"Go fish" rules.
August 21, 2016 11:10 PM   Subscribe

In "Go Fish", is it legal to call for a card one doesn't have?
posted by pompomtom to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Of course not... That would make for some bizarre gameplay. Hoyle agrees
posted by brainmouse at 11:14 PM on August 21, 2016 [6 favorites]

(though those seem to turn into the rules for some form of bridge partway through... But the Go Fish rules finish before that happens)
posted by brainmouse at 11:18 PM on August 21, 2016

I thought you could do exactly that to feel out what other players had, or deceive them about what you had. Looks like my parents were extra sneaky about card games.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:57 PM on August 21, 2016 [14 favorites]

Not in the version we play at home
posted by crocomancer at 12:18 AM on August 22, 2016

My first reaction was "of course, absolutely" but... my family is also pretty cutthroat at cards...
posted by Jacen at 1:02 AM on August 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

In my family known cheaters (like my dad) were required to show their own card when they asked for it.
posted by muddgirl at 3:25 AM on August 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Another 'not allowed' here --- after all, an important part of the game is remembering what cards other players called for (and therefore showed they held) previously.
posted by easily confused at 4:01 AM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

(It's also not legal to lie and deny you hold a card you DO have --- Go Fish requires honesty on both sides!)
posted by easily confused at 4:19 AM on August 22, 2016 [7 favorites]

Growing up, we played that way. As an adult now, I'd be kinder.
posted by teremala at 4:38 AM on August 22, 2016

Another vote for "no, you have to have the card".

Following this trend leads to the entertaining mental exercise of Quantum Go Fish.
posted by katrielalex at 5:21 AM on August 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

Playing with kids = honesty required.

Playing with adults = all bets are off.
posted by zebra at 6:45 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have only ever played assuming that you must have at least one of the card you're asking for. However, I could envision a Go Fish/Bullshit mashup game where other players can call you out for asking for cards you don't have, with some penalty left up to the house (randomly giving up cards, maybe).
posted by backseatpilot at 7:09 AM on August 22, 2016

If you play where you're allowed to do that, doesn't every turn just start with taking basically every card anyone else has, except for a couple new stragglers? The point of the game is remembering what people have until you have the opportunity to ask for it...
posted by brainmouse at 7:16 AM on August 22, 2016

What? No! "Can't ask for a card unless you already have one" is pretty much the key mechanic of the game; like brainmouse said, the whole point is keeping track of who has what and using it to your advantage when your turn comes around.
posted by usonian at 8:03 AM on August 22, 2016

In our house rules, you absolutely could. But our house rules also involved a lot of crying siblings and chess pieces being thrown at each other and parcheesi blockades....
posted by umwhat at 8:13 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Huh, I definitely did this growing up and was a ridiculously scrupulous rule-keeper. I'd never considered it to be a lie (as it would be to say you don't have a card you have) or any kind of cheating; it was a way to get folks to reveal cards they had chosen not to reveal for strategic reasons. This thread is blowing my mind.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:14 AM on August 22, 2016 [9 favorites]

What advantage would there be to get a card that does not match any of the ones you already hold? I suppose that my sneaky, underhanded, cut-throat, mendacious skills are lacking.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 8:33 AM on August 22, 2016

Only cheaters, and young children.

But I repeat myself....
posted by wenestvedt at 12:12 PM on August 22, 2016

Wikipedia says "NO!"
posted by Toddles at 9:01 PM on August 22, 2016

Midnight Skulker: I would do it when my stepbrothers employed a strategy known as "ask for the same 1-2 cards every friggin' round." They'd spend a lot of energy stealing each other's cards while I asked for the ones they'd decided weren't so valuable, so they wouldn't get pairs on lucky fishing expeditions. I don't know that I won more often than I would have otherwise, but I did win sometimes, which was unusual with almost anything else (video games or sports) we played.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:11 PM on August 23, 2016

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