Matt Johnson

9 of the Best Card Games for Camping

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Feb 3, 2022Updated: Dec 11, 2023

There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend camping in the great outdoors. Whether you’re roughing it in a tent or enjoying the amenities of an RV, there’s something about being surrounded by nature that is truly relaxing and rejuvenating.

But even if you’re not the most outdoorsy person, don’t worry, there are plenty of fun things to do when you’re camping! One of our favorite activities? Playing card games at the picnic table or around the campfire. Plus, there’s always a chance of rain and cards are a great way to wait out the storm. This is why we always keep a couple decks of cards in our camper.

Here are some of the best card games for camping. Anyone of any age can play some, but we still broke it down by kids, adults, and non-standard games (games that don’t require a standard 52 card deck). We’ve even included how-to videos on how to play each one so you can jump in and start playing.

Name of the GameType of GameTotal PlayersKids or AdultsLevel of Complexity
Old MaidMatching2 – 6KidsLow
Go FishMatching2 – 6KidsLow
Slap JackReaction3 – 6KidsLow
Crazy EightsShedding-type2 – 7KidsMedium
Gin RummyMatching2AdultsHigh
CribbageAdditive2 – 4AdultsHigh
HeartsTrick-taking3 – 7AdultsHigh
Exploding KittensStrategic2 – 5Kids & AdultsMedium
Cards Against HumanityFill in the blank3 – 20+AdultsMedium

Fun Kids Games

Here’s a few games we think would be ideal for the little ones on a camping trip. They’re simple, quick, and lots of fun once you get the hang of them. They’re not complex at all so anyone of all ages should be able to pick these games up quickly.

Old Maid

Players: 2-6

The Old Maid card game is best for kids. It is a simple game to learn, and two to ten people can play it. The object of the game is to remove all of the cards from your hand by matching them with others that are either the same rank or suit. The player left with the Old Maid card at the end of the game loses.

This game can be fun for both kids and adults. It is also an excellent way to teach young children basic card-playing skills. It can help improve hand-eye coordination, and it is also a great way to practice counting skills.

How to Play Old Maid

Go Fish

Players: 2-6

The Go Fish card game is another one that is perfect for kids. 2 or more people can play it, and the goal is to collect as many sets of four cards as possible. The player who collects the most sets at the end of the game wins.

This game is a great way to teach kids about matching and counting, and it can help improve their hand-eye coordination skills. It is also a lot of fun, and kids will love trying to collect as many sets of cards as possible.

How to Play Go Fish

Slap Jack

Players: 3-6

If you’re looking for a fast-paced card game that is perfect for camping, Slap Jack is the game for you! This game can be played with two or more players, and it is best for ages seven and up. The game’s goal is to slap the Jack card as soon as it is revealed. The player who slaps it first wins the hand, and the player who collects the most cards at the end wins the game.

Slap Jack is a lot of fun, and it is perfect for gamers looking for a quick and exciting card game. You can play it in just a few minutes, and it is sure to keep everyone entertained.

How to Play SlapJack

Crazy Eights

Players: 2-7

The Crazy Eights card game is a classic that people of all ages enjoy. The game’s goal is to discard all of the cards from your hand, and the player who does so first wins the game.

This game is a lot of fun, and it can be played with as few as two players or as many as eight. It is an excellent game for families, and it is perfect for gamers who are looking for a fast-paced card game that everyone can enjoy.

How to Play Crazy Eights

Adult Card Games

We’ve selected some of the best card games for adults while camping. Of course, you can probably include the kids on some of these, but most of these require a level of strategy that most kids won’t find enjoyable.

Gin Rummy

Players: 2

Gin rummy is a popular card game that adults of all ages can enjoy. The goal of the game is to collect as many cards into sets and runs as possible. The player who gets rid of all of their cards first wins the game.

This game is a lot of fun, and it can be played with two or more players. It is an excellent game for gamers looking for a challenging card game that will test their skills. Grab a deck, a cold drink, and play for hours at the picnic table!

How to Play Gin Rummy


Players: 2-4

Cribbage is a card game that is perfect for camping trips. Whether you’ve played it or not, you’re probably familiar with the iconic scoring board accompanying the card game. People of nearly any age can play it, and it is a lot of fun! In cribbage, each player is dealt six cards. The player with the highest card in their hand begins the game and plays pass clockwise.

The game aims to score points by playing cards equal to the number of points shown on the card previously played (for example, if an eight is played, the next player would play a two, four, six, or eight). The first player to reach 121 points (or more) wins the game.

How to Play Cribbage


Players: 3-7

Hearts is one of the best card games for camping because it is so easy to learn and can be played by just about anyone. However, we put this with the adult card games because it does require a bit of strategy. It is a trick-taking game in which players try to avoid taking hearts or the queen of spades, and the player who takes the most tricks wins the game.

If you are new to Hearts, you need to know a few basic rules. The player who leads (plays the first card) chooses a suit in each hand. All other players then must play a card of that same suit, and the player who played the highest card in that suit wins the trick. The player who won the trick then starts the next hand by leading any suit they choose.

How to Play Hearts

Non-Standard Games

Sometimes you just want to get away from the standard 52 card deck. For that, we have some options for you.

These card games require a specialized set of cards with specific rules to play the game. You’ll spend hours playing these as they’re extremely fun and addicting.

Exploding Kittens

Players: 2-5

Exploding Kittens is a card game perfect for gamers looking for a fun and challenging game. The objective is to avoid being blown up by an exploding kitten, and the player who survives longest wins the game. Think of it like Uno with a twist.

This game is a lot of fun, and it can be played with two to five players. It is best for ages seven and up, and it is sure to keep everyone entertained.

How to Play Exploding Kittens

Cards Against Humanity

Players: 3-20+

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. In the game, players take turns reading a black card with a question or statement. A player then responds by reading a white card with an answer or message. The best answer or statement wins the round. Simple and fun.

Some of the questions and statements in Cards Against Humanity are NSFW, so the game is not for everyone. However, if you enjoy dark humor and pushing boundaries, this game will make for a memorable camping trip!

Keep in mind that the deck only has so many cards, so you’ll start to run through them again and again after a while; however, they do offer expansion packs to make the game more enjoyable.

How to Play Cards Against Humanity

What do you think are the best card games for camping?

So, if you’re looking for some entertaining card games for your next camping trip, check these games out! Sure, there are more games out there, such as 2 handed pinochle with dummy hand or the skip bo card game, and even some dice games (Farkle is by far my favorite dice game), but these will get you started. Most of these games can be enjoyed by people of nearly any age, and they are perfect for passing the time on those long summer days or even rainy days. So grab a deck of cards and play a card game!


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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