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Love playing War! This is the best game hands down! I love card games and I love this site! Most responsive feedback team ever

War Card Game Rules


War is a classic game where players draw cards from their decks and see who has the highest card. Traditionally, War is played with 2 players and, due to its simplicity, is usually a game parents and grandparents play with kids to introduce them to card games. At CardzMania, we have used that teaching angle and taken it one step further by adding more features to the traditional game so you can introduce kids to trick playing, team games and other card game basics. You can play War with 2 to 12 players.


Ranking of Cards

Aces are high and 2s are low.

Play Multiplayer War Online

The Deck and the Deal

War is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The dealer begins by passing out all 52 cards, one by one, face down, to each player. In the case of 2 players, 26 cards are dealt face down to each person. If more than 2 people are playing, all cards are distributed equally to all players and any left over cards form an out-of-play facedown stock.

How to Play

Players simultaneously draw the top card of their decks and flip it over to the middle of the gameplay area without looking at it. The player with the highest card wins a point. At CardzMania, this happens turn by turn and the winner of the previous pile leads the first card on the next pile.

If the same valued card is drawn, the player who drew the first card wins. Traditionally, this is handled differently when a 'War' happens and the same valued cards are left on the table while players draw another set of cards to determine who wins the entire pile. This continues to happen until a winner is declared. In some variations, players draw additional one, two, three or four cards and put them face down on the pile before putting a face up card for the next turn. Those additionally drawn cards are also won as part of the war and provide that extra importance to winning the war.

Traditionally, the game continues with the accumulated cards by each player until one player runs out of cards; at CardzMania, we don't reuse or reshuffle the existing cards, nor do we distribute the deck for the next round of play.


Whenever a player wins a draw, they receive a point. For teams, the score is accumulated across all players of the team.


The game ends when a player reaches a predetermined amount of points. The player with the highest points wins the game.


We support several customizable rules and options so you can play War exactly how you like or how you grew up playing with your friends and family. In addition to the classic way of playing, we often have new creative options for you to try to spice up the game if you are interested in trying different spins for fun.


Players determine a set amount of points when the game ends.


Players determine a set amount of rounds (also known as hands or deals) that the game will go to (instead of the points selection above).


Players only have a set amount of time to make their turn after which a turn is automatically played for them and the game proceeds: Fast is 7 seconds, Standard is 15 seconds, Slow is 30 seconds, and Very Slow is 60 seconds. Players can also choose to disable the timer, but that is only for private tables.


Players play without looking at their cards. This is how the game is played traditionally. At CardzMania, we allow you to disable this setting, allowing players to look at their cards and choose what they want to play on their turn. This way, players can make an educated decision to best utilize their hand and play with some strategy.

First Card Wins

If players draw the same valued card, the card that was played first wins the cards. When disabled, the card that was played second wins the cards.


Players can determine how tricks are won. Traditionally, the highest card drawn wins the trick. At CardzMania, we also allow you to use suit ranking as the criteria for selecting a winner. You can use this feature to introduce basic trick play to newer card players.


Players can determine whether they would like to play with a trump suit (only applicable with suits play). When enabled, a trump suit will be determined automatically for each round. Players can decide to cycle through the following suit order: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades. Players can also choose to add a No Trumps option to the cycle; If selected, the order would be: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades and No Trumps. Like the Blind variation, this feature also adds some strategy to the game.

Double Deck

If you have less than 7 players, then you can choose to play with two decks, or 104 cards. If you have more than 6 players, you will automatically play with two decks.

Standard Trick Rules

In a trick, each player plays a single card. One player is selected to start, then play proceeds clockwise around the table. If possible, players must play a card which is the same suit as the first card played - this is called 'following suit'. If a player cannot follow suit, then they may play any card in their hand.

Based on the cards played, one player is declared the winner of the trick, usually for playing the highest value card of the trump suit, or of the suit of the card which started the trick.

Card Game Basics

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, with 4 distinctive subgroups. Each of these subgroups is recognised by a symbol and are referred to as suits. They consist of Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. Each suit contains 13 cards which, generally, are considered in this order, Ace (A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jacks (J), Queen (Q) and King (K). Some games include the two Jokers found in a standard deck but most games don't.

Solitaire Games

As the name implies, Solitaire games are typically games that one can play alone. Solitaire begins by building a grid of cards called a Tableau. The Tableau, or Cascade, is a set of 7 piles of overlapping cards. The first pile has 1 card, the second pile has 2 cards, and so on. Only the bottom card in each pile is facing upward. The remaining deck forms the discard and draw piles. The goal of solitaire games is to move cards from the tableau, discard, and draw piles into four suited piles (called the foundations) in ascending order (Ace to King).

Trick Taking Games

Trick Taking games center around having the highest ranked card in a draw. Typically, players of trick taking games sit in a circle, sometimes in teams and sometimes playing solo, and are dealt a hand of cards. Given the specific game's card ranking (and trump), players draw a card from their hand in hopes that it outranks the other cards played. The player who outranks the others wins the trick for that round and gameplay is repeated until the cards are exhausted. Typically the player or team with the most tricks wins the game.

Rummy Games

Rummy games are typically played in teams of two where players try to play their cards, or meld them, in groups of a kind or in sequences of a suit. Rummy games often contain the joker and wildcards (Ace and 2) to help make melding easier. Depending on the type of meld made, teams receive a certain number of points. After a player lays off all of their cards, the game ends and the team with the most points wins.

Betting Games

Betting games typically center around having the highest ranked hand in a group of players. Before the hands are dealt, betting games normally require an ante, or an initial bet that starts the pot, or the winner's prize. After receiving their cards, players make bets over who has the highest ranked hand. Players do not need to bet according to their real hand; they can bluff, or lie, in hopes that other players fold from the game rather than challenge their hand. Either the last player betting or the player with the highest hand between the last players betting, wins the pot of bets.

Climbing Games

Climbing games typically center around players getting rid of their cards as fast as they can. Each climbing game has its own rules for discarding cards and its own implications for getting rid of your cards first. Some games run on a points system where the player who gets rid of their cards first gets the most points. Other games run on a ranking system where the player who gets rid of their cards first is in a better position for the next round.

Classic Games

Classic games vary to a great degree in terms of rules and objectives. A thread that binds them all is their simplicity and age. Classic games are typically easy enough for young children to play them and have typically been around for many years.


Would like to discuss new features or variations for War? Need a custom rule? Have a question? Got a suggestion? Don't see a game you want to play? Please contact us by email, facebook or twitter - we really value your feedback and love hearing from all of you!

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