How to Play the Go Fish Card Game

Written by alexandra bee
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How to Play the Go Fish Card Game
Go Fish is best played with four players, although it can be played by from two to five. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Go Fish is a classic card game that is playable using a basic deck of cards and that allows for up to five players to join in together at one time. Players of Go Fish attempt to collect pairs of matched cards to eventually win by having the most matched pairs after all cards are matched. Go Fish is suitable for all ages and does not require extensive skills to play.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Deck of 52 playing cards
  • 2-5 players

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  1. 1

    Gather the deck of 52 cards and shuffle them, face down. Deal seven cards to each player if you are only playing with two or three players. For four or five players, deal five cards each.

  2. 2

    Lie the remaining cards face-down in the centre of all of the players, forming the draw deck.

  3. 3

    Avoid allowing any other player to see the cards you currently have in your hand --- if she does, it will give her a better chance of winning.

  4. 4

    Start with the dealer. Ask any player of your choice for a card you would like to match with a current one in your hand. If you currently have a 2, you may ask the person next to you for a 2 to complete your pair.

  5. 5

    Accept the opposing player's card if she has the card you requested, and lay the matching pair down to show your collected pairs off to the other players (and to keep score with ease). Ask another player of your choice for a card you require to create another match. Continue until you ask a player who does not have the card you need. When she does not have the card you asked for, she will say "Go Fish" as you draw a new card from the draw deck, passing play counterclockwise to the next player, who takes her turn in the same way.

  6. 6

    Continue playing until there are no cards left in the draw deck.

  7. 7

    Complete the game by continuing play as normal, but without the draw deck, until all possible pairs have been laid out in front of those playing.

  8. 8

    Count the number of pairs each player has. The player with the most pairs is the winner of the game.

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