The Top 10 Card Games For Groups

Published: March 15, 2014

Playing games together not only allows for recreation, but also allows us to get to know one another better in how we think, express ourselves, and our senses of humor. In fact, many of the best ice-breakers in the academic and business words are games. Games can be as complicated as acting role-playing or as simple as pressing a button on the computer, but one of the earliest, longest-lasting, and amusing types of games is the card games. The role of cards has advanced to different images and purposes in games over the years only to make our games better and better!

Here is a list of the Top 10 Card Games for Groups (the type of game, the basic premise, group intended, and best size of group):

  1. Phase 10

    Game Name: Phase 10

    Game Type: Rummy-like specific commands to advance

    Group Inteded: ages 7+ (some junior versions exist)

    Group Size: 2 to 6 players

    Basic Premise: following the guidelines for 10 total phases, players must collect the specified types of sets, runs, or types of cards listed to advance to the next phase. Unlike Rummy or traditional card games, only one phase requires that all the cards be of the same colour. Many rule variations exist including twists, alternates, and rules that are specific by state!

  2. Apples to Apples

    Game Name: Apples To Apples

    Game Type: interactive word game with playing cards, strategy

    Group Intended: ages 12+ (some junior versions exist)

    Group Size: 4-10 players (number of players determines the needed cards for winning the game)

    Basic Premise: Red cards with nouns and pro-nouns are used by players to try and describe a green card that contains an adjective. The attempt can be serious, sarcastic, or any other way the player chooses to describe it. The player acting as the judge of which card most accurately describes the green card as well as the hands dealt to the players, rotate each turn! Depending on the number of players, players must acquire a certain number of green cards by having their red card chosen as the best. Again, a few variations exist, but this game remains the most fun for friends old and new and for co-workers or students!

  3. Uno

    Game Name: Uno

    Game Type: discard to win game

    Group Intended: ages 7+ (some versions for younger groups exist)

    Group Size: 2-10 players

    Basic Premise: after being dealt a hand of cards with either numbers or commands, players rotate turns using colours and either drawing or discarding cards depending on whether or not they are commanded to do so. Many variations inclding a mechanized dealing game exists and it continues to be a family classic. When players get down to one card the MUST shout 'Uno!' or draw cards and lose their place close to winning!

  4. Word Rummy

    Game Name: Word Rummy

    Game Type: Rummy-like, collecting groups of letters

    Group Intended: 5+ (depending on deck type)

    Group Size: 2-6 players

    Basic Premise: like rummy, Word Rummy asks players to collect cards that contain letters that may or may not make silly words! Not many variations of this game exist, but in larger groups and younger crowds, the game play can get very exciting!

  5. Frog Juice

    Game Name: Frog Juice

    Game Type: Strategy (math), collect and discard

    Group Intended: ages 8+

    Group Size: any size, but be wary of card limitations!

    Basic Premise: by discarding and collecting specific cards, each player needs to get rid of all of their cards and rack up specific numbers of points in order to create mythical spells using the ingredients and numbers listed on the cards. This game will amuse math and fantasy enthusiasts and get the minds of kids whirring with numbers and magic.

  6. Whack A Mole

    Game Name: Whack A Mole

    Game Type: strategy, interactive

    Group Intended: ages 5+

    Group Size: 2-4 players

    Basic Premise: combining the elements of the popular arcade game, the card games Uno and Snap!, this game is great interactive fun for families looking to make a little noise and whack a few moles!

  7. Magic: The Gathering

    Game Name: Magic: The Gathering

    Game Type: strategy, play by play, collector's series

    Group Intended: Young Adults (usually 12 and up)

    Group Size: 2+ players

    Basic Premise: Using a variation of lands, stores of life points and manna (magic points), players attack one another and also use magical items or relics to do damage and bring their opponents to 0 life points thereby winning the game. The game has numerous variations of different types and versions and has made it to the international level.

  8. Hit the Deck!

    Game Name: Hit the Deck!

    Game Type: time-management, discard to win

    Group Intended: ages 6+

    Group Size: 3-5 players (usually)

    Basic Premise: an explosive version of Uno, this game's purpose is to get rid of all of your cards before your hand of cards explodes! This game is never boring and can either get rid of nervous energy or create a whirlwind of excitement!

  9. Crazy 8's

    Game Name: Crazy 8's

    Game Type: discard to win, strategy

    Group Intended: ages 3+ depending on deck

    Group Size: 2-7 (more than 5 players requires double the cards if using playing cards)

    Basic Premise: this game is so old and classic that even original Hoyle or Bicycle cards can be used to play it, though usually kid friendly and character/franchise based decks are used. The purpose is to get rid of all of your hand by changing the types of cards that are acceptable discards by using cards with 8's.

  10. Go Fish!

    Game Name: Go Fish!

    Game Type: discard and collect to win

    Group Intended: ages 3+ depending on deck type

    Group Size: 2-10 players (more than 5 players requires double the cards when using regular playing cards)

    Basic Premise: gather cards you need to make 'sets' of specific size depending on the rules in the version you're using by asking ANY of your fellow players for specific cards when it is your turn. If they don't have the card you need, you go fish! This is another very old classic game that can be played with regular cards, but has more recently been using kid-friendly cards and alternate rules for such things. Either way, this is one way to get kids and older kids or adults to interact while passing time or getting to know each other.

Card games have a long and wonderful history and as more of them emerge, they become more creative and interactive for both younger and older players; breaching generation and gender gaps in the most fun and often most hilarious ways! My personal favorite is Apples to Apples, but most often I play Phase 10 with family members. Give any of these games a try; no matter your age, as long as you want to have fun, you'll enjoy every one of them!