Six Card Games for Family Fun

Bicycle cards have rekindled my love of spades and inspired our family game night.

Funny how COVID slowed everything way down. In the silver linings category, this quarantine has given me the chance to teach my kids spades and inspired me to share six card games for family fun.

Related: Create a mini succulent garden

Playing Spades Like it Was my Job

From ages 8-11, I was a semi-professional spades player. While I say this in jest, I did devote enough hours of my summer life as a kid to make it true. During the summers at Olde Severna Park Beach on the Severn River in Annapolis, I would spend my non-swimming hours with the Murphy family (6 kids) and my other swim team pals playing endless hours of this card game. I always intended to teach my kids, but well, you know, we were always BUSY. 

How to Play Spades 

Spades can be played by as few as 2 players or in teams. It's a scoring game where winning a hand is the goal and spades are the best cards to have. Each player bids (an educated guess) as to how many "tricks" they will win. It's ideal for kids 10 and up.

The game is scored by hands, and the winner must make a certain number of points, which is decided before the game begins. Five hundred points is common, but 200 points is suitable for a short game. The player on the dealer's left makes the opening lead, and players must follow suit, if possible. If a player cannot follow suit, they may play a trump or discard. The trick is won by the player who plays the highest trump or if no trump was played, the player who played the highest card in the suit led. The player who wins the trick leads next. 

Play continues until none of the players have any cards left. Each hand is worth 13 tricks. Spades cannot be led unless played previously or player to lead has nothing but Spades in his hand.

Why Spades Rocks

Spades is a fabulous game because of the pace, the bidding and the trickery. It's a trick taking game, and requires skill, strategy and luck. The more spades you are dealt the more powerful you are.

Get the full details on scoring here

It was always gleeful when the first player to whip out a trump card (aka a spade) and say "spades have been broken!" This announcement doesn't have to be yelled triumphantly, but it sure is a fun add-on to the game. 

We love low tech games (check out these seven low tech toy favorites) and COVID times have given us back the hours to pursue family fun in new ways. Do yourself a favor, buy a pack or two of Bicycle cards (I love the waterproof cards for playing by the pool) and plan a family game night.

Right now the most popular games on the Bicycle App 

If spades isn't your thing, don't worry, Bicycle has a TON of games to get your and your family into game night.

  1. Crazy Eights: In this game, eights are wild. This is good for kids ages 4 and up and can be played with 2,3,4,5 and more players. 
  2. Black Jack. If you want to create a mini poker night, start here. Teens and tweens will easily grasp this game and the gambling aspect takes it up a notch. Best for kids 14 and up (legally, 18). Can be played with 2,3,4,5 and more players.
  3. Gin Rummy. This one has a fair amount of rules, but once the kds get it, they will be hooked. Ideal for ages 8 and up. Can be played with 2,3,4,5 and more players.
  4. Texas Hold'em Poker. This casino-style game is one of the most popular poker games in the world and is perfect for college kids that are stuck at home. Ideal for kids 18 and up. Can be played with 5 or more players.
  5. Kings Corner. This is a patterning game like Solitaire. Best for kids 8 and up. Can be played with 2,3,4 players.

Features of the Bicycle Card App 

Can't remember the rules? Need a quick refresher? Don't know what games you can play with 5 people? Bicycle Brand is proud to present How to Play on a cool FREE app.

Get the complete rules to over 75 card games, new and old, written step-by-step. You can search games that work for both age groups.

Get the free app here for iOS and here for Android



Need more ideas on what to do with the kids? Be sure to follow our Activities to Do with the Kids board on Pinterest here.

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