OBJECTIVE OF GOAL: Be the player with the highest score at the end of the game.


MATERIALS: Goal game board, 52 card deck, 1 chip or token

TYPE OF GAME: Card game

AUDIENCE: Kids and Adults


Goal is a Reiner Knizia creation.  Mr. Knizia is a prolific board game designer with hundreds of published titles.  This game is just one of dozens he has created that utilizes fun and simple game mechanisms.  

In this game, players are trying to move a chip into their opponent’s goal.  This is done by playing the highest card.  Rather than stick with a basic card order, Mr. Knizia spices things up by making the Ace special.  


In order to play Goal, you will need a standard 52 card French deck, the game board which can easily be sketched on a piece of paper, and one chip or token which will represent the ball.  The board is pictured below.


To prepare the cards for play, separate all of the hearts and spades from the deck.  The rest of the deck is set aside and will not be used.  One player takes the hearts, and the other takes the spades.  Each player should have thirteen cards in their hand.  Place the game board so that each player sits behind a goal.  Place the chip on the starting spot in the middle of the board.  


This game is played over the course of two rounds.  Players will choose one card at a time from their hand to be played simultaneous.  The player that plays the highest ranked card is able to move the chip one space closer to their opponent’s goal.  The cards are discarded after being played.  In the event of a tie, the chip does not move.  If a player is able to move the chip into their opponent’s goal, they earn one point.  The chip is set back in its starting position, and the round continues.  Play like this continues until all thirteen cards have been played.  

Once all thirteen cards are played, the round is over.  The chip is placed back on its starting spot, players pick their cards back up, and they play through them one more time.


In this game, cards rank from (low) 2 – King (high).  Aces are ranked higher than all of the face cards, but they are ranked lower than all of the numbered cards.  This means, for example, that an Ace can beat a King, but it cannot be a 5.


The player with the highest score at the end of the second round wins.  In the event of a tie, play until one person scores.  The first person to score wins the game.

Mark Ball
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