How To Play Go Fish - Step by Step Guide

How To Play Go Fish - Step by Step Guide

Go Fish is a classic card game, beloved by children but equally enjoyed by adults for its charm and simplicity. The game is all about collecting sets of four similar cards. It’s time to fish for cards and have fun with friends or family!

What You Need

  • Players: 2 to 6
  • Deck: Standard 52-card deck (For younger players, consider a specialized Go Fish deck with fewer cards and playful images)
  • Goal: Collect the most sets of four similar cards.


  1. Shuffle the Deck: Ensure the cards are well mixed to distribute them randomly.
  2. Deal the Cards:
    • For 2-3 players: Deal each player 7 cards.
    • For 4 or more players: Deal 5 cards to each player.
  3. Form the Ocean: Place the remaining deck face down in the center of the table. This pile will be known as the ocean or pond.

Gameplay Instructions

Taking Turns

  • The youngest player goes first, moving clockwise.
  • On your turn, ask any opponent for a specific card rank (e.g., "Do you have any threes?"). You must have at least one card of the requested rank in your hand to ask for it.
  • If the player has the card(s) you asked for, they must give all of those cards to you. You get another turn to ask any player for a card.
  • If the player does not have the card, they say "Go Fish!" You then draw the top card from the ocean. If you draw the card you asked for, show it to the other players and get another turn. If not, it's the next player's turn.

Forming Books

  • When you collect a set of four cards of the same rank, it’s called a "book."
  • Place the completed book face up in front of you.

Winning the Game

  • The game ends when all cards have been drawn and no more books can be made.
  • The player with the most books at the end of the game wins.

Tips for a Fun Game

  • Memory Matters: Try to remember the cards other players ask for and receive to guide your own requests.
  • Strategic Asking: Ask for cards that will help you complete your books, but also strategically block others from completing theirs.
  • Friendly Environment: Encourage younger players by making the game interactive and engaging with playful banter.


Go Fish is a delightful game that teaches memory skills and strategic thinking in a light-hearted setting. Whether you’re looking to engage young kids in a fun learning activity or just relax with a casual game, Go Fish is a fantastic choice. Ready to cast your line? Let's play Go Fish!

Back to blog