An African Go Fish variant, invented by Alex Chase and Ankit Vohra (Norm1007@aol.com)

This game is for two players using a standard 52-card pack.

Players are dealt 7 cards each and the remainder pile is placed face down in the middle. However, players hold their cards in a fan with the backs of the cards facing them: so Player A is looking at Player B's cards and vice versa, and neither know what they are holding.

If either player has a pair of equal cards among their seven cards, the opponent takes it and stores it in their pile of captured cards. If a player has three of a kind, only two of the cards are captured, leaving one.

The game then proceeds on with the question "Do I have any...?". Players must only ask for a card (rank) that the other player has in his hand. If the player who asked also has a card of that rank, the asking player gets both cards. If you have asked for a card, but do not hold any of that rank, the other player tells you to "Jambo" (or, as in regular Go Fish, "Go Fish"): you must draw a card from the remainder pile and add it to your hand, showing it to your opponent without looking at it yourself. If you pick up a card that forms a pair with a card in your hand, your opponent takes the pair out and puts it down, otherwise the card you drew stays in your hand.

Example: If Player B had a 2, and I asked if I had a 2, but didn't, then I got a 2, nothing will happen. Player B can ask if he has a 2, and then he takes it.

A pair is worth 1 point, and 4 of a kind is worth 4 points. The person with the most points at the end wins.

Another example:

  • Player A's Hand : clubA, diamond5, heart9, heartJ, spadeQ
  • Player B's Hand: club2, heart6, spade10

If Player A asks Player B if he has any twos, the answer is no. So let's say that Player A picked up a two from the pile. This makes the hands:

  • Player A's Hand : diamond2, clubA, diamond5, heart9, heartJ, spadeQ
  • Player B's Hand: club2, heart6, spade10

As you can only ask for what your opponent has, Player B knows that he has a two, and so will ask Player A "Do I have any two's?", and the pair is his.

Alex Chase adds:
"We've recently tried playing the game with more than two players, and it works quite well and adds an element of strategy. Also, if a player gets two pairs that form a four of a kind, it counts as 4 points, rather than just two for an ordinary pair."
Last updated: 15th February 2022