The electricity’s not cooperating. There’s no TV or Internet. It’s just the two of you and– what’s this, a deck of cards. Hmmm…what was that two-person card game that never got boring?
Gin or Rummy
For nonstop action that’ll make you forget YouTube for the night, deal up a hand of Gin and be prepared to lose track of time. Gin uses a standard deck of 52 cards, so you’re good to go as soon as you bust them out of the package. Sometimes known as Rummy, the object of the card game is to focus on building “runs” and “sets” (three-of-a-kind or four-of-a-kind).
The game plays out quickly and the cards are the cards: they have no alternate ranking. If your partner is new to Gin (or Rummy) they can learn it quickly – and you may find that your familiarity with it is no match for even a newbie.
The game, invented in 1909 by father and son Elwood and Graham Baker, has multiple variations and lends itself to making up your own interesting versions.
Dead Man’s Draw
Dead Man’s Draw was originally created as an iPhone and PC game. It was popular enough that the creators were urged to make it into an actual board game. The board game can be played with two to four players. The play mats aren’t required but they add a nice bit of fun to the game. The game can be ordered here: Dead Man’s Draw.
This is one of those two-person card games that’ll refuse to get boring no matter how long you play it. It’s also known as Speed, and that’s probably because the pace of playing is always furious.
Both players get 26 cards. Each player lays out a set of piles similar to those used in Solitaire; however, Spit only uses five piles. The remaining cards that each player has are called the “Spit” cards. When both players are ready, get ready to yell, “Spit!” Turn up a card and start playing the same as you would Solitaire.
What makes it challenging is that you can only use one hand and can only move one card at a time off of your piles to work the Spit piles. Even more fun is that you don’t have to be too picky: suit and colors do not matter in this game.
Should your opponent happen to be significantly younger, you can’t go wrong with the perennial favorite two-person card “kid-approved” game of Crazy Eights.
Each of you gets seven cards. The rest of the cards are placed in a pile between you. The dealer takes the first card off of the top of the pile and turns it face up to start the discard pile.
The other player can discard a card that is the same number or that is from the same suit as the card that the dealer turned over. For example, if that card is a six of hearts, you can discard any six or any heart in your hand.
If you don’t have a card that you can play, you will have to draw.
The winner of the round is the first person that gets rid of all of his or her cards. The loser must tally up the value of the cards in his or her hand.
- Negative 50 points for an eight
- Negative 10 points for face cards
- A single negative point for an ace
- Negative face value for all other cards
Start with a minimum total of negative 200 points as the losing total – but if the night is long, crank up that figure proportionately.