You don’t need to spend big bucks to play really fun games. All you need is a deck of cards and there are hundreds of games you can play. But instead of suggesting Go Fish or Poker, here are some more creative games you can play with that set of 52.
War is pretty simple. Take the deck and shuffle it. Divide the deck evenly among all the players to create personal decks, which you will not look at. One turn consists of flipping the top card of your personal deck for all players. The player with the higher value card wins the turn and takes all of the cards. Whoever gets the full deck first wins.
Werewolf (or Mafia) only involves a few cards, depending on the number of players. In a basic game, you will have a number of werewolves (or mafia) represented by the Ace card and a number of villagers represented by numbers. For example, if you have 7 players, you may want to do 2 werewolves and 5 villagers. You want less werewolves than villagers. The werewolves play during ‘night’turns and choose one villager to perish. ‘Day’ turns involve discussion and accusation, where the villagers want to find the werewolves and vote them out of the group. Werewolves want to stay anonymous and will try to vote villagers out. The last character class standing, wins.
You can add other roles to this game, such as detective who can investigate one person during a ‘night’ turn, or a doctor who can heal one person at ‘night’. Add these using the face cards. I recommend adding roles for very large groups (10+ people)
You can get this style of game as a set called One Night Ultimate Werewolf or play a digital version called Town of Salem or Throne of Lies, but you can play just as easily with just a deck of cards.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Ladies and Gentlemen is like Werewolf, where you only need a few cards. There are 3 roles: Gentleman, Lady, and Detective. There is only 1 Gentleman per game, regardless of group size. All other players are evenly split between Ladies and Detectives. Ladies are trying to get the attention of the Gentleman without getting the attention of detectives. This is done with a wink. The Gentleman will wink back and they win the game. Detectives win by convincing ladies to wink at them and thus getting caught, which eliminates them. If detectives catch all of the ladies the game is over and detectives win. Detectives can also win by catching the lady and gentleman winking. The Gentleman cannot initiate a wink, and ladies cannot return winks. This game gets really funny really quick because you’re basically flirting with your fellow game players, in the most subtle way possible.
MauMau is similar to Uno, where you want to be the first to lose all of your cards. But, it is much more chaotic!
The first round plays as follows:
- Shuffle the deck and deal 7 cards per person.
- Turn the top card of the draw deck over to be the starting card.
- 7’s are skips and 8’s are reverse, so if you play a 7 you skip the next player and an 8 reverses the direction.
- You match numbers and face cards, or the suits. ( see how similar to Uno this is?)
- BUT you can NOT ask questions during game play. If you want to ask a question, you must say “Point of Order” and everyone must put their hand face down on the table and not touch it. No one can touch their hand until the person who said “Point of Order”says “Order Restored”. Gameplay continues.
- If anyone breaks a rule, and you catch them, you give them a card from your hand. So if your friend touches their hand before “Order Restored” is said, you give them a card from your hand.
- First person to lose their cards wins. The winner of this round gets to make a new rule for the next round. Play endlessly until the chaos is complete.
This game easily becomes utter chaos depending on how ruthless your friends are at making rules. I’ve played with rules including run around the room like an airplane when you play the number 4 to tell an embarrassing story for every diamond you play. This turns into the ultimate house rules game, really.
What’s your favorite card game? Let me know in the comments below!