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12 Of My Favorite Family Card Games

12  Family Card Game Reviews

12 Family Card Game Reviews

Looking for a fun family card game for game night? Here are my reviews of my 12 top favorite card games!

We own and play over 150 board and card games in our family. Playing games with one's family is a great way to create lasting bonds. Games can also be a fun way to practice reading or math skills, and help children learn the skills of strategy. Card games are easy to pack and take with you for a trip to the beach, to grandma's, to a mountain cabin, or even to the doctor's office to play while you wait! We go camping a lot and always take a few games with us to play in the tent, in case it rains!

On this page I've reviewed a few of my family's favorite card games!

Think you know your card games well? Then why not take the fun quiz near the bottom of this page?


Frog Juice Card Game

Frog Juice Card Game

Frog Juice Card Game

Frog Juice Card Game - Toadstools, bats, and a prince.

- Can you collect all the ingredients you'll need for your magic spells?

Frog Juice: My Review:
Frog Juice, which gets it's name from one of the special cards often needed for magic potions, is such a cute game! It's lots of fun too!

To win the game of Frog Juice, players try to be the one to collect the most spell ingredient cards and power cards. There are a variety of ways of collecting these cards. Maybe you'd like to sweep the board with your witch card, or steal another player's card with your black cat card. You can also gain cards by collecting the ingredients (on cards) for a particular spell. Hey, got any frog juice? How about some Shrinking Brew?

This card game is also a great way to review basic addition facts while having fun, as one of the ways of gathering cards from the board involves adding numbers on two cards together.

It's recommended for ages 8 and up, although some 7 year olds could probably play it too, especially if they had help the first few times remembering what the various special cards do.

Are you ready to melt witches, cast spells, and collect some frog juice?

Rack-O Card Game

Rack-O Card Game

Rack-O Card Game

Rack-O: My Review:
I've been playing Rack-O since I was a child. Now I've taught it to my own kids!

On your turn, draw a card either from the discard pile or from the deck. If it's a card you can use, place it on your rack in the spot you'd like to have it, while discarding the card that was originally in that spot on your rack. When all the cards in your rack are in order from smallest to largest, call out "Rack-O" and win that round!

If you'd like to play the more advanced version, you can try to get a a run of three (or more!), such as "43, 44, 45" on your rack before going out!

Rack O can be played by individuals or partners.

For a more challenging version, try the bonus rules!


Uno Spin

Uno Spin

Uno Spin

Uno Spin Card Game - Uno is a long time favorite card game! Here's a unique version of Uno!

Uno Spin: My Review:
This is a unique spin on the classic Uno game! Uno Spin is played much like regular Uno until a spin card is discarded. If the person before you discards a spin card, you must spin the wheel. Sometimes you get lucky and spin "Get rid of all your cards but two." Other times you are not so lucky and get "Show everyone your hand." Other things you might spin include: "Discard all your cards of the same number," "Draw until you get a red card," "Trade hands, "War," and more. Unlike with regular Uno, you may be losing one moment, and win the game the next!

With Uno Spin, everything can change in just a single turn!

Uno Spin Box Fix

Uno Spin Box Fix

I noticed that a reviewer on Amazon complained about the poor design of the box. It's true that it could have been much better designed, but my family discovered a trick to reusing the box. Turn the outer cardboard box upside down (so that the large round hole is on the bottom) before inserting the inner cardboard box (with the game in it) face up back into it! That way, the bottom of the inner box covers the large round hole in the outer box. This enables you to stack this game along with your others!

Skip Bo is a great family card game!

Skip Bo Card Game

Skip Bo Card Game

Skip Bo Card Game

Skip Bo: My Review:
Skip Bo is a great game anytime, but unlike many games, it even works well for groups of 5 or 6 players.

Each player is given a large stockpile of cards in addition to a hand of 5 cards. Your goal is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your stock pile. It's important to remember that the cards in your hand are simply a tool you may use towards that goal. (Younger players who tend to focus more on getting rid of the cards in their hands rather than the cards in their stock piles, may need an occasional reminder about that!) On their turns, players play as many cards as they'd like and are able to play from their stock piles and hands onto the piles in the center of the table. The piles are built sequentially, so that the first card played in a pile must be a #1, the next card must be a #2, and so on. (Skip-bo cards are wild and can take the place of any number.)

Strategy comes into play as you look at the other players top stock pile card and try to prevent them from being able to play it on their next turn. Also, strategy is involved in deciding which cards you'll play, as well as which one you'll discard and where you'll put it in your four personal discard piles.

Here's another unique version of Uno!

Uno Attack Card Game

Uno Attack Card Game

Uno Attack Card Game

Uno Attack: My Review:

Watch out for flying cards!

Uno Attack is a lot of fun! It's similar to classic Uno, except instead of simply drawing cards when you can't play or when someone plays a draw 2 on you, you must push a button. If you're lucky, no cards will come flying out at you. Yet quite often you might need to take cover as several cards are rapidly shot from the Uno card launcher!

Cranium Zigity Card Game

Cranium Zigity Card Game

Cranium Zigity Card Game

Cranium Zigity Card Game - a Cranium Game For The Family!

Cranium Zigity: My Review:

Cranium Zigity encourages math (adding numbers), spelling, matching, and simple puzzle solving. Each card has a piece of a puzzle, an image of an instrument, a number, and a letter on it, in addition to one of the main characters (Creative Cat, Data Head, Star Performer, and Word Worm). The activity you do on your turn is based on the last card played by the person before you. For example, if the previous player discarded a Word Worm, you'll use the card they discarded along with any in your hand to spell a word. If they discarded a Data Head, you'll use their card plus any in your hand to add up to exactly 11. Whatever cards you use to complete the challenge, you get to discard. The first person to get rid of all of their cards wins!

Cranium Zigity is a quick game to play. It is very small, comes in a nice tin, and can easily be slipped into a pocketbook or backpack. When my son was younger, we used to play this as one of our homeschool activities. It works great as a quick reward for a 100 on a spelling or math test! And no, my son didn't see it as a school activity!

Apples To Apples Is Such A Fun Card Game For The Whole Family!

Apples To Apples Kids

I have not played the kids' version of Apples to Apples, but included it here as we really love the regular version! I'd love to have a copy of the kids' version as well, since some of the cards in the regular version are of people neither of my children are familiar with. Scroll down this webpage to read my review about the regular version of Apples To Apples.

Apples to Apples Kids is designed for beginning readers. Let them get in on all the fun the adults are having!

In A Pickle!

In A Pickle!

In A Pickle!

In A Pickle Card Game - One of my top favorites!

- A game that not only encourages creativity, but is also a whole lot of fun!!

In A Pickle: My Review:
In A Pickle is currently my favorite family card game!

Why do I love In a Pickle so much? Because of the creative thinking it encourages and the hilarious stories it generates!

You start the game by laying four cards in the center of the table and dealing 5 cards to each player. On your turn, pick a card from your hand that is related in some way to one of the cards on the board.. By related I mean that one of the two words has to be an object that can fit inside the other. But the connection isn't just about the size of the object, but also the plausibility of it happening. If someone plays a card that the other players don't agree with, they can challenge. The challenged player must then use his creativity to come up with an explanation as to how the relationship between the two objects could have occurred. Then everyone votes.

Here's an example. The word "pickle" is on the table. You have the word "juice," so you slip it under the word "pickle" while saying, "There is juice in the pickle." Someone else on their own turn plays "Supermarket" on top of the word "pickle," while saying, "There is a pickle in the supermarket." Suppose it got back around to your turn and you had the words, "House," "Universe," "Red," and "City." "City" might be the most obvious thing you could lay on top of supermarket, as there certainly are supermarkets in most cities.

But wait. Are you feeling creative?

If so, what could your story be if you played the word, "House" on top of "Supermarket?" ("There's a supermarket in the house.") Maybe your story could go something like this, "There was a little girl who was given a toy cash register and shopping cart for her birthday. One afternoon, she gathered some cans and boxes from the kitchen and carted them downstairs to her playroom. After setting up her pretend supermarket, she invited her friends over to play store with her. Therefore there was a supermarket in her house!"

Or maybe you'd like to use the word, "Red" on top of "Supermarket" instead. When you get challenged, simply explain that the supermarket wasn't making a profit. Yes, it was in the red! But be careful about the story you dream up, because If the other players think your story is too ridiculous, they just might give it the thumbs down!

Loot!

Loot!

Loot!

LOOT - The Plundering Pirate Card Game

Loot: My Review:

Winner of a Mensa Award in 2005! Also given the "Dr. Toy Smart Play, Smart Toy, Product of Excellence" Award!

"Aye, Matey, this pirate themed game's a lot o' fun!

The object of Loot is to have the most gold at the end of the game. And how do you get gold? Ah, shiver me timbers, me hearty, by Swashbucklin of course! When you're a pirate, there ain't no other way of getting gold than by piratin'!

Each turn you can do one of several things, including set sail with one of your merchant ships, attack a merchant ship with one of your pirate ships, strengthening your forces with a pirate captain or an admiral, or simply draw a card. Most of the game is spent battling other pirates for the gold on the merchant ships...or building up your pirate ships for future attacks! Using pirate talk while you play makes the game all the more fun!


Bandits

Bandits

Bandits

Bandits Card Game

Bandits is another one of our top favorite card games!!

Bandits: My Review:

Stick 'em up, pardner! This is a holdup!

My husband and I picked up Bandits a couple of years ago while on a camping trip. It's a small game and is easy to take places. Plus, it's a lot of fun! The cards are really cute too!

Your goal in Bandits is to collect...and keep...as much gold and money as you can. But the other players are all hoping to have some of your gold and money for themselves! Will you be able to defend yourself if a gang of outlaws attack? How many lawmen are in your part of the woods?

We really enjoy Bandits! We always take this card game with us on trips. We've taught it to our relatives and play it often with them! My kids, now both teens, still love it too!

Apples To Apples

Apples To Apples

Apples To Apples

Apples To Apples - A Great Card Game For Large Groups!

Apples to Apples: My Review:

Apples To Apples is another one of our top family favorites!

One person, "The Judge," turns over a green apple card with a word, such as "unbelievable," "fragrant," "useless," "influential," or "refreshing," on it. All the other players look at the 7 red apple cards in their hand, pick the one they think best fits the word on the green card, and play it face down on the board. The judge then selects the one (out of those that have been played that turn) that he/she feels best matches the green card. The person who's card was selected is the winner of that round and gets to keep the green card. Then a new player becomes the judge and the process repeats.

The game is educational for children and teens in that it sometimes introduces them to new vocabulary, both on the green cards and on the red. Sometimes one of us (yes, even adults) will draw a red card with someone's name we aren't familiar with on it. This too often proves educational, as others at the table explain a little bit about that person. Yet we don't play it for the educational aspects; we just play it because it's fun!

Mille Bornes Card Game

Mille Bornes Card Game

Mille Bornes Card Game

Mille Bornes Card Game - The French Card Game

Mille Bornes: My Review:

In Mille Bornes, you're taking a trip of a thousand miles. Will you be the first to reach your destination? What hazards will you encounter along the way?

In Mille Bornes, individuals or teams are trying to be the first to "drive" a thousand miles. To do that, they must have a green light, and a well running, gas-filled car. If they get in an accident (compliments of a card played on them via another player), they'll have to play a "repairs" card, and another green light card before they can move further down the highway. If they run out of gas (again, compliments of a card played on them via another player), they'll have to fill up at the gas station (via playing a card), and play another green light card, before they can put more miles under their belt. Even red lights can be played on someone to stop them from gaining additional miles until a new green light is played! Did someone drive into a town? Then until they play an "end of limit" card, they can't go over 50 miles per hour! To add to the excitement, four special cards prevent your opponents from playing "bad" cards on you, and award you with additional points if they try! Millie Bornes is lot of fun!

How well do you know your card games? Take this 10 question quiz and find out!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which game has a card with a photo of a unicorn horn on it?
    • Bandit
    • Clue
    • Apples to Apples
    • Frog Juice
    • In a Pickle
  2. In which game do you get to tell elaborate stories?
    • Apples To Apples
    • Frog Juice
    • Skip Bo
    • Mille Bornes
    • In A Pickle
  3. In which game can your hideout be robbed?
    • Loot
    • Bandits
    • In A Pickle
    • Apples To Apples
    • Zigity
  4. Which game has a judge?
    • Rack-o
    • In A Pickle
    • Apples To Apples
    • Bandits
    • Mille Bornes
  5. In this game, it's fun to talk like a pirate!
    • Rack-o
    • Loot
    • Bandits
    • In A Pickle
    • Zigity
  6. In this game, instead of drawing cards, you push a button.
    • Uno Spin
    • Rack-o
    • Uno Attack
    • Zigity
    • Apples to Apples
  7. You get to complete magic spells in:
    • Frog Juice
    • Zigity
    • Apples to Apples
    • Bandits
    • Loot
  8. There are NO wild cards in:
    • Uno Attack
    • Zigity
    • Rack-o
    • Uno Spin
    • Skip-bo
  9. You might have to show the other players your hand while playing:
    • Apples to Apples
    • Uno Attack
    • Frog Juice
    • Uno Spin
    • Uno Spin
  10. You might have an accident while playing this game:
    • Zigity
    • Mille Bornes
    • Skip-bo
    • Bandits
    • Frog Juice

Answer Key

  1. Frog Juice
  2. In A Pickle
  3. Bandits
  4. Apples To Apples
  5. Loot
  6. Uno Attack
  7. Frog Juice
  8. Rack-o
  9. Uno Spin
  10. Mille Bornes

More Of My Game Reviews - If you enjoyed my card game reviews, perhaps you'll also be interested in my board game reviews.

Board Game Reviews: Quoridor

Board Game Reviews: Quoridor

Great Board Games To Play With Your Family! - Are you looking for a game for your family or a friend? Would you like to read my reviews of my family's top favorite board games?


Reading Game Reviews

Reading Game Reviews

Fun Games That Boost Reading and Spelling Skills!- Would you like to give your child a game that's not only fun, but also boosts their reading and spelling skills? On this page, you'll find my reviews of several fun family games that involve reading or spelling too!


Math Games and Activities

Math Games and Activities

10 Fun Math Games and Activities - This page includes a variety of fun activities that strengthen or teach math skills, including some board games.


Comments? Questions?
Your Personal Reviews of Games You've Played?

What's your favorite family card game?
Did you find my family card game reviews helpful?

You'll find a Guestbook at the bottom of the page for your comments.

Comments

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 24, 2015:

Janice, great list of family friend card games. Some I've heard of like UNO, while the rest are new to me. Voted up for interesting!

jennabeezer on June 05, 2013:

I had forgotten about it, but I used to really enjoy playing Rack-o with my grandparents. We are looking for some new games to take to our family cabin so I appreciate your reviews. Thanks!

JeffGilbert on March 13, 2013:

Honestly, at first I thought that this was games that you could play with traditional cards. I had no idea that there were all these other card games out there. Thanks for sharing.. :)

FancyThatUK on March 06, 2013:

We really love phase 10 as a family, and often all play it with multiple packs! Its great fun!

Sunflower2423 on February 02, 2013:

Nice selection of the best card games. My kids love playing games and always ask us to have a family game night. :)

TheFreeLife on January 14, 2013:

Apples to Apples has to be my fav.

and for later years "Dirty Minds" is a fun one! lol

audrey07 on January 09, 2013:

We usually play Monopoly, Rummikub, Go-Chess and Ludo at home right now. My son likes Monopoly for some reason but I find it rather boring!

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on January 04, 2013:

Wow! Over 150 games.....your family really are experts! I think In a Pickle looks like a fun family game to play. :)

AlleyCatLane on January 04, 2013:

I enjoyed playing Monopoly, Parchesi, Bingo, Scrabble and Rummy with my friends and family as a child. My own kids enjoyed Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, and several others, . I haven't heard of any of theses card games. They do sound like a lot of fun. Blessed!

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on December 27, 2012:

Apples to Apples is my favorite of all, and I've never tried Frog Juice or Loot; they both look great. I love games.

Hal Gall from Bloomington, IN on December 23, 2012:

My kids will be coming over tomorrow evening for the annual Christmas eve euchre go around. When they were 8 and 10 years old, we started offering them the challenge of playing until they beat us, then we would open some of the presents a little early. Surprising how they got good at euchre so quickly!

Alan Katz from Florida on December 21, 2012:

Nice choice of card games. My family enjoys playing Uno.

applejacking on December 18, 2012:

Uno. We always play this card every Saturday night.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on December 09, 2012:

What fun card game recommendations!

Ruthi on December 05, 2012:

In A Pickle sounds like a great and fun card game! Gosh, I must be getting old as the only card game I recognize here is UNO.

Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on December 05, 2012:

Aaaah you got me here! my neighbors and I always play card games, some on here never seen before, I shall now have to investigate further, thanks for sharing

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on December 04, 2012:

I love card game but had no idea there were so many specialty decks. What fun!

Alana-r on September 30, 2012:

We have Uno Attack, we love playing it together, love the lens!

livinglargeandh on May 13, 2012:

My Mom loved playing cards-visiting your Squidoo for Mother's Day.

bensen32 lm on May 11, 2012:

some of these I never even heard of, nice informative lens

marsha32 on May 05, 2012:

Rack-O I had forgotten about that game but it was always one of my favorites. I also like Skip-Bo and Uno

Ruthi on March 06, 2012:

I haven't played card games since I was a kid. Back then, just a deck of cards sufficed: War, Rummy, and Go Fish amused us for hours.

ChrissLJ on February 15, 2012:

Several times per year, we throw family game days at the public library. The library has several board and card games for this purpose. However the last time, one of my favorite families brought their own favorite card game... Scum. They were laughing so hard (and having a lot of fun) so drew quite a crowd... and invited anyone and everyone to join them. I love how these type of games make friends out of complete strangers.

Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on January 17, 2012:

Great selection of games including a lot I've never played and a few I've enjoyed. I twittered this to my homeschool twitter followers...

anonymous on January 04, 2012:

This is even better the second time around and now I see you've added a quiz...a fresh blessing on this family game fun!

Lisa Morris on December 29, 2011:

This is a wonderful lens. I loved the questions in the quiz, very creative. You have been blessed.

TheBaseballCoach on December 28, 2011:

Great collection of card games. I'm an Uno type of guy.

miaponzo on December 16, 2011:

Thanks for the great card game reviews! I have never even heard of some of these! Blessed!

baby-strollers on December 08, 2011:

The good old card game is a lost art!

mountainstevo on July 16, 2011:

Me and my kid play lots of Uno. We will have to try some of your games :)

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on October 20, 2010:

You have lots of new board games that I have never heard of before. I just learned Apple to Apples and we have always loved Racko and Mille Bornes.

Happy Birthday!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on June 19, 2010:

Skip-Bo is a favorite in our family. You've introduced me to some card games for families that I've never seen before. Nice collection! (Congratulations on lens #50!)

Carmel Aaron on June 14, 2010:

Great idea for a lens. I never used to sit still long enough to plan cards, but, now I could if I ever had the time.

Have you ever tried Rummikub? When I was the Activity Director of an Assisted Living facility the residents taught me to play, and I love it. I even bought one, but you must have someone to play with (or 2) and you must have time.

Thumbs up

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on June 12, 2010:

Nice lens reviewing all these card games. I haven't played card games in a very long time. WE used to play cards a lot when we were kids. "In A Pickle" sounds like an interesting game...great job!