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A Daily Parenting Advice Podcast. Non-Pretentious. In less than 3min a day!

S5-Ep207 - The Rules of Go Fish

July 22, 2019

  I’ve always wanted to be a parent who played games with my kids. Board games, card games, heck if my kid eventually wants to get into the nerdy world of magic the card game, I’d probably follow him in. We as parents have a way of modifying our norms in adjusting to our kids.  But I found myself coming up with the idea of playing a simple card game with my 5 year old and promptly had to google go fish rules.  I was disappointed in myself.

And after the last few episodes of a psychologist’s life’s work,  I thought we’d make today simple.

 But playing games with your kids leads us back to “Play us the work of childhood” so even if they think they are playing candyland, they’re learning rule following and counting, and waiting their turn. Maybe even the idea that strategy exists.  They are learning fine motor skills (holding those cards) and cognitive and emotional skills as well. My 5 y/o has a learned, quite well, the gloating that comes along with winning.

   So here are the rules:

2-3 players: 7 cards each – standard deck – I’d recommend leaving the face cards in – but that’s up to you if you’re child is an extreme beginner.

Have your kid mix up the cards into a ‘pool’ – this may be their favorite part. They will now be scattered on your table.

The playing goes clockwise starting with the youngest member.

During the turn the player asks another player (they must specify who) if they have a particular card. For example, eights. And if that person has eights, they have to give them all the eights in their hand, and the asker gets to ask again. Note that the asker MUST HAVE an eight in their hand to be able to even ask the question. If that person doesn’t have any eights – “Go Fish”.

If a player draws an eight out of the pile, he/she shows it to the other players and can ask again – continuing their turn.

You have to get all 4 suites of that card to be able to lay it down. And laid down piles are your points – most points wins, when someone lays down all their cards or the pile runs out.


Obviously I’m recommending that you sit down with your kid and play tonight – or sometime soon. You’ll both love it.