Go Fish is a 2 to 6 player "book collecting" game. There are no teams.
Suit does not matter in this game.
The objective is to collect the most number of "books".
A "book" is a set of 4 cards with the same rank, such as 4 Jacks or 4 Sixes.
Each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards (7 cards in a 2 player game) from a standard deck of 52 cards.
The remaining cards are dealt into a pile at the center of the table. This known as the "pond".
A random player is chosen to go first.
On a players turn, they first select any card from their hand. For example, a Jack. They then select another player to ask if they have any cards of the same rank. For example, "Rob, do you have any Jacks?".
If the asked player has any cards with that rank (Jacks in this case), they must give them all to the asking player. The asking player then gets to ask again.
If the asked player does not have any cards of that rank, they say "Go Fish!". Now the asking player draws a random card from the pond in the middle, if any remain. If they draw a card with the rank they asked for, they get to ask again. Otherwise play proceeds to the next player, in clockwise order.
When a player collects 4 cards of the same rank, this is called a "book". These cards are removed from their hand and they score 1 point.
The game ends when any player's hand is empty.
The player with the highest score (most number of books) wins!
- It is important to remember what cards people have by watching who asks who for which cards.
- Players with more cards in their hand are more likely to have a card you are looking for.
- Make sure not to ask the same person for the same card too often. Ask different people for cards.
- Ask for cards you only have one of. This increases the chance you will gain a card and thus get a free turn. This also decreases the risk of losing too many cards if someone asks you for the card.
- While asking for a different card each turn may seem like a wise strategy, you are telling everyone what you have in your entire hand and that may lead to you losing a lot of your cards.
Go Fish first appeared around the mid 19th century.