We have a closet FULL of games at our house. Growing up, I played games all the time with family and friends, so I’ve been collecting them for years. Today, I still enjoy a challenging round of Chinese Checkers or a mean game of Gin Rummy. A few months ago, I started looking for some new games to add to the mix for our date nights at home and found some interesting new games!
There are so many fun games out there for couples to play, so I thought it would be great to organize a list of games for two players. There are a lot, so I’m breaking this into a small series of posts. Starting with the classics! So order some take-out, pour some wine, and make it a date night in! The series of two player games for couples starts with puzzles, card games, and classic games.
Two Player Games for Couples
Jenga – The classic tower building & balancing game. With 54 blocks stacked in rows of 3 across with an alternate pattern on each level, one at a time, you pull a block from the stack and place it on top. If the stack comes crashing down on your turn, you lose! We’re actually making a jumbo set of this game right now!
Puzzles – A low stress activity where you can visit about your day and unwind together. Use a foam core board to create your puzzle so you can move it easily if needed.
Canasta – This version of Rummy was a very popular card game in the U.S. in the 1950s. Play requires 2 decks of standard cards, including 4 jokers. Earn points to create melds and the one with the most points wins.
Crazy Eights – In this card game, eights are wild. Using a standard deck of cards, you each take turns, discarding to match the suit or number of the card on top of the discard pile. Eights are wild and the player discarding an 8 can can change the suit. The one to discard all of their cards first, wins.
Cribbage – We’ve never actually played this one but reading about it makes me want to give it a try! Another game played with a standard deck of cards, and everyone has one of those, right?
Dutch Blitz – If fast paced games are more your speed, Dutch Blitz may be for you. Playing with the special game cards, players build stacks in sequence in order to exhaust their pile. The one who “blitzes” their opponent, wins.
Gin Rummy – One of our favorite card games! Using a standard deck of cards, each player is dealt 10 cards, then takes turns drawing then discarding a single card in order to create sets or runs. The one who gets their sets or runs first, wins that round and scores points. We play each game to 500 points.
Hand & Foot – This game is popular at our family gatherings (since you can also play this with multiple people.) This game is also played with standard cards but 2 players will need three decks with the jokers to play. This game is sorta like Canasta, with a few additional rules.
Phase 10 – Another variant of rummy, this game is played in phases. The first player to create the specific sets of melds and complete all 10 phases, wins.
Pinochle – Playing with a set of Pinochle cards, each player tries to win tricks by forming combinations of melds. Each round includes bids, melds and tricks. We’ve never played it and it looks a little complicated to learn but I’ve heard others like to play it, so it’s included in my list!
Quiddler – This one is new on my radar and since it looks like a card version of scrabble, I’m going to check it out! A mix of scrabble and gin rummy, this card game challenges players to build words from hands of increasing size and cards of various points. After 8 rounds, the player with the most points wins!
Skip Bo – A classic family card game I played growing up. Another discard game where you race to discard all of your cards in sequence first. The twist is you can strategize to block your opponent from playing since some of their cards are face up.
Uno – I’m sure everyone has played this popular card game! It’s another color coded discard game but has action cards tossed in to mix up it up. Discard your cards first and you win, just remember to call “uno” when you only have one card remaining or you’ll be penalized!
500 Rummy – There are lots of rummy card games, and this one is another variation played with a standard deck of cards.
Backgammon – I was reintroduced to this game recently and once Kevin and I started playing it, I was a little obsessed. We played it a lot. The goal is to move all of your pieces across the board into home. But be careful, a single piece can be knocked back to start! A quick game without too much strategy.
Checkers – We’ve all played checkers. It’s like Games 101. It’s a quick, fun game without too much strategy. Take turns moving your checkers diagonally to jump over your opponent’s pieces, removing them from the board. The first player to jump all of your opponent’s checkers wins.
Chess – A strategy game that Kevin and I will play occasionally. But not too often as he takes it way more serious than I do. We’ve stumbled upon this game in Zuccatti Park in New York City and Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, where we played a couple of quick rounds. Move the various pieces across the board to capture your opponents’s King. Lot’s of strategy in chess but could be a long game!
Chinese Checkers – Playing on a hexagram shaped game board, you move your pieces across the board via single step moves or jumping. The first player to get all their pieces to the opposite side, wins!
Monopoly – Everyone’s played Monopoly, right? Move your game piece around the game board to buy an sell properties. A classic game requiring some negotiation skill and strategy. Monopoly is also available in a huge variety of editions, so pick one that fits your personalities!
Othello – I loved this game as a child and introduced it to Kevin a few years ago. Each turn, you place your colored piece on the board with the intent to flip any of your opponents pieces, as identified by their opposite color on the flip side. The goal is to flip as many opposite colors as possible as the one who has the most of their colored pieces on the board at the end, wins! A game of some strategy and doesn’t take too long to play.
Rummikub – A tile game that is a mix of rummy and mahjong. Create melds in either runs or sets. The player who plays all of their tiles first, wins that round. It’s been years since I’ve played this so it may be time to challenge Kevin!
Scrabble – I usually lose at this crossword game but I still find it a fun challenge. I just never seem to be able to take advantage of the premium squares! Collect tiles and create words on the board to earn points, earning extra points for building combination words or using premium squares identified on the board. The one with the most points, wins.
Sequence – A mix of poker, canasta, and rummy! A little bit of strategy and a lot of luck is all you need in this easy to learn game.
Sorry! – Move your pieces to race around the board while sliding and bumping your partner’s piece back to the start! A quick game with little strategy involved.
Upwords – Similar to Scrabble, this crossword game allows you to build up on the words already placed on the board. We have this game, now listed as “vintage” on amazon.com, so I’m not sure they make this anymore. If you like Scrabble, you’ll like this one too, if you can find it!
Yahtzee – A quick and fun dice game. Roll the five dice and earn points from certain combinations. Roll a yahtzee (all 5 dice of the same number) and score lots of points! The one with most points claims victory!
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