OBJECTIVE OF AUSTRALIAN FISH: The objective of Australian Fish is to collect pairs of cards.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6 Players

MATERIALS: A Standard deck of 52 cards, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Fishing Card Game



Australian Fish is a fishing card game for 2 to 6 players. The goal of the game is to collect more pairs than any other player.


A dealer is chosen randomly and shuffled the deck. Each player is then dealt 7 cards to their hand. The remaining cards are placed centrally and create a draw pile.

The player with the most matching pairs of cards goes first.


The player who holds the most pairs in hand goes first. Before the first turn, each player must place in front of them all pairs, they have in their hand.

On a player’s turn, they may ask another player of their choice if they have a card of a particular rank. A player can only ask for a card of that rank if they have one in their hand. If this player does have a card of this rank they will hand it to the player, who will then place their pair down immediately. Pairs cannot be kept in the hand and must be placed as soon as they are gathered.

If the player does not have the matching card, they will tell the player to “go fish”. This signifies to the asking player that the card they asked for was not in that player’s hand and instead they will draw from the top of the stockpile, and place any pairs made in front of them.

Either way, after any pair is placed by the player, their turn ends. Once a player ends their turn, the player who was just asked for a card, whether or not they had the card to give, starts their turn.

 If a player ever empties their hand, they will draw a new hand of 7 cards from the draw pile.

The game continues until the stockpile is exhausted and all players’ hands are emptied. 


Each pair a player has made is worth one point.


After scoring the game ends and scores are compared. The player with the highest score wins. If there is a tie all tied players win.


There are a few variations that can be added to the game to make it more complex for older audiences. The game can be played with different types of decks than just the standard 52-card deck. You can also add a pair of jokers to the deck. This pair acts like any other, but the collector of the pair would score 2 points instead of 1 for collecting it. Some also play that having all 4 cards of the same rank scores a player and additional point on top of the two scored for the pairs.

Amber Crook
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