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Budget Card Games

Updated on November 24, 2013

Top 10 Cheap Card Games

Card games are so versatile. The packs are generally so small, they can easily be slipped into a bag and carried around. And the card games displayed on this page are all under 10 dollars, making them a great choice for someone on a tight budget, or for that extra little gift to stuff in the Christmas stocking or for birthday favors.

All these games can be played in groups, making them ideal for families or parties. Some of them can be played by one person alone.

Being a homeschooling parent, I can't help but see the educational value of these games. The skills learned will not necessarily be one of the 3 Rs (reading, writing or arithmetic) but often other skills, such as thinking outside the square, strategy, planning ahead, concentration, memory and more. And creative people will make up their own rules or modify the existing rules.

But most of all, these games are FUN. These are some of the most popular card games on Amazon for less than $15.

Picture credit: Uno from Amazon.com

SET Game - The Family Game of Visual Perception and Logic

You'll have to put your thinking hat on to play this game. 12 cards are laid out on the table. The challenge in this game is to find a set of 3 cards where the features (shape, color, shading or number) are all the same or all different. There are no turns in this game. You just yell, "Set" when you see a set and then if you are right you get to pick up the set and score one point. If you are wrong, you don't pick up the cards and you lose a point.

The great things about this fun, thinking game is that all ages can play together. One reviewer suggested a handicap system if people with different abilities are playing - when the player with the handicap sees a set, they must start a countdown timer (for say 5 seconds) before they can pick up the set. If any unhandicapped player sees the set in this intervening time, they get to pick it up.

SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception
SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception

More than 280 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Video showing how to play Set

What's so special about card games?

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Sleeping Queens Card Game

Fun card game with queens, kings, knights, jesters, dragons, wands and sleeping potions. Wake the sleeping queens with kings. Steal someone else's queen with a knight or protect your queen with a dragon. Send an opponent's queen to sleep with a sleeping potion or protect your queen with a wand.

Sleeping Queens Card Game, 79 Cards
Sleeping Queens Card Game, 79 Cards

More than 80 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Blink Card Game

Fun, fast card game where the goal is to get rid of all your cards by matching the color, number or shapes. All ages can play together by handicapping a more experienced player by dealing him more cards. This game is excellent for helping kids increase their processing speed. And because it requires their undivided attention, it will also help improve concentration span.

See how to play Blink

Monopoly Deal Card Game

I was never really fond of the monopoly board game because it takes so LONG to play. But this Monopoly card game is much quicker, only taking about 15 minutes for 2 players. The goal is to collect 3 complete property sets by playing them directly, stealing them from an opponent or by collecting them as rent with certain other action cards thrown in to keep you on your toes.

Hasbro Games Monopoly Deal Card Game
Hasbro Games Monopoly Deal Card Game

More than 70 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Uno Card Game

This popular, easy to learn game offers hours of fun for families. This game is great for teaching young children color and number recognition. You can play with a reduced hand by taking out the numbers your child hasn't learned yet and just focusing on the ones she has learned.

Mattel Games UNO Card Game
Mattel Games UNO Card Game

More than 80 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Rat-A-Tat-Cat Card Game

The goal of this game is to have the lowest score at the end of the game. This game helps develop math, build memory skills and teaches strategy. You want to get rid of the rat cards (high scoring) and go for the cat cards (low scoring). Peek at your cards but try to keep a poker face so you don't let your opponents know what you've got. At the same time, keep an eye on your opponents to see if you can figure out what cards they've got.

Gamewright Rat-A-Tat-Cat
Gamewright Rat-A-Tat-Cat

More than 50 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Check out this Rat-A-Tat-Cat video

Scrabble Slam Cards

I love word games. This one reminds of the game where you have to change one word into another by changing one letter at a time. (eg change zero to many)

zero → hero → herd → hard → hare → mare → mane → many

In this fast-paced, educational card game, four letter cards are placed on a table to form a word and the remaining cards are dealt to each player. When play starts, players slam a letter card out of their own hand on top of one of the cards on the table to form a new word. This is great for teaching rhyming words. Say you start with the word pick. The word could be changed to lick, tick, kick etc. It can also be good for teaching digraphs such as ea by starting with the word heal which could be changed to deal or heap or even head.

Hasbro Scrabble Slam Cards
Hasbro Scrabble Slam Cards

More than 40 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Watch a round of Scrabble Slam

Skip Bo Card Game

You choose how long a game you want to play. For a quick game, deal 10 or even 5 cards. For a more time-consuming game, deal 30. This is a fun game for two people or for a group. A game of strategy and luck for ages 7 and up.

SKIP BO Card Game
SKIP BO Card Game

More than 40 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Loot

Ahoy me hearties! Play as an individual or in teams to capture your opponent's merchant ships, all the time watching your own back.

Ages 10+

2-8 players

Loot Card Game
Loot Card Game

More than 30 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Video showing how to play Loot

Doodle Dice

The goal of this game is to collect a card of each color. You get to collect a card if you can roll dice to make the matching picture. This is a fun strategy game which can be played with up to 6 players. Creative children may like to invent their own cards by making doodles out of the cards.

Jax Doodle Dice
Jax Doodle Dice

More than 30 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

A brief introduction to Doodle Dice

Zeus on the Loose

Learn about Greek gods in this strategy card game as you climb Mount Olympus, adding and subtracting and "stealing" Zeus from your opponents.

See the Zeus on the Loose game instructions.

Gamewright Zeus on the Loose
Gamewright Zeus on the Loose

20 5* reviews on Amazon.com

 

Or let us know your family's favorite card game.

Which of these card game have you tried?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      We have played most of these, but our favorite is not listed. Our family loves Bag-O-Loot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Great lens,

      I've played Uno and Monopoly Deal, Monopoly Deal is fun way to teach kids about money and assets. I'd like to play Doodle Dice and Loot someday

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 

      7 years ago

      Wow, I have hardly heard of any of these... used to play all sorts of card games growing up, but it's been a while now

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 

      7 years ago

      We used to play Uno with the boys when they were younger. Fun lens, I forgot about some of those card games! :-)

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I used to love playing cards.Great selection of card games.Have only played with a ordinary deck, must try some of these.

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I played Uno the card game when I was a kid with my grandparents.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 

      7 years ago

      I've learned a few new card games, thanks! I made a choice in the poll, would also have chosen that they are so portable and small...love that about card games.

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