Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a trusting person by your side… and card games. Truthfully, sometimes we arrive at a certain point where all we need to do is spend some quality time with that special person.
The best way to have some quality – and amusing time, is undoubtedly playing a card game. Or two card games. Or dozens of card games. They’re never enough! We know you’ve heard of several card games made for more players, but, what if you find out about some extremely good card games, specifically made for 2 people only? We will help you do that, and besides that, with lots of love!
What are the main points of today’s special article?
- The Games:
- Le Truc;
- Go Fish!;
- German Whist;
- Sixty – Six;
- Card Golf;
- Gin Rummy;
- Old Maid;
- Crazy Eights;
- Hand & Foot;
- Double Solitaire;
- Kings Corners;
- Game Of Pure Strategy (GOPS);
- Egyptian Ratscrew;
- Our guide to choosing the best two-player card game;
- To sum it up: what’s so special about these games?
Pieces of information about the ‘War’ card game:
You’re about to start a war, aren’t you? To play, you’ll need a full deck of classic cards. First, shuffle the whole deck, including the jokers, and deal them equally to both of you. At the same time, you flip the cards from your deck and place them in front of you. You compare the cards, and whoever has the highest value, takes all the cards in the table.
If you flip the same cards, this is where the war starts. What you’ll have to do is place 3 cards face down on top of that same card. After these 3 cards, put another card, but now, face-up, and then, compare them. Joker is the highest, continuing with Ace, K, Q, J, 10, 9, …,1. When a player doesn’t have 3 cards to put on top of the card, they lose the game, and the other player is the winner.
If interested in more, check this video: How To Play War;
Pieces of information about the ‘Canasta’ card game:
Canasta is the goal! Shuffle the cards deck, including the jokers, and deal both of you with 11 cards. Leave the remaining cards in the middle of the table. To start, turn the top card of the draw pile over. If it’s a special card (a joker, a two, or a red three), continue pulling until you find a ‘normal’ card. Next, you may draw a card from the draw or discard pile, to create a meld.
When you have at least 3 cards in a rank, lay them face up in front of you. You may also use the bonus card as any value you need. Your first meld should be worth at least 50 points. You can add cards to your existing melds, and when there are 7 cards in a meld, that’s a Canasta. The goal is to make as many Canastas as possible.
Important – The worth of each card:
- Red Three – 100 points;
- Jokers – 50 points;
- Aces & Twos – 20 points;
- Black Threes to Kings – 5 points;
- Natural Canasta (no wildcards) – 500 points;
- Dirty Canasta (with wildcards) – 300 points;
We know you wanna know more… Here’s a video explaining the game (for 4 players, but the rules are the same): How To Play Canasta.
3. Le Truc
Pieces of information about the ‘Le Truc’ card game:
Le Truc, the game of strategy! To play the game, remove cards ranging from 2 to 6 from the full deck. Deal 3 cards to both of you, and play one card. Whoever has the highest rank, takes the trick. If they’re both the same rank, the leader of that trick takes the next one. Both of you try to capture two tricks.
The players may request to raise the point value of the round, for example, from 1 to 2. This is possible only if both players agree. In case one doesn’t, the round ends. If the round’s point value hasn’t been raised, by default it is 1 point. Winning is simple: the first player to earn 12 points wins.
Pieces of information about the ‘Spoons’ card game:
Yes, you’ve heard it right! You’ll need spoons and a full deck of cards. Use one spoon fewer than the number of players, in our case, you’ll only need one. Both of you get 4 cards at first and lay the other cards in the draw pile. First, you draw one card from the pile and give one to the other player.
They do the same as well. Once any of you two gets 4-of-a-kind, you take a spoon, and the other player gets the letters S-P-O-O-N, for every time you do that. The first one to create the full word ‘spoon’, loses. We know it is made for more players, but Spoons works quite great with 2 people!
You may watch How To Play Spoons, in case you understand things better by watching videos.
Pieces of information about the ‘Pinochle’ card game:
I don’t know why I thought it said Pinnochio at first… Well, you won’t need a full deck. You’ll only need Aces, Tens, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Nines. Two cards of each, all suits. Ace is the highest and nine is the lowest. Each player should bid on how many points they can earn, starting from 20. The other one should pass or predict higher.
Lay down the draw pile, and turn the top card over. Next, check your hand pile to see if you have any melds. Melds are combinations of cards adding up. Now, you could start tricks. The player who had the highest bid starts by playing a card. The other player should play a card as well. Whoever has the most valuable card, wins the trick. Once you complete winning 12 tricks, count the value of cards of both of the players, and declare the winner.
Important – The value of some mids:
- Flushes (A, 10, K, Q, J, 9: trump suit) – 150 points;
- Royal Marriage (K, Q: trump suit) – 40;
- Marriage (K, Q: other suits) – 20;
- Pinochle (Q♠, J♦) – 40;
Here’s a video to explain the details: How To Play Pinochle Card Game.
Pieces of information about the ‘Memory’ card game:
Let’s continue with a bit of an easier card game, what do you say? You have to use a full deck of classic cards. If you’ve lost a card, and you can’t find it under the sofas, you’ll stress out during the game! Shuffle the deck, and place the cards facedown on the table. You two take turns turning over 2 cards at a time.
If you match them, you get to keep these 2 cards as your wealth. If you do, you have another chance to match other cards. If they don’t match, turn them face-down again. Try to concentrate and memorize the cards. The player who has more pairs at the end of the game is the winner!
Wanna hear the rules, explained in a video? Check How To Play Memory!
Pieces of information about the ’BlackJack’ card game:
Ever heard of this name? I bet you have! To play BlackJack, first, one of you becomes the dealer, and give the other player one card face-up and one other face-down. Next, check the face values of each card. If it’s much less than 21, get another card. If it’s close to 21, just keep the cards you have. If it’s higher than 21, stop for that round.
When you calculate the sum of cards, the person who is closest to 21 wins that hand and gets all the cards of that round. So, you may draw cards until you reach 21. The game ends when there are no more cards in the draw pile. The player with the most cards wins!
If you want to dive into more information, check this video: How To Play BlackJack
8. Go Fish!
Pieces of information about the ‘Go Fish!’ card game:
Well, in a way, it’ll be like fishing! Use a standard 52-cards deck. First, deal 7 cards to both of you, and leave the remaining cards in the center of the table. Any of you can start first by asking for specific cards. For example, you may say ‘give me your queens’. If they don’t have the card (s), they say “Go Fish”. If they do, you get what you asked for, and continue asking again.
When any of you completes a book, place it face-up in front of you. A book is a set of four cards of a kind. The game ends when there are no cards left. The player with the most books in front of them wins the game!
I’m sure you want to know more, so, if yes, here’s a video you may need: How To Play Go Fish ( Card Game).
9. German Whist
Pieces of information about the ‘German Whist’ card game:
There isn’t anything German about it, but, who cares! Using the deck of cards, which you already know, deal 13 of them to both of the players. The undealt cards stay in the draw pile, turn the top card over (it determines the trump suit). Now, you may start playing tricks, one card each of you.
The first player to start a trick may play any card. The second one should play the same suit if they have one. When the suits are the same, the highest value of cards wins the trick. When there are no cards left to the stock, you compete for the majority of the tricks. Whoever wins this majority, wins the game!
Since there are many more details, this video will help you figure it out: How To Play German Whist!
Pieces of information about the ‘Sixty-Six’ card game:
Here’s a trick-taking game! First, you’ll only use Aces, 10, K, Q, J, and 9 from the whole deck. Next comes the dealing. Deal 6 cards to both of you. After you deal 12 cards, lay the 13th in the center of the table, and the pile on top of it. The player with the highest-ranking trump card wins the game.
Next, players play cards again, and the highest-ranking card wins the trick. Once all the cards are played by the draw pile, now both of the players have to play with cards in their hands. The player who earns 66 points, wins the game. Some special actions can be played during the gameplay, and we’ll show their worth in some seconds:
Important – The worth of special plays:
- Marriage in trumps – 40 points;
- Marriage in any other suit – 20;
- Ace (on tricks) – 11;
- Tens (on tricks) – 10;
- Kings (on tricks) – 4;
- Queens (on tricks) – 3;
- Jacks (on tricks) – 2
Since you’re curious to know more, check this youtube video: How To Play 66!
11. Card Golf
Pieces of information about the ‘ Card Golf’ card game:
For the first time, you’ll only need a deck of cards, and not a golf club or a ball to play golf… First, deal 6 cards to both of you. Place the remaining cards in the center of the table, facedown, and turn the top card over. Next, organize your cards in front of you on a 3 x 2 grid, without looking at them. Next, turn 2 of your cards over, and draw a card from the draw or discard pile.
You may exchange that card with any of your 6 cards. The card that gets exchanged, should be placed in the discard pile. The game continues until one of you gets all their cards face-up. This is when scoring the points starts. The ‘golfer’ with the lowest score wins, just as in golf!
Important – The worth of cards & combinations:
- Two same cards in the same column – 0 points;
- Aces – 1 point;
- Twos – -2 points;
- Threes to Tens – Points depending on their face value;
- Kings – 0 points;
- Queens & Jacks – 10 points;
For more details on the gameplay, here’s an amazing video: How To Play Golf (6 Cards)!
12. Gin Rummy
Pieces of information about the ‘Gin Rummy’ card game:
It’s Gin Rummy y’all! The name seems like a drinking card game, but no, it isn’t. To start, use a deck of classic cards, and deal 10 cards to both of you. Of course, the remaining cards belong to their place: in the center of the table! Turn the top card from the draw pile over to create the discard pile. Next, you may draw the top card from one of these 2 piles. After you draw one, discard another card from your hand, putting it in the discard pile.
Your goal should be creating a set of cards that are in the same rank, either meld, meaning, runs in the same suit. There are two ways of ending the game: knocking (ending the game if your unmatched cards add up to 10) and going gin (if all of your cards are part of melds). Play for some rounds, until one of you reaches 100 points or more.
- Cards Ace – 10 are worth their face value;
- Jack, Queen, King are worth 10 points;
- When knocking: subtract the total of unmatched cards from your opponent’s unmatched cards;
- Going gin gets a bonus of 25 points, adding the opponent’s unmatched cards’ worth;
To understand better about knocking and going gin, check How To Play Gin Rummy!
13. Old Maid
Pieces of information about the ‘Old Maid’ card game:
You really wanna be an old maid? Well, use classic cards including a joker, shuffle the deck, and deal the cards equally to all the players (in our place, to both of you). All the pairs you have in your hand should be discarded in front of you. The other player can not see your single cards.
Next, both of you take turns taking one card from your opponent, without seeing it. The game continues until all your cards have paired up, except one: the Joker! Whoever has the Joker, becomes the old maid and loses!
Pieces of information about the ‘Cribbage’ card game:
This time, besides the standard deck of cards, you’ll also need a Cribbage board and pegs. First, from the 6 cards you both have in your hands, cut 2 of them and place them in the center of the table, creating the crib. The players continue to play, without going over 31 points.
If one player exceeds 31 points, they say ‘Go!’, and the opponent gets 2+ points on the board, moving the pegs. If one player reaches exactly 31 points, he gets 1 point. Keep starting new rounds if you run out of cards until one of you two reaches 121 points. The game can seem a bit complicated, so, here’s a youtube video to help you out: How To Play Cribbage.
Pieces of information about the ‘Durak’ card game:
Take the full deck of cards, and remove all the other cards besides sixes and higher. Next, each of you is dealt 6 cards. The other cards stay in the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile should be turned face-up and placed underneath the draw pile. Yes, it represents the trump suit.
Next, one of you starts by playing a card from your hand, usually the lowest. This is how you attack the other player. Now, they can play a higher or any card from the same suit. When your opponent beats your cards in play, these cards together get moved to the graveyard pile. The point is to get rid of cards. The player who remains with cards is the Durak!!
Check this video for more: How To Play Durak!
16. Crazy Eights
Pieces of information about the ‘Crazy Eights’ card game:
What? Eights have become crazy? It is true… First, deal 5 cards of the full deck to both of you, and you already know where the other cards belong. You may look at your cards, but not at your opponent’s. On your turn you should play a card from your hand into the discard pile, but only if it matches the suit of the top card or the rank.
There’s a special action: If you have an 8, you may use it as a wild card, not necessarily matching with the other card, and that’s why we call it crazy! During the game, if you don’t have the cards you need, you draw cards from the pile until you can play. If you draw 5 cards and still can’t play, you play the last card you drew. Continue playing until someone reaches 100 points. The player with the lowest score wins.
Seems complicated? Well, watch How To Play Crazy Eights!
Pieces of information about the ‘Scopa’ card game:
Yes, it is Italian! This time you’ll need the Scopa cards, not the classics! One of you becomes the dealer and deals 3 cards to both, facedown, and places 4 cards in the middle of the table, face-up! Next, you can simply play a card into the table, or, play a card to capture 1 or more cards, and take these cards with you!
You take turns using the same options. You may score at scopa if you can capture all the cards on your table. To count the score, you should first count all the cards, second count the coin cards, next to the seven coins, and the last one is premiera! Since there are more card terms mentioned, this video explains them all: How to play scopa in 3 minutes.
18. Hand & Foot
Pieces of information about the ‘Hand & Foot’ card game:
This one is pretty similar to Canasta, but let me tell you, it is unique as hell! You may want to use two decks of standard cards, shuffle them, and deal 11 cards to both of you. You may look at your cards, and place them face-up in front of you. These are your hand cards. Next, deal 11 cards to both of you once again. Place them face-down next to the hand cards, and these are your foot cards.
Leave the remaining cards in the stockpile, turning the top card over. Next, both of you try to get rid of all your cards, and this is possible by playing melds. Melds can include 3 to 7 cards, which becomes a closed meld. You can use wild cards as well: Jokers & Twos! When creating a meld, you’ll also receive points. The winner gets chosen depending on who has more points.
Important – The worth of cards:
- Aces & 2 – 20 points;
- 3 to 7 – 5 points;
- 8 to kings – 10 points;
- Jokers – 50 points;
Hand & Foot is not complicated at all. If you don’t think so, watch this: How To Play Hand And Foot!
Pieces of information about the ‘Spit’ card game:
Here’s another fun card game! You already know you should use the classic deck of cards! Deal all the cards equally to both of you, one card at a time. First, lay 5 cards from your hand in front of you. At the second card add another card, at the third card add two more cards, and so on. Flip the top card of each column over. The remaining cards stay next to you: the spit cards!
Next, turn your split deck’s top card over and place it in the middle of the table, so, now you’ve created the spit piles. Next, you may move any of your stockpiles top card to any of the two spit cards, only if your card is one higher or lower. The first player who runs out of cards is the winner of the game.
To simply explain the gameplay, here’s a good video: How to play Spit.
Pieces of information about the ‘Slapjack’ card game:
Slap that Jack! Firstly, deal all the cards equally to both of you, one card at a time. You can not look at your cards. Instead, hold them face down in front of you. You take turns taking the top card out of your pile, placing it face-up in the middle of the table, without looking at it. You continue doing this until there is a Jack shown-up.
When that happens, both of you should slap the Jack, in other words, you should put your hand on top of the card. The first player to do so collects the whole pile on the table. Remember, you should add them to your hand. If you slap and the card isn’t a jack, give the top card to the other player. Whoever collects all the 52 cards first, wins!
It is quite simple, but if you need more details, watch How To Play Slapjack!
Pieces of information about the ‘Trash’ card game:
The name maybe, but the game is the opposite of trash! First things first, use a full deck of cards. Both of you are dealt 10 cards face down. Next, what you’ll need to do is arrange the 10 cards in two horizontal lines of 5 cards. The remaining cards should be placed in the center of the table, with the top card flipped over.
Then, draw a card from the draw pile, and based on their face worth, you place any of the spots in your rows. The first card is ace, and the last one is ten. So, for example, when you draw a 9, you should place it in the 9th spot on the table, and that card that gets replaced, should be turned face-up, and if possible, replace it with another card in the rows. Whoever completes all the 10 spots, shouts ‘Trash’ wins!
- Cards should be placed in order from Ace – 10;
- Queens & Jacks don’t have a spot;
- Jokers & King are wild;
If you wanna see the gameplay, you curious people, here’s a cool video: How To Play Trash.
22. Double Solitaire
Pieces of information about the ‘Double Solitaire’ card game:
This is the solitaire version for two players! This time, you’ll both need your deck of cards, meaning, you’ll need 2 decks of cards to play. Next, make 7 columns of cards in front of you, without looking at the cards. The first column should have 1 card, the second should have 2 cards, and so on. Flip the top card of each column over.
Next, you may move cards from one column to another, only if the card you’re moving is one lower than the other card. Also, this is possible only if these 2 cards have different colors. You may create your foundation pile, which starts with an Ace and ends with a King, in the same suit. The game ends when any of you two completes all their foundation piles. Pretty fun!
Here’s a video to explain Double Solitaire once again: How To Play Double Solitaire.
23. Kings Corners
Pieces of information about the ‘Kings Corners’ card game:
Foremost, this is pretty similar to Solitaire, we assume you should know that! It may be played by more players, but 2 works fine. Again, you’ll need the standard cards to play. First, deal 7 cards to both of you, and place the other cards in the middle of the table, face-down. Take turns and turn over the top card of the pile, and place it in front of you.
Next, play cards from your hand into your column or your opponent’s. You may play cards that are one number lower than the previous card, and different colors. If you have a King, you should place it in the corners of the piles. You can merge the piles until you create this order: Kings to Aces. The first player to run out of cards wins!
Here’s a cool video explaining this card game: How To Play Kings Corner!
24. Game Of Pure Strategy
Pieces of information about the ‘GOPS’ card game:
Just as cool as the name! First things first, sort the deck of cards into 4 available suits. Both of you take 1 deck of cards, 1 deck is discarded, and the last one gets shuffled and placed in the center of the table. Flip the top card of the draw deck over, and that becomes the prize.
Next, you two should pick one card you want to bid for the prize, and place it face down in front of you. Then, you should reveal the cards, and the highest bid wins the prize. The bid cards get discarded, while the winner gets the prize. Next, you flip the other top card, and the flow goes all the same. At the end of the game, count all your prizes and they’ll tell you your points. Whoever has more points, is the winner.
Important – The worth of cards:
- Aces are worth 1 point;
- Twos – Tens are worth their face value;
- Jacks are worth 11 points;
- Queens are worth 12 points;
- Kings are worth 13 points;
We’ve also found a video explaining GOPS: How to play GOPS;
Pieces of information about the ‘Idiot’ card game:
Idiot! Ps. This game is often called Palace, so don’t get confused. First, deal 3 cards to both of you, face down. Next, draw 3 more cards, above the previous cards, but this time, face-up! Deal 3 more cards, which create the hand pile of each player. All the remaining cards make the stockpile. Before you start the game, you’re allowed to swap any of your hand cards with the piles’ cards.
After dealing with the piles, you take turns drawing and playing cards. You have to match or beat any of the cards in the draw pile, depending on their rank. Once all your hand cards – and the draw pile as well are gone, you have to play with cards from your pile. Your goal should be to run out of cards first, and this is how you win IDIOT!
Important to know:
- Ace is the highest and three is the lowest;
- If you play a 2, the discard pile gets reset;
- If you play a 10, that pile is cleared from the deck.
Of course, we’ve found a video for this game too! Watch it: How to Play the Palace!
26. Egyptian Ratscrew
Pieces of information about the ‘Egyptian Ratscrew’ card game:
It’s an Egyptian ratscrew! Use a full deck of cards, and deal them equally to both of you, facedown. Taking turns, you start taking the top card of your pile, turn it over, and place it in the center of the table. If it’s a number card, you simply continue the round. If it’s a face card (King, Queen, or Jack) or an ace, the other player should necessarily play one of these 4 cards.
The number of chances for each card depends. You get 4 chances for an Ace, 3 for a King, 2 for a Queen, and 1 for a Jack. Anyhow, if a player doesn’t have any more chances, the opponent, who drew the face card or the ace, takes the whole discard pile. You may also collect the pile if you slap the pile for specific combinations. The game continues until one of you collects all the cards.
Important – The combinations you may slap:
- Double – 2 cards of the same rank;
- Sandwich – A card between 2 cards of the same rank;
- Top Bottom – The most recent played card is the same as the first card of that round;
- Marriage – King & Queen;
- Two cards, if their sum is equal to 10;
- 4 consecutive cards in a row;
Pieces of information about the ‘Schnapsen’ card game:
It is pretty similar to 66, but anyhow, it’s not the same game. You may use french cards, or 20 cards from the classic deck, including Aces, Tens, Kings, Queens, and Jacks. Deal 3 cards to both of you, and place another card in the middle of the table, which will determine the trump set for the round.
You may play any card from your hand, and whoever has the highest value wins the trick. At the end of the round, the player who wins the trick collects the cards and counts the score. There are also royal marriages included, talons, and many more. The first player to score 66 points wins the game!
Important – The worth of cards and more:
- Aces – 11 points;
- Tens – 10 points;
- Kings – 4 points;
- Queens – 3 points;
- Jacks – 2 points;
- Talon: The non-dealt 10 cards, including the revealed trump;
- Trump Jack: swapping your lowest card with the trump on the bottom of Talon;
- Marriage: King & Queen of the same suit.
Tips On How To Choose The Best Card Game For 2 Players
Analyze the game difficulty. Since we mentioned the basic rules for each game, it’s pretty clear how difficult each of them is to play. If you’re playing it with kids, or people who’re not really into card games, we recommend you play something simpler, such as Memory, Spoons, Slapjack, or similar games. They don’t really require lots of strategies or something, so, they’d work great!
Think about the game time. This is directly related to the game difficulty. Some of the games in our list should be played for some rounds to choose the winners, which take longer to play. Some examples may be Gin Rummy or Egyptian Ratscrew, which aren’t that fun if played for a few minutes only. But, some games end faster, such as, let’s say, Double Solitaire, when, if you’re fast enough, a few minutes will be enough.
Do you want to keep other equipment out of the game? What I mean is that if you only want to use a deck of classic cards, you shouldn’t look for Cribbage, Scopa, or, we may even say Spoons. As you understood, besides the deck of cards, you’ll also need some spoons, a board, or in Scopa, some special cards. If you want to play games as economically as possible, check the other games. I bet you all have standard cards in your home!
Are you more into fun, or competition? Sometimes, we can all agree some competition is required to develop some special gaming skills. We know y’all feel competitive when playing Pinochle, Crazy Eights, GOPS, and more. On the other hand, some games bring more fun than competition. We can mention here Go Fish, Trash, Old Maid, or many others, which basically require luck rather than strategy!
To Sum It Up: What’s So Special About These Card Games?
You all may assume how much fun they bring, even without playing them. They surely create stronger bonds, help you with your gaming skills, and undoubtedly make you enjoy the little things in life.
It is important for you to know that these are NOT the only card games for 2 people. Our experts, while researching, found out that many games are pretty similar to each other, some of them are not that worth- mentioning, so, we made sure we included the best card games, so, whatever you choose, you’ll be happy!
For the best results, while hosting the game night, we recommend you follow our buying tips, but of course, don’t forget to follow your intuition as well! If you think you need more explanation about the rules, especially when the game is a bit more complicated, the videos we added do their job in an amazing way!
Don’t let anyone stop the fun, you lovely people!