I’ve had a really good response to introducing Go Fish as soon as people have counting numbers up to ten. Students are pleased that they can conduct the whole game in Irish. They are using the language for something meaningful (if trivial). They get plenty of practice saying the same things over again.
How to play “Go Fish” in Irish
The goal is to assemble sets of four cards that have the same number. Aces are “a haon”, twos are “a dó” etc.
Prepare the pack of cards by removing face cards and jokers.
Deal 5 cards to each player and place the remainder of the cards face down in the middle of the table.
LIAM: A Nancy, an bhfuil a trí agat?
NANCY: Tá. (she gives Liam every ‘3’ card in her hand)
- If you have more than one of a card someone is asking for, you must turn over all of them.
- Whether or not Liam is successful, his turn is now over. This is a departure from standard rules that keeps the game moving to more players.
- Now it’s the turn of the next person on the left.
NANCY: A Mháire, an bhfuil a seacht agat?
MÁIRE: Níl. Tóg cárta! (Nancy draws a card from the pile on the table)
The game is finished when one player runs out of cards altogether. The winner at that point is the person who’s assembled the most sets of four. (four of a kind = ceathair) If no one has any sets, then the person who’s run out of cards is an buaiteoir.
I use these trifold table toppers to help people remember what to say. If you like, do a dummy round first with everyone’s cards face up. (You’ll need to deal fresh hands after that.)