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Best Two-Player Card Games

Updated on May 20, 2015
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My Favorite Card Games for Two People

So you and your buddy/relative/significant other are sitting around with nothing to do. It's raining cats and dogs, and there's a deck of cards on the table. What game are you going to play?

There are dozens if not hundreds of really fun card games, but which games are the best of the best?

Even though I've been playing cards regularly for more than twenty years, I don't believe I'm qualified to answer that question. I can, however, tell you which two-player card games I like best and maybe convince you to give one a try. Below I've listed my favorite two-player card games:

  1. Santase/66
  2. Cribbage
  3. Gin Rummy
  4. Hola

Each game comes with a short description and a link to some more in depth rules. Enjoy!

A German set of 36 cards for playing 66.
A German set of 36 cards for playing 66. | Source

1. Santase or 66

Santase is a Bulgarian card game for two players. Ever heard of it? Maybe you know it as Sixty-Six. Or perhaps Schnapsen. All three games are similar and share the goal of trying to score 66 points before your opponent does.

I play Santase more than any other two-person card game. For me, it's the perfect card game for relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon. There's strategy involved, but not too much. There's memory involved, but not too much. And, of course, winning also depends on the luck of the draw.

Santase uses only 24 cards (9, 10, J, Q, K, A) from the standard deck.

To score big, you need to "marry" Kings and Queens of the same suit.

If you want to give this game a try, here are the rules to 66. As I said, the rules to 66 and Santase are essentially the same.

Source

Cribbage. Or "Crib" for Short

Crib can be played with more than two people, but I prefer it one on one, heads-up. Of course, in addition to a deck of cards you'll need a Cribbage board -- a $10 investment.

I made my first Cribbage board in junior high school and still use it to this day. It's ugly, and the holes don't really line up, but it's served its purpose admirably over the years.

I think it's the board that makes the game unique and gives it that special flavor. Sure, the rules are clever, especially the one that has each player giving up cards from their hand to form a "crib," but it's the board that makes Cribbage, Cribbage.

Cribbage rules are here.

A winning hand in Gin Rummy.
A winning hand in Gin Rummy. | Source

Gin Rummy

For me, Gin is all about action. There are a lot of things going on, and I totally lose myself in this game when I play. Forget about conversation Grandma, I'm playing to win!

Gin uses a standard deck of 52 cards. Start by dealing ten cards each and flipping over the top card. Like other forms of Rummy, you'll focus on building runs and sets (3s and 4s of a kind).

Here are the rules to Gin.

And an Honorable Mention to Hola

No, this is not a Spanish game. In fact, it is Ukrainian so go ahead and pronounce the "h".

My family plays this game a lot. It's a casual, easy game that is best played by four people playing as teams. But it can also be played by just two people.

2s and 7s are wild. Aces and 10s score points.

Here are the rules to Hola.

More Fun-But-Obscure Card Games

I'm very interested in learning more two-player card games, especially games that are played in remote regions of the world but still use the standard deck of 52 cards. If you have any suggestions, I hope you will post them below.

Comments

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    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 

      15 months ago from U.S, California

      I don't know if crazy eights is obscure.... But it has the option of playing two people.

    • profile image

      Simon 

      3 years ago

      Interesting...

    • profile image

      dadahakeem 

      4 years ago

      i play evaery day play rammey cards game

    • profile image

      JeriAnn 

      4 years ago

      As others have mentioned Speed is fun! Here are the rules:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_(card_game)

      I also enjoy Crazy 8's - it's basically Uno but without the special deck. Here are the rules:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Eights

      And last but definitely not least Kings on the Corner!! Here are the rules:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kings_in_the_Corner

    • profile image

      My name 

      4 years ago

      I love spit and James Bond.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      james it is a very, very ,very, beautiful game. Even if i have not tried it iam sure, that it is great. i will learn how to play it and tryit with my cousins , my brother and sister. continue giving site games because i am sure that you will be very famous.

    • profile image

      James 

      4 years ago

      Seep is an amazing card game. You can play it at http://www.seepstation.com/play/ Its really cool and addictive and you get to play this with live people in both 2 and 4 player format.

    • profile image

      Jack 

      4 years ago

      If you're looking for something new, try this two-player non-scoring card game called Four Aces: http://listur.co/6-Rules-for-the-Four-Aces-Card-Ga...

    • ilikegames profile image

      Sarah Forester 

      4 years ago from Australia

      Gin, gin and more gin! My favourite game by far.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      jett sorry for asking but was is this game? may you explain to me better?

    • profile image

      Jett 

      4 years ago

      Crown is an AMAZING game

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      thnx very much mike. it still hurts but the life continues. again thnx.

    • profile image

      mike 

      4 years ago

      .hi sry bout ur uncle

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      hi is any body here? you got lost. where is every body????????????????

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      4 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi is any body here? i see that no one is?

    • profile image

      ESMERALDA 

      5 years ago

      hi tomorrow my uncle will be burried. my dad now remained alone without, a brother. because both brothers dead. one 35 or 37 years old and the other 57 years old.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      i am very sad, because my uncle died yesterday by a heart, attack.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      is someone here? i see that nobody wrote something. i see that you are in vacations. good vacationssssssssssssssssssssss.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi is someone here

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      for 33 days school starts

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi sory for that word i wanted to write ni

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi every body have niuce vacations

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      kdg sorry for asking but is spite and malice?

    • profile image

      kdg 

      5 years ago

      Does anyone know how to play Spite & Malice???

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi everyone.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi. i know that i must have annoyed you, with my words. But this is the way i talk. I want to talk very long. In my common life this happens always. Because i write and talk very very long. Sorryyyyyyyy once again if i have annoyed you with my words.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      what are you tryingto say with language because i am not understanding

    • profile image

      Futamarka 

      5 years ago

      И еще один немаловажный нюанс: эти кремы позволяют тратить меньше времени на растушевку тона, но при этом вы можете быть уверены в том, что никто не догадается о его наличии на вашем лице. Создатели косметики с удовольствием экспериментируют с различными добавками, рассеивающими свет. Фотохромные пигменты, шелковые протеины, нейлоновые жемчужинки или микропризмы - наличие подобных ингредиентов в рецептуре крема свидетельствует в его пользу.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      Mike 

      5 years ago

      Your all scrubs.

      Sincerely,

      Your mothers new man

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi everyone. tomorrow i have a difficult day, because i have to learn for the biology test, i have to do a project work, and learn the computer book. It is about how to use the computer, there i have 3 lessons to learn. whar should i do with so much home - work?

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      steve y. what is game speed?

    • profile image

      Steve Y. 

      5 years ago

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      porkie person. to say the truth i don't understand this games. could you give an example of how should we play it

    • profile image

      porkie person 

      5 years ago

      Speed is an interesting game also garbage is a quick game that can be played with 1-4 people with one deck, also slapjack

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      sorry. it was every body

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi. how is evry body? are you having a nice weekend?

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      5 years ago

      hi to every body. i will speak a little albanian. you may think i am crazy but no. i will explain in english what does it means. si jeni mire? si keni kaluar? how are you well.? iam glad for that. how have you passed?

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hi everybody . i have made a mistake. what? writing sk. it means ask sorryyyyyyyyyyyyy for this byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      i sk to much . i know but i cant avoidi it this is me

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      wowow jubalub thnx

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      i don't understand that coment charlie

    • profile image

      Charlie Goodknees 

      6 years ago

      Esmeralda, have you ever seen Bruce Forsyth's play your cards right? xx

    • profile image

      jubalub 

      6 years ago

      Esmeralda, I have watched you on here for a while now

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. how is evry bodyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      thnx for the compliment jubalub

    • profile image

      jubalub 

      6 years ago

      You are a good girl Esmeralda

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      wowowoowowowowowow jubalub you surprised me with that. that you are god. it needs a lot of strength and courage, to be god. but iam glad that you are god.

    • profile image

      jubalub 

      6 years ago

      No, I am not good.. I am God.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      the schoolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll starts tomorroooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww,

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hi how are you

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      it is a pleasure that you are good jubalub

    • profile image

      jubalub 

      6 years ago

      Hey, I'm god

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hi how is everybody

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      jaxson it is a cute game

    • profile image

      jaxson 

      6 years ago

      Very simple game for 2 players but very difficult to play well.

      Separate the pack into suits and each player gets a full suit to hold and play with. One of the remaining suits (say, hearts) is shuffled thoroughly and placed face down - the top card is turned up.

      Each card is worth its face value Ace=1.....King = 13. The aim of the game is to win the most points.

      Imagine that the upturned card is a 7. Each player then 'bets' a card from their suit and lays it face down. Both cards are then turned face up and the highest card wins the 7. The 3 cards are piled near the winner with the 7 showing. The next heart is then turned over and betting begins again. And so on.

      If both players bet the same value card for the 7 (say a 6) the cards stay in the middle and the next heart is upturned and added to the 7.

      The game is full of bluff/strategy as each player aims to win the value card with the minimum bet - eg, if I thought you were going to bet a 6 to win the 7 I might play an Ace or two. But then you might think I'd do that and play a 3 to win. But then I should really play a 4 ...etc.

      As there are 91 pts available, the first person to reach 46 wins.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      iliketrain this a new game for me because i have never heared about it. but i like it is very beautiful from your description, i will learn how to play it because it seems very fun

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      iliketrain this a new game for me because i have never heared about it. but i like it is very beautiful from your description, i will learn how to play it because it seems very fun

    • profile image

      iliketrain 

      6 years ago

      montieur is a fun fast 2 player card game.

      the aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards. half the cards are dealt to each player. each player then takes four cards and put them face up in a row next to their decks( with a gap in the middle ). then each player takes one card and players it in the middle. both players then flip over the cards at the same time. you can then put cards which are either higher or lower from your four cards( aces can go on kings and vice versa). you can also put down more cards in your row as long as the maximum is 4. Jokers can go on anything. When both cards are the same, you can shout monteiur. The other person then takes all the cards in the 2 piles. When neither player can put a card on any pile, you put the piles aside and both players put down two new cards. The piles put to side are still given to player who has to take the piles because the other players shouted monteiur.

      I personally like to play a first game where the cards are shuffled. I then very sloppily shuffle for the second game. a lot of the cards are in order so the game becomes very fast.

      the game is interesting because you have to pay attention to your cards as well as the opponents and the 2 middle piles

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      is a poppy my game julian

    • profile image

      Julian 

      6 years ago

      This is poopy

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      rolyat was that coment for my game

    • profile image

      lul 

      6 years ago

      add your comment

    • profile image

      Rolyat 

      6 years ago

      Definitely add the game speed. Me & my friends sit for hours playing - its so addictive!

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      wowowowow thnx annominys.

    • profile image

      annominys 

      6 years ago

      gin sounds like 500 rummy

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      today i will explain my favourite game called thieves. it is played with four or more persons. put the four cards in the game or better in the ground. if the four cards in the ground are similar you should not change them. should be distributed to every player four cards. and if any of the players has the same card as he or she than this must not be changed. we may receive card from the areas whre the have decided, like i said before in different ways. neither example nor either two with two or even ten with ten pig an pig and the other figures that remain. or even if they have taken six plus one seven. we do thus meeting papers. we should not cover the letter that we received from the earth because every one should see. this for the reason that someone may have a similar letter with you and takes them to another player. so evry one should see if others may have similar letters so he can steal them. that is why the game is called thieves

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      tillacat 

      6 years ago

      We play 3 13 alot - not the same as 13. You deal 3 cards for the 1st round & 3's are wild, 4 cards second round and 4's are wild, etc. until you get to 13 cards and K's are wild. The game plays like rummy making runs or matches of 3 or more - lowest score wins. Need to use 2 decks for 3 or more players. You can google the official rules.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hi every body

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      how is every body . tomorrow iam going to show you game with the cards that we play hre in albania. it is a little hard to explain but i will do it.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hi to every body.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      marcus8 very well. albania is a very very beautiful country thanks for asking. and where are you from marcus8 and hows your country.

    • profile image

      marcus8 

      6 years ago

      Hi esmeralda...hows albania

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      joker what games

    • profile image

      joker 

      6 years ago

      these games are for all ages and i really enjoy them!!!! Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hi. i love ice cream you are right ice cream is the best.

    • profile image

      josh 

      6 years ago

      boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      I ♥ ICE CREAM!!! 

      6 years ago

      Guess wat!! Ice cream is the best!!!!!

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      what is that whist joe. you don't like that albania is in the final ofeurovision directly.

    • profile image

      joe 

      6 years ago

      whist!

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii albania was in final directly at eurovision

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      iam sad

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      what jukiak

    • profile image

      jukiak 

      6 years ago

      i do not like of those games

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      i now that all of you are thinking that iam a stupid girl but no. may be you are thinking that for the coments that i wrote i mean that i wrote so may coments. those coments were not to get attention but new friends and i have no friends. and about that the coments that you write are about me i didn't mean that. my self it is not important here. but i like to read your coments what you write to each other.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      shutupfag i now that the coments arent about me, but i said that only to read what you boys and girls may write to each other. i now my self it is not important here.

    • profile image

      shutupfag 

      6 years ago

      shut up esmerelda no one cares and the comments aren't to you so just shut up!

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      iam writing only to say hello.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      iam waiting for you to write something boys and girls

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      hellooooooooooooo. do you have any idea how is to read your own coments.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      ok. why all of you are remaining in silence. i want you to write something.

    • profile image

      esmeralda 

      6 years ago

      ok. why all of you are remaining in silence. i want you to write something.

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