Go Fish is a game enjoyed by children of all ages; and has been for many years. It is a very simple game to set up and play. Two or more people can play, although it is more fun when at least four people play. There is really no limit to the number of players in this game. If you have more than a few players, just add another regular deck of fifty-two cards.
Someone can volunteer to start dealing, or you can choose a dealer by picking cards. The person with the lowest card value is the dealer. Aces are high for this option.
It is more usual to have seven cards dealt to each player. Place the remaining cards in the middle of the table and fan them out in a line resembling a stream. This is where players will look for cards when it is time to “Go Fish”.
The play begins to the left of the dealer. When it is your turn, lay down any two-card matches that you have. For example, a 2 and a 2, a 10 and a 10, etc. The cards are matched in pairs, not in groups of four.
Now, looking at your hand, you realize you have a few unmatched cards. Since the object is to make as many matches as you can before all cards in the “stream” are used up; you need to match up the cards in your hand.
Let’s say one of the unmatched cards is a 4. Ask someone if they have a 4. If they have it, they have to give it to you. Those are the rules of the game. Take their 4 and lay down your two 4’s and continue to try to match the cards in your hand.
Should the person you ask not have the card you want, they will say, “Go Fish”. That is when you reach into the “stream” of unused cards and pick a card. If it is not the card you asked for, your turn ends. If it is the card you asked for, keep going until you do not get a match.
The object of the game is to have more matches than anyone else when the “stream” is gone.
Even when it is not your turn, pay attention to the other players and what they ask for. Here is an example: If you hear someone ask for a 5 and they don’t get it, you know they have a 5 in their hand. If you need a 5, when it is your turn, you should ask that person for a 5.