Card games for seniors can be an EXCELLENT way to keep their minds sharp and provide a fun way to socialize.
As a caregiver, you want to find games that are easy to understand and play.
So, here are ten tested card games that are perfect for seniors – from classics like Go Fish and Rummy to newer games like Sushi Go and Fluxx.
Try them out and see which ones your seniors enjoy the most!
Table of Contents
- Playing card games is enjoyable for seniors to maintain cognitive function and overall well-being. They improve memory, concentration, and critical thinking skills.
- Seniors can play numerous easy card games, including Go Fish, Solitaire, Hearts, Rummy, and Old Maid.
- Card games are perfect for seniors who want a bit of friendly competition or a challenge.
- Seniors playing card games may experience increased happiness, contentment, and satisfaction.
10 Easy Card Games for Seniors
1. Go Fish
So, the other day I was going out with my best friend, Rocky. He’s that guy at the party you always need to entertain. Guess what? All I had at home was a pack of — you guessed it — GO FISH.
“Meh,” I thought, “Rocky will hate it.” But when he saw it, he absolutely fell in love with it and couldn’t stop playing it with me.
Go Fish is a classic card game that is easy to learn and great for seniors. It can be played with two or more players and is suitable for all ages.
The game is simple: collect the most sets of four cards of the same rank, such as four aces or four kings. The player who collects the most sets wins.
Ready to have some fun and improve your memory skills? Check out this informative video on how to play Go Fish, the classic card game that’s easy to learn and perfect for players of all ages:
I felt lonely one day when I only had a pack of cards.
The game is a classic on PC, and I thought there was nothing to it. Until I made myself some tea and started hitting the deck — I was HOOKED!
Solitaire is a card game that can be played alone or with others.
The game aims to move all the cards to the four foundations in ascending order by suit. This game is a great way to improve concentration and memory skills.
Learn how to play the classic game of Solitaire with this video, featuring step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for players of all levels:
For other fun sit-down games, check out this video:
Hearts is a trick-taking game that can be played with three to six players.
The game aims to avoid collecting hearts and the queen of spades while collecting other cards to gain points. This game is great for seniors who like a bit of competition.
Discover how to play Hearts, the classic trick-taking card game, with this informative video featuring clear instructions and helpful tips:
Rummy is a card game that can be played with two to six players.
The objective of the game is to form sets and runs of cards.
A set is a group of three or four cards of the same rank, and a run is a sequence of three or more cards of the same suit. This game is great for seniors who enjoy strategy and critical thinking.
Get ready to improve your card game skills with this video on how to play Rummy:
5. Old Maid
Old Maid is a simple and fun card game that can be played with two or more players.
The game’s objective is to avoid being the player left with the “old maid” card.
Players take turns drawing cards from each other’s hands and discarding any pairs that they have. The player left with the “old maid” card at the end of the game loses.
Learn how to play the classic card game of Old Maid with this video, featuring step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for players of all ages:
6. Crazy Eights
Crazy Eights is a classic card game that can be played with two or more players.
The game aims to be the first player to eliminate all their cards.
Players take turns playing cards that match the suit or rank of the last card played.
If a player doesn’t have a card, they must draw from the deck. The game gets its name from the “crazy” rule that allows players to change the card suit to be played.
Check out this informative video on how to play Crazy Eights:
War is a simple card game that can be played with two or more players. The objective of the game is to win all the cards.
Players each turn over one card at the same time, and the player with the highest card wins both cards. If there is a tie, players continue playing until one player wins all the cards.
Spades is a trick-taking game that can be played with two or more players. The objective of the game is to win the most tricks.
Players bid on the number of tricks they think they can win, then play to fulfill their bid. This game requires some strategy and critical thinking.
Want to learn how to play the classic card game Crazy Eights? This video will walk you through the rules and offer tips for players of all levels:
9. Gin Rummy
Gin Rummy is a card game that can be played with two players.
The game aims to be the first player to score 100 or more points. Players try to form sets and runs of cards and can “knock” to end the game and score points.
This game is great for seniors who enjoy a bit of friendly competition.
Here’s a tutorial:
The bridge is a more complex card game that can be played with four players.
The objective of the game is to win the most tricks. Players bid on the number of tricks they think they can win and then play to fulfill their bid.
This game requires some strategy and critical thinking and is great for seniors who want a challenge.
Here you can check out this amazing video on other easy-to-learn card games seniors will enjoy:
The MAGIC 5 Benefits of Playing Card Games for Seniors
Playing card games have been found to have numerous benefits for seniors, including improving their cognitive abilities — as noted by researchers Tu, Yang, Liang, and Chen (1):
“To improve cognitive abilities, older adults can partake in interactive activities that benefit health both physically and mentally to keep their intellectual functioning healthy and thereby improve quality of life.“
Undoubtedly, if there are easy card games for seniors, there are certainly some real-time benefits, right? Well, guess what? You’re right, and they are:
Playing card games can provide numerous benefits for seniors, both mentally and physically. Here are some of the key benefits that seniors can gain from playing card games:
#1 Improved cognitive function
Our cognitive skills tend to decline as we age, making it crucial to stay mentally active to maintain good brain health (2).
These games help improve memory, concentration, and decision-making skills (2).
Playing card games require mental agility and quick thinking, which can help keep seniors’ brains sharp and improve cognitive function.
Playing games with an entire deck of cards, including the lowest and additional cards, can be challenging and stimulate your brain differently.
You can rank cards to play popular games like euchre or spades and form pairs of cards to play games like Go Fish or Old Maid.
Studies have shown that playing card games can help improve memory, attention, and concentration and reduce the risk of dementia and other cognitive decline-related conditions.
#2 Reduced stress and anxiety
Card games can be a great way to unwind and relax, which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Seniors who play card games regularly may find they can better cope with stress and enjoy greater well-being.
#3 Increased socialization and companionship
Companionship and general social functioning are promoted by games.
Notably, a study done by researchers Granic, Lobel, and Engels supports this proposition (3):
“The most important factor found was whether or not they played online, as playing online was associated with greater perceptions of social, as well as cognitive, benefits.”
Surely, card games can provide a fun and engaging way for seniors to socialize and connect with others, whether family members, friends, or fellow residents in a senior living community.
This can be especially important for seniors who may be isolated or lonely.
#4 Improved fine motor skills:
Many card games require seniors to shuffle, deal, and hold cards, which can help improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
This can be especially beneficial for seniors recovering from a stroke, injury, or other health condition affecting their motor function.
#5 Enhanced mood and emotional well-being:
Playing card games can be a fun and engaging activity that can help boost mood and emotional well-being.
Seniors playing card games may experience increased happiness, contentment, and satisfaction.
Card games can be an excellent activity for seniors of all abilities and skill levels.
Card games can provide hours of entertainment and numerous physical and mental health benefits, whether played alone or with others.
4 Tips for Playing Card Games with Seniors
Playing card games with seniors can be a fun and rewarding experience for seniors and their loved ones or caregivers.
However, it’s important to remember some tips for ensuring the experience is enjoyable and comfortable for everyone involved. Here are some tips for playing card games with seniors:
#1 Choose games that are easy to learn
When selecting card games to play with seniors, choosing games that are easy to learn and understand is important.
This can help prevent frustration and confusion and ensure everyone can participate and have fun.
Use large print cards: Seniors may have difficulty reading small print, so it’s a good idea to use large print cards to make it easier for them to see and read the cards.
#2 Be patient and supportive
Seniors may take longer to understand the rules or make decisions during the game, so it’s important to be patient and supportive.
Encourage them to ask questions and take the time to feel comfortable playing the game.
#3 Adapt the game to meet their needs
Some seniors may have physical or cognitive limitations that make it difficult to play certain card games.
Be willing to adapt the rules or gameplay to meet their needs and ensure they can still participate and enjoy the game.
#4 Create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere
Playing card games should be a fun experience for everyone involved.
Create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere by playing in a quiet, well-lit room and providing refreshments and snacks as needed.
By following these tips, playing card games with seniors can be a fun and engaging activity that provides numerous benefits for their physical and mental health and social and emotional well-being.
1. What are some benefits of playing card games for seniors?
Playing card games can help seniors improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. It can also provide a fun and social activity with friends and family.
2. Can these card games be modified for seniors with mobility issues?
Many of these card games can be modified to accommodate seniors with mobility issues, such as playing at a table or using card holders.
3. Are these card games suitable for seniors with vision or hearing impairments?
Card games like Go Fish and Solitaire may be more suitable for seniors with vision or hearing impairments. Others, such as Bridge, may require more assistance.
4. How can I introduce these card games to seniors who have never played?
It’s important to start with simpler games, such as Go Fish or Old Maid, and gradually introduce more complex games as seniors become more comfortable.
It’s also helpful to provide clear instructions and patient guidance.
5. Can these card games be played online or on a computer?
Many of these card games have digital versions that can be played online or on a computer.
However, it’s important to ensure that seniors have access to and are comfortable with technology before introducing digital versions of these games.
Easy card games for seniors exist! In addition, playing card games is an enjoyable and beneficial activity for seniors.
One of the best ways to keep your brain active is by playing fun games, especially popular card games, using standard decks of cards.
Using face-up cards to play popular games like poker, bridge, and gin rummy can be an excellent way to exercise your brain.
These easy card games provide hours of fun and can help improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration.
Introducing these games to seniors can help promote mental well-being and social interaction.
So grab a deck of cards and get ready for some fun!
1. Tu J-C, Yang C-H, Liang C-Y, Chen H-Y. Exploring the Impact of Puzzle Games for the Elderly from Experiential Learning. Thinking Skills and Creativity. 2022;45:101107.
2. Estrada‐Plana V, Montanera R, Ibarz‐Estruga A, March‐Llanes J, Vita‐Barrull N, Guzmán N, et al. Cognitive training with modern board and card games in healthy older adults: two randomized controlled trials. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2021;36:839–50.
3. Duplàa E, Kaufman D, Sauvé L, Renaud L. APA PsycNet [Internet]. psycnet.apa.org. 2017 [cited 2023 Mar 11]. Available from: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-27153-007