top of page

Official Go Fish Rules

Go Fish is a classic and easy card game that's a great choice for players of all ages. Here's how to play:


  • Number of Players: 2-4 players (works best with 2 or 3)

  • Objective: Collect the most "books" (sets of four cards with the same rank) by the end of the game.

  • Components: Standard deck of 52 cards (without jokers)


1. Shuffle the deck and deal a set number of cards face down to each player (usually 5 or 7 cards per player). These are your hands.

2. Place the remaining deck face down in the center of the table. This is the draw pile.


  1. The youngest player starts the game, and turns proceed clockwise.

  2. On your turn, you ask another player specifically for a certain rank of card. For example, you might say, "David, do you have any Sevens?"

  3. The player you ask (David in this case) must answer honestly:

    • If they have cards of the requested rank: They must give you all the cards of that rank in their hand.

    • If they don't have any cards of the requested rank: They must say "Go Fish!"

  4. After receiving cards:

    • If you get cards: You can immediately ask another player for a different rank in the same turn (your turn continues).

    • If you hear "Go Fish!": Draw one card from the draw pile and add it to your hand. Your turn then ends.

  5. Making Books: The moment you collect four cards of the same rank (e.g., four Kings), place them face up in front of you. This is called a "book."

Optional Rules:

  • Show Your Hand: Some variations allow players to ask to see another player's hand if they suspect they're holding onto a specific rank.

  • Double Go Fish: If you hear "Go Fish!" twice in a row on your turn, you can draw two cards instead of one as a penalty for the other player.

Winning the Game

  • Ending the Game: The game ends when either:There are no more cards left in the draw pile. One player runs out of cards in their hand.

  • Determining the Winner: All players count the number of books they've formed. The player with the most books wins the game!


  • Pay close attention to the cards being played throughout the game. This helps you remember which cards other players might have.

  • Prioritize asking for cards you need to complete sets.

  • If you have many unmatched cards, consider drawing a card by saying "Go Fish!" This can improve your chances of getting a needed card.

Go Fish is a fun and easy game that's a great choice for players of all ages. Enjoy playing!

Browse Related Games!

bottom of page