Sometimes you look at your game closet and you want to play something new! But you don’t want to a) spend more money or b) take time to learn a set of complicated instructions. If you already have a standard deck of cards (and I know you do), the choice is clear: Go Boom.
We were able to learn how to play Go Boom in no time flat. Go Boom is a card game that may remind you a little bit of Uno or Crazy Eights in that players aim to shed cards by matching suit or color. However, instead of continuous play, Go Boom relies on winning “tricks.”
A trick is a round of play in which each player contributes one card. As I mentioned in my recommendation of the card game, Marshmallow Test, a lot of trick-taking games like Bridge can be complicated, but Go Boom is super, super easy.
But is it too easy?
How to Play Go Boom
Go Boom is a card game for 2 or more players. I recommend it for ages 6 and up, or ages 4 and up for experienced card game players.
Be the first player to get rid of your hand.
What you need:
- 2 or more enthusiastic players
- 1 52-card deck
- Pen and paper for scoring (optional)
- Set up
Decide who will be the dealer. The player to the left of the dealer plays first.
- Shuffle and deal
Shuffle the deck. Deal each player seven cards. Stack the remaining cards in the “draw pile.”
The goal is to be the first player to get rid of the cards in your hand.
The first player lays down any card from their hand. In a clockwise direction, players lay down a card from their hand that matches either the suit or the value of the first card played.
If a player cannot lay down a card, they must draw a card from the draw pile. If they still cannot play, they continue drawing until they draw a playable card.
After everyone has played one card, the player who played the highest card of the initial suit wins “the trick,” collects the cards, sets them aside, and begins the next round by laying down a card.
Continue in this manner until one player has emptied their hand. The first player to do so is the winner.
If players are scoring (optional–see below step 6), they add up the scores and begin another deal. The player to the left of the Dealer becomes the new Dealer, and so on.
In a three player game, player A starts out by laying down a 6♠. Player B adds a 9♠. Player C has neither a 6 nor a ♠ and so draws from the draw pile. He draws 4 cards before getting a 6♦. B wins the trick with the 9♠, collects all three played cards and starts the next round.
Note that in the above example, C has now added to his hand. However, after playing a few rounds, you will see it is not necessarily an impediment to winning.
If a player draws the last card from the draw pile and still cannot play, they forfeit their turn for that trick.
- Optional scoring
At the end of each deal, the winner of the deal collects the remaining cards from each player (but not any tricks they may have collected). The winner then adds the value of each card (face cards equal 10) and adds it to their score.
The first player to reach 200 points is the winner.
Alternatively, each player scores the point value of cards remaining in their hand and when one player reaches 100, the player with the lowest score is the winner.
More card games we love: