Best card games 2024: must-have games for adults, families and two players
Our favourite card games that you'll struggle to put down, including family-friendly and two-player options.
Card games are a brilliant way to bring friends and family together, often bringing out the competitive nature in all of us. There are card games which are bound to have you in stitches and others which are only suitable for adults. Some encourage quick 5-minute competitions and others will have you sat quizzing each other for hours.
Whatever your preference, there is a card game for you and each provides a great alternative to on-screen entertainment. What's more, card games tend to last for years so once you've purchased one it can be used over and over again.
If you're looking for a new card game to amuse, challenge, or test your mates, we've got a round-up of our eleven favourites that you should play in 2024. There's a good mixture of classics, family-friendly, adult-themed and others that you may never have heard of.
The best card games at a glance:
- Best classic card game: Uno,
- Best competitive card game: Dobble, £
- Best card game for big groups: The Traitors, £12
- Best card game for adults: Cards Against Humanity, £29
- Best card game for families: Monopoly Deal, £6.99
- Best card game for travelling: Pointless Travel, £8.99
- Best quick-thinking card game: Exploding Kittens, £19.99
- Best short card game: More or Less, £11.99
- Best interactive card game: 5 Second Rule, £18
- Best creative card game: Joking Hazard, £25
- Best card game for laughs: Don't be a Dik Dik, £9.99
The best card games to play in 2024
Our top picks of card games to play this year:
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Best classic card game
UNO! With any luck, you'll be saying the three-letter word rather than hearing it. The multi-coloured card game is a classic that can be played by pretty much anyone over the age of two. You have to match colours and numbers with the winner being the person who runs out of cards first. Typically, a round of the game can be played in five minutes or less so is great if you're on the move or want a short burst of fun.
Every family and group of friends seems to have their variety of rules when it comes to UNO but the basic game is easy to pick up and "impossible to put down". For those who have played the game before, and want to stick by the official rules, the game creators have recently sorted an age-old debate and announced that you can't stack plus cards on top of one another.
Best competitive card game
Dobble was released back in 2011 and has quickly become a highly competitive classic that you should think about adding to your card game arsenal. You can play five different mini-games with the set, including a fan favourite which is similar to Snap and four others which require "speed, observation and reflexes".
Every card is different and has only one picture in common with every other card in the deck. There is a standard version of the game and also varieties which include decks based off Harry Potter, Star Wars, Scouts and Fishing.
Best card game for big groups
If you've been watching The Traitors, then the card game follows a similar format to the TV show. If you haven't been watching, where have you been, and also don't worry – it's easy to pick up! Players have to work together to build up a communal prize pot but among them are secretly allocated Traitors, who can banish people from the game.
Players have to try and work out who the Traitors are and vote them out. However, you must choose correctly or you risk kicking out a Faithful (normal player) from the game. This card game is compatible with your phone to allow for soundtracks and other unique features, which help players immerse themselves in the game.
Cards Against Humanity
Best card game for adults
Not suitable for children. That's one of the main caveats of playing this X-rated and highly offensive game. It is described as the "party game for horrible people", and works with players creating their own hilarious answers to question cards.
In each round, one player asks a question with a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card from the hand they are dealt before the game.
One of the more tame questions in the 600-card deck is "what never fails to liven up a party", with some of the more PG white cards you could answer with being "my ex-wife", "being on fire", or "puppies".
Best card game for families
The Monopoly Deal game is made for those who want all the fun of the classic Monopoly game without having to spend hours playing or setting up the board. You can play this game in just 15 minutes and the winner is the person who can get to three complete property sets first.
Players are dealt 5 cards and the rest of the game is all about stealing from opponents and using Action cards to change rent, swap cards, demand birthday money and lots more. It has all the competitiveness of Monopoly without taking up too much time.
Best card game for travelling
Another board game based on a TV show, Pointless is great for people who love quizzes as you battle it out to provide the most obscure answer to general knowledge questions. Unlike most quizzes, there is more than one answer for each question and you have to choose the one that the least amount of people have opted for.
This means that, unlike lots of traditional games, the player with the lowest score wins in Pointless. This travel version of the famous BBC gameshow is great for fun on the move and has over 120 different questions.
Best quick-thinking card game
Exploding Kittens was launched back in 2015 and remains its title as the most backed Kickstarter of all time. The crazy game is easy to learn and promises lots of laughter with explosions, lasers, sandwiches and cats.
It follows a Russian Roulette style, with players drawing cards until one takes an exploding kitten. Either it explodes and you're out of the game, or you can defuse it with a laser pointer or catnip sandwich. Alternatively, you can use powerful action cards to move or avoid the Exploding Kitten, which allows you to betray your friends. The last person alive wins.
More or Less
Best short card game
A great game for the whole family, More or Less does exactly what it says on the tin. You pick up a question card and then have to say whether there is more or less. For example, "Are sharks more old than trees?" and "Are there more or less than 500k meatballs eaten at Ikea stores each day?".
The game allows for lots of laughs with silly questions and you'll come away learning a whole host of random facts. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins and they last for as long or short as you like.
5 Second Rule
Best interactive card game
5 Second Rule is a card game that also comes with an interactive relay baton. The game is played by giving each player 5 seconds to answer one of the random, silly and spontaneous questions from the deck. These include questions like "Name a pizza topping" or "Give the name of an international airport".
Once one player has answered within 5 seconds, they pass the baton off to the next. The first person to take longer than 5 seconds to answer, or to repeat, loses. The baton will give you a count down and detect when 5 seconds are up. The questions seem easy, but can you perform under pressure?
Best creative card game
Another card game which is DEFINITELY not for kids. Joking Hazard is great for those with a dark sense of humour and will have you in fits of laughter with themes of friendship, violence and death. The party game is played by 3 players or more as you combine cards to create millions of terrible situations, and some good ones.
It works with players putting their cards together to form a three-panel comic where characters argue, fight, and offend each other. The 360 cards can be used to create endless entertainment and is certainly not a game for the easily offended.
Don't Be A Dik Dik
Best card game for laughs
A silly game for 16+ that is based around animals and their naughty names. It mixes both strategy and humour, with each player being dealt cards and then trying to find pairs of the animals they have in their deck. You ask players for animals, then pass a card to the left after each turn.
You want to get rid of the Dik Dik, as the loser is the one who ends with the silly deer. When there are only 3 cards left, it's time for the bonus round, Dik Dik Roulette. The player with 1 card in their hand must take a card from the other player's 2 remaining cards. Whoever is now holding the Dik Dik loses.