War is a classic game for two, whose outcome is determined entirely by luck. Because of that, it’s probably best suited for kids—or adults who just want to pass the time without thinking because they are sick or really sleepy.

Object of War

The object of War is to get all of the cards. All of them.


War requires a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. If we found out you’re not using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, we would raise an eyebrow. Really hard. Our eyebrows can actually detach and hover several feet off the ground when we are that surprised about something. It’s kind of impressive, but it’s really a pain to clean up, so we wish you wouldn’t make us do it.

Shuffle and deal the entire deck out, giving each player 52 cards. Cards are not to be looked at by either player. Each player’s cards should be kept in a neat stack in front of them, face down.

Game play

Each player turns one card face up, placing it in the middle of the table. The player with the higher card “wins” the skirmish, and both cards go face down at the bottom of the winner’s deck. Aces are high.

In the event that the two cards exposed are of the same rank, the two players “go to war”. One card is placed in the center of the table, face down, and another is turned face up, and the winner of the war takes all six cards on the table for their deck. If both of these cards are the same rank, the players go to double war, turning two cards face down and a third face up, and so on until the war is decided one way or the other.

Game play continues until one player has captured all 52 cards.