH” everyone looks at their cards at the same time. If you have a “fish” card, you should place it in the middle of the table as fast as you can.

The quickest player to get their fish card in the center starts the game.

Don’t panic. I am about to tell you all the ins and outs and what the cards mean; you’ll be up to speed in no time.

WTF Card Meanings

In the deck of cards, you’ll notice they’re all color categorized, four to be precise, blue, green, purple, and red, so let’s see what they all mean.

1. Blue Cards aka FISH

These cards are the only way you can win the game, you need to prevent them from being killed, be sure to check your deck at the start of the game, after a dead fish, and whenever someone plays a Beaven Buddah (this will make sense by the time you reach the end, I promise. Just remember, you can only play one of these per go.

2. Green Cards, aka Protection

A fish can only be saved with the use of a protection card. But that’s not all. The protection card must have a higher value than the kill card that was used on you, and you’re still not entirely safe because further kill cards can still be used on top of your protection if their value is high enough. In some cases, you might be able to use a WTF card in order to save your fish.

3. Purple Cards, aka WTF

These can be used at any time during the game, and they have many different meanings, which I will go into at the end of this section. Depending on the card you play determines the effect it will have on your opponents.

4. Red Cards, aka KILL

If you play a KILL card, and the value is higher than the fish that has already been played, the fish is dead unless, of course, the fish owner is lucky enough to have a protection card.

WTF Card Effects

WTF Card Effects

As I mentioned, the WTF cards (the purple ones) have many different meanings and effects that can be used to change the direction of the game entirely.

Here’s what they are:

  1. Beaver Buddah: Do you remember I mentioned this one? Well, with this card, you end the current fish’s turn immediately. This means any other player is now free to play down a new fish.
  2. WTF Tax: With this, the player is able to take one card from any other player of their choosing.
  3. Muggen Croc: You can steal two cards from any player.
  4. The Elvis Effect: I like this one, as it means you can save a dead fish from the discard pile and add it to your hand.
  5. Mrs. Crobits: Take a sneak peek at any other player’s hand.
  6. Snappen Snatch: Another good one, which means you can swap your hand with one of the other players (handy if you think they’ve got a better hand than you).
  7. Communist Manifesto: Take one card from another player, and give it to someone else. You can’t keep it for yourself.
  8. Ben Franklin, Time Traveler: This one kind of does what it says on the cards, time travels, meaning that it can reverse an action made by another player, making it void for the rest of the round.

Additional WTF Rules

There are a couple of extra rules you should be aware of in the WTF card game, for instance:

  1. Dead Fish: Where a player is unable to save their fish, the fish gets placed face up, and the loser must announce, “Belly up, my fish is dead!” to the group.
  2. Flint Fish: If you find yourself without a fish in your hand at any point, you can call out “Flint Fish” and reveal your cards to your opponents. You can then stick them at the bottom of the discard pile and retrieve seven more.

The End of The Game

As the game draws to an end, there are a couple of things that may happen:

  • The stockpile can run dry (run out of cards), in which case the discarded cards are shuffled to reform a new pile. Just leave the fish in play and any kill cards that have been placed on it.
  • There might come a point where nobody wishes to play a fish. In this instance, everyone reveals their cards, and the highest-ranking fish takes the turn.

The only to save your fish, and therefore win the game, is by playing down a fish and having nobody able to place down a kill card.


All-in-all, the WTF or What The Fish card game is an excellent game for people of all ages, and although it may seem a little complicated regarding all the different cards, I promise you, once you’ve played you’re first game, you’ll see just how easy it is to understand, and how much fun it can be for the whole family.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, why don’t you check out some more great games to play with the family?

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