Best Card Games for 2 Players

 

Card games have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the world’s oldest card game was first mentioned no later than the 9th century! Since then, countless games involving cards have been thought up. Nobody knows for sure how many there are. Though, some estimates claim that almost 10,000 different card games exist today. That’s a lot to choose from! So, in the interest of keeping things simple, here is our pick of 13 card games for two players that you should enjoy in 2019.

 

Friends playing geography card game

1. Rummy: a classic two-person card game

There probably isn’t a card-game-loving soul alive that hasn’t heard of Rummy - it’s one of the world’s classic card games. Invented in 1909, Rummy can be played by two or more players. Here your objective is to outscore your opponent by improving the hand you were originally dealt. You do this by creating runs and sets i.e. three-of-a-kind or four-of-a-kind.

If you like Rummy, then you may also give Gin a try. This is another of the world’s classic card games for two players and it happens to derive from Rummy. Gin was also invented in 1909 and is intended to be quicker than Rummy. In Gin, you and your opponent agree on a score that you must surpass to win. It’s easy to learn and gets an honorable mention in our list. Fun fact, these are one of the few card games where aces represent both high and low numbers.

 

2. Uno: a two-person card game that’s great for any party

If you’re hosting a party then Uno is the way to go. It’s a shedding-type card game that between two and ten people can enjoy. Uno is perfectly suited to any party atmosphere. It’s one of the best card games for two drinking buddies, particularly if you’ve decided to stay in on the weekend. Therefore, it makes our list as one of the best card games for two players in 2019.

 

Friends playing UNO
In Uno, your aim is to score 500 points before any of your opponents do. You do this by being the first to get rid of all your cards in your hand. At this point, the round ends. Then, you score points for cards that your opponents hold in their hands. Along the way, you must avoid penalty cards that your opponents will use to prevent you from discarding all your cards first i.e. “reverse”, “skip” and “draw 4”. Also, keep an eye out for opponents who are on their last card but don’t call Uno. You can call Uno for them and make them draw another card.

 

3. The World Game: a geographical card game for two players to test your knowledge

The World Game is an all-ages card game for 2 to 5 players that puts your geographical knowledge to the test. Learn about the continents, flags and capital cities of all the world’s countries – all 194 of them! With The World Game, the more you play the more you learn. Therefore, it makes our list of the best card games for two players in 2019.

 

Father and son playing the world geography board game
In The World Game, your objective is to win by calling out the best facts about your country and beating your opponents. There are four game modes to choose from before you begin playing, and there are four different challenges you can call out during play. The game even comes with a map and illustrative cards that children can use as flash cards to study.

 

4. Go Fish: an all-age card game for two players, especially kids

If you want to put your memory to the test against a friend then Go Fish is the game for you. The simple card game is played by two or three players. The rules are straightforward. Ask your opponent if they have a card or not i.e. kings. If they do, add all the kings in your opponent’s hand to your pile. Then, it’s your turn again. If not, then your opponent must say “go fish” and it becomes their turn. Here’s a hot tip to win: try remembering what cards you have asked for, as well what your opponent has asked for.

 

5. Exploding Kittens: an action-packed kick-starter success

The team that created Exploding Kittens successfully raised $8.7 million on KickStarter to create one of the best-selling card games on Amazon. In fact, Exploding Kittens has had over 12,100 reviews on Amazon and has received an average of 4.5 stars. Additionally, CNN has described the game as ‘UNO, except there are goats, magical enchiladas and kittens that can kill you’. For these reasons, Exploding Kittens easily makes our list of top cards games for two players in 2019.

 

 

Exploding kittens card game
In Exploding Kittens, you and your opponents are dealt cards and then take turns drawing one card at a time from the deck. If you draw an exploding kitten then you die. Though, there’s plenty of ways to avoid that. You can skip your turn, attack an opponent, or even take a peek at the deck and strategically relocate an exploding kitten card. With all this action available, it’s no wonder exploding kittens has been a KickStarter success.

 

6. War

Similarly to Rummy, War is one of the world’s classic card games for two players that just about every living soul has heard of. The game is simple and may just test your patience a little. All you and your opponent have to do is draw a card from your deck and show it to your opponent. The player that draws the highest card puts both cards at the bottom of their deck. The game ends when either you or you opponent hold all the cards. As you can tell, there’s not much strategy involved here. A game of War can take up to 30 minutes and is perfectly suited to a relaxing drink.

 

7. Double Solitaire: Computer classic turned top-notch card game for two players

Double Solitaire is quite similar to Russian Solitaire, except it’s played by two players and there’s a bit of a competitive twist. In classic solitaire, your aim is to play cards to your tableau and then add them to your foundation pile. Double Solitaire is a little different. You and your opponent are each given a deck. To spice things up, there’s no turn-taking and you’re able to add your cards to your opponent’s tableau. So, if you see a red five card in your opponent’s tableau, feel free to place a black four card under it before your opponent does!

 

The card games for two players
Just as in Russian Solitaire, your goal is to fill up your foundation file. Though, you want to do this before your opponent in Double Solitaire. The catch is though, you can’t use any of your opponent’s cards. Even if they’re in your tableau. As you can see, the masterminds behind Double Solitaire have put a bit of thought into this two-player variation. Therefore, it’s no wonder Double Solitaire has made our list as one of the best card games for two players that you should play in 2019.

 

8. Durak: Russia’s most popular card game

Russia is a country of almost 150 million people and Durak holds the title of the nation’s most popular card game. Therefore, it makes our list of 2019’s top card games for two players. The word Durak means “fool” in Russian and in this case, it refers to the loser of the game. There are two variations of the game and in each, your goal is to get rid of your cards first. Else, you risk being the fool.


Durak is a classic card game of attack and defence. There are a few rules associated with this game. Though, not so many as to take away the fun. Basically, in Durak the attacking player lays down a card and the defending player tries to beat it. If the attacker wins then the defender collects the cards. If the defender successfully defends twice, then he becomes the attacker.

 

9. 66: The most popular card game in Germany

In Germany, 66 is played just about everywhere in the country. That’s almost 80 million people that know about or play 66. Therefore, it makes our list of top card games for two players in 2019. The card game can be described as a cross between other popular German card games, Bezique and Skat. 66 is quite a simple card game and your goal is to be the first player to score 66 points.

 

10. Speed: a very, very fast card game for two players

If you haven’t heard of speed then you might have been living under a rock until now. This is one of the world’s most well-known card games. It’s very quick and simple and is perfect for any party atmosphere. Therefore, it makes our list of top card games for two players. In fact, a round of Speed only takes a few minutes. Here your objective is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.

 

11. Build a tower of cards: not quite a card game, but played with cards

 

Build the tower with playing cards
We concede, building a tower with a deck of cards isn’t exactly a competitive card game. Though, who hasn’t tried this before?! Building a tower of cards with a friend can be as fun an experience as any card game. There are no rules. Though, if you want to turn this into a fun two-player card game try the following rule. Play with a buddy. Every time someone makes the tower collapse, they must take a shot.

 

12. Snap: a card game that will test your reaction time

Snap is fun, quick and requires your absolute focus. There’s no strategy or calculating involved; just pure skill. In Snap, you and your opponent are each dealt cards face down. You place the cards in front of you in a pile. When play starts, you and your opponents take one card from the top of your deck. You place this card as quickly as possible face-up in the middle of the table to make a pile. If two identical cards appear, you must yell “snap!”. The first player to yell snap wins and adds the cards to the bottom of the pile. Whoever holds all the cards first wins.

 

13. Crazy Eights: a classic children’s card game

One of most-popular children’s card games, Crazy Eights has been enjoyed by kids all across the United States since the 1930s. Crazy Eights is simple to learn and fun to play. It’s another shedding-type card game where your objective is to get rid of all your cards first. In this game, you try to match either the rank or suit of the last card to be played in the middle. If you can’t then you must draw another card. Though, if you have an 8 in your hand you can change the current suit of the game. If you haven’t guessed yet, Crazy Eights is very similar to Uno.

 

Conclusion

And there you have it! Our pick of the best card games for two players in 2019 is a wrap! We’ve chosen 13 card games for you to sift through ranging from simple and fast to testing and educational. That’s plenty of choice for next time a friend comes over and you’re not quite sure what you’d like to play.
And there you have our pick of the best card games for two players in 2019. There are a lucky 13 in total, giving you plenty to choose from next time you want to sit down with a friend and don’t quite know what to play.