Snap Children's Card Game Rules

Child and grandmother playing cards

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Snap is a matching game, often played with custom decks specifically designed for the game. These rules are for playing snap with a standard deck of cards.

How to Get Started Playing

  • Players: Requires two to 12 players
  • Deck: A standard 52-card deck
  • Goal: To win all of the cards
  • Setup: First, choose a dealer randomly and then the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them as evenly as possible to all of the players. It's fine for some players to have one card more than other players. Each player places their cards, face down, in a pile in front of them.
Illustration: The Spruce / Hilary Allison


The player to the left of the dealer goes first and the play then moves clockwise. On their turn, each player turns over the top card from their face-down pile. When someone turns over a card that matches a card already face-up on another player's pile, players race to be the first to call "Snap!" The player who calls "Snap!" first wins both piles and adds them to the bottom of their face-down pile.

When moving a card from the face-down pile to your face-up pile, each player should do it by turning the card away from them. This ensures that the player does not see the card before their opponents have a chance to do the same. Turn the card quickly so that you do not give yourself a disadvantage.

If two players call "Snap!" at the same time, the two piles are placed in the center of the table and combined into a face-up snap pot with one of the two matching cards on top. Play then continues where it left off.

When someone turns over a card that matches the card on top of the snap pot, players race to be the first to call "Snap Pot!" The player who calls "Snap Pot!" first wins the snap pot and the matching pile. If there's another tie, the matching pile is added to the snap pot.

Eliminating Ties

If you find that your games of snap tend to have a lot of ties, consider putting something in the middle of the table that players must put their hand on top of instead of calling "Snap!" (An index card with "Snap!" written on it would work just fine.) The first player to put their hand on top of the index card wins the cards.

Making a Mistake

When a player calls "Snap!" or "Snap Pot!" at the wrong time or puts their hand on top of the index card at the wrong time, the player must give their top card to the player who just played. If a player makes a mistake on their own turn, the player must give their top card to the player on their right.


Play continues until one player wins all of the cards and that player wins the game.

It is possible that some cards will remain in the snap pot when all the other cards have been claimed—for example, two of the 10s are claimed by a player, and later in the game, the other two 10s are involved in a tied call of "Snap!" If this happens, the winner is the player who wins all the cards not stuck in the snap pot.