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Back to Basics: 3 Easy Card Games for Older Adults

Sep 04, 2021|Senior Lifestyles

Back when we were kids, stuck inside during a summer thunderstorm — we played cards. There was Go Fish, Poker, Pinochle, Crazy Eights, Blackjack, and the list goes on. Today, we might choose to read from our tablets or play Solitaire by ourselves, but card games still hold a lot of joy. They also help boost cognitive functions like memory and problem solving. Most importantly, they’re an invaluable way for seniors to beat feelings of isolation and loneliness by interacting with others, socializing, and developing friendships. 


2-6 players

To begin, deal each player seven cards (10 for a two-player game). Use the remainder of the deck as the stockpile and turn the top card face up to create the discard pile. 

Going clockwise, each player draws from either the face down stockpile or from the face up discard pile. After picking up a new card, each player must then discard. The idea is to create sets or runs using the cards in hand. A set is a group of three or more cards of the same number. A run is a consecutive sequence of three or more cards of the same suit. 

The first player to run out of cards wins the round but not the game yet. Both players must tally their points: Numbered cards are worth five points, face cards are worth 10 and aces are worth 15. The first player to reach 100 points wins the game.

Crazy Eights

2-5 players

To get started, deal each player five cards (seven for two-player games). Place the rest of the deck in the center of the table. This is the stockpile players will draw from. Turn the top card face up and place it to the side. This is now the discard pile.

Going clockwise, each player lays a card on top of the discard pile. The card played must match either the number or the suit of the card beneath it. If you can’t play on the discard pile, you must draw from the stockpile until you get a playable card.

Eights are wild, meaning the player who uses it can determine the suit they want it to represent. All other players must then follow suit. The first player to run out of cards wins the game.


2-8 players

To begin, deal the entire deck as evenly as possible between each player. Keep your cards face down and don’t look at them

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