Hockey Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

The hockey card game is an excellent four-player card game. It’s simple and unpredictable, making it one of the best choices for game nights and family gatherings.

As a game for two teams of two players, Hockey is somewhat similar to games like Clabber (see Clabber card game rules) – although much simpler. 

The game’s accessibility to younger kids and focus on card matching can also remind you of UNO (see classic UNO rules).

Key highlights of this Hockey card game rules guide:

  • What is the Hockey card game?
  • Hockey card game rules
  • Hockey scoring
  • Hockey rules in pictures
  • How to play Hockey the card game (Video tutorial)

Read the following guide and learn how to play Hockey.

What is the Hockey card game?

Hockey Card Game Info Image

Hockey is a simple card game played in two pairs. Players must match cards in the middle with cards in their hands to score points. The team scoring the most points wins.

Number of Players:

Ages: 8+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 10 – 15 minutes 

Type of Game: Matching-type card game

Similar to: Snap, ClabberDouble Solitaire

Main Objective: Match a card to score a point. Have the most points at the end of the game. 

Our Take: If you have four players and need a quick card game, Hockey is ideal as explaining the rules won’t take long. 

What You’ll Need to Play the Hockey Card Game

All you need to play Hockey is the following:

  • Decks: 1
  • Number of Cards: 52
  • Cards Omitted: Jokers

Hockey Card Game Rules

Before you begin, make sure that you remove the Jokers from the deck and set them aside. Next, set up your cards and, most importantly, match the players to two competing teams.

Set up the Game

First, start by having all players randomly pick a card from the deck.

Whoever draws the card with the highest number becomes the dealer, who shuffles the deck and deals out 13 cards per person (the entire deck).

Then divide the players into two teams. If you want to do this as fair as possible, let everyone pick a card from their deck. 

The highest and lowest pair up, and the two in the middle form the opposing team. The players need to sit opposite their teammates so that both teams alternate turns. 

Now you have completed the set-up. The gameplay can begin. 

How to Play Hockey

Starting with the player to the dealer’s left, players must play cards one at a time and place them in the middle so everyone can see them. 

Players wait for a card they can match by value. Anytime a player can match the previous card; they get rewarded by being allowed to pick up the pile of cards.

Example: Player one plays 7 of hearts; player two plays 10 of clubs; player three plays 2 of spades; player four plays 2 of hearts. Player four wins the pile and one point for their team.

There’s one exception, though: Jacks are known as block cards, which players cannot match. They can block the other team from picking up the pile of cards. 

This continues until all players run out of cards.

Hockey Card Game Scoring

Hockey has perfectly simple scoring rules:

  • Each time a team member picks up the pile of cards = 1 point for the team

Naturally, the team with the most points wins.

Card Game Rules in Pictures

Step 1

The players draw one card from the deck each. Whoever has the highest value card becomes the dealer and deals 13 cards to each player.

Hockey Card Game Rules 1 image

Step 2

To form two teams, players draw one of their cards each: Those with the highest and the lowest cards create Team 1, whereas the remaining two are Team 2. 

Hockey Card Game Rules 2 image

Step 3

Players play cards from their hands, hoping to match the top card in the pile with a same-value card from their hand. They can take the pile and score one point as a reward.

Hockey Card Game Rules 3 image

Step 4

Jacks are known as block cards because they cannot be matched. You can use them to prevent the opposing team from claiming the pile.

Hockey Card Game Rules 4 image

Step 5

Players keep the piles they won on the side. When they run out of cards, the teammates put their piles together. The team with the most piles (= points) wins the game.

Hockey Card Game Rules 5 image

Hockey Card Game – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some Hockey card rule variations that you can play with?

One of the most popular Hockey card rule variations is that playing two automatically means that the playing team scores a point and picks up the card pile. 

How many cards are dealt in Hockey?

In the Hockey card game, all 52 cards get dealt to the four players, meaning each player should get 13 cards.

Can you play the Hockey card game with more than 4 players?

The Hockey card game with more than four players won’t work since the game is specifically set up to be for four players in two teams. 

Other Similar Games to Hockey (Our Guides)

If you like playing the Hockey card game, be sure to take a look at some of these other similar game guides we have: 

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Read all the articles (121) written by Lucia Fajnerova