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Go Fish Card Game

The Go fish card game is a very popular game with kids. The game has many variants and is similar to the game of authors. The objective of the game is to get as many books as possible. A book consists of four cards of the same rank. The player who has the highest number of books in the end is the winner.

Dealing Cards

The game is played by 2 to 4 players. If two people play a game of Go fish, each player gets 7 cards, and if there are 3 players, each player gets 6 cards. If 4 players play the game, each one gets 5 cards. Once cards have been dealt, the remaining cards are placed randomly in a pile.

Asking and Fishing

The first player is selected randomly and that player asks one of the other players for a particular rank. Let’s take a look at an example to better understand Go fish card game rules.

Suppose you are the first player and you ask one of the other players for card 8. However, it should be noted that a player can ask another player only for the card of a rank for which he himself/she herself has a card, which means that you cannot ask for the card of a rank that you yourself do not have. If the other player has the card you asked for, he/she must give the card to you. However, if the other player does not have the card you asked for (here Card 8), then he/she will ask you to “Go fish,” which means that you should pick a card from the pile on the table.

If you happen to pick card 8 from the pile, you have to show it to the other players and you get one more turn. If you get any other rank card, your turn is over and the player next to you gets a turn.


If you possess 4 cards of the same rank, you need to show your cards to the other players and place those cards in a pile in front of you. Such a pile is called a book. The player who has the most books in the end wins.

Drawing New Cards

There might be times in a Go fish card game when you have no cards left in your hand because of giving your last card to someone or because you formed a book with your last 4 cards. In that case, when you are left with no cards, you can draw cards from the card pile on the table. However, when 3 or more players are playing, chances are that by the time one of them finishes their cards, all the cards in the pile have already been used up, with nothing left to draw. If that happens, the player who finishes his cards is dropped out of the game and has to wait for the remaining players to finish as well.


The best strategy is to pay attention to what ranks other players are asking for and when they are using the phrase Go fish. This will help you estimate what cards they hold and what cards they are looking for.