Whether the rain is coming down or you’re looking to keep the group entertained, here are some of my favourite card games for camping to make sure everyone is having fun.
Always bring a pack of cards. Honestly, I should add it to the camping necessities list. When it rains, you will have little to keep you and the family entertained and these cards will be a lifesaver. Even when it’s sunny and you need something to do, they are always handy to pack.
The pace is often unrushed, and people enjoy a little bit of gaming fun, conversation, and snacks. Card games can be played during the day or into the night by lantern light. And since they are so small to pack, you don’t have to worry about them taking up a ton of room.
So without further ado, here are some of my go-to card games for camping.
7 Card Games for Camping
This one is a riot! I have never seen people get so competitive and laugh so much as when you play a game of spoons. As the title suggests, you will need spoons and at least one deck of cards to play this game. There is no set limit on how many people can play so you can also add in another deck if you think you need to.
Everyone starts off with four cards. One select person will get the remaining deck. One at a time, they will flip through the cards, either deciding to swap one card or pass it on to the next person. The goal is to get 4 of a kind. The faster you flip through the cards, the more chaotic and fun it gets! If you get four of a kind, you reach into the circle and grab a spoon. Then everyone else quickly also tries to grab a spoon.
However, there is always one spoon less than the number of players. Each round, one person gets out and a spoon is removed. Think of it like just like musical chairs.
For more details on how to play spoons, read here.
Pinocchio would not be good at this game. The goal of the game is to be the first one to get rid of all of your cards. One by one, you go in order of the deck announcing how many cards you have and lay them face down on the table. Player 1 gets aces, player 2 twos, player 3 threes, etc. You MUST play, even if you don’t have the right cards and the other players have to decided whether you’re lying or not.
If they say cheat and you did lie, you have to pick up the whole pile. If they say cheat and you didn’t lie, whoever said it has to pick up the whole pile. But ultimately, you hope no one says anything and you get away with it!
Once again, you can have as many people as you like play this game. In fact, the more the better. I would say you need at least 4 people to play cheat. Some people turn bright red while others have the best poker face around.
To learn how to play cheat, read here.
Chase the Ace
An oldie, but a goodie, pass the ace is super quick to pick up and play in a big group. Everyone is dealt a card and keeps it to themselves. The goal is to have the lowest card in order to be safe for the round.
One person begins the round the round by deciding to keep their card or exchange it with the person on the left. Since aces are high, you can expect the ace to make its way all around the table. The player who ends up with the highest card loses and must give up one of their lives.
While we’re camping, we usually use something simple like pebbles to represent our lives. The easier, the better right?
For complete rules on chase the ace, click here.
The game of Euchre has a lot of history, and it remains a fun game for new players and diehard devotees. There are a few variations to Euchre, but in general terms, it is a card game that is usually played with 4 people. Oftentimes, you play it as teams.
A little more complex than some of the previous card games, you will need to know the scoring system of the cards. The cards used are usually nines through the aces. The games go pretty fast, and it is usually easy to converse during gameplay.
Find the instructions on how to play Euchre here.
Who doesn’t love a game of Uno? Every kid in the campsite will flock to your table once they see you pull out the Uno deck. It’s a fast paced but completely kid-friendly game to play.
A colourful game of numbers, wild cards, and speciality cards, you will need a special Uno deck in order to play this game. Alternatively, you can play the game crazy eights which is similar to Uno but uses a standard playing card deck.
Many of us I’m sure have played hearts on the computer. But it’s a fun game to play in person while camping with some of your friends. A 4 person game, all you need is one deck of cards and a pad of paper with a pen to keep track of the score.
This game has a bit more strategy to it, so it may be beyond younger players. However, it too can be a fun camping game since the rules are fairly straightforward. The goal of the game is to avoid any heart cards and the dreaded queen of spades. These count as points and the player with the lowest score wins.
To play hearts, find the instructions here.
Last but not least, another fun card game for camping is Phase 10. The game of Phase 10 is like Uno in that it is its own game that comes pre-packaged. It’s based on rummy but with some twists.
The game of Phase 10 can involve a number of players and requires a combination of strategy and chance. Phase 10 can be a fairly long game, so people should be ready to commit some time. However, if people are camping and do not have a lot of commitments, it can be a fun game for a long afternoon of leisurely gaming.
Here are the rules on how to play Phase 10.
Even with the technology of today, cards can still be fun, particularly on a camping trip. Playing these card games for camping provides a bit of fun for the group while enjoying some casual conversation. Happy camping!