Awesome Card Games To Try—If You’re Feeling a Little Sick of Gin (The Game, Silly.)

Awesome Card Games To Try—If You’re Feeling a Little Sick of Gin (The Game, Silly.)

In honor of our 52 Farts Playing Cards Deck, we picked three little-known card games to help spice up your next game night.

Knock Knock 52 Farts Playing Cards for Adults Card Games

Goofspiel (AKA GOPS)

Goofspiel, also known as The Game of Pure Strategy or GOPS, was invented by Merrill Flood, an American mathematician, while at Princeton University in the 1930s.

  • Minimum age: 8
  • Players: 2+
  • Skill(s) required: Tactics, psychology
  • Game play and rules: Goofspiel is played using cards from a standard deck of cards, and is typically a two-player game, although more players are possible. Each suit is ranked A (low), 2, …, 10, J, Q, K (high).
  1. One suit is singled out as the “prizes”; each of the remaining suits becomes a hand for one player, with one suit discarded if there are only two players, or taken from additional decks if there are four or more. The prizes are shuffled and placed between the players with one card turned up.
  2. Play proceeds in a series of rounds. The players make “closed bids” for the top (face up) prize by selecting a card from their hand (keeping their choice secret from their opponent). Once these cards are selected, they are simultaneously revealed, and the player making the highest bid takes the competition card. Rules for ties in the bidding vary, possibilities including the competition card being discarded, or its value split between the tied players (possibly resulting in fractional scores). Some play that the current prize may “roll over” to the next round, so that two or more cards are competed for at once with a single bid card.
  3. The cards used for bidding are discarded, and play continues with a new upturned prize card.
  4. After 13 rounds, there are no remaining cards and the game ends. Typically, players earn points equal to sum of the ranks of cards won (i.e. ace is worth one point, 2 is two points, etc., jack 11, queen 12, and king 13 points). Players may agree upon other scoring schemes.


Mao is a shedding-type family card game, where the ultimate goal of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in their hand without breaking certain unspoken rules. In fact, the game forbids its players from explaining the rules! New players are informed that “the only rule you may be told is this one” and the specifics are discovered through trial and error.

There are many variants of Mao, and we encourage you to explore variant rules! We’re sharing the starter-edition version only.

  • Minimum age: 7+
  • Players: 3+ (ideally with 5-8)
  • Skill(s) required: Invention, induction, memory
  • Game play and rules: Each player is dealt an initial hand of seven cards. Once the cards are dealt, the remaining cards are placed face down in a stack in the middle of the table, and the top card from the stack is turned over and placed next to it. The dealer may then say “this game of Mao has officially begun.” Play commences with the player to the left of the dealer and proceeds clockwise. A player may play any card from his or her hand matching the value or the suit of the top card currently face-up on the table. The card played must be placed on top of this card, and the next player will have to play a card that matches the new one. If the player has no cards they can play, they must instead draw a new card from the top of the stack and say “pass” or knock on the table to indicate inability to play a card.

Rules vary widely between variants. Some common rules include:

  • A face value reverses order of play when played (commonly eight, sometimes two).
  • Aces cause the next player to skip their turn
  • Jacks are wild, allowing any player to call out a new suit when a jack is played.
  • Spade cards must be named when played (e.g., playing an ace of spades requires the player to say “ace of spades”)
  • A seven forces the next player to draw a penalty card and requires the person who played it to announce “have a nice day”. If the next player also plays a seven, he or she announces “have a very nice day” and the player after that draws two penalty cards. The number of “very”s and penalty cards can increase as long as sevens can be played).


Also referred to as Slam or Speed, Spit is a game of the shedding-type family of card games for two players. The goal of the game is to get rid of all your cards as quickly as possible. Players do not take turns; physical speed and alertness are required to play faster than your opponent! On each deal, by being first to play all your stock pile cards you can reduce the number of cards you have in the next deal. By being successful for several deals you can eventually get rid of all your cards, thereby winning the game.

    • Minimum age: 8+
    • Players: 2
    • Skill(s) required: Counting, sequencing, manual dexterity
    • Game play and rules:
      • Set-up: Deal the entire deck evenly to each player, and each player then makes five stacks in front of themselves in a row:
        • Stack 1: (0 cards face down), 1 card face up
        • Stack 2: 1 card face down, 1 card face up
        • Stack 3: 2 cards face down, 1 card face up
        • Stack 4: 3 cards face down, 1 card face up
        • Stack 5: 4 cards face down, 1 card face up
      • These five piles are the player’s tableau, and the object of the game is to move all of these cards into two “spit piles” that start empty in between the two player’s tableaus. Each player’s eleven remaining cards are placed face down in a pile next to the tableau; these are the spit cards.
      • Within each player’s tableau, face-up cards of the same rank can be placed on top of each other, and the face-down cards that are revealed are turned over. This process continues until each player’s tableau has face-up cards of five different ranks.
      • Players must leave their stacks on the table, and only a card being played may be handled. Players may use either both or just one hand while playing Spit; however, both players need to agree on either one or both.
      • Game play:
        • To begin, both players say “spit” simultaneously as each player flips over the top card from their spit cards into the center to start the two spit piles. Then, the two players attempt to play the cards from their tableaus into the spit piles at the same time as fast as they can; there are no turns. Each player can play their face-up cards from their tableau onto either spit pile, if the previous card in that spit pile is of a consecutive rank. For example, a 5 can be placed on top of a 4 or 6 (but not another 5). Ace is considered consecutive to both King and 2.
        • When a face-up card is used, the next card under it in its stack can be turned over and then played. If a stack of the tableau is empty, a player can transfer any face-up card into that slot and turn over the following card. As during setup, face-up cards of the same rank may be placed on top of each other within the tableau.
        • Once either player has played all cards from their tableau, each player tries to slap the spit pile that they think is smaller. Whoever slaps first gets the pile that they slapped, and the other player takes the other spit pile. (In some variants the player who plays all their cards just chooses a pile.) These cards are added to the remainder of the player’s spit cards and then shuffled together and dealt into the columns as they did in the beginning. There is no set number of rounds and the first to lose all of their cards is the winner.
        • If the game reaches a point where both players are stuck or choose not to play a card or cards, both players once again say “spit” simultaneously and each player turns their top spit card face up, placing it on one of the spit piles. Play then resumes as described above until someone reduces their number of cards to zero, and wins the game.

All game play text excerpted from Wikipedia, shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License