Looking for a card game for 2
September 22, 2004 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Fun and simple games for two players and a standard deck of cards?
posted by Mwongozi to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
52-card pickup!!!
I like the one where each player picks a card, and, without looking at it, holds it up to their foreheads so the other player can see the card. Then they each bet on who has the higher card. It gets better the more you drink.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:12 PM on September 22, 2004

Speed or War.
posted by Tacodog at 12:33 PM on September 22, 2004

"Simple" is a pretty vague term when it comes to cards--maybe you want to elaborate on that. Gin Rummy is pretty good, and certainly simpler than Cribbage for example.
posted by Galvatron at 12:43 PM on September 22, 2004

Egyptian Ratscrew
posted by Sangre Azul at 12:46 PM on September 22, 2004


The home page lists about a billion other card games too.
posted by Skot at 12:57 PM on September 22, 2004

Egyptian Ratscrew is not a fun game for only two people. Four to six.

German Whist.
posted by kenko at 1:08 PM on September 22, 2004

I remember when I was a kid my sister and I used to play a card game called spit. It did not involve spitting at each other, so lose the pic in your head.
It was fun. I cannot remember how it was played. Maybe she will.

Ok, while this was previewing I tabbed up firefox and googled it. The game is also known as Speed, so it has been mentioned. Therefore I second Speed, but I will still call it spit.
posted by a3matrix at 1:26 PM on September 22, 2004

I have to disagree with kenko -- Egyptian Ratscrew (also called Egyptian War) is an absolute blast with two people. My sister and I have wasted many an hour playing it.
posted by o2b at 1:45 PM on September 22, 2004

I came in to recommend Casino but skot has beaten me to it. So, I second Casino, very fun card game, easy to learn and teach someone who has never played it before.
posted by contessa at 1:51 PM on September 22, 2004

Gin Rummy
posted by caddis at 2:47 PM on September 22, 2004

Cribbage is a lot of fun, and the cribbage board isn't essential, just useful — you could keep score with pen & paper if you're so inclined. And it's not all that complicated; the only hard part is remembering what the scoring opportunities are.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:01 PM on September 22, 2004

Speed and Cribbage seconded. Spite and Malice is rad, but requires 2 decks.
One summer in high school, I spent the better part of 2 weeks playing a card game called Threes. I can't remember anything about it, and I can't find any mention of it in a cursory googling, but if you could find out how to play it, man, you're in for a good time.
posted by willpie at 6:01 PM on September 22, 2004

War, definitely.
posted by amberglow at 6:33 PM on September 22, 2004

My favorite 2 player card game is called Do-Di (not sure of the spelling, but it allegedly means "pass" in Cantonese; pronouced "dough-die").

I couldn't find an existing explanation of the game online, so here goes:

2 - 4 Players
Deal: Each player gets thirteen cards, dealt in whatever manner you like.

Cards are ranked in order from 5 (low) to 4 (high) and by suit. Diamonds are low, then clubs, hearts, and spades are high. Arrange your 13 cards in this order. Thus, a 5 of spades beats a 5 of diamonds, a 6 of diamonds beats any 5 but no other cards, and a 4 of spades beats everything. In pairs, the highest suit takes a tie (so a 5?5? beats 5?5?). In 5 card plays, it's poker ranking, except that high cards are 2, 3, 4, etc., and if there's a tie it's broken by suits.

Play starts with the person with the lowest card (the 5 of diamonds, or the next lowest card if all cards haven't been dealt) and this card must be played in the first hand.

When acting first, you may choose the number of cards you play: 1 card, Pairs, or 5 card poker hands (including 4 of a kind with any filler card). The next person to the left must play a higher ranked hand, but of the same number (i.e., follow with singles, pairs, or 5 card plays).

During your turn, you may choose to play or pass (this is where strategy comes in: sometimes it's best to pass—to keep from breaking up your pairs, for instance) and must pass if you don't have higher cards to play.

If you lay down a hand, and all the other players pass (if you play the 4 of spades, for instance, the highest card in the deck which can't be beat), you get to go again. When you go again, you may choose a different number of cards to lay down (1 card, a pair, or a 5 card poker hand).

The first player to play their last card wins.

You're supposed to talk trash after the deal while you're arranging your hand (along the lines of "Oh my cards so rock! You guys are toast," etc. etc.). Also, when you have one card left, you are also supposed to say "one card" to avoid bad karma (really, those are the rules).


It's a lot simpler than it sounds. It's really fun and really easy to play 20 games in a row. Email me if my explanation is lacking and something doesn't make sense.
posted by maniactown at 9:09 PM on September 22, 2004

After Do-Di we can all play fizzbin.
posted by zadcat at 10:20 PM on September 22, 2004

Manilla - a very simple gambling game that can be quite fun when you play it with small amounts (just to keep score, really). Can be played with two or more players.

Deck is shuffled. Five cards are taken from the deck and placed face-down on the table. Each player is delt two cards.

The idea is to make a "poker" hand by eventually replacing two of the five cards on the table with your own two.

Betting amount is fixed at the start of the game.

A bet is placed by each player to do the following, in this order:
(1) To stay in, not having seen any of the table cards.
(2) To reveal three of the table cards.
(3) To reveal the fourth table card.
(4) To reveal the fifth table card.
(5) To play your two cards and try to make the highest hand.

When a player decides they don't want to go on betting on a hand, they fold. When only one player is left in after the others have folded, that player wins the kitty. If players make past the the final bet, whoever can make the highest hand by replacing two of the table cards with their own two wins the kitty.

I found this a lot of fun, because as more table cards are revealed, you can grow more or less confident about your ability to make a decent hand at the end. Bluffing is encouraged.
posted by Jimbob at 11:18 PM on September 22, 2004

Strip Snap - I'm so surprised that nudity wasn't mentioned earlier...
posted by mattr at 2:36 AM on September 23, 2004

Piquet. The rules seem hard at first, but it's a great deep game.
posted by deaddodo at 5:47 AM on September 23, 2004

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