Growing up, you probably played a lot of card games. Remember B.S. and Go Fish? What about Uno? You probably found a renewed love of card games with the release of Apples to Apples. When you became tired of that, along came Cards Against Humanity. Once the fun wore off, perhaps you were left wondering…now what?
Few card games have made it onto the average millennial’s table as the activity of choice with a group of friends; however, there are some killer card games on the market. Card games are a great way to break up the monotony of another night watching Netflix or drinking for the sake of drinking and they are much cheaper than a night out bar-hopping. So the next time you’re thinking of getting a group of your friends together, consider investing in one of these awesome card games. The rules for all five are quite easy, the rounds are quick, and you can take all the credit for reigniting a love of a nostalgic past time amongst your friends. They are arranged by length of game, starting with the shortest and going to the longest. Sound good? Good. Let’s get into it.
1. One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
Play with: 3-10 People (10 Minutes)
Five word summary: Partially cooperative, identify the traitor(s).
The Basics: A cooperative game, everyone draws an identity. Almost everyone is on Team Villager hoping to keep the villagers alive; however, there might be one or two werewolves threatening the safety of the village for if they can trick the villagers into thinking they are also a villager and the survive the night, the werewolves win and all villagers lose.
Play this if you’re looking for: A game with fast-paced rounds, lots of diversion, and quick-thinking. It’s an easy game to play multiple rounds but there’s no scorekeeping, making it easy for individuals to jump in and out of between rounds without affecting others.
Play with: 2-6 People (15 minutes)
Five word summary: Outwit your opponents through bluffs.
The Basics: Each player has three identity cards (with different special actions) in their hand and assumes one identity each round; however, they don’t necessarily have to have that card in their hand in order to assume the identity as they can lie. If they are caught in their bluff, they lose one of their cards. Players slowly lose cards by being caught in a lie, or when another player’s action forces them to discard a card. Whoever holds the final identity card wins the game.
Play this if you’re looking for: A quick game evocative of those camp games of B.S. This is another game which you can easily jump in and out of between rounds.
Play With: 1+ People (20 minutes)
Five word summary: Competitive pattern matching against friends.
The Basics: A deck of 81 cards contains unique combinations of four defining characteristics: number (one, two three), symbol (diamond, squiggle, oval), shading (solid, striped, open), and color (red, green, purple). Cards are dealt onto the table face-up in a grid and players call out SET when they see three cards which for each of the four characteristics the cards are either all the same, two same/two different, three same/one different, or all different. Whoever has the most sets at the end wins the game.
Play this if you’re looking for: Something fun with a bit more concentration required (it’s easier to understand that it sounds though, believe me) that you can easily jump into or out of mid-round without interrupting other players. Can be played with as many or as few people as you like (also a good brain exercise to practice solo).
Play With: 3-6 People (20-30 Minutes)
Five word summary: Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon meets quick thinking.
The Basics: Each card has a symbol and a general category (cheese, actor, cleaning product, etc.). Each player takes turn drawing a card from the middle and putting it face up in front of them. If the symbol for the newly-drawn card matches the symbol for another player’s card, those two players go head to head to see who can name something in the other’s category first (i.e. “Brie” for cheese). Whoever says their word first keeps the other player’s card, then the next person draws a card. Whoever has the biggest stack of stolen cards at the end wins.
Play this if you’re looking for: A fun, light hearted, easy to play game. Rules are easy, it doesn’t take much brain power, and it can definitely be done while drinking.
Play With: 2-5 people (20-30 Minutes)
Five Word Summary: Cooperative solitaire, signals in code.
The Basics: Each player holds five hands in their hand at once, facing away from themselves. You know the cards in everyone else’s hand, but do not know your own. You each take turns giving hints to the players about the cards in their hands to collectively form a type of solitaire-style stacking on the table. On their turn, players can give a hint, place a card on a stack, or discard a card in order to gain a clue token. You are all playing together, trying to perfectly stack five sets of five different colored “fireworks” (1 placed first, then 2, then 3, then 4, then finished with a 5) for a perfect score of 25. If a crucial card is accidentally discarded, your final score drops as you won’t be able to complete one of your stacks.
Play this if you’re looking for: A more intellectual game. It’s a great way to test your communication amongst friends or with your significant other. This is not one that you can jump in and out of, and it requires a certain amount of concentration.
Feel free to leave other favorite card games in the comments. Happy playing!