Looking for easy card games? Try out this super simple game called Chase the Ace. Printable instructions included below.
Welcome back to another week of games. This time we’re going with a really really simple game – Chase the Ace. There are a few different names for this game – you might have heard of Screw Your Neighbor? It’s not very family friendly so I wanted to use the more kid appropriate name. Make sure to try out – Knock, Ripple , Bluff , Play or Pay and Nerts. Also check out Mexican Train and Tenzi.
Want more ideas for what to do indoors with preschoolers? Kids? Teens?
To start, you will need:
- At least 3 players (though can be played with 2- it’s just a really short game!)
- 1 regular decks of cards
- Something to use as tokens – coins, pieces of candy, etc.
Or you can just use “strikes” if you’d rather not play for something.
Each player is given 3 tokens/pieces of candy/coins (whatever you choose to play with). These represent the player’s lives. Each player draws one card, the player with the highest card is the first dealer. The ace is always low in this game. Take any jokers out of the deck.
HOW TO PLAY CHASE THE ACE
The object of the game is to avoid having the lowest ranking card at the end of each round; otherwise, you will lose the round. After 3 losses, you’re out.
RANK OF CARDS
Highest to lowest – King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace
Variation: play that Queens are zero (aka – the worst card to have)
HOW TO PLAY
- The player left of the dealer is the first to play. During a player’s turn, s/he can either keep their current card or exchange with the player to their left.
- If the player decides to exchange, the player on the left is required to exchange *unless* s/he is holding a king.
- If they are holding a king, they will show it to the player and they don’t have to exchange the card.
- If the dealer wants to exchange his/her card, s/he will draw the top card from the discard pile.
- After everyone has gone around, everyone flips cards to face up.
- The player with the lowest ranking card loses a token/candy/coin.
- The token/candy/coin goes into the middle of the group.
- The game goes as many rounds as it takes to have one person with remaining tokens/candies/coins.
HOW TO WIN
The last player with tokens/candy/coins, wins the game and gets the pot from the middle.
HOW TO LOSE
Once a player is out of tokens/pieces of candy/coins, then s/he is out of the game.
- A dealer can’t exchange for a king from the deck. If a king is the top card, the dealer is stuck with his/her original card.
- If two players tie for the lowest ranking card in a round, they both lose a token/piece of candy/coin.
Other variations: (you can choose whatever way you’d like to play)
- These players are declared joint winners and split the pot equally between them.
- These players keep their last lives and another deal is played between them.
- The tying players cut cards and the one who draws the highest card takes the whole pot.
- The game is declared undecided, and the pot is carried forward to the next game, each player adding a new stake to it.
- The game is declared undecided. The pot is carried forward to the next game, but nothing is added to it.
I created a printable version of these rules so that you can download and refer to:
Download this set of game rules.
Best Card Games
Over the years we’ve received several fun family games. Here are some of our newer favorites:
- Cover Your Assets: a Christmas gift, this game is so much fun! It’s easy to play for people of all ages. We’re huge fans of all of Grandpa Beck’s games.
2. Skull King: chalk another one up to Grandpa Beck – this one is a little more confusing, takes some getting used to.
3. Phase 10: this game is a long one with lots of rounds. One of my favorite memories is playing it in Tahiti with my family.
4. SkipBo: one of the games I learned when I was growing up, this one brings back all kinds of memories.
5. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza : this is a recent one that I got during a flash sale. I kept seeing people talk about it and thought it was worth a try. It’s fun, simple and good for kids of all ages.