Card games do not have to be complicated to be fun. Some of the simplest, most popular card games are shedding and accumulating games.
In shedding and accumulating games, a deck of cards is divided among players and the object is to finish the game with either all or none of the cards. For shorter play, you can also set a time limit and whoever is in the lead at the end wins.
While playing these games, each player holds their cards in a stack without looking at them. Cards are flipped onto a central pile and picked up according to the game's rules. Any cards picked up are added to the bottom of the player's stack without shuffling.
There are many shedding and accumulating games to choose from and it's easy to add in your own rule variations. Here are three popular card games that are quick to learn and easy to play:
Odds and Evens
Object: get rid of all your cards
Divide the cards evenly between players. On each player's turn, he or she flips the top card onto the table. But before flipping, the player has to make a prediction about the card, by saying "Odd" or "Even" out loud.
For example, if you say "Odd" and flip over a seven, your prediction is correct. (Jacks and Kings are odd, Queens are even.) If your prediction is wrong, you have to pick up all the cards on the table.
Egyptian Rat Screw
Object: win all the cards
Divide the cards evenly between players. On each player's turn, he or she flips the top card onto the table. There are two ways to pick up cards, with slaps or with face cards and Aces.
Slaps: Simply slap the deck whenever someone plays the same card as the card already showing on the pile. For example, Player 1 flips over a 3 and Player 2 flips a 3 on top of it. The first person to slap the deck gets the cards, no matter whose turn it is.
Face cards and Aces: When someone flips over a face card or Ace, the other player then has a certain amount of chances to also play any face card or Ace. 4 chances for an Ace, 3 for a King, 2 for a Queen, and 1 for a Jack. If the player doesn't flip a face card or Ace in that amount of chances, the first player takes the cards.
For example, Player 1 flips a King. Player 2 can now flip over up to 3 cards in a row. Player 2, flips a Queen on her second try. Player 1 now has 2 chances and flips over an Ace. Player 2 now has 4 chances, but none of her next 4 cards are face cards or Aces. Player 1 would take the cards.
Object: win all the cards
Divide the cards evenly between players. On a player's turn, he or she flips the top card onto the table. The player with the higher card takes both cards. If the same card is flipped by both, it's a War! Each player flips 3 cards face down, followed by one card face up, the highest face up card takes all.
*War Math Variation - Instead of flipping one card each, flip 2 cards and multiply to see who wins each round. All other rules are the same.
These popular card games are largely based on the luck of the draw, which makes them easy to learn and fun to play. You don't need chips or score pads, just a deck of cards and a friend or two for hours of fun.