Easy Card Games for Dementia Patients(2023): Bring Joy to Your Loved Ones

Did you know that you can combat feelings of depression, reduce stress, improve memory and cognition, sharpen logical thinking, and spend some quality time with your loved ones just by playing the below card games for seniors?

In the past, when people gathered in groups, they would get bored quickly. There were not many fun activities in a group, and if they wanted to spend all the time talking, they would soon run out of topics for conversation. Then one day, the invention of card games opened a new door to civilization. But how about seniors, and how can the elderly be entertained?

When an activity is simple, fun, and doesn’t consume much energy, we usually assume it’s just a way to kill time. We suppose we don’t benefit from such activities in any tangible way. To be more specific, you might have the same idea about playing card games. Card games provide the right level of stimulation for the mind without being too complicated or frustrating. Let’s read about easy card games for dementia patients. 

But, Why Card Games?

Let’s fact-check this. Playing games keeps you in a healthy state, physically and mentally. Playing top games for seniors dramatically affects one’s memory and cognitive abilities, reducing the risk of developing illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s. There is evidence that card games may be the best medicine for people at risk of dementia. According to a new study, playing card games or solving puzzles can keep the brain active and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to five years. Moreover, Alzheimer’s disease is less likely to develop in older people who keep mentally active. Besides, group card games give you a great chance to improve your social life and help seniors feel valuable and happy. 

So, let’s look at the best group card games for seniors and easy card games for dementia patients that are inexpensive, beneficial, and almost effortless. By the way, you cannot find many hobbies among hobbies for seniors who have all those traits simultaneously!

Card Games for Seniors, easy card games for dementia patients

Easy Card Games for Dementia Patients

Playing group card games is an excellent way to interact with your friends and family, and the benefits of games for seniors are enough to make them happy. It helps you spend quality time with each other and keeps your mind sharp. This article will go through a few card games you might want to try if you already have not. Let’s start with Canada’s most popular and easy card games for dementia patients. 


Card Games for Seniors, easy card games for dementia patients

It is hard to find someone who has never played this game before. Euchre is a game played in many forms. Usually, four people team against each other who try to win the most tricks.

How to Play Euchre?

To begin playing, you must choose a dealer. The players draw one card each from a shuffled deck. As a result, the player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. Each player receives five cards from the dealer in a clockwise direction after shuffling the deck.
After setting the lead card in the center of the circle, the player on the left begins the game. All players must follow the clockwise direction. Based on the established trump suit, the player with the highest-ranking card takes the trick. In the next round, the trick winner takes the lead.

Beginner’s Guide: A deck of playing cards contains 52 cards in each of the four suits of Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs. There are 13 cards in each case: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and King.


Card Games for Seniors

The second place belongs to another classic, Bridge. In this game, two people team against two others and every team tries to win the tricks by bidding the highest. Of course, this is only the simplest form of the game, and you can play this game in other ways.

How to Play Bridge?

To play Bridge, you will need the following materials:

  • Four players
  • A 52 cards deck
  • A score pad
  • Something with which to write

We have four Suits. Each suit consists of thirteen cards in the following order: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Ace is always on top.

The cards are dealt face down, one at a time, clockwise, from a 52-card pack. The goal is to win tricks consisting of cards from each player in the rotation. The players must, if able, contribute a card of the suit led, and the highest card wins the trick.

Gin Rummy

Card Games for Seniors

The next game is the third game in Gin Rummy. Two to four people can play this super popular game, and everyone tries to set the cards. The first player with no cards is the winner.

Gin Rummy is played with a 52-card English deck; the wild cards (jokers) are not used. The order of the cards, from highest to lowest, is king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, deuce and ace.
Several hands are played, during which each player uses their hand to form combinations of three or more cards to get more than 100 points before their opponent does.

How to Play Gin Rummy?

Players take turns taking cards from the deck. The player who draws the highest card sits and deals ten cards to each player, placing the remaining cards in the center of the table. The top card of the stock deck is placed face-up next to it to start the discard pile.

Players who did not deal with the cards begin the game by picking up the upturned card next to the stock deck, which means one of the cards must be discarded. The player passes in cases where the said card is not of interest. The opponent may then take that card and discard another; if they aren’t interested, they may pass without discarding it. The first player can take the top card from the stock deck and discard another card. As the game progresses, each player can take a card from the deck or discard pile, then discard a card, which may not be the same card they just picked up from the discard pile. Finally, the game ends when sufficient partial games have been played to allow one player to get 100 or more points.


Card Games for Seniors, easy card games for dementia patients

Canasta, a game from the Rummy family, was very popular in the 50s, so playing it will provide a sense of nostalgia. Each player puts one card on the pile based on the value or suit in clockwise order, and the one who finishes their cards sooner will be the winner.

How to Play Canasta?

To play Canasta, you need the following:

  • Four players: Canasta can also be played with five players (two players against three, one player sitting out per hand) or six players (three players against three, one player in each trio sitting out in rotation).
  • Two decks of 52 cards each, including the jokers (108 cards total)
  • Paper and pencil for scoring

The aim is to score more points than your opponent. The goal of the game is to make as many canastas as possible. The steps are as follows:

  1. Pick teams by drawing cards; partners sit opposite each other.
  2. Decide who will play first and who will be the dealer by drawing cards.
  3. Each player will receive 11 cards clockwise.
  4. Build a discard pile.
  5. Team members start melding cards and attempt to build as many canastas as possible.
  6. Whichever team has the most points wins!

Crazy Eights

Card Games for Seniors

The next game is Crazy Eights. Two to seven players play this shedding-style card game. Crazy Eights is fun for the whole family and is among the easy games for dementia patients. 

How to Play Crazy Eights?

You can play this game in a team of two to five. You leave one card facing up, and then each player must put a card matching the suit or the number with the card underneath it. The crazy part about this game, as its name states, is the eights. When you play an Eight, you have the right to determine which suit players should continue putting cards down with that suit. You win when you are the first player who runs out of cards.


Card Games for Seniors

The next game we are going to talk about is Slapjack. Slapjack is distinguishable from other games since there is only one type of card that focuses attention- the jack.

How to Play Slapjack?

As the name entitles, all you need to do is slap the jack! You and your team play in clockwise order, and when a jack is played, the one who hits it sooner will own the whole stack of cards underneath it. The winner is the person who collects all the cards. Speed is critical in this game.


Card Games for Seniors

The next game is Pinochle, a trick-and-meld game with the winner being the team who wins the most tricks. It’s for two to four players. It involves exchanging and putting together different combinations of cards, or “melds,” to score points.

How to Play Pinochle?

Plays and leads make up each trick. The non-dealer leads; following that, the winner of every trick follows. Unless the opponent plays a higher trump, the trump lead typically wins the most tricks. Besides the suit led, a card led wins unless the opponent plays a higher card of the same suit or a trump. Leaders and opponents may play any card. There is no need to follow suit.


Card Games for Seniors

Cribbage is our next game. Although this game was initially designed for two people, more people can join the group with slight changes. In this game, players follow a deal-play-show pattern and get a score set before starting the game. The player who reaches the score sooner will be announced as the winner.

You can also click here, watch the video and learn more.

If you’re interested in learning but don’t have a Cribbage board, don’t worry. Try this online Cribbage game. You can play against the computer or against other online.

Big Two

Card Games for Seniors

Our next on the list is Big Two. This game is poker, but the highest value in a deck does not belong to ace, but two.

How to Play Big Two?

To win, you must be the first to get rid of all your cards. Among the several combinations, the 2 of spades by Big Two is always the highest card. Sometimes, a five-card hand with a four-of-a-kind hand plus an extra card, a straight flush, or a royal flush can override the Big Two.

Old Maid

Another fun game you can play is Old Maid, which requires you to pair cards that match each other and go on until one player only has the Old Maid card. The Old Maid is fun and is one of the easy card games for dementia patients. 

How to Play Old Maid?

Players begin by fanning their hands so the next player to their left can draw a card. The player must not be able to see the hand from which they are drawing. The game continues this way. Players discard them immediately onto the table as they make pairs in their hands. Everyone is trying to get rid of their cards as quickly as possible. The player left holding the unmatched card, the Old Maid, loses.

Card Games for Seniors

Other group card games are Go Fish, Uno, phase 10, Snap, Blackjack, and Poker.

Solo Card Games

Group card games have a tremendous effect on your socializing skills. But there are times when you want to spend your time alone on something challenging and fun, and that is when solo card games enter the show. Some of these games are only available on the computer. You can find the others in both physical and video formats.


We just cannot talk about one-player card games without mentioning Solitaire. Although you can play this in a two-player format, it is more typical to play it alone. What you have to do is rearrange the cards. This game has variants, including Canfield, Chain Solitaire, March Same Rank, and Klondike.

How to Play Solitaire?

1. Play with a shuffled deck.

2. Place seven cards face down on the table and the first card face up. The rest of the cards should also be face-down.

3. Place a face-up card on the second pile and face-down cards on the remaining piles.

4. Place a face-up card on the third pile and face-down cards on the remaining piles to the right.

5. Follow this pattern, moving from left to right until each pile has one face-up card. 

After you set up the game, the first pile will consist of one face-up card. The second pile will have one face-up card and one face-down card beneath the face-up card. One face-up card and two face-down cards are on the third pile. This pattern continues until the seventh pile. You win the game by placing the last card into the foundation piles.


Ready to play now? Try this online solitaire game. Because not all solitaire games are winnable, you can change the setting to only play winnable hands.

Pile of 28 ( Pyramid)

Pile of 28, also called Pyramid, is another solo game you might want to try playing. In this game, you create rows of cards in the form of a pyramid and then take turns drawing cards and combining them for a total value of 13.


Setting up a Pyramid game can take time. If you want to try the game, first try playing Pyramid Solitaire online. The game comes with a hint button which is perfect for helping beginners. 

Seahaven Towers

Another game you can play on your own is Seahaven towers, in which you need to fill the spots with kings and complete the card sequence.

Devil’s Grip

The next game is Devil’s Grip which resembles a well-known variant of Solitaire called Freecell. The only difference is that you should put jacks on top and kings on the bottom while placing the piles. Queens go in the middle.

One Thing to Consider When Playing Card Games

When playing easy card games for dementia patients, you might face problems seeing the cards properly and determining the value or suit on a card. You can quickly solve these kinds of issues. You can usually find card decks in larger prints, so you wouldn’t have any problems reading them, and you can keep up with the young. Special card Holders and Card Shufflers are also available if you have issues like shaky or Arthritic hands. Remember that you have the option to play online for most games, which is both cheaper and more comfortable.

Final Words

We live in the age of entertainment, and almost every day, new games are added to this list.

Card games are a superb way to sharpen cognitive functions; most seniors enjoy easy card games for dementia patients. Finding a simple, inexpensive game that allows you to have fun with your loved ones will not be difficult and is sure worth it. Join the group, play games, have a great time, and keep your mind and body engaged in healthy activities.

Source GreatSeniorLiving Graying With Grace GGPoker
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2 years ago

I’ve always preferred board games. But some of these games sound really interesting. Maybe I should try one out with my friends. I’ve only played poker before, and although it’s very popular, I don’t really like it. Among the games mentioned here, I best liked the sound of Crazy Eights.

Reply to  Joe
2 years ago

Crazy eights is a fun game; if you like this game, you should also try Go Fish. It’s a 2-5 player card game. The goal of the game is to win the most “books” of cards. A book is any four of a kind, such as four kings, four aces, etc., my grandkids and I always have the best time playing this game.

Jimmy K
Jimmy K
2 years ago

I remember playing a card game called “chase the case.” it was hilarious. I can’t recall the rules, but I know there have to be three or more people, and you play with all the 52 cards.

Larry T.w
Larry T.w
Reply to  Jimmy K
2 years ago

I remember that game; I think it was called “chase the ace.” I agree; it is hilarious. As you said, it’s a 52 card game and played by three or more people. All players must swap their cards when asked to do so. The one exception to this is if a player is holding a king. The dealer is not allowed to swap their card for a king. (the dealer is the one who drew the highest card from the deck).
Cards are ranked from highest to lowest in the following order:
King, Queen, Jack, 10 – 2, Ace.

2 years ago

I cannot play with my old pals because of covid. How can I play cards online?

Reply to  Noah
2 years ago

There are several card game apps you can use. Try Solitaire; you can play online or offline.

2 years ago

The article was well written and contained useful information. However, I’ve never tended to game cards at all. From my point of view, card games are kinda boring and pointless. There are other more attractive group games you can focus on.

2 years ago

When I was younger, I was addicted to playing blackjack! I think these kinds of card games are still fun for seniors and other people, especially if you play with your friends or family and bet with them! Because during the game you should do many tricks for winning! Generally, I love card games.

Reply to  Chris
2 years ago

 Blackjack is my grandfather’s favourite card game; he always plays it with his friends in our family gatherings. I asked him to teach me. It’s so exciting to play this game because we must get close to 21 and do some math in our minds.

2 years ago

Euchre is one of my favourite card games. It’s excellent for playing two against two as partners. The target of this game is to win at least three tricks. Euchre is popular in Canada, and we usually play with a deck of 24, 28, or 32 standard playing cards.

2 years ago

I have decided to play card games with my grandmother because she has mobility problems, and it’s good for her to sit comfortably and have some fun. I’ve read that card games are suitable for seniors because they are mentally engaged while playing. Does anyone have ideas about what card game is easy to play with my grandmother?

Reply to  Rita
2 years ago

Rummy and pinochle could be an excellent choice to play with your grandmother. They are easy to play, and seniors usually enjoy playing them. Spending time with our grandparents is fantastic, and we must appreciate it.