Kids’ Card Game – My Ship Sails

I’ve never had so much fun watching kids play cards. The pure joy and fun-ness of their
facial expressions had me totally captivated. I didn’t realise what was actually happening until about the fifth turn when their Dad started to protest. The girls totally loved that they were beating him at this card game. Dad tried every trick in the book, but failed to consider that the girls had learned ‘to cleverly cheat’ from the best — him. It became even more entertaining once I twigged the girls had turned the tables on their Dad. With stakes raised, it became a wrestle for the best player trophy.


  • 1 pack of 52 Cards
  • 2-6 players


  • 7 cards each
  • Sort your hand into suits
  • Decide which suit to keep (or have the most of)


  • Get any 7 cards of one suit (hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs) to win – That is when your say ‘My Ship Sails’

Instructions – Stage 1 & 2 & 3

Stage 1 – Swapping stage if you wish to swap

  1. Organise your hand of any 7 cards of a suit (hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs). You can suits anytime.
  2. Pass to the left any number of cards you don’t want – the dealer counts to three then you pass.
  3. If there is four people you pass four times to get a chance to get the discarded cards from each player.
  4. Do this four times. If you have nothing to pass, you don’t have to pass anything.
  5. You can change the suit you want to keep, depending what cards are passed during this stage.
  6. If your ship sails during this time, you call out: ‘My Ship Sails’.

Stage 2 – End of the swapping stage (continue playing even if some players’ ships have sailed)

  1. After the first 4 passes, if you have more than 7 cards, discard the extras onto a discarded face-up card pile.
  2. If you don’t have 7 cards, then pick up from the face-down pile or face-up pile at the end of the swapping.
  3. If your ship sails during this time, you call out: ‘My Ship Sails’.


Stage 3 – Taking turns to pick up a card (from face-up or face-down pile)

  1. You must have only 7 cards at any one time.
  2. Pick up one card from face-down or discarded pile in centre (this pile can be turned over when you run out)
  3. Continue this until you get 7 of the same suit.
  4. Once your ‘ship sails’ (7 of the same suit) you say ‘My Ship Sails’ which means you have won.
  5. The game continues to the end.

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