How to Play Snap and Pairs Games

These games are of the matching family of games and can be played with ordinary playing cards or with packs designed for pairs such as a learning games for children on a specific subject.

Using a standard pack of playing cards the snap or pairs are cards of the same colour and number, for example, 6 of heart and 6 of diamonds. 

Snap and pairs games are simple to change as needed to include playing with younger children. Simple games make learning fun.  See Top Tips below.

How to Play Snap

For 2 or more players. If there are more than 2 players they have to see the cards and think more quickly. It can become highly competitive!

Shuffle the cards to mix them up. Deal out all the cards so that all players have an equal number of cards.

Players turn over and lay down their top card in the middle of the table. As each player puts down a card all players must look quickly at the cards pile and work out if there is a pair. If there is, the first player to shout SNAP wins the pair of cards.

To stop players slowing the game down with a wrong SNAP call, design a penalty that suits the players! The winner is the player with the most snapped pairs once all cards have been played.

Can be played with more than 2 players, but players must be quick to look at all the cards on the table!

How to Play Pelmonism or Memory Pairs

Memory card games are also known as pelmonism. 

Shuffle the cards and lay them all face down individually on the table.  Players take turns to turn over any two cards.  The aim is to find two cards with a matching number or number of objects.  If a successful match is made, the player keeps the cards and has another turn.  If unsuccessful, the player must return the two cards face down to their original spaces.  The player with the most pairs wins. 

As players win pairs of cards they continue with the game until they cannot find another pair.

An alternative play allows each player to turn over one card only and they have to wait until their next turn in the round before being able to pick up a pair.

In specialist educational pairs games card packs, the pairs may be from several options such as in World Snap Cards the snap the country name, the flag, the map of the country, etc and possibilities are given on guide cards. Below are some Tips for playing snap. Click here to view our snap games.

Top Tips

*  If you know the position of one card of a pair, turn over another card first that you are less certain about so that your strategy is not exposed to your opponent.

*  Laying out cards in rows makes it easier to remember the position of matching cards so lay cards in an abstract pattern if space allows, and, of course, to make the game harder lay cards in a random pattern!

*  For a longer and more complex game, use 2 packs of cards. Pairs have to be the exact pair ie both 7 of spades.  Watch out though, by using 2 packs of cards with different coloured backs the game is made slightly easier!

*  Make play faster by making matches easier, such as any black playing cards or any number with 10 on so 4 options!

*  Amend the game as needed to include younger children, for example, snap only on the colour, or the number, or reduce the number of possible pairs by taking our some cards. Simple games make learning fun.