Go Fish is a super fun game you can play with your friends, and it doesn’t take long to learn the rules! Play with 2 to 6 people, and focus on getting 4-of-a-kind matches so you can be the first one to lay down all your cards. There are some cool ways to change up how you play each hand, so you’ll never get bored with this classic card game.
[Edit]Starting the Game
Pick someone to shuffle and deal the cards for the first round. Go Fish is great because it can be played with as few as 2 players and up to as many as 6 players. The dealer could be the person whose birthday is coming up next, the person who won the last game, or someone else you choose.
Try to take turns being the dealer so that one person doesn’t get stuck doing it every time.
Have the dealer shuffle and deal the cards out to each player. If there are 2-3 players, each person should get 7 cards. If there are 4 or more players, each person should get 5 cards.
Remove all the jokers from the deck before you shuffle and deal the cards.
It’s okay to look at your cards! Just keep your hand hidden from the other players so they can’t see what you got.
Spread the rest of the cards out face-down in the middle of the table. This creates the “fishing pond.” Make sure all of the cards stay face-down so that no one can peek.
If you don’t have a lot of room at the table, just stack the cards face-down in the middle. When someone has to “go fish,” they can just pick up the top card from the deck.
Let the person sitting to the left of the dealer go first. This is another reason why it’s good to take turns being the dealer—everyone will get a chance to go first at some point! [Edit]Taking Turns
Start your turn by asking one player if they have a specific card. Take a look at the cards in your hand and choose to ask about cards you already have multiples of so you can make matches quicker. For example, if you have 2 jacks in your hand, you only need 2 more to make a match. The main thing to remember is that you can only ask one person at a time, and you can only ask about one rank of card at a time.
The “rank of card” means the number and not the suit. It doesn’t matter if the person has a jack of hearts or a jack of diamonds; if they have any jack at all, they must give it to you.
You can only ask for a specific card if you have one or more of them in your hand already. For example, you can’t ask for threes if you don’t have a three in your hand.
Keep in mind that once you ask about a specific card, the other players will know that you have that card in your hand. You can all strategize and try to keep track of who has what to give you the advantage in the game.
Give all your cards of a specific rank to the player if they’re in your hand. If someone asks you if you have any queens and you do, then you have to give all of your queens to that person. You can’t keep any back in your hand, and you can’t lie.
Take another turn if you get the cards you asked for. If you keep getting lucky and finding the cards you need to make matches, you could possibly take several turns in a row before having to “go fish” and pass the turn to the next player. You can ask the same person about a different card, or ask a new person.
Remember that you’re trying to make matches from the cards you have in your own hand.
Tell the player to “go fish” if you don’t have the cards they’re asking for. This is the most fun part of the game! If the person asked you for all of your queens and you don’t have any, tell them to “go fish.” The turn then passes to the next player.
It can be fun to order people to “go fish,” but remember to do it with a friendly attitude. After all, you’re playing a game with your friends!
Pick up one card from the fishing pond whenever you have to “go fish.” It actually isn’t a horrible thing to have to pull a card from the fishing pond, especially at the beginning of the game. It’ll give you more cards to play with and could help you get more matches.
You have to keep the card you pulled, even if it isn’t one you want. You can’t throw it back and pick another one.[Edit]Winning the Game
Lay down 4-of-a-kind matches to get cards out of your hand. You can’t hold matches in your hand. As soon as you get one, you have to lay it down in front of you so that everyone can see it. In many variations of Go Fish, the person who gets rid of all their cards first wins the game, so it’s a good idea to make matches as quickly as possible.
In some variations of the game, 2-card matches can be played instead of 4-of-a-kind matches.
Sets of 4 are often called “books.”
Take another turn after laying down a match. If you do get to lay down a match, your turn continues. This gives you the chance to start working on your next match before anyone else can take any of your cards away.
Win the game when you no longer have any cards in your hand. The first person to get rid of all their cards is the winner. If you want, the remaining players can keep playing until there is also a 2nd place winner, a 3rd place winner, and so on.
End the game if the fishing pond is empty, even if no one has “won.” This is an optional ending that can be good to use if you like really fast-paced games. You could always decide that the person with the most matches at that time won the game, or it could just be a draw.
You could also choose to keep playing even after the fishing pond is empty. You’ll just take turns trying to get cards from your opponents without having to “go fish” at the end of your turn.[Edit]Tips
If you get really serious about winning, there are few tips and tricks that can help you strategize to remember who has which cards.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
52-card deck of playing cards[Edit]Related wikiHows
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Play With a Goldfish[Edit]References
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