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The Best Card Games for Groups

Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated December 2022

Card games are game room essentials, especially if you host game parties or designate family game nights to enjoy time together. If you're in the market for a classic or new-age card game, check out our favorites below!

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  Best for Parties Classic Card Game Best for Outdoor Play Best for Kids Best for All Ages Best for Families
 
  Shots No Chaser
Under The Influence Drinking Games for Adults
UNO
Family Card Game
Exploding Kittens
Throw Throw Avocado
Hoyle
6 in 1 Fun Pack
Exploding Kittens
Party - A Russian Roulette Card Game
PlayMonster
Five Crowns Game
 
Our SummaryFor an adults-only game night, this drinking card game is a barrel of laughs.This fast and enjoyable match game only gets more fun when more people join in.What's better than an average card game? A card game that marries fast-paced cards with dodgeball!This colorful pack of six cherished games helps kids learn and play for hours on end.If you haven't already had the pleasure, this insanely popular card game is just as ridiculous as its title suggests.This award-winning game will have you playing over and over again.
Pros✓ Two games are never the same
✓ Different levels of play
✓ Expansion packs available
✓ Easy to learn
✓ Fast-paced
✓ Can be played with two players or many players
✓ Great for ages 7 and up
✓ Can be played in conjunction with other games
✓ Simple and clear instructions
✓ Tried and true classic games
✓ Great for ages 3 and up
✓ Good learning tool for kids
✓ Game of the Year Award winner
✓ Exciting
✓ Easy to learn
✓ Best-seller
✓ Great for ages 8 and up
✓ Never gets boring
Cons✗ Some may find this game off-putting✗ Smaller than standard playing cards✗ Projectiles may cause harm✗ Little cards
✗ May be difficult for some kids to hold
✗ Expansion packs may need to be purchased✗ Not as durable as standard cards
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The Best Card Games for Groups

Happy young family playing card game at dining table at bright modern home.
Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Card Games for Groups

Young people hanging out together around a table during a party playing a game of cards.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

Why buy card games for groups?

From Blackjack to Go Fish and everything in between, card games are a beloved means of high-stakes competition between family, friends, and even complete strangers. They know how to bring us together or quietly fill us with teeth-gritting frustration in a matter of just a few hands. And even if the card games you own have a designated spot on the top shelf three weekends out of every month, you remember how much joy they can conjure once they’re sprawled across the table again.

What should you consider when looking for card games for groups?

  • Player Capacity: Oftentimes, the best way to enjoy a card game is with a lot of people around the table. That’s why it’s important the game you buy offers an opportunity for plenty of players to join in. Most card games cover the bare minimum of two players but can max out at four to five players. So, if you’re having multiple people over, consider an option that will accommodate everyone at once, rather than having to wait for a round to end before a new group of players takes over.
  • Age Demographic: It should go without being said, but if you’re buying a card game that may require a learning curve for younger users, then you must be prepared for a few pauses during your session. Of course, there are still plenty of exciting card games that are age-appropriate for users as young as 7 years old, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
  • Uniqueness: And with a change of pace in mind, it’s also important to consider a card game that piques the interest of everyone at the table. You can get a lot of mileage out of a regular deck of 52 playing cards, but there’s plenty of variety on the market shelves. Some games are almost too ridiculous to be real, while other sets are geared toward bringing partners a little closer on date night. There’s no shortage of barrier-breaking card games; you just have to be prepared to leave your comfort zone for an hour or two.

What skills can games help to develop?

Card games can help kids learn to take turns, persevere through tough hands, problem-solve, adapt, and strategize. Adults can learn from playing cards as well, especially if the card game prompts questions that involve critical thinking. Even games of luck, such as poker or blackjack, require adequate planning and adaptability to optimize results.

Our Picks for the Best Card Games for Groups

Best for Parties

Shots No Chaser - Under The Influence Drinking Games for Adults

For an adults-only game night, this drinking card game is a barrel of laughs.

Pros: Two games are never the same with this huge deck of interactive playing cards. With 200 questions, challenges, and dares, you and your friends will be laughing all evening long. This game is great for people who love to push the limits of appropriateness, but there are also leveled-down cards for a more tasteful game night. It’s a fantastic get-to-know-you game whether the players choose to drink or not. And this four-player game has available expansion packs and even colorful shot glasses you can buy to level up the fun!

Cons: Some people may find the game offensive.

Bottom Line: If you’re ready to get real with your friends, this fun and fast-paced card game may be right for you. This game has tons of different levels and scenarios to really mix it up. But look out! This game may leave you in hot water.

 

Classic Card Game

UNO Family Card Game

This fast and enjoyable match game only gets more fun when more people join in.

Pros: A classic and easy game to pick up for parties or during your downtime, UNO is a color-coordinated matching game that always finds a way to bring out some friendly competition. Each tin of UNO cards comes with a deck of 112 cards and includes detailed instructions on how to play and win. The goal is simple: quickly get rid of the cards in your hand by matching one of them to the number or color of the card of the person before you and slap it down. Can’t find a match? Just pick up a card from the draw pile and forfeit your move until all players have played their hand again. It’s a game of speed, strategy, and the occasional hard stare.

Cons: The cards are a bit smaller than the standard size.

Bottom Line: This card game and storage solution in one makes for a treasured gift. With the classic rules in place, you can play as-is or make up your own rules for an even more exciting game.

Best for Outdoor Play

Throw Throw Avocado by Exploding Kittens

What's better than an average card game? A card game that marries fast-paced cards with dodgeball!

Pros: Perfect for kids ages 7 and up, this game can stand alone or combine with another game (Throw Throw Burrito) for even more fun. To win the game, you must collect matching sets of cards more quickly than other players while dodging avocadoes. In other words, it’s a good time. It’s the perfect game for traveling with family, camping, birthday parties, or outdoor picnics. The instructions are simple and clear, with large text that’s easy to read.

Cons: As with any game involving tossing around projectiles, someone could get hurt if it’s tossed near the eyes.

Bottom Line: Look out for your friends and family; they may chuck an avocado at you. But since that’s part of the game, it’s all in good fun. It’s a great multiplayer (more than two players) game for the whole family.

 

Best for Kids

Hoyle 6 in 1 Fun Pack

This colorful pack of six cherished games helps kids learn and play for hours on end.

Pros: For anyone on the hunt for those tried-and-true classics, this Hoyle Fun Pack offers users six easygoing card games that any kid can pick up. Ideal for players ages 3 and up, this game pack includes Go Fish, Memory, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, Slap Jack, and Matching. Each game set features cards with unique themes and graphics. These qualities only heighten the cognitive skills and color identification proficiency a child can develop while competing.

Cons: The cards are smaller than standard cards, and they can be difficult for some kids to hold onto.

Bottom Line: This set of card games is great for learning the rules of a bunch of card games at once. Overall, it’s a great value product, particularly for teaching kids a new set of skills.

 

Best for All Ages

Exploding Kittens Party - A Russian Roulette Card Game

If you haven't already had the pleasure, this insanely popular card game is just as ridiculous as its title suggests.

Pros: Kittens, laser beams, explosions, and goats…oh my! This Game of the Year award winner has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. It’s an exciting and easy-to-learn game for adults and kids, inspiring fun with friends and memorable family game nights. This game is uniquely silly, featuring an exploding kitten as a losing card. This game is ideal for 2-10 players, and it’s nice and fast-paced to keep your attention (and even the attention of teenagers!). And there are even expansion packs available for more exploding fun.

Cons: Without purchasing expansion packs, the game can become a little bit stale after playing several times.

Bottom Line: For a quick game or hours of fun, this fast-paced card game is a winner. It only takes a few minutes to learn, and you can play as many rounds as you’d like. It’s suggested to add expansion packs from time to time to keep the game interesting for those who have played it a lot.

 

Best for Families

PlayMonster Five Crowns Game

This award-winning game will have you playing over and over again.

Pros: This best-selling, award-winning card game may easily become a family favorite on game nights. The rules are simple enough for kids as young as 8 years old to follow. And even though it only takes a few minutes to learn the game, you’ll never stop enjoying this game because it’s perfectly suited to beginners and pros. This game plays like traditional rummy, but it includes a new suit–stars–to keep things interesting. And the wild card changes with each hand, keeping players on their toes.

Cons: Though the cards are coated, they’re not as durable as traditional Bicycle cards. So if you play a lot, you may need to replace your cards after a year or two.

Bottom Line: For fun and exciting game nights, this rummy-like card game is a must-have. The rules are simple enough for just about anyone to understand. It’s a fantastic game for a multigenerational family gathering.

Final Thoughts

Whether you enjoy creating intricate strategies, learning your friends’ embarrassing secrets, or making memories with your kids, there’s a card game out there that’s perfect for you. Card games make awesome gifts for birthdays and holidays and can even be perfectly-sized stocking stuffers.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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