There are many variations of Go Fish. But before you can dwell on them, you may want to understand the basic rules of the game first.

Basic rules of Go Fish

Go Fish is a type of card game that starts with 5 cards per player. The rest of the card in the pack are scattered in the middle of the group. The main objective of the game is to complete the 4 kinds of any card rank. Every time you complete a set, you can place it aside and consider it as one point earned.

To complete the set, you have to ask each player for a specific rank of the card. If they have it, they will be forced to give you all of the suits of the same card rank. So if they have two kinds of what you asked for, they will give you all the cards. If not, you will be asked to “go fish” for a card among those scattered in the middle. Your turn will end if you asked for a card or fished for one that you did not ask for. The player to your left will them take their turn.

The game ends when there are no more cards in the hand of each player. The player with the most points will win the round.

Variations of Go Fish

Now that you know the basics, we can now discuss the variations of Go Fish. These variations are usually meant to make the game more difficult and in effect, more exciting.

  • The player will give only one card. Usually, the player is asked to give all the suits of the card rank that were asked of them. In this case, they will only give one. This means the other players will not know if there is more than one card being kept.
  • The player can only set aside two pairs. Not really sure if this can make the game easier or harder. But it will make the gameplay faster since it is easier to complete a pair.
  • The player that failed to get a successful draw will forfeit the next turn. This sucks actually but it will make the game harder.
  • The player can only ask a specific card rank and suit (e.g. Ace of hearts). Not only that, they have to expose the card that makes them qualified to ask for a specific card rank. This makes it more challenging to get the right card and it exposes the cards that they are currently holding.
  • The player with the remaining card loses the game. This is regardless of how many points you have.
  • The player who runs out of cards first is declared the winner – regardless of the number of points earned.
  • Instead of a clockwise turn, the player that says “go fish” will take the next turn.

You can also come up with a bonus round that will allow you to play an extended version of the game. For instance, all the sets that are completed will be kept hidden – meaning the players will have no idea what you completed. After the card runs out, everyone will play for the completed sets of other players. You will guess what the hidden sets are and if you guess one card rank correctly, the whole set will be given to you.

You can actually be free to make your own variations of Go Fish to make it as personalised and unique as possible.