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What are your favorite simple card games?

10 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/27/2014


Lately I've been trying to wade into the realm of easy, simple card games for my designs. Unfortunately my breadth of simple card games is pretty slim.

What are your favorite light card games that would be fitting for someone looking for good design ideas? Things along the lines of Love Letter, Hearts, etc.


Joined: 09/06/2017
Card games I know/Trick taker thread

The Great Dalmuti lightest card game I know. People tend to like this one because it can be played while drinking. Red 7 is only slightly more complicated but much more interesting. Rook is a straight forward classic game that has some interesting bidding/hidden information. If your open to games that include tokens you can take a look at Zen Masters and No Thanks. Both are very simple. Games on the more complicated end of the scale are Tichi, Haggis and Lexio. (Lexio is actually a tile game but it could just as well be cards)

Also there was a recent thread about trick takers I am sure that you can find some good info there:

Games I could not spell and had to look up:

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Some Suggestions

I enjoy Little Devils. Trick-taking game where the object is to avoid collecting certain cards. Also has a dynamic trick-winner mechanic based on the player who immediately follows the player who started the trick.

I play Phase 10 with my relatives all the time. Appropriate for as few as 2 players, and accommodates a wide age range. Incidentally, I don't recommend the dice version, because the mechanics are radically different and experienced players will likely decimate less-experienced opponents.

Sushi Go! is an excellent introduction to card drafting games for a broad age range.

If you can find it, Slide 5 is a great table game for larger groups.

Another interesting oldie-but-goodie is David & Goliath:

Finally, my favourite board game ever ever ever is Incan Gold/Daimant which isn't entirely a card game but the main mechanic depends on cards. Decision-making is simple, but there is SO MUCH involved in choosing either to stay or go. I love this game pretty much above all others and I introduce it to new players all the time.

The Golden Monkey
Joined: 05/01/2018
Card games I like

Some of the simple card games that I really like to play are
-The Original Wizard Card Game
-The resistance

harmon89's picture
Joined: 01/13/2016
No Thanks! is extremely

No Thanks! is extremely simple, and quite a fun filler card game.

The Odd Fox
The Odd Fox's picture
Joined: 01/19/2017
Favorite simple card games

-Sushi Go (a great one!)
-Love Letter (is a staple game in my opinion)
-Palm Island (recently backed on kickstarter and made a PnP... Love this one!)
-3 Wishes (simple game of hidden information)
-Avignon (wallet game from Buttonshy. Simple, quick and fun!)
-Dead Man's Draw (Probably my favorite on this list!)
-Fox in the Forest (Favorite trick taking game!)
-Fugitive (Great 2 player game. Extremely simple, lots of fun!)

Joined: 06/09/2017
goofspiel, or GOPS. 2-3

goofspiel, or GOPS. 2-3 players. useing a normal deck of cards sort the deck into suits. each player gets a suit and one suit is shuffle into a draw pile. turn over the top card. each player blind bids for the card, highest score was invented by a maths professor and has has loads of mathematical papers written on it but its simple enough to teach to my 4 year old. im thinking about using it as a game mechanic.

Tim Edwards
Tim Edwards's picture
Joined: 07/30/2015
Someone should mention

Someone should mention Canasta. My constant thought while playing at game designing is 'does it have the "canasta factor"?' By which I mean, does it make you want to kick yourself and your opponent in equal measure?

Joined: 05/18/2017
2 Suggeestions

One that my group loves is Blood of an Englishman by Dan Cassar. Another one that we also love is called Forty-Fives and it uses a standard 52 card deck.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
TradeWorlds: Exterra Edition

Okay so maybe it's not as simple as "Love Letter" or "Hearts"... But to be real honest, "TradeWorlds: Exterra Edition" is a very simple game at its "core".

So simple that even nine (9) years olds can play and enjoy the game. As Father Geek confirms, his children loved the game even if they weren't playing "optimally" each turn, like the teens or adults try to do...

And obviously we've got a bunch of "extras" which can make the game more difficult to play (such as the "Planetary Expansion") adding another source of managing more cards and their associated strategy.

Just figured I'd pitch this one... Since it's pretty FUN and a gateway game for children, parents and experienced gamers.


polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
Can talk about these for hours...

I'd say No Thanks! and Coloretto are the top for me. Both very simple rules, but with some very clever and subtle play that emerges from them.

If you want marginally more complex, but a whole heap deeper, Red7 is well worth a look.

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