Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Card Games

Are you looking for some fun family-friendly games for New Year’s Eve but all you have is a deck of playing cards? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Grab your cards and let’s get started!

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#1.) Spoons. This game is great fun and can get a little wild! (It’s best played with people with short fingernails.) 😉 Set up the game by placing spoons in the middle of the table, one less spoon than the number of players. Make sure there are spoons within reach of each player. Deal 4 cards to each player.

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The dealer places the remaining cards face down on his/her right side. Play begins with the dealer drawing one card from the pile. The idea is to get 4 cards with the same number. The dealer looks at the card and decides to keep it in his hand and discard one card from his hand OR he passes the card to the next person. Everyone plays at the same time, once the cards reach your spot in the circle. Each person does the same thing, either swapping the card for one in his hand or passing it on to the next person. You should always have 4 (and only 4) cards in your hand. When a player has 4 cards with the same number, he takes a spoon from the middle of the table. All other players then try to get a spoon too. The person that doesn’t get a spoon loses that round and loses a life. If you lose 3 lives, you are out of the game. Some people will sneak a spoon quietly and keep playing while others will yell and swoop in to grab one. Either way, you’ll be laughing and having fun!

#2.) Cuckoo. This is a game I haven’t played yet but it sounds like fun. It’s very simple to learn. Each player begins the game with 3 lives. The dealer gives 1 card to each player. The remaining cards are set aside and not needed.

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The idea is to avoid being the player with the lowest numbered card at the end of that round. When it’s your turn, you can choose to keep your card or swap it with the player on your left. After each player has taken their turn, everyone shows their card and the player with the lowest number loses that round and loses a life. You continue to play rounds until there is only one player left in the game. The last player in the game is the winner.

#3.) Crazy Eights. This game can be played by fairly young children, perhaps with a bit of help or prompting from a parent. Set the game up by dealing 5 cards to each player. (Deal 7 cards to each player if there are only 2 players.) Place the remaining deck in the center of the playing area for the draw pile and turn one card over to begin the discard pile. If the card is an 8, place that card back into the middle of the draw pile and draw another card. The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.

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The player to the dealer’s left goes first. They play a card from their hand that matches either the number or the suit (heart, club, diamond, spade). In my example, they could play a 2 or a card with hearts.

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In this example hand, the player would play the 9 of hearts on the discard pile then play continues to the next player. If the player has no matching card, he draws one card from the draw pile. If it matches he can play that card. The player continues to draw 1 card at a time until he gets a card that matches. This game is called Crazy Eights because all 8 cards are considered WILD! You can play an 8 as a wild card on any other card and then you decide what the suit will change to. Example: if the card to play on is a 2 of Hearts, a player can play an 8 card on it and then say the play will now go to Clubs and the next player must play a Clubs card. Play ends with the first player to play all of his cards. If you want to keep score after each round, the cards that are left in the other players hands are added up and the points are given to the player winning that round. Kings, Queens and Jacks are worth 10 points each, 8’s are worth 50 points each and all other cards are at face value.

I hope you find these games fun and entertaining for your family! And if you are reading this on New Year’s Eve, I hope you have a wonderful time welcoming the new year in! 🙂

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