25 Exciting 2-Player Card Games You Can Play Anywhere

Put 'em up!

Last updated on Mar 31, 2023

2 people playing cards outside Nyszczuk Emanuel / Shutterstock

Card games are one of the best ways to pass the time, and if you have a friend, family member or partner with you, there are 2-player card games to keep you entertained, even if you only have one other person to play with.

We are all so competitive and like to win, so card games are the best ones to play. They are quick and easy to play, and give us an almost instant source of gratification. And with card games, you can play over and over again.


So, if you're looking for fun card games for 2 that you can play anywhere, grab your loved one, whip out a regular deck of cards, and get ready for a showdown.

25 Best 2-Player Card Games

1. 52 Card Pickup

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This card game is played by scattering the cards and whoever can pick all of them up the quickest wins. It's pretty simple and great for people who prefer cleaning up to going head-to-head.

2. Speed

This card game is another speed test to put cards in sequencing order. Take one deck of cards and draw two cards face down in the middle of the table. Then, make two piles of five cards to either side of those cards, face down, and deal out the remaining cards to each player, who will grab five cards to hold and look at, sorting any way they wish.

Once setup is complete, start the game by each player flipping one of the middle cards up. Each player must place a card on one of the piles that is either one greater or one less than the face value of the uppermost card on the pile.


Once you discard, you must draw from your pile of dealt cards so you always have five cards in your hand. Play happens simultaneously and there are no taking turns. The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins!

3. Gin Rummy

The object of Gin Rummy is to score the most points by collecting runs and sets. Runs are three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order, while sets are three or four cards of the same number.

Each player gets dealt 10 cards they can look at and one card is placed face up from the deck in the middle of the table. Each player can draw from either the discard pile or the deck on their turn, then discard one card. This continues until one player "knocks gin" when a player discards one card face down on the discard pile. "Knocking Gin" means the players' 10 cards are all part of a set or run.


At this time, both players show their cards and scores are calculated. The person who called Gin will receive points based on the unmatched cards (known as deadwood) in their opponent's hand. Play continues until one player hits 100 points.

4. War

The object of the game is to collect all the cards of a standard deck. Shuffle and deal out all the cards, with each player grabbing their deck face down and simultaneously flipping the top card down. The player with the highest card collects both cards into their own face-up card pile and the game continues.

The ranks go from Joker being the highest, then Ace, then King all the way down to 2. Once you run out of your original deck of cards, grab your face-up card pile, shuffle, and continue as before.


If both players draw the same rank card (i.e., you both draw a 3), this is called a War. Each player will then draw three cards face down on top of their original draw card, then flip the fourth card face up. This card is the deciding factor and the highest rank collects all the cards in the war.

5. Slapjack

The object of Slapjack is to collect all the cards. Shuffle and deal out the cards. Players are to hold their cards face down in front of them and discard the top card face up on their turn. If a Jack is discarded, the idea is to be the first person to slap the jack. This grants you all of the cards in the middle, adding them to the bottom of your deck.

If someone slaps the deck when there isn't a jack down, that player must give one card to the player who played the card that tricked them. The first person to collect all of the cards wins.


6. Spit

Kind of like a quick-paced, 2-player Solitaire game, the object is to get rid of all of your cards. Shuffle and deal out all of the cards evenly. Each player then deals out their cards into five stockpiles. The first contains 1 card, the next 2, the third 3, the fourth 4, and the last one with 5 cards with the top card face up.

The remaining cards are placed face-down in a deck next to them (those are your "spit cards"). Then, players say "spit" and each player places their top card from their spit deck into the center of the table simultaneously. There are no turns and play happens simultaneously.

7. Six-Card Golf

The object of the game is to have the lowest points after nine rounds. First, shuffle and deal 6 cards to each player (don't look at them) and discard the top card of the deck to start a discard pile.


Players are to lay out their cards face down in a 2-by-3 grid. Players are allowed to turn 2 cards of another player's hand face up. On each player's turn they must draw from the discard pile or deck and use that card to replace any of their six cards. The replaced card is then discarded face up on the discard pile and play continues to the next person.

If you draw from the deck and don't want to use that card, you can discard it. However, if you draw from the discard pile, you have to use it as a replacement. The game continues until a player has all 6 of their cards face up.

8. Crazy Eights

This matching card game is a race to match a number or suit to the current card in the discard pile. Whoever runs out of cards first wins!


Shuffle the deck and each player gets dealt five cards they can look at. If the first flipped card for the discard pile is an 8, the card is returned to the deck and another card takes its place.

On your turn, discard a card with either the same suit or number on the pile. The only wild card is an 8, meaning it can be played on anything. When an 8 is played, that player needs to pick a suit, which the next card needs to match or be an 8.

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9. Double Solitaire

Double Solitaire is a great 2-player game with the same rules as the beloved and well-known game Solitaire. To play, you'll need two standard decks. Each player essentially plays Solitaire and the first one to complete their foundation piles first wins.


10. BlackJack

Bring the casino to your home by playing a rousing game of Blackjack. The object of the game is to get as close to 21 points without going over as the dealer continues to flip cards. If you go over 21, it's called a bust and you are out.

11. Uno

You can play with two people or more, but you will need a set of Uno cards instead of a regular deck. Each player is dealt 7 cards, putting down a card each turn of the same color, number or type of card. Players can also use wildcards to skip the next player, give them more cards, or reverse direction. The first person to get rid of all their cards wins.


12. Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em is a poker-type game that is mostly played in casinos. Basically, you want to try to have the highest-ranking hand. However, with this game, there can be various versions depending on the house you play in, so be sure to know all of the house rules.

13. Snap

Snap is where two players take turns flipping over cards, and when two cards with the same number appear, the first person who says "snap" gets the whole pile and puts it under their stack. The person with the most cards at the end wins.


14. Pinochle

Each player is dealt 12 cards and uses strategy for the win! Dealt in fours, the deck's top card will be flipped up; that card's suit will be the trump suit for the round. The object of the game is to win as many rounds by playing the highest trump suit card to the middle.

15. Egyptian Rat Screw

The object of the game is to take as many cards as possible, as quickly as you can! All the cards are dealt to each player evenly, face down. Players each discard the top card in the middle.


Number cards are fine and play continues. However, if someone puts down a face card (this includes an Ace), the next player has to put down a face card within three cards to continue. If not, the player who put the face card down wins the pile.

16. Spoons

If you're looking for an incredibly fast-paced game, Spoons is the one for you. While it technically requires 3 players, you can add your own twist on it.

The object of the game is to not be left without a spoon. Each player is dealt four cards, with the point of collecting four of a kind first. Once a player has made a four of a kind set, they grab a spoon.


17. Idiot

Another 2-player card game all about getting rid of all your cards, this one involves discarding your lowest card and then drawing another one. Then, when you cannot make a sequence, it moves on to the next player.

18. Garbage

In this game, you lay 10 cards in front of you in rows of five, face up. Then, you draw a card and replace that card with the number the card specifies. The first person who replaces all 10 cards wins.


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19. Le Truc

This game dates all the way back to the 1400s. Each player gets three cards that they will use to play "tricks." These tricks are played in order to collect points. The highest card played in a trick gets the point. The object of the game is to collect 12 points.

20. GOPS

GOPS stands for Game of Pure Strategy. The object is to win the most points. Unlike other games, this one requires you to sort the deck out into suits before play. Each player gets one suit of cards, excluding diamonds, which get shuffled and become the draw deck.


The top card is flipped up in the center. This is the "prize." Each player will play one card face down in the middle as a "bid" for the prize. The cards are then flipped simultaneously and the player with the highest-ranking card wins the prize.

21. Concentration

This game is also commonly known as Memory. The object of the game is to make the most matches. An entire deck of cards is placed face down in a grid. Each player takes turns flipping two cards over. If a player makes a match, they keep the cards. Game play continues until all the matches have been made and the one with the most matches wins.

22. Kings In The Corner

The object of each hand is to get rid of all of your cards. This can be played with or without chips, just keep count of how many times players need to pay a fee to collect points at the end.


Each player gets dealt 7 cards; one card is placed on each side of the draw deck to make up discard piles. If you have a king in your hand, on your turn you must place the king at a corner of the draw deck. On each turn, players play as many cards as they can (which includes none) onto the discard piles.

To discard a card, you are basically playing Solitaire, counting down. If you don't play a card, a chip is paid into the pot or is marked down to keep track of points. When you are done with your turn, you draw one card from the deck. The first person to play all their cards gets the points or chips. First to 100 wins.

23. Old Maid

The object of the game is to not be the person holding the Joker. All the cards are dealt to each player evenly. Players look at their cards and make as many pairs as possible, placing them face up on the table.


On your turn, fan out your cards so no one else can see, then the player to the left picks one of your cards. This continues until no one can make a pair. The player with the Joker, or the Old Maid, loses.

24. Spades

Spades is played the same way as Le Truc, but the spade will always be the trump suit.

25. Go Fish

The oh-so-nostalgic game of our childhoods, Go Fish is a simple matching card game. Each player is dealt 5-7 cards and players must make matches by asking the other player if they have them. "Do you have any 3s?" for example. The person with the most matches when all the cards are gone wins.


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Deauna Roane is an associate editor for YourTango who covers pop culture, lifestyle, astrology, and relationship topics. She's had bylines in Emerson College's literary magazine, Generic and MSN.