When you think of the best card games for two people, traditional 52 card deck games, like Rummy and Go Fish, probably come to mind. But there's a whole wide world of original, fun, engaging, and easy-to-learn card games out there that appeal to a wide variety of ages and skill levels. Even better? A lot of them have expansion packs, so you're not likely to get bored, no matter how much you play.
Whether you’re looking to play with your kid or your partner, the best card games for two can turn a mundane evening into a fun night full of good-natured competition. But it's important to consider your audience when shopping for card games. Do you prefer a fast-paced strategy game that might require a thorough reading of the instructions? Or do you want to stick with games that are so intuitive you can learn how to play them in five minutes or less? From Exploding Kittens to Sushi Go!, there's definitely a game for two to fit your needs.
Take a look at the best card games for two below. All of them are under $25 and highly rated on Amazon. Some have even amassed thousands of positive customer reviews.
1. A Cult-Favorite Card Game That You'll Want To Play Again And Again
Exploding Kittens isn't just hilariously named and adorably drawn, it's also the most-backed project in Kickstarter history. Amazon shoppers love the game as well, giving it 4.4 stars overall and more than 12,000 reviews.
Recommended for players ages 7 and up, the point of the game is to avoid drawing an exploding kitten card. But drawing an exploding kitten doesn't have to mean you're out — various other cards, like the defuse card, can save players who draw exploding kittens.
Players have described Exploding Kittens as a, "highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian roulette," and with several expansion packs available, including a NSFW one, you're likely to play this game for years without ever getting bored.
What fans are saying: “Fun entertaining game where the point isn't to win, it's to not lose. Best played with people you are close enough to that you don't mind screwing them over in good fun (or with drunk people)."
2. A Card Game You Can Learn In Less Than 5 Minutes But Play For Hours
Recommended for players ages 14 and up, Red 7 is easy enough to learn in five minutes, but complex enough to warrant playing again and again. The rules of Red 7 are simple: the highest card wins, but Red is just one of seven color-themed games you'll be playing. Every discarded card changes the current rule, and the color of the top of the discard pile becomes law. Or as one reviewer noted, “This game has a ton more depth than you would think at first glance. It's fun, fast, and deep."
What fans are saying: “We love this game! Ideal for two to four people. It is a game my husband and I can easily play on our own with limited time. I love that there are progressively harder rules, makes it easier to teach new learners. The harder rules keep it from getting too boring.”
3. An Adorable Game You Can Play With Your Kids
Sushi Go! Isn't just cute AF, it's also a winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Parents' Choice Recommended. The game simulates a conveyor belt of moving sushi, and the goal is to put together matches of the same kind of sushi to get a higher score.
Since the gameplay does require some strategic thinking, the recommended age range is 8 years old and up — but Amazon reviewers mentioned playing the game with everyone from their 6-year-old niece to college roommates, so the game definitely appeals to a wide age range. One thing worth noting is that the strategy will be different in a two-player game compared to playing with a bigger group.
What fans are saying: “This is my go-to, start the night off game. It's quick, easy, and plays well with friends and family of all experience levels. It's great for kids ages eight and up, doesn't require any reading and just a little bit of simple math. It's extremely straight forward, but depending on how you play it can definitely be a bit competitive. … Without getting too in depth, I'll just say it's an excellent game that every family should own.”
4. A Retro Card Game That’s Been Popular Since The 1950s
Since it was originally released in 1956, your grandparents might be more familiar with Racko than you are. The primary goal of the beloved retro game is to collect 10 cards in the proper order, but with an emphasis on speed, this seemingly simple card game requires a fair amount of concentration and skill. You'll definitely want to read the directions thoroughly, but once you get the hang of the game, you'll be hooked. Racko is recommended for players 8 years and up, but it appeals to all ages.
What fans are saying: "Once you figure out the strategy, which doesn’t take very long, it’s a fun game. You have to strategize and think, yet it’s not super complicated. So it’s fun to play and be able to talk and laugh with friends at the same time. I am glad I bought it."
5. A Whimsical Unicorn Card Game That’s Surprisingly Cut-Throat
Unstable Unicorns is certainly not the simplest game on this list but it's insanely fun. The game play differs based on whether you're playing with just two people or a large group, so you'll definitely want to read the instructions thoroughly before getting started. Still, Unstable Unicorns is one of Kickstarter's 50 most-backed projects of all time, and a 2019 Toy Of The Year Award winner as well. And with several expansion packs to choose from, including a NSFW one, you're not likely to tire of this game anytime soon. Plus, the game — designed for ages 8 and up — is full of adorable artwork and cute puns.
What fans are saying: "I was skeptical about this game, but Unstable Unicorns instantly became the family and workplace favorite. Sorry, Exploding Kittens and Loveletter! My colleagues light right up when they see me bring the box into the office, and know lunchtime is going to be great. Kids actually do chores without complaint, to ensure we play a few rounds on the weekends."
6. A Card Game That’s Also A Drinking Game
If you're 21 or older and looking for the best drinking card game for two, look no further. Intoxication is literally the name of the game in These Cards Will Get You Drunk. Reviewers praise this card game for its simplicity, (and effectiveness) and with over 100 dynamic cards to choose from, no two rounds are exactly the same. These Cards Will Get You Drunk can be played with up to eight people, but with only two players, you're likely to get very drunk!
What fans are saying: "I love the concept of the game — super easy and fun to play — no complicated rules and really just an excuse, a great excuse, to drink (and force everyone else to drink as well). We were cracking up throughout the game and it only got funnier as we continued to drink. I highly recommend this!"
7. A Flirty Card Game For Couples
Created by busy parents, and with busy parents in mind, Talk Flirt Dare is the ideal card game for couples who struggle to make time for each other — but the truth-or-dare style game is a win for all couples that are at least 17 years of age. There are no complex rules in Talk Flirt Dare: Players simply take turns answering the game's questions or completing dares. And with three card games in one, players can easily switch things up if one aspect of the game grows stale.
What fans are saying: “I had low expectations for this game. I ordered it as a fun activity for my husband and I on Valentine’s Day (we have two very young kids and needed activities for a night in.) I was really pleasantly surprised. We both had such a fun time answering the questions (my husband isn’t much of a talker so it was awesome!) and it was nice to hear my husband answer questions about me. I feel like it brought us closer. We’re looking forward to trying out the dare questions soon!”
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