War Rules and Gameplay
War is a simple, but fun card game that can be played with a standard 52 card deck. It's great while traveling. The game doesn't involve a lot of strategy and the rules are fairly easy to learn.
Starting the Game of War
To set up the game, just deal all the cards evenly among 2 players face down.
Rules of War
During each turn, or battle, both players turn over the top card in their pile. The player with the higher card wins and gets to add both cards to the bottom of their stack. Cards are ranked with 2 being the lowest and the Ace being the highest:
When each player turns over the same card, this is a tie and a "War" begins. The next three cards from each player's pile are moved to the center pile and then the next card is turned over. The higher ranked card wins and the player gets all the cards. In the case of another tie, another war starts. This continues until someone wins and gains all the cards.
A player wins when he/she has all the cards.
If a player does not have enough cards for a war, including the three face down cards, then that player may turn over their last card as the war card. If they win, they gain the cards in the middle and stay in the game.
Variations of the Game of War
- Peace - Peace is where the lowest card wins. When you play a Peace (instead of a War), five face down cards are played for each letter in Peace.
- Three Player - You can play War with three players where you get a War when the highest two cards tie. Only those two players are part of the War.
- Automatic War - This is where you pick a card that automatically starts a war when it's played. Often a 2 is used for the automatic war.
- # Beats Faces - This is a game where you pick a number card, like a 3 or 4, that can beat any face card (Jack, Queen, King). The card can't beat higher number cards, just the face cards. You can do the same thing with Aces where a particular number card beats just the Ace and lower numbered cards.
- Underdog - This is a rule where once a player loses a War, they can check the three face down cards from the war. If any of them are a 6 (or some other number you determine ahead of time), then that player wins the war.
- Slap War - when a particular card is played, like the 5 or 6, the first player to slap it wins the battle or war.
Back to Games