This post contains fast-paced card games suitable for adrenaline-seeking competitors. If you enjoy listening to Ave Maria while playing leisurely card games, you may want to read a different article. Fair warning.
My cousin Julie is the Queen of Dutch Blitz. If you’ve played against her, you will definitely remember. She is usually a sweet, warm person…until you deal those cards. Julie flips them and sends piles flying faster than you can say “H-h-h-hey – I was going to put my card there!” She finishes her round and screams BLITZ right when I am about ready to play my second card. BAM! Slaughtered again.
So I have been secretly practising for the quintessential rematch of Dutch Blitz for the past few decades (don’t tell her though, kay?). Cuz no one likes to get crushed by their baby cousin.
I recently confessed my love of board games here:
And as much as I adore board games, I might even love card games a teeny, tiny bit more (as long as Julie is not around).
Card games are perfect for travelling. Tuck a few favourites in the glove box and you will always have a screen-free boredom buster on hand. No set up is required and most can be mastered in one round.
They also fit nicely in a purse for marathon waiting times at the doctor’s office, the passport lineup or in the emergency department. It’s true – the more kids you have, the more desperate you are to always have time-fillers around – bonus points when it doesn’t involve a screen.
We are drawn to fast-paced card games around here. It may be the boy factor. But something about crushing your opponent in under 4 minutes has a lot of appeal.
And the best thing about card games? The price point. Many card games are around the $10 mark.
I’m packing this post with top-rated card games for those who want to pack a lot of fun into a few brief minutes.
Bonus Tip: If your older kids resist games, play it cool. Start a round with younger siblings or your spouse. Magically, the older ones will gradually appear and often join in for the second round.
Download this printable for more ideas to stay connected with your child. Especially if they enter the eyerolling stage.
This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small percentage if you purchase something through the link at no extra cost to yourself. Win-win.
Fast-Paced Card Games
Last Christmas our family teamed up Bigs with Littles, ranging from 4 to adult, and had a whole marathon of Dutch Blitz. As they promise, it really is a Vonderful Goot Game! Get Dutch Blitz (with or without the Expansion Pack) here
Everyone places a single card in their collection area then passes the rest of their cards to the person on their left. Playing and passing keep this gave moving quickly. The scoring system sounds a bit complicated at first, but it really isn’t. Be prepared for sushi cravings.
It is endearing to hear teenage boys despairing that they didn’t collect enough puddings. Get Sushi Go here.
Pit was another childhood favourite. It is fast paced and slightly-violent as you try to be the first to collect a full suit. You desperately try to make trades with people screaming things like, “TWO! TWO! TWO!” and “Give me THREE or make your own lunch tomorrow!” To make this game more exciting, we set out one less spoon than the number of players. Once someone collects their set, they discretely grab a spoon. Once the first spoon is grabbed, everyone else jumps in to get a spoon until the last person will be left ashamed and spoonless. Get Pit here.
So, to be fair, this is not exactly a high-speed game. But it is certainly faster than the Monopoly Board Game, so it made the list. It has quickly become a family favourite. It includes many of the same elements as Monopoly, like collecting properties and charging rent, but can be played at a fraction of the time. Cards like Deal Breaker keep things competitive and allow you to still Park Place and Boardwalk from your sibling – look out!
Our six-year-old just beat the family the other day and was so pleased: I can’t believe I won. I’m a kid!
In fifteen minutes, this makes the perfect wind-down activity before bedtime. Get it here: Monopoly Deal
Phase 10 is similar to Rummy, with an important variation.
Players must complete their own levels (or phases) in order to advance to the next level.
This means players will often be on different levels from their opponents, making it an interesting challenge. Get it here: Phase 10
I played Rook through my University years. A lot. It’s true. When I should have been studying, I would often be a card-slinging Rook player.
It’s probably best your children master Rook while they still live at home so you can keep their obsession in check. Get it here: Rook
There are two types of families who play this game. Those who are wrong and call it Skip-Boo (you know who you are!) and those who are right and play Skip-Bow (as in – put a bow on it).
Players have to get ascending sequences with their cards and try to be the first to use up all of the cards in their stockpile. Wild cards keep things interesting in Skip Bo. Get it here: Skip Bo
I have no idea who to credit for creating this game, but it is brilliant. Pull out your old Pictionary cards and scoop up a package of Playdoh.
Instead of drawing the target word, try sculpting it with Playdoh.
There are no words to describe the hilarity of watching normally civilized people fiercely competing with Playdoh in their hands. No words. Get Playdoh here.
I’d love to hear about your favourite fast-paced card games – I’m sure I’ve missed a few. And if you want to help me train for my Dutch Blitz rematch, I’m all ears. More inspiration for connecting as a family:
Pin to share?