So far as I know, games of this type first appeared in the mid 19th century and were played with special cards. In Britain there was Spade the Gardener, in which players collect families of five cards, later superseded by Happy Families, in which each family consists of four cards (mother, father, son, daughter). In the USA, the game of Dr Busby, also based on families, was first published in 1843, followed by Authors in 1861. I do not know whether these games were based on an earlier game played with standard cards, or whether the adaptation to use a standard pack came later.
This game is often just known as Fish, but the name (or Canadian Fish or Russian Fish) is also sometimes used for the more complex partnership game Literature. Go Fish is best for 3-6 players, but it is possible for 2 to play. A standard 52 card deck is used. The dealer deals 5 cards to each player (7 each for 2 players). The remaining cards are placed face down to form a stock.
Some people play that rather than asking for a rank, you must ask for a specific card. You must already hold at least one card of that rank. For example, you say: and you draw from the stock. In the unlikely event that you draw the seven of diamonds you get another turn; if you draw anything the turn passes to the left.
If you play this variation, you need to agree whether it is permissible to ask for a card which you already hold in your hand. Obviously yout hold that card.
Some people play that when the stock runs out, you carry on playing until all the cards have been made into books. Obviously after the stock has run out there is no t have the card asked for, the turn passes on.
Some people play that when a player runs out of cards, the play does not end, but the player draws a new hand of 5 cards from the stock (or the whole stock if fewer than 5 cards remain there).
Some people play that after a player fishes unsuccessfully, the turn passes to player who was asked and said rather than to the next player player to the left.
There are various ways of scoring. For example, you may play a series of hands, scoring one point for each book you make. The game continues until someone wins by reaching an agreed target score - for example, 10 points.
Paul Gardner-Stephen reports that in Australia a variant is often played in which the object is to collect pairs. 7 cards are dealt to each player from a 52-card pack. The player with most pairs plays first. At your turn you ask for a card matching one you have in your hand. All pairs must be put down as soon as they are obtained - you cannot hoard a pair in hand as a basis for asking for the other two matching cards. A player who runs out of cards draws a new hand of 7 cards from the undealt stock. Play continues until everyone has run out of cards, and players score a point for each pair they have made.
This game is sometimes played with special cards, and sometimes with a 54-card pack including two jokers, which act as normal cards forming a pair. Jonny Groves describes a similar game played in the USA, and suggests that a pair of jokers should be scored as 2 points rather than 1 since it is harder to make than other pairs. For similar reasons, collecting two pairs of the same rank should score 3 points rather than 2.
A variant Backstab Fish is played in Adelaide with 108 cards including four jokers. There are 4-10 players, 7 cards each are dealt and the aim is to make sets of four equal cards, suits being ignored. At your turn you ask a specific player for a specific number of cards of a rank of which you hold at least one: for example you could ask a player for three sixes if you hold a six. The player gives you the exact number of cards you asked for, if she has them: if not - for example if she only has two sixes - you have to draw a card from the stock and the turn passes to the player you asked. In this game you are not required to lay down four of a kind. You can keep them as a basis for asking for more cards of that rank, but if you do not put them down you may lose some or all of them if another player asks for them.
This is Go Fish without the stock pile. All the cards are dealt out as equally as possible to the players. A turn consists of asking a player for a rank (or a specific card if you play that version). If they have it your turn continues; if not the turn passes to the next player player to the left. As in Go Fish, you must have a card of the rank you asked for. Books of 4 cards are discarded. The game continues until all the cards are formed into books, and whoever gets most books wins - or you can score one point per book and play to a target score.
This game is called Authors in the USA, because it was originally played with special educational cards showing pictures of famous authors. These cards are still available and the idea has been extended to cards showing inventors, American presidents, explorers, baseball players and many other themes. A selection of different types of Authors cards is available.
This British version of the game is played with a special pack of 44 cards depicting the mother, father, son and daughter of eleven families. Everyone contributes equally to a pool, all the cards are dealt, and the player to dealer`s left begins. The player whose turn it is asks another player for a specific card; the asker must already hold at least one card of the same family. If the player asked has the card it must be handed over and the asker continues by asking the same or another player for another card. If the asked player does not have the wanted card they say and the turn passes to them (not to the left in this version). Completed families are placed face down in front of the owner. When all families are complete, the player with most wins half the pool.
Some play a version in which a player asking for a card must say , and a player receiving a card must say . Anyone who forgets to do this must give back the requested card (if it has been handed over) and the turn passes to the player they were asking.
This Thai game, whose name means , is essentially the same as Happy Families. It is played by 3 to 6 players using a standard 52-card pack. All the cards are dealt out as evenly as possible, and the aim is to collect fours of a kind. The player next to the dealer who received the first card in the deal begins. At your turn you ask another player for a specific card by rank and suit (e.g. 6 of diamonds): in order to ask for a card you must have a card of that rank in your hand. If the player you asked has the requested card you receive it and your turn continues. If not, the turn passes to the player you asked. A set of four equal cards is called a room (hông): a player who collects one of these can store the cards face down or keep them in hand. The game ends when all 13 rooms have been collected, and the player with most rooms wins.
This is the German equivalent of Happy Families or Authors. Quartett can be played with a standard 32-card pack (A-K-D-B-10-9-8-7), as used for the German national game Skat. However, this is not longer usual as a huge variety of special Quartett packs are available. These mostly also consist of eight quartets and therefore 32 cards.Many different designs of cards have been made for this game from the late nineteenth to the present day, with various educational or other themes. German Quartett cards are often provided with technical statistics related to the theme of the pack, so that they can also be used to play Top Trumps, which in German is sometimes known as Supertrumpf, and sometimes include a Schwarzer Peter (Black Peter) card so that they can be used for the German equivalent of Old Maid.
German Quartett cards are often provided with technical statistics related to the theme of the pack, so that they can also be used to play Top Trumps, which in German is sometimes known as Supertrumpf, and sometimes include a Schwarzer Peter (Black Peter) card so that they can be used for the German equivalent of Old Maid.
The Softgame Company`s Funcrd Card Games program plays hearts, Spades, Cribbage and Go Fish.
Hungry penguins at the pole hop from ice floe to ice floe in search of fish. They try to block their rivals and secure the highest yielding fishing grounds for themselves. At the end, whoever has captured the most fish is the winner of this game to and fro across the floes.
The 60 ice floes are laid out on the table in a honeycomb pattern, front side up. The first row should be placed in the middle of the playing area, and should have 8 ice floes. After this, place three rows above (with 7, 8, 7 ice floes) and 4 below (with 7, 8, 7, 8 ice floes). Altogether there should be 8 rows. The exact shape of the playing area is not important, but the ice floes with one, two and three fish should be more or less evenly distributed.
Players then take turns being the “active” player. The active player chooses one of the cards in her hand and asks the opponent, for example, “Do you have any threes?” If the opponent has a 3 he surrenders it to the active player, and the active player puts the pair into her pot. If the opponent has no 3 then he says, “Go fish,” and the active player draws a card from the top of the deck. If the active player draws a 3 she says, “Fished my wish,” and puts her pair into the pot. If she draws a card that matches a different card in her hand then she puts her pair into the pot without declaring “Fished my wish.” The active player remains active until she is asked to “go fish” and fails to fish her wish. Her turn ends and the opponent becomes the active player.
Sometimes the active player is left with no cards in her hand. When this happens, she draws a single card from the top of the deck and continues by asking her opponent for that card. Note that a passive player may be left with no cards in his hand, too. In this case, he does not draw a card from the deck. He simply will say, “Go fish,” to any request. (The active player must make a specific request, even though she knows the response beforehand, because otherwise there would be no way to determine whether she fished her wish.)
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