How To

How To Play Go Fish


How To Play Go Fish

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How To Play Go Fish

How To Play Go Fish

Go Fish: A Comprehensive Guide to the Classic Card Game


Go Fish is a beloved card game that has captivated generations of players with its simplicity, excitement, and social interaction. Suitable for individuals of all ages, Go Fish is an ideal game for family gatherings, parties, or simply whiling away a lazy afternoon. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the rules, strategies, and variations of Go Fish, ensuring that you have all the knowledge necessary to master this timeless classic.

Game Setup

  • Number of Players: 2-5
  • Deck: Standard 52-card deck
  • Objective: To collect the most sets of four cards of the same rank (e.g., four aces, four queens).


  1. Deal: Shuffle the deck and deal 5 cards to each player face down. Place the remaining cards in a pile to form the "fishing pond."

  2. Asking for Cards: The youngest player goes first. On their turn, the player asks any other player for a specific rank of card they need to complete a set. For example, if they have two aces in their hand, they would ask, "John, do you have any aces?"

  3. Receiving Cards: If the player asked has any cards of the requested rank, they must give all of them to the asking player. The asking player then places the set of four cards face up on the table.

  4. Fishing: If the player asked does not have the requested card, they say, "Go fish." The asking player then draws a card from the fishing pond.

  5. Completing Sets: If the player draws a card that completes a set, they immediately reveal it and place it face up on the table. They can then continue asking for cards from other players.

  6. Drawing from the Pond: If the player does not draw the card they need from the pond, their turn ends.

  7. Next Player’s Turn: The next player to the left takes their turn.

Winning the Game

The game continues until all the sets have been collected. The player with the most sets wins the game.


  • Keep track of cards: Pay attention to which cards have been played and which ones are still in the pond. This will help you make informed decisions when asking for cards.
  • Ask for likely cards: If you have two or three cards of a certain rank, ask for the fourth card from players who have played similar cards in the past.
  • Bluff occasionally: If you desperately need a card to complete a set, consider bluffing by asking for it from a player who you think is unlikely to have it.
  • Don’t ask for the same card too often: If you ask for the same card repeatedly, other players may catch on and hide it from you.
  • Don’t give away sets: If you have a set of four cards, keep it secret until you can play it on the table.


Double Trouble:

  • Same as the standard game, but players ask for two cards of the same rank instead of one.

Multiple Sets:

  • Instead of trying to collect only one set of four cards, players collect multiple sets. The winner is the player with the most complete sets.


  • Play in pairs with two players sitting across from each other as partners. Partners can ask each other for cards to help them complete sets.


  • Can I ask for a card that I already have? No, you cannot ask for a card that you already have in your hand.
  • Can I ask for a card from myself? No, you can only ask for cards from other players.
  • What happens if I draw a card that completes a set? Immediately reveal the set and place it face up on the table.
  • What happens if I draw a card that I don’t need? Your turn ends and the next player takes their turn.
  • Can I ask for a card that I know is not in the pond? Yes, you can bluff, but it is not advisable to do so too often.
  • Can I ask for multiple cards at once? No, you can only ask for one card at a time.
  • What happens if there are no more cards in the pond? The game ends and the player with the most sets wins.
  • Can I play Go Fish with a different number of players? Yes, you can adjust the number of cards dealt to each player based on the number of participants.


Go Fish is a versatile and engaging card game that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages. Its simple rules, exciting gameplay, and abundance of variations make it a perennial favorite. With practice and strategy, you can master the art of Go Fish and emerge victorious at your next game night.