By: Michael Maher

Playing card games can be a great way to have fun with your friends while also improving your strategy and critical thinking skills. However, some card games are more complicated than others to learn and play. Here are 3 easy to learn and fun playing card games for college students. 


This card game can go by a lot of different names like “Scat” or “Blitz”. This game is for 2 or more people and uses a standard 52 card deck. The objective of the game is to achieve a hand of 31 points or as close to 31 points as possible. The points for the game go as follows: 

  • Ace = 11 points 
  • Face Cards (Jack, Queen, King) = 10 points 
  • Numbered Cards = normal value 

Players are dealt 3 cards to start and take turns choosing a card from the shuffled deck or the discarded card from the previous player. Players must then discard a card each turn. Only cards that are of the same suit count as points. If a player has a “three of a kind”, that hand is worth 30 points. When one player is comfortable with their hand, they knock on the table, which means all the other remaining players have one more turn to “improve” their hand before revealing. The player with the lowest point hand loses that round and a new round begins. After a player loses 4 rounds, they are out of the game. The last player standing wins. 

For more specific information on set up and directions for the game of “31”, please see this video


Chances are you might already know how to play this game because it is a common one. However, if you forgot or don’t know about this game, here’s how to play! 

This game can be played by 2 or more players but works best with 2. A standard 52 card deck is used but with jokers included. The objective of the game is to collect all the cards from the deck. The deck is shuffled to start the game and an even number of cards is handed out to each player. Each player then turns over the top card in their deck and compares the rank to the other player’s face up card. Ranking for this game is as follows: 

  1. Joker 
  2. Ace 
  3. King 
  4. Queen 
  5. Jack 
  6. 10, 9, 8………..2 

The player whose face up card has the highest rank wins and that player collects all the face up cards and places them next to their deck in a “discard pile”. Players continue to flip over the top card in their deck until one player has all the cards. In the event that there is a “draw” in which all players have flipped over the same ranked card, this is called a “war”. Each player must then place 3 face down cards next to the face up card. Players will then flip over 1 more card from their deck and this card will be compared with other players’ cards. Whichever player has the highest card rank from this card will get to collect all the cards. In the event of another draw, another war takes place until there’s a winner. If a player runs out of cards in their deck, they must pick up their discarded cards, shuffle them, and then turn them over to begin using those cards again in the game. If a player is out of cards and unable to flip over 3 face down cards and/or a face up card in the event of a draw, they automatically lose the “war” and are out of the game. The first player to collect all the cards wins the game.

For more information on the game of “War”, please see this video


This game is similar to regular golf where the objective of the game is to have the lowest amount of points amongst all players after 9 rounds. This game is for 2 to 4 players and uses a standard 52 card deck. A dealer is selected and each player is dealt 6 cards face down. The cards for each player are organized into 2 rows and 3 columns without turning over the cards. Players choose 2 of their cards to turn over face up and leave their remaining cards face down. The rest of the shuffled deck of cards are placed face down in the middle with the top card turned over face up to form a discard pile. Play begins with the player left of the dealer going first and resuming clockwise after that. Players can choose to take the top card from the face down pile in the middle known as the “stock” or the top card from the discard pile. Players can replace any one of their cards whether face up or down with a card taken from the stock deck or return the stock card to the discard pile. However, if a card is taken from the discard pile, that card must be played and replace one of the player’s current cards. When replacing a card, players are not allowed to look at the card before replacing it. Cards that are taken to replace one of a player’s cards must remain face up after replacing. Once a card is discarded, the next player plays. Players attempt to get the lowest score possible while not knowing their true score at times due to some of their cards being face down. Points for this game are as follows. 

  • Ace =
  • 2 = -2 
  • King =
  • 3-10 = Face Value 
  • Jack or King = 10 
  • Pair of cards in a column =

A round ends when one player has all 6 of their cards face up. Point totals are then tallied up for each player and scores are kept for each round. After each round, all cards should be shuffled, the role of the dealer shifts 1 player clockwise, and 6 new cards are dealt to each player. Whichever player has the lowest score at the end of 9 rounds wins. 

For more information on the game of “Golf”, please see this video