A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the PlayingCards.io website offers free versions of several classic games. Ads are present on some of the interior pages of the site, although they're generally not too obtrusive. Kids can email friends a link to each new game they start, but participants will need to find another way to converse while playing because the site doesn't offer any chat functionality. Much of the gameplay also isn't automated, so kids will need to manually do things like deal cards. A brief FAQ section provides some playing information.
What's it about?
Kids can play about a dozen traditional card and other games on PLAYINGCARDS.IO. After choosing a game, they get a link they can send to an unlimited amount of friends. Cards or game pieces can be dragged to new positions, and clicking on a card flips it over. In addition to selections like backgammon, checkers, crazy eights, euchre, and go fish, kids can access a standard card deck, which they can add to or remove cards from to play other games. Kids can also return to games they didn't finish within two weeks of starting them.
Is it any good?
The site has a fairly simple design -- kids click on a game and get a URL to send to friends that leads to a dedicated room where everybody plays the game. On Playingcards.io, players' screens are synchronized, so you see cards and game pieces shift in real-time as other people move them. (Other players won't see your cards, though.) The game board is somewhat customizable -- players can add card holders, extra decks of cards, and other items. Although the site recommends having eight or less participants and says a limit will probably be added in the future, as of now, there are no restrictions on how many people can play a game. Rooms are automatically saved and won't be removed until they haven't been used for two weeks -- so if kids don't finish playing, they can revisit a game later by just entering the URL.
Some games, like Euchre, include instructions. But others, such as chess, are missing directions of any kind, so kids will need to understand the rules before playing. Kids are also responsible for some of the main functions in games. There isn't a way to have cards dealt automatically as of now, for instance, and in some games they'll need to keep track of the points players are earning. Kids also need to determine when a game ends. They can't chat on-screen, which would make those and other aspects a bit easier, and kids who come to the site hoping to access the online version of Cards Against Humanity that PlayingCards.io offered earlier this year may be disappointed to find it's no longer available. With more than a dozen other choices, though, as long as kids are OK with supervising the game's direction, they should be able to find plenty of items to play with friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how strategy is used in the games on PlayingCards.io. What real-life tasks could that approach work for?
Can your child identify an objective -- and several steps to reach it? Are there other ways that goal could be accomplished?
How can you play games and not hurt someone's feelings if you win, or get upset if you lose?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
Math: addition, counting, numbers, patterns
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, deduction, logic, problem solving, strategy, thinking critically
Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
- Genre: Gaming
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: July 7, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love card games
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.