Close
Image description

How to Play Go Fish

May 23rd, 2013 Games

Many card games may seem too complicated or too closely associated with gambling for a family friendly time around the card table. Of course, there are plenty of games designed specifically to be simply enjoyed, predominantly by children. Among these is the perennial classic Go Fish.

As for its history, card gaming site Pagat notes that variations of Go Fish have existed since around the 1800s, and have had names like Spade the Gardener, Happy Families, Dr. Busby and Authors.

Dole out the deck
Gofish-cardgame.com explains that the number of cards each player is dealt depends on how many people are playing. With two players - the minimum to have a game - each gets seven cards. Three players each receive six cards, and four players get five. The source states that a Go Fish game only has room for two to four players, but really, we suspect you could get away with as many as you like, so long as everyone gets at least four cards.

Something smells fishy...
When the game begins, the player who goes first asks another participant if they have one of the cards in his or her hand. A player holding an ace, for instance, could ask another player, "Got any aces?" If the inquired player had any aces, he or she would be required to hand them over, or say "go fish" if not. A reply of "go fish" means the player must draw a card from the deck, while a successful card acquisition results in another turn. The winner of a game of Go Fish is the one who ends the contest with the most sets of cards - either pairs or all four of a suit, depending on how you decide to play. The game ends whenever everyone is out of cards.