Best Card Games for Two People – A Duel of Fun and Strategy

Card games can provide you with some of the best pastime ever when relaxing with that friend or special person in your life. There is a saying that goes ‘two’s a company but three is a crowd’. There are times when you simply can’t handle being around many people and that’s the perfect time for playing card games for two.

What are two player card games exactly?

2-player card games are usually customized to played by two players or more. They are usually so popular thanks to the ease of accessing them. You will also find a unique aspect to 2-card gameplay due to the human nature as they are inherently competitive.

You will need the standard Anglo-American 52-card deck consisting of 42 suits of 13 cards. However, it is important to note that there are certain two player card games that may use additional joker cards.

In this article, besides just the Anglo-American 52-card games designed for two players, you will also learn about 2 player card games of European origins that use the Spanish decks. These normally feature 40-card variants and to achieve these decks, just remove the 8,9, and 10 from the standard 52-card deck.

Two-player card games feature the element of competitiveness due to the fact that there is inclusion of more than one player. This in fact is the best part of a two-player card game and that’s why they are popular in casinos as well as dinner tables. Interestingly, thanks to technology, players can now play the games online thus removing the distance barrier!

The best card games for two people:



This is a game of wit and requires the player to have highly specialized skills to master and get successful at winning. It centers around winning individual tricks by playing a card that has a higher rank. The challenge of the game however is, you can’t win with a different suit. It thus calls on the player to know when to forfeit a round and also when to attempt a risk win.



It is yet another popular 2-people card game having the most played variations as Gin Rummy and Indian Rummy. It is played by the players improving their hands by changing cards using discards. Once a player is done playing a round, he or she knocks signaling the end of the round.  The opponent then has the chance to respond by laying off the extra cards.

Double Solitaire

If you know how to play the standard solitaire then playing double solitaire will be easy for you to play. It involves just doubling the cards up with each player shuffling individual decks. You encounter 9 stacks setup in standard Klondike fashion then you play as if a game of Solitaire. However, you can pace suitable cards on your opponent’s foundations.



It is yet another interesting card game that is specialized for two players emanating from the matching genre. The goal here is usually to get a four a four of a kind. Here, each layer is given four cards to start with. More cards can then be taken from the board thereafter as the game progresses. The goal is to call ‘Kemps’ by continuously switching cards when a desired four of kind is achieved.



Guts is a two-player card game that involves the comparison of cards and is heavily influenced by the games of poker. Each player is given two cards facing down, and a player has to decide whether to stay ‘in’, or go ‘out’ by forfeiting a round. Here, the player having the best cards will carry the day.

The Egyptian rat screw


This game involves matching cards and each player have cards facing down and then throwing them out in order. Certain conditions that have been agreed upon must be thrown on to the board. For instance, a double, players then slap with the first player stealing the cards thus the player with most cards becomes the winner.



Cribbage is a classic card game often played by two to four players in which the objective is to score points through combinations of cards and strategic play. Players take turns creating card combinations and aiming to reach a specific point total, traditionally 121 points, before their opponents. It’s a fantastic multiplayer game for friends and family, and if you don’t have physical cards, you can play it online at the Cribbage Online.

Here’s how to play two player card games

Two player card games are usually less about fluke but more about you reading your opponent and then making your killer move at the right moment.

Below are the standard steps in playing the two-person card games:


When commencing a two-person card game, generally, cards are issued one at a time to alternating players. Once the required number of cards are dealt, the cards that are left are then set aside. These cards then form the draw piles for games that will require draws.


Trick-taking games involves rounds that are referred to as tricks. Here, the winner of the previous trick, takes the next lead.



Two player card games focus is usually dependent on the game type. However, game play generally becomes centered about playing a higher-valued card.


Two player card matching games generally involves assembling specific hands. Much focus of these games centers around drawing and discarding the cards. The general rule that must be adhered by each player is that they must have similar number of cards at every end of their turns.


The comparing card games for two players generally involves a layer of sheer luck. These games are usually decided based on the draws. The larger ranks normally win the game with the Aces often being the highest rank. In cases where there are same rank cards, then suits are from weakest to strongest.


In summary

Guts is by far the easiest of the two-player card games to play as you don’t need necessarily got to have any skills to play. Of course, there are also other easy card games for the twos such as spit and slapjack due to their simple rules.

If you wish to play with one deck then the Egyptian rat screw and Rummy would be your best bet. It is easy to play the two games using a single 52-card deck.

If you want to be a top player in two player card games then the rule is simple. Count cards especially in trick-taking and matching games. By learning to count cards, you will inherently be increasing your chances of winning.

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