Card Games for Older Elementary, Middle, and High
November 14, 2018
All games listed below can be played with any regular 52 card deck

How to play: In a line on the table place one pile of five cards, one card face down, one card face down and then another pile of five cards. Deal the rest of the deck out so each player has half of the remaining cards. Each player takes the top five cards of the ones they were dealt to begin play.

Each player flips over a card in the center. Simultaneously, opposing players place cards either ascending or descending in rank according to one of the cards in the middle. For example, if a 7 was one of the middle cards, players could play either a 6 or an 8. The cards can also make a complete cycle, going from a King to an Ace to a 2 or vice-versa. A player can take more cards from his drawing pile during any time; however, a player can have no more than five cards in his hand at any one time.

When both players cannot play any of their cards, a card from each replacement pile (the piles of 5 on the outside middle) is turned over and play resumes. If however there are no more cards in the replacement pile you flip over the entire pile (so all the middle cards are now upside down) and play off of the top two.


How to play: This is a game to use when you and your mentee feel more like moving into talking about feelings and memories. Remove all of the number cards from the deck so you have only the face cards. Deal out any number that you like; it might be good to start with four per person. Each face card is associated with a certain question, ask students to share a memory that they feel comfortable sharing, but it could also be favorites or a specific feeling, this game has a lot of flexibility to be creative.

If they have an Ace they share something that they are hopeful about for the future, a King means their best memory of this school year so far, a Queen is their best memory from last year and a Jack is their best memory from elementary school.


How to play: All cards are dealt to the two players and kept face down. Neither player must look at their cards. Both players turn over the top card of their piles and put them face up in the center of the table, beside the other player’s card. Whoever has turned over the highest ranking card takes both cards and adds them to the bottom of his pile.

This continues until two cards of the same value (i.e. two sevens) are put down together. The game is now in a state of “war.” To continue, both players take two new cards and put one face down on top of the card they have already placed in the middle and one face up. Whoever puts down the higher ranking face up card wins all six.

The game is won by the player who collects all of the cards.

Egyptian Ratscrew (ERS)

How to play: Deal the cards evenly. Stack any remaining cards face-up in the middle of the table as bonus cards. Players stack their cards face down in front of them. A player may never look at his cards before they hit the middle pile.

Starting to the left of the dealer, each player pulls one card from the top of his stack — without looking at it — and quickly lays it face-up on the pile. When a player lays a face card on the pile, the next player must lay a face card on top of it. The number of tries he gets to play a face card depends on the face card played. For Jacks he gets only one try, for Queens two, for Kings three, and for Aces four. If the player is able to play another face card, the problem of playing a face card moves to the next player. If he cannot, the player who put down the face card wins the stack. For instance, if a player has a King played to him and he goes through three of his cards without putting down a face card, then the player who played the King wins all the cards in the stack.

The other way to win cards is by slapping. Whenever two cards of the same rank (number or face) are played consecutively, the first player to slap the pile wins the cards. Anyone at the table may slap the stack, even if they are out of cards.

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