How To Play Go Fish

I’ve often said one of the best things about having kids is you get to Ctrl-Alt-Del your life. You get to reboot everything and experience things through the innocent, excited, and believing eyes of a child.

From believing in the magic of Christmas elves, to playing with old-fashioned Fisher Price toys, children can really expose you to the simple joys of life that are often forgotten by busy, responsibility ladened parents.

My son got a deck of cards in a loot bag at a birthday party. He asked what they were, and so I thought it was about time my 4-and-a-half year old learned how to play Go Fish.

Except I had forgotten how to play. So thank you internets for filling us in on how to play Go Fish:

Using a standard 52-card deck, five cards are dealt to each player, or seven if there are four or fewer. The remaining card pack is shared between the players, usually sprawled out in a non-orderly pile referenced as the “ocean” or “pool”.

The player whose turn it is to play asks another player for his or her cards of a particular rank. For example, “Steve, do you have any threes?” The player who is asking must have at least one card of the rank he asked for in his hand. The recipient of the request must then hand over a card of that rank, if he or she has any.

playing cardsIf the recipient of the request has none, he or she tells the player to “go fish,” and the player draws a card from the pool and ends his turn. If the player receives the card he or she wanted (through either means), he may take another turn. If the player is now holding a pair of one rank, he may play the cards face up in front of himself.

Play proceeds to the left.

Winning: When one player runs out of cards, or the pool is empty, the game ends. The player with the most piles in front of him or her wins.

Up next: Old Maid, Crazy Eights and No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em.

What’s your favorite card game to play with your kids?

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