• Angela Cumming

How to Play War

Can anyone ever really pinpoint when they learned how to play War? It feels like this game has been ingrained in me since I was a child - a super easy way to pass the time with my brother or a friend. War is a classic 2-player game (there really aren't enough of those out there, am I right?) and can easily be adapted for a fun, educational game too (See Variations below)!

Number of Players:



-one normal deck of cards, jokers excluded

Objective of the Game:

To be the first player to get rid of all your cards.


Split the cards evenly between each player so that each player has half the deck. Keep all your cards face down in your hand or in a pile in front of you.


At the same time, both players flip over their top card and lay it on the table. Whoever has the higher card (Aces are high), wins both of them. Winning cards are kept to the side for now.

If players flip up cards of the same value, then a war ensues. Each player puts three additional cards face down before both players flip up a final card. Whichever final card is higher, wins the war and collects all the cards (10 in total) as collateral. If the final cards are the same again then repeat the process.

When you run out of cards in your hand, shuffle your pile and keep going.


You are the winner if you collect the entire deck of cards first! Like I said, super easy.


-Instead of shuffling your cards when you run out, cards can be re-added to your hand at the bottom without being shuffled.

-When cards are flipped up, instead of the higher card winning, you could turn the game into an educational activity! First player to blurt out the sum or multiplication product of the cards wins, using face cards as 11, 12, and 13 for Jack, Queen, and King, respectively.

-You can switch it up and have Aces be low.

Who did you play War with as a kid? Let me know in the comments!

Need a deck of cards? Grab a two-pack here!

*Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link. I may collect a small percentage of sales from the product. This helps keep Cambio & Co. up and running!


© 2020 by Cambio & Co. Created by Angela Cumming. 

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