How To Play Go Fish Card Game? – Explained

How To Play Go Fish Card Game? – Explained

Ever played a go fish card game? If yes, then you must be knowing how to play the fish card game. If not, then don’t worry, as we will explain every aspect of this popular card game to you. 

The go fish card game is a fun and entertaining game that is widely popular among children as well as adults. It is also an educational and beneficial game in various aspects as it lets them learn things like strategy and addition. 

In the article, we will tell you all the aspects of this game which will help you learn how to play go fish. We will explain go fish rules, how you win go fish, how many cards in go fish, and more. 

How Many Cards In Go Fish?

This is the first question that might come to your mind when you waa to learn about a card. Well, the answer to the question of how many cards in go fish is, 52-card deck.

In this game, a deck of 52 cards is used for the game. This deck and the card are then distributed according to the go fish rules to the players. 

Goal Of Go Fish Card Game

Do the question how do you win go fish or what is its goal comes to your mind? If yes, then the go fish game’s goal is simple – collect maximum sets of fours. In this game, the player who collects the most sets of the fours is a winner according to the go fish game rules. 


To know how to play go fish, you must first know the setup. The setup of the go fish game depends on the number of players. The card dealt with each player can change according to the number of players in the game. These variations are:

  • If there are six players in the go fish game, then each player gets five cards each according to go fish card game rules. 
  • In games that involve players between 3 to 6, the go fish card game rules are the same. Each player gets five cards each.
  • If there are only two players in the game, then according to the g fish card game rules, they get seven cards each. 

After the dealing of cards to the players, the remaining cards are then placed in the draw pile. 


The gameplay is essential when you want to know how to play go fish. The gameplay of the go fish card game according to rules is as following:

  • Choose a player randomly to begin the game.
  • Once the game commences and your turn comes, you can ask any of the players to give you a specific rank or color card. For example: “Bob, please give the 9s to me”.
  • However, before you ask a player for a specific rank card, you must hold at least a single card of that rank first. 
  • Once a player asks another player for a specific rank card, they must give all the cards of that rank. For example: When you ask Bob for 9s, he must give up all the cards of that rank. It is the rule of the go fish game, and players can’t refuse.
  • If, after asking, you get one or more cards of the rank from the player, you get another chance to ask. Again you have the option to ask for any rank or card from any player, including the card you already asked for.
  • If the player you ask the card doesn’t have that particular rank card, they say, ‘Go Fish.’ Now you have to draw the card on top from the draw pile.
  • In this scenario, if by chance the card from the pile is the same rank that you asked the other players for, you get another chance. Show it to another player, and now you can again ask any player randomly for a card. 
  • In case the drawn card is not of the rank you asked for, you have to keep the card. The turn in this scenario moves onto the next player. 
  • When you are able to collect a set of four cards of similar rank, show them instantly to other players and keep the set down. You should keep the set face down in front according to the go fish rules. 

Winning The Go Fish Game

The game continues till either player has no card left in hand, or the draw pile of the cards runs out. Once this happens, the player with the most card sets is the winner of the game. 

Variations In Go Fish Game

There are basically two variations on the go fish game. These are:

Variation One

In the first variation of the game, instead of asking for a specific rank, ask for a specific card. To do this, you must have at least a single card of that particular rank. 

For example: “Bob, please give the card kings of clubs.” in this variant also if Bob has it, your turn continues, and you go one more time. If he doesn’t have it, he says, “go fish,” and your turn ends. Now you have to draw a card from the pile. This time also, as we told above, if you draw the card you asked for, your turn continues, but it ends if the card you draw is different. 

To play this variant of the game, you must agree with all the players that you can ask for a card which you already hold in hand. If you ask for such cards, then you will need to go fish, and your turn ends. However, it might benefit you as this will not let the other players know which card you already hold. 

Variation Two

In this variation of the go fish game, the players need to keep playing until all the cards have been set in sets of four. This is even after the draw pile runs out. In this case, when the draw pile runs out, no one says “Go Fish.” If a player asks another player for a card and that player doesn’t have it, the turn goes to that player. 

Final Words

Do you know how to play go fish? Or have you ever played the popular card game? Or at least you may have heard about it sometime? 

Well, it is one of the most popular card games for children which they can play to learn and play at the same time. This is game can also be enjoyed by adults by using some variations as this game is flexible. 

Jatin Choudhary

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