Printable playing cards; playing card templates to print for games like Rummy, Go Fish, Concentration, Memory, and more. These cards were originally designed to play:
3 Card Rummy | an ESL game, conversational game, or communicative card game for language classes.
Card downloads: diamonds, hearts, clovers, spades, jokers/wild cards
About the cards:
- Each set has 5 colors: red, blue, green, purple and black cards. Each color has 5 version with numbers 1-4 and one card with no numbers. The wild card set has several color patterns for printing options. However, I think the first page of 4 black wild cards will be enough. I included the others just in case someone wanted them.
- The first 4 pages contain all of the cards you need for a set but the 5th and 6th pages will offer you additional options for playing games or for breaking up one deck to use with 2 groups..
How to play 3 Card Rummy: (played just like Rummy)
- the easy version uses only cards 1-3 from each color-shape combination. To make it a little easier just use 4 colors (red, blue, purple and green)
- shuffle the cards and deal 10 cards to each player to start. The game is best when you have 4 players, but it can be played one on one.
- one card is turned over and placed beside the draw pile. This will be the discard row
draw pile :|: red-heart 3
- the first player can take a card, either from the draw pile or the top card in the discard pile, the red-heart 3 in the above example.
- the player looks at their cards and decides which card they'd like to discard. They must discard one card.
- the player places the card they don't want to the side of the last card in the discard row. Let's say they don't want the blue-diamond 2 card.
draw pile :|: red-heart 3 | blue-diamond 2
- the discard row will get longer and longer.
- the next player can either take the last card in the discard row (the blue-diamond 2 card) or draw a card from the draw pile.
- play continues as above and the game ends when one player has played all of their cards.
the goal of the game: and how to score and count the points
- Players try to get 3 cards, matching color and shape sets, all of the green-heart cards, or they can match the numbers and shapes, green-heart 1, blue- heart 1, red-heart 1. If they get 3 cards in these combinations, they can place the cards down face-up in front of them as points. (See the graphic.)
- Players can play more than 3 cards if you have them in the deck. For example if you use up to card 4, players could wait until they collect 4 cards or play the 4th card later.
- Players can play off other players points once they have made at least on of their own 3 card sets and placed it down in front of themselves.
Players count all of the cards they have laid down as points. The card total is their total number of points. Any player still holding cards will subtract points for any cards they are holding.
If a player wants a lower card in the discard row, they can take it only if they are able to make a set with the card. They must also take all of the cards after that card. So, if the discard pile looked like this:
draw pile :|: red-heart 3 | blue-diamond 2 | blue-spade 2 | green-heart 3
and it was my turn, I could take a card from the draw pile or the green-heart 3 card. However, if I had the blue-diamond 1 and 3 cards, I could make a set of three with the blue-diamond 2 in the discard row.
So, I could take all the cards from blue-diamond 2, (blue-diamond 2 | blue-spade 2 | green-heart 3), and I would place the blue-diamond card set in front of me.
Then I would discard any one card to the discard row. Let's say I don't need the green-heart 3 card.
draw pile :|: red-heart 3 | green-heart 3
There are other possibilities for combining cards in one game, a straight by single color, a straight by shape and different color, shape/color combos, number/color combos and number/shape combos, but for simplicity, I haven't gone into those. I suggest playing with very simple rules first and then add more combo possibilities once the students are familiar with the game. (The more combo possibilities you allow the faster and smoother the game will end.)
How to practice language items while you play:
- Attach a target language point to a color, red
: present perfect statement, blue
: present perfect yes/no question, green
: present perfect negative, purple
: present perfect wh-question, for example
- When a player plays a card on the discard pile, they will practice the language item associated with that color. So if they discard a red
-diamond 3, they will say something like "I have played golf for 2 years."
- You could associate the target language to the numbers instead of the colors.
- You could have the players practice when they place their points down as well, but I've found the flow of the game is really delayed. If you have them practice when they discard, everyone will be practicing quite a bit and in a regular fashion that's easy to keep up.
Additionally the next player can take his turn while the last player is still forming the target language point.
Icebreakers or other non-language class use:
- Instead of attaching a language task to the card colors, assign any conversational task to the color. For example red: tell us something about yourself, blue: ask a question to one person, green: ask a question to the group, purple: tell us about a family member or friend.
How to play other games with the cards:
- Make these cards into UNO type cards: reverse cards
, skip cards
, and draw 2 cards
To use these for language practice, attach a target structure to a color and have students make the target structure each time they play that color. You'll need to ignore the shapes and just use colors and numbers.
- Basic games will involve matching the colors or numbers. You'll need duplicates of each card if you plan on matching the numbers. If you just want to match the colors and shapes (red spade for instance), then just use card 1 and card 2 from each set, giving you 20 pairs if you are using 5 colors.
- You can also play Go Fish with players collecting all the same color and shape combinations, all the red-diamonds for example.
Play the same game with MES small game cards or other vocabulary flashcards:
- The same 3 Card Rummy game can be played using 3 sets of small flashcards instead of the cards available for download here. For a discussion on that version check here
Check out the MES-English Games forums
for more card games, to ask a question about 3 Card Rummy, or leave an explanation of a card game that has worked for you!