10 Fun 2-Person Card Games to Play on Your Next Date Night

Last Updated on October 6, 2021

Finding a card game perfect for two people can be a bit of a challenge. Most card games out there seem to have been invented with multiple players in mind.

However, it’s not entirely impossible to find an exciting 2-player card game to play with your partner or friend. You only need to know where to look.

So grab your playing cards as we unveil the 10 best 2-person card games to help you spend quality time with your near and dear ones. 

1. Slap Jack/Slaps/Heart Attack

Objective
To win the most cards by becoming the first player to slap a jack when the card is played.

Gameplay
i. Deal out the entire deck of cards to each player, such that each card is placed face down in a deck.
ii. Players take turns drawing cards from their stack and placing the cards face up at the center of the table.
iii. When a jack is played, the player that slaps the jack first keeps the whole pile of cards and adds the new cards to the bottom of their pile.
iv. The game comes to an end when one player collects all the cards.

2. Nerts/Nertz

Objective
To get rid of a 13-card “Nerts” pile.

Gameplay
i. The game starts with each player shuffling an entire 52-card deck.
Note: It’s recommended for the players to have a unique marking on the back facing of their cards.
ii. Next, the players deal 13 cards face-down to themselves, followed by 4 cards face-up side by side.
The stack of 13 face-down cards constitutes the “Nerts,” the 4 face-up cards constitute the work piles, while the rest of the deck is placed face-down as the stock.
When the game begins, players are allowed to sort through the stockpile three cards at a time, the same way they would in the game of Solitaire.
iii. Now, each player must turn over the top card in their pile of “Nerts,” face-up.
These top cards are removed from the “Nerts” pile and placed on top of a player’s work pile. There’s also the option of piling up the cards in the common area (the open space between the players and their cards), beginning with Aces.
Players can add more cards to their common area piles. However, they may only stack in numerical order (Ace low) and only by matching suit (Ace of Spades, followed by two of spades, then three of spades, etc.).
Another thing worth noting about this card game is that there are no turns. Instead, play is simultaneous.
iv. The first player to get rid of their Nerts pile calls out “Nerts,” after which the round comes to an end.
At the end of each round, players tally their scores.
The scores are calculated by adding a point for every card a player played to the common area pile and subtracting two points for every card remaining in their “Nerts” pile. It’s here that the unique markings to the back facing of the cards come in handy, as they help to establish whose cards are whose.
v. Lastly, players reset and deal the cards again, then the game continues until an agreed target score points are reached.

3. Speed

Objective
To be the first player to get rid of all your cards.

Gameplay
i. Each player is dealt five cards.
ii. Fifteen cards are placed face-down and adjacent to each player, so that the cards form the players’ individual draw pile.
iii. Two single cards are laid down side-by-side and face-down between the two players.
iv. A pile of five face-down cards are placed on both sides of the two single cards.
This pile constitutes an extra draw pile that players can only use if neither is able to make a play.
v. Each player flips over one of the two single cards.
vi. Players proceed to discard cards in their hand onto the single card.
This is done by playing the next lowest or highest card number. For instance, if you flip over a three, you can only play a four or a two on top of your three.
vii. After playing a card, players can draw a replacement card from their draw pile such that they have five cards in their hand.
viii. Play continues until one player runs out of cards or until the players cannot make any moves on the two-card piles.
Should players run out of moves before discarding all their cards, each player flips one card from the two draw piles. Then, the game continues until one player runs out of cards.
ix. The winner is the first player to play all the cards in their hand.

4. California Speed

Objective
To be the first player to get rid of all your cards onto matching cards.

Gameplay
i. Deal the cards equally such that each player receives 26 cards.
ii. Players simultaneously deal four cards face-up at the center of the table.
iii. The moment the last card is turned over, players begin looking for matches.
A match is any two or more cards with the same number or face card.
iv. As soon as a player finds a match, they deal new cards over to the match card (s).
If no player can make a match, the two players grab the row of four cards before them and lay the cards face-down at the bottom of their pile.
v. Next, both players deal four cards face-up in front of them, after which the match-making process continues.
vi. The game continues until one player gets rid of their cards onto the matching card.

5. Double Solitaire

Objective
To be the first player to move all your cards into the foundation pile.

Gameplay
i. Each player receives their own deck of 52 cards.
ii. Next, players shuffle their cards.
iii. Players then form seven piles in front of them, ensuring that the top card of every pile faces up.
The first pile can only have one face-up card. The second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh piles will have 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 cards, respectively, with the top card in each pile facing up.
iv. Players take turns or play simultaneously, with the objective being moving all their cards into the foundation pile.

6. Spit

Objective
To be the first player to get rid of your cards.

Gameplay
i. Shuffle a 52-card deck.
ii. Deal out the cards such that each player has five stock cards, with the last card placed face-up.
The first pile should have 1 card, the second pile 2 cards, the third pile 3 cards, the fourth pile 4 cards, and the fifth pile 5 cards.
This leaves each player with 11 cards, also known as spit cards.
The spit cards must be placed face-down.
iii. When each player is ready to play, both players shout “spit.”
iv. Immediately, the player flips over the first card from their spit cards and places the card side by side in the middle of the table and between the stockpiles.
v. The other player does the same, with the objective being to get rid of all the cards from the stockpiles and add them in the spit pile.
NOTE: You can only add a stockpile card to the spit pile if the card is going up or down.
Also, it’s possible to move a face-up card from one of your stockpiles into an empty stockpile spot, provided that you only have 5 stockpiles at once.

7. Gin Rummy

Objective
To fill your hand with combinations of three or more cards in the same value (such as three kings) or in runs of the same suit (such as 3, 4, 5, and 6 of clubs).

Gameplay
i. Each player receives seven cards from a standard deck.
ii. The rest of the deck is placed at the center.
iii. The top card is flipped face-up into a new pile adjacent to the rest of the deck.
iv. The first player either takes the face-up card into their hand or one face-down card from the pile, before discarding a card from their other hand into the face-up pile.
v. The next player does the same.
vi. The game continues until one player’s hand is full of matching cards.

8. Go Fish

Objective
To be the player with the most cards matched into sets of four cards of one kind, such as four aces, four fives, etc.

Gameplay
i. Each player is dealt seven cards, one at a time.
ii. The remaining cards in the deck constitute the ‘lake’ or ‘pond.’ These cards are scattered face-down in the middle of the table, right between the two players.
iii. Players organize the seven cards in their hand depending on the number or royal (King, Queen, Jack, etc.).
iv. The first player goes ‘fishing’ (asking the other player if they have a card of a certain number or type).
The player must already have at least one card of the type they’re asking for.
v. If the second player has the requested card, they must give up all the cards of that type to the first player.
vi. The gameplay continues until the second player says “Go Fish,” which is an instruction to the first player to draw one card from the pond, after which the turn passes to the other player.
vii. The player with the most matched card sets wins the game.

9. Egyptian Rat Screw

Objective
To collect all of the cards in the deck.

Gameplay
i. Deal out an entire 52-card deck evenly, placing the cards face-down.
Players shouldn’t look at their cards.
ii. The first player draws the top card from their pile and places it face-up in the middle of the table.
If this is a number card, the second player is also expected to play a number card.
iii. The two players continue until one of them can pull a face card or an ace, after which the other player is also required to play a face card or ace.
If the second player is unable to match the first player’s card, the first player adds all the played cards to their pile.

10. Old Maid

Objective
To not get stuck with the Old Maid after all other cards have been paired off.

Gameplay
i. Remove one queen from the deck of cards.
The one queen without a pair constitutes the “Old Maid.”
ii. All the remaining cards are dealt to the two players, one after another.
Players must keep their cards hidden from each other.
iii. Players peek through their cards and remove any pair of cards, which are then placed face-down in the center of the table.
iv. The first player holds up their cards in the shape of a fan, still ensuring that the cards are hidden from their opponent.
v. The second player must draw one card from the first player’s hand.
If the drawn card can pair up with a card that the second player already has in their hand, the pair must be laid face-up on the table.
vi. Play continues until all the cards have been paired off, except for the Old Mail.
vii. The player left with the Old Maid loses the round.

Summary

There goes our list of exciting 2-person card games to play on your next date night.

Remember that each game requires a bit of learning the ropes. So, ensure your partner or friend can already play the game before lining it up for your next social gathering.

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