What Are The Rules To Go A Fish Card Game?

What Are The Rules To A Go Fish Card Game?

Cambridge Dictionary definition of a rule is an acknowledged instruction or principle that states how things are or should be done and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do.

While we can add to or enhance the initial rules of a game, we still need to stick to the original gameplay because making too many changes would be like playing an entirely different game.

This is why it is important to learn about the rules of a game.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Go Fish or have already been playing it since childhood; you have definitely come across many variations of Go Fish. So now you’re left with the question, “What are the rules to a Go Fish game?”.

You’ve come to the right place because, in this article, we have compiled the most generic rules to Go Fish known to most people, and also other variations of the rules that might be completely foreign to you.

Go Fish Gameplay

Aim of the game:

To collect as many “books”; “book” is a set of cards of the same number or same face value.

Tips: You can check out this guide to help you with detailed instructions on how to play Go Fish.

Number of players:

  • Minimum 2 players
  • Usually played with 2-5 players
  • Can be played with up to 10 players

go fish card game piles holding

Tips: You can check out these websites if you want to play Go Fish alone or long-distance with friends and families.

Time taken to finish one game:

5-15 minutes

Type of cards:

Basically, any card decks that you can form “books”.

stacks go fish uno playing cards

The Rules To Go Fish Card Games: What Are They?

Basic Rules of Go Fish

  1. Deal 7 cards to each player.
  2. Jumble up and spread the rest of the cards in a pile, face down; this is the “pond” or “ocean” to draw cards from when told to “Go Fish”.
  3. A player can only request a card rank that they have in hand. Similarly, no requesting foreign cards.
  4. When a player acquires a “book”, lay down all four cards aside, face-up.
  5. A player cannot cheat by not handing out a card when requested.
  6. A player must hand out all of the same-rank cards.
  7. A player must “fish” for only 1 card out of the “pond”.
  8. A player’s turn is over when they are told to “Go Fish”.
  9. The next player is decided in a clockwise direction.
  10. When a player has run out of cards, but the game is still playing,

a single one go fish card

Other Variations Of Go Fish Rules

  1. If there are more than 2 players, deal 5 cards each.
  2. Neatly stack the rest of the cards as the “pond”, and draw the top card when told to “Go Fish”.
  3. A player hands out only one card when asked, even if they have more.
  4. A player requests for a specific card instead of the rank.
  5. A player must expose the card in proof when requesting the same card rank.
  6. A book in which it is a pair of same-rank cards instead of 4 same-ranks.
  7. “Books” are placed face-down, and when the initial round of the game is finished, another game is continued, where the player with the most “books” ask for a rank that they remember another player has; they earn the cards if guessed correctly, but if they guessed incorrectly, it’s the next person’s turn to guess. The player with all pairs of each rank wins.
  8. If the other players have obtained matches, but one player has a card left while there are no more cards to draw, the player loses the game.
  9. Jokers can be used as a pair, with the pair-card book rule.
  10. Instead of going round clockwise, the player saying “Go Fish” gets to play next.

2 joker cards playing cards

Our Verdict

Go Fish is a game loved by many across the globe. While you might be astounded by a new set of Go Fish rules that your friend introduced you to, why not give the rest of the rule variations a try?

You can never get tired of another Go Fish game!

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