It's easy to turn a boring night at home into a fun game night if you have a pack of cards. There are even plenty of games designed for two players, which makes it super simply to stay entertained when you’re chillin’ at home with your SO or BFF. To make sure you’re not destined to play “52 pick up” all night, check out the 17 best two-player card games guaranteed to keep you entertained.
Having a deck of cards on hand is always a good idea in case you're in the mood for an impromptu game night. You can choose from a whole slew of two-player card games if you have a standard deck of cards, including classics like Slapjack and Double Solitaire. If you don't have a deck of cards handy, there are also online card games that work just as well. Even fan-favorite games like War are available to download on your mobile device, making it super easy to get a game going when you’re bored at home. Here are some go-to two-player card games to play during your next hangout with a physical deck or online.
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War is a simple two-player card game, and you can get it for free on the App Store and Google Play — or you can play with an actual deck of cards. When you play IRL, you’ll deal the deck evenly between two players. Then, each player turns up a card at the same time, and the highest card wins both cards and puts them face-down at the bottom of their deck. If you happen to get cards of the same rank, it is war. You can see the full rules here.
The goal of Rummy is to create matched sets with groups of 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, or sequences of 3 or more of the same suit. If you're playing with one other person, the winner of each hand deals the next. You can see the full rules for Rummy here.
3. Double Solitaire
Double Solitaire is a variation of classic Solitaire and has similar rules. The main goal of the two-player card game is to put down all your cards and rearrange your deck by suiting and ranking the cards. You can find the full rules here.
Slapjack is always an entertaining two-player card game that leads to tons of laughs. You'll want to be the first to slap each Jack card as it's played to the center. If you beat your pal and slap the Jack first, you'll take the card as well as all the cards beneath it. You can find the full rules here.
Matching is available for $2.99 on the App Store. The concentration-style card game for two players is packed with fun sounds, graphics, and animations. You'll also boost your memory as you match pairs to win the game.
6. Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens has an odd name, but it's always a crowd-pleaser. You can still enjoy this group game even if you only have two players. To win, you'll simply need to avoid drawing an exploding kitten card. It's super easy to learn how to play the card game for two, and it only takes 15 minutes to play.
7. Go Fish
You can easily play Go Fish with only two players. The aim is to win the most "books" of cards, which is any four of a kind, such as four Aces. There are 13 books in total to win. You can find the full rules here. You can also download the two player card game Go Fish — The Card Game to play virtually. It's available in the App Store and Google Play.
8. Crazy Eights
To win Crazy Eights, you'll want to be the first player to get rid of all your cards. All eights are wild cards, which means you can play them at any time during your turn. You can find the full rules for the two-player card game here.
In the two-player card game Trash, your aim is to be the first person to complete your layout of 10 cards from Ace through 10. You'll want to watch out for Queens and Kings, which will end your turn automatically. You can see the full rules here.
Scattergories is a fast-paced two-player card game for people of all ages. Each time a category and letter combo is revealed, you'll want to be the first one to slap the "I Know" card and give the right answer. The player who gets the most cards at the end wins the game.
11. Kings in the Corner
Similar to Solitaire, you’ll need to try to get rid of all your cards when playing Kings in the Corner. In this two-player card game, Kings are high and Aces are low, and the first player to get rid of all their cards wins the round. You can view the full rules here.
Memory/Concentration has you testing your memorization skills. All you’ll need to do is lay a deck of cards facedown, and then each player will take turns turning over two cards to see if they can get a match. If you get a match, you can keep both cards — otherwise, you’ll need to put the cards back facedown. The winner in this card game for two is the person who has the most card matches.
Speed is, as its name suggests, is a super quick two-player game where you’ll have to keep up with the pace. The aim is to be the first to get rid of all your cards, and it can certainly get competitive. For the full rules, check out this guide.
Marriage is an exciting two-player card game that requires three decks of cards. Kings and Queens will earn you the most points in this game (which is why it’s called Marriage). It’s recommended for advanced players, so you’ll certainly want to brush up on the rules.
15. Sushi Go!
Sushi Go! is the perfect two-player card game for foodies. You’ll rack up points by making the most maki rolls with your cards or for collecting the complete sashimi set. To top it off, you can play with one other person or up to five players, which makes it super flexible for any game night.
You can ditch the OG deck of cards for a fun two-player game like Sushi Go!
16. Duel 52
Duel 52 is a two-player card game that puts you in combat with another player using your cards. You’ll need a standard deck of cards, which will be divided into three lanes. To win, you’ll need to “attack” your opponents cards. Once you’ve got two lanes, the game is over.
Spit is a fast-paced two player card game where you’ll want to get rid of your cards as quickly as possible using a regular 52 card deck. Each player is dealt 26 random cards and then lays them out in five rows that are called “stock piles.” The first person to move all their cards into the “spit piles” will win the game. Check out the full rules here.
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