The Best 2-Player Card Games to Play While Social Distancing

Emily VanSchmus

Over the last three months of social distancing, I’ve spent a lot of time in my apartment. Since there isn’t anywhere to go, my roommate and I have been playing games. And we’ve discovered that several of our favorite board games aren’t as fun with just two people. It’s too easy to figure whodunnit in Clue, and Monopoly lasts for hours when there are only two of us buying and selling properties. But recently we’ve found that there are a lot of fast-paced card games that are meant for smaller groups, so we’ve swapped our traditional board games for fun two-player card games. And, most of them are cheaper than boxed board games, so we’ve been able to stock up on quite a few. Whether you’re social distancing with a friend, partner, or just looking for a way to pass the time after the kids go to bed, these are some of my new favorite games. 


You've played the classic Uno game before, and Dos is similar, but with a few fun twists. You want to be the first person to get rid of your cards, but rather than one discard pile, there are two. And instead of yelling 'Uno!' when you're down to one card, you'll be shouting 'Dos!'when you have two cards left.

Buy It: Dos, ($5, Target)

Monopoly Deal

The classic Monopoly board game can take hours to finish. But the card game version can be played with just two people in as little as 15 minutes! Collect properties on color-coordinated cards and steal money from the other player whenever you get the chance.

Buy It: Monopoly Deal, ($5, Barnes & Noble)

Avocado Smash

This quick 10-minute game is easy to learn and can be played by people ages 6 and up, so it's a good one for the kids to play together if they're missing their typical summer camps and activities. Quick reflexes are a must in this fast-paced race to the finish.

Buy It: Avocado Smash, ($10, Target)

Uno Flip

Another take on the classic game, Uno Flip is just like Uno—except all the cards are double-sided. It has new action cards like Draw 5, Skip All, and a special Flip card that flips the deck upside down that can take the game in a totally different direction.

Buy It: Uno Flip, ($5, Target)

Exploding Kittens

The object of this game is simple: Avoid getting blown up by an exploding kitten. This fast-paced game takes just two minutes to learn and 15 minutes to play, so you don't have to worry about learning complex strategies or complicated rules.

Buy It: Exploding Kittens, ($20, Barnes & Noble)

Sushi Go

Even if you don't enjoy actually eating sushi, you'll love trying to build the perfect roll to become the winner. Compete with one other person or play with up to five players.

Buy It: Sushi Go, ($9, Target)

Phase 10

Phase 10 is an oldie but a goodie. Race your partner to see who can successfully complete all 10 rounds of this rummy-style card game. This game can last between 30 and 60 minutes, so it's a good one to play if you're looking to kill time.

Buy It: Phase 10, ($5, Target)

The Rivals for Catan

Fans of the board game Settlers of Catan ($45, Target) will love this new, less expensive, spin-off. You'll still be competing to collect more resources than your opponent, but with just cards and dice. Of course, you should still plan on trading and bartering your way through the game.

Buy It: The Rivals for Catan, ($25, Scheels)