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Memory has long been a favorite game for all generations. It is easy to play, in fact it is so simple that really young children can play with ease.

It requires observation, concentration and a good memory to win.

Although the game is designed so two players play against each other it can also be played by a single player.

The game is also known as Concentration, Pelmanism, Shinkei-suijaku, Pexeso and Pairs.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to collect the most matching pairs.

What You'll Need

  • A standard deck of playing cards.
  • Two or more players. (The game can also be played alone.)
  • A playing surface large enough to lay out all the cards.
  • Enough seating for players.

Note: There are also special memory decks available with matching pictures. They are usually have a theme like fish or animals. These may be best when playing with really young children.

Setting Up the Game

Shuffle the cards.

Lay out the cards face down in rows forming a large rectangle on the table or floor. Make sure the cards are not touching each other. They need to be able to be flipped over without disturbing any cards around them.

Decide who will go first. Typically it is the youngest player that goes first.

Playing Memory

The first player chooses a card and carefully turns it over. Be sure not to bother the surrounding cards.

The player then selects another card and turns it over. If the two cards are a matching pair for example two Jacks then they take the two cards and start a stack. The player is awarded another turn for making a match and goes again.

If the cards are not a match they are turned back over and it is now the next players turn.

The next player chooses their first card and turns it over. If it is a match for one of the cards the previous player turned over then they try to remember where that matching card was and turn it. If they are successful at making a match they place the cards in their stack and choose another card.

If the first card turned over was not a match for one previously turned over the player selects another card in an attempt of making a pair.

If they are unsuccessful in making a match they flip the cards back over and play is passed to the next player.

A players turn is not over until they are unable to make a matching pair.

The game continues in this fashion until all the cards are played.

Winning the Game

Once all the cards have been played the player with the most matching pairs is the winner.


To increase the difficulty of the game add the rule that the pairs must not only match in rank, but must also match in color. For example a Jack of Clubs and a Jack of Diamonds would no longer count as a match, but a Jack of Spades and a Jack of Clubs would.


Just because it is another players turn doesn't mean you should stop paying attention. The cards that other players flip over could be the match you're looking for.

Card Games

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