Go fish

Go fish is a great kids activity and learning game about numbers, patterns and pairs. Enjoy this fun, easy card game with the whole family and watch as your children learn as they play.

What you need:

  • deck of cards

Number of players:


Five cards are dealt to each player if three to six players are involved.

With only two players, seven cards are dealt to each.

All remaining cards are placed face down in a pile.

First, choose a player to go first.

On each person’s turn, ask any player for a specific card rank. For example: “Sarah, please give me all your 9s.” You must already hold at least one card of the rank you ask for.

If the player you ask has any cards of the requested rank, she must give all of her cards of that rank to you. In the example, Sarah would have to give you all of her 9s.

If you get one or more cards from the player you ask, you get another turn.

It starts again and you may ask any player for any rank you already hold, including the same one you just asked for. If the person you ask has no relevant cards, they say, “Go fish.”

You then draw the top card from the draw pile. If you happen to draw a card of the rank asked for, show it to the other players and your turn continues. Otherwise, it is the next player’s turn. You add the drawn card to your hand.

NOTE: The “next player” is the one who said “Go fish.” When you collect a set of four cards of the same rank, immediately show the set to the other players and place the four cards face down in front of yourself. That is a “match”.

Go Fish continues until either someone has no cards left in their hand or the draw pile runs out.

The winner is the player who then has the most matches (sets of four). For younger children you can deem “matches” a pair of a rank (2 cards instead of 4) which allows them to “win” a few extra times and keeps the game moving.

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