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The 10 Best 2-Player Card Games

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The Best 2 Player Card Games

What are the best 2-player card games?

Card games never go out of style, and you don’t have to have a huge group of people to make them fun.

While there are many great two-player card games, not all of them are easy to learn or fun to play.

Fortunately, we’ve created this list so you can easily find a card game that is both entertaining and easy to understand!


The 10 Best 2-Player Card Games

To create this list, we sat down and played lots of different two-player card games to figure out which ones were the most fun.

We also considered how difficult the learning curve was when selecting these games, so you can spend more time playing and less time reading rules!

So, get your cards ready! Here’s our list of the 10 best 2-player card games:


10. Scopa

Kicking off our list, we have Scopa, an Italian card game that is perfect for only two players.

In this game, you use a 40-card deck without any courts. All of the numeric cards and the ace are worth their numbered value.

Each player begins with three cards, and four cards are placed face-up in the center card pool.

Players have to use the cards in their hands to take cards from the pool, either by matching the value or by using cards that add up to its value.

When a hand is exhausted, the player will earn points based on the number of diamonds, 7s, and 7 of diamonds they have. 

What makes this game fun is that it isn’t like other trick-taking games, as you have to really think about your strategy.

Scopa can be just as fun as the best multiplayer games, and it’s casual enough that anyone can learn on the fly.


9. Le Truc

In Le Truc, the card suits don’t matter, and the premise of the game revolves around trick-taking.

Each player starts off with three cards that they can use to create three tricks, and whoever has the highest card played takes the trick.

If there is a tie, the player who is able to win the next trick also gets to claim the one that was tied.

Whoever is able to win two out of three tricks earns a point, and whoever gets to 12 points first is the winner of the entire game.

Along with that, before playing a card, a player can ask to increase the amount of points that the current hand is worth.

The second player can either accept the higher stakes or fold if they aren’t feeling too lucky.

What makes this game great is that it relies on a lot of bluffing, because you can always choose to raise the stakes with a bad hand, and if your partner folds, you win!

We love Le Truc because it’s such a simple game, but it can offer literal hours of entertainment when you really get into it!


8. Spite and Malice

Also known as Cat and Mouse, Spite and Malice is essentially a two-player form of competitive solitaire, and it can handle up to five people.

When starting the game, everyone gets a stack of 20 face-down cards, with the top one laid face up.

The main goal of this game is to be the first person to work through the entire pile, and when it’s your turn, you can either draw or replenish your 5-card hand.

Once you have a full hand, you can either move or play cards into either your shared building piles or your four discard piles.  

The shared building piles build up from an ace through to Queen, and Kings can represent any value of any card, with the suits being irrelevant.

Like solitaire, this game is a great way to pass the time, and it can be incredibly addictive once you’ve learned all of the rules.

If you manage to get really good, you can even start using specific strategies to give yourself an edge by carefully using Kings and your discard piles.

We also like that you can adjust the length of the game by dealing more or fewer cards to players at the start of the game.

So, if you want the game to go on for a while, you can increase the stack from 20 to 50 or decrease it to 10 for a really quick match!


7. Spit!

Spit is a game for players who want to have a ton of fast-paced fun that rarely ever slows down!

In this game, there are no turns, and instead, players simultaneously play cards as fast as they can.

Starting off, each player gets one-half of the deck dealt evenly, which is then split into five piles of five cards each and the top one facing up.

All of the remaining cards are put into your personal spit pile, and after a countdown, both players play a card from this pile in the center.

From there, both players then pull cards from their five piles that are either one higher or lower than the two original cards.

If neither of you can play a card, you keep the game moving by simultaneously playing new cards from your spit piles.

Once a player’s piles are empty, both players have to select the center pile they think is the smallest.

This pile is then shuffled into the player’s remaining cards to become their new spit pile.

The goal of the game is to be able to get rid of all of your cards first, which is easier said than done.

However, while matches can last a while, we love that spit is easy to learn and filled with momentum.

To make things even more fun, some people add the rule that you can only use one hand to play with, which we think is a great idea!

Easily as fun as the best co-op PS5 games, it’s hard not to get really invested in winning while playing this game!


6. Egyptian Rat Screw

While you’re taking a break from video games, Egyptian Rat Screw is a great way to continue having fun with a partner.

Like spit, this game is all about speed, and you’ll have to be fast if you want to keep up the momentum.

This game is played using a 52-card deck, complete with jokers, which is then dealt between two players.

Whoever didn’t deal the cards will start by turning up the top card on their deck and putting it in the middle of the table.

If this ends up being a number card, the other player will have to put down a card of their own.

This goes back and forth until a face card or an ace comes up, after which the player who didn’t place the face card will have to find one.

If the next player doesn’t have a face card to play, then whoever laid it down wins the entire pile.

The goal is to be the player holding all the cards at the end, a feat that’s easier said than done!

We really love that this is an easy-to-follow yet fast-paced card game that even younger kids can have fun with!


5. Cribbage

Cribbage is one of the best games like Rummy, and it is a great game for two players looking to have a good time.

While you may have heard of this game before, it has some pretty crazy rules that might seem confusing at first.

When the game starts off, each player gets a hand of 6 cards, from which two cards are selected and placed face down in a “crib.”

The cards in the crib pile will be revealed at the end of the hand, so don’t worry anymore about them until then!

Once those cards are placed, players have to play a series of cards and keep track of their combined value.

When playing these cards, the goal is to not go over 31, and you earn additional points for things like card combinations.

After all, hands are played, the points are tallied up, and whoever has the most without being over 31 gets the cards in the crib.

The points from the crib cards are then added to their total, and the first person to hit 121 points is the winner!

Now, all of that might sound confusing, but we promise it’s actually really simple once you go through the motions!



Known as the Game of Pure Strategy, GOPS is a game that requires no luck, and it’s extremely fun to play!

In this game, all 13 diamond suit cards are removed, then shuffled and revealed one at a time.

Meanwhile, each player gets another suit, which functions as their hands, which they’ll have to use to make bids on the Diamond cards.  

The person who plays the highest card takes the Diamond, and ties are resolved by bidding on the next card, with the highest taking both.

Each diamond card won earns players points based on its value, with aces counting as one and Jacks through Kings representing 11 to 13.

The goal is to be the player with the highest score from the diamond cards, and whoever has scored the most points wins!

We love that this game is so straightforward and simple. So much so that even young kids can get in on the fun!

Like the best PS5 strategy games, it really challenges you to plan your bets based on the most valuable cards in the deck.


3. Slapjack

Slapjack is a very simple game, and it’s related to Egyptian Rat Screw, only even easier to learn to play!

The goal in this game is to end up being the player with the most cards by being the first to slap the pile once a Jack is laid down.

Starting off, all of the cards are dealt evenly between players, and players go back and forth, drawing from their face-down card piles.

This goes by fairly quickly, but when a Jack is laid down, both players have to scramble to be the first one to slap it.

Whoever smacks it first wins, taking the Jack and all the cards underneath it, which are then shuffled and placed in their pile.

However, if you get a bit slap-happy and smack a card that isn’t a Jack, you’ll have to give the other player one of your face-down cards.

If you run out of cards, you can attempt to stay in the game by smacking the next Jack to show up, but if that fails, the other player wins!


2. Gin Rummy

Up next, we have Gin Rummy, not to be confused with Rummy, as they do have specific differences that make them distinct from one another.

In Gin Rummy, players draw and discard cards while trying to create sets of cards with matching values or runs of consecutive values.

To begin, players each receive 10 cards, and on a turn, they have to take the face-up card from either the discard or draw pile.

Unlike other forms of this game, in Gin Rummy, players keep all of their sets or runs in their hands until the end of a round.

Players earn points based on the completed sets and runs they have, and all cards retain their numerical values, with face cards being worth 10.

The goal is to earn a specific amount of points, which can be chosen before you start, over the course of multiple rounds.

There are many variations of Gin Rummy out there, so we encourage you to explore the different variations to find the one you enjoy most!

Gin Rummy is incredibly fun, and we love that it can be paused at any time and picked up without losing a beat!


1. Golf

Taking our number one spot is Golf, and no, this game doesn’t involve driving around in a cart or practicing with a 9 iron.

Golf is one of the most casual and laid-back games on this list, kind of like the sport it’s named after.

At the start of the game, each player is dealt 6 cards that are placed face down in a two-row grid.

Players then turn two cards face up to begin, and the goal is to have the lowest value of both cards put together.

Throughout the rest of the game, you’ll continue flipping over cards, but matching cards with the same value will cancel each other out.

Likewise, Kings are worth 0 points, while 2s subtract points from your overall score!

When it’s your turn, you’ll have to take the top card from the face-up draw pile or discard pile and either use it as a replacement card or discard it.

However, discarding cards always comes with the risk of potentially helping your opponent, so be careful!

As the game goes on, the goal is to minimize the value of your face-up cards while trying to get matches to cancel them out.

Like finding the rarest items in Escape from Tarkov, there is a constant element of luck in Golf, which is partly why it’s so addictive!



We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best 2-player card games and found some to play when you want a break from technology.

Although there are tons of card games out there, these are by far the best for two players.

Golf, especially, is incredibly fun and easy to learn, and it has the potential to keep you and a friend engaged for hours!

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best 2-player card games:

  1. Golf
  2. Gin Rummy
  3. Slapjack
  4. GOPS
  5. Cribbage
  6. Egyptian Rat Screw
  7. Spit!
  8. Spite and Malice
  9. Le Truc
  10. Scopa

What’s your favorite 2-player card game? Leave a comment below.

Shawna Schofield is a professional freelance writer and part-time YouTuber. When not writing or recording she spends her time playing Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and Dragon Age.

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