The 40 Best Small Board Games and Card Games [Travel and Space-Saving Versions]

friends play uno card game

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Taking part in a game of cards or breaking out a board game is the ultimate way to pass the time both at home and away. Long journeys, travel delays, bad weather, and dark winter nights can all be improved with a bit of competitive fun between you and your nearest and dearest.

Get your brain ticking as you devise strategies to beat your opponent, or celebrate your good fortune in games based on sheer chance and luck. If you are heading away from home, check out some of these awesome travel-friendly board games and card games to help make the most of your next adventure.

Note: We’ve included in this list of board games and card games options for two people (or more), kids and families!

The 20 Best Small Board Games

Jax Sequence

Ages: 7+

Players: 2-12

This fun and challenging game is perfect for the family. Using a card from your own hand, and by placing a chip on the corresponding space on the game board, the first player to achieve 5 in a row wins the game! Block your opponents or even remove their chips to make your own sequence work out for you — but keep your eye out for the Jacks, as they can be wild!

Small enough to be portable, but offering huge amounts of fun both on the road and back at home, Jax Sequence is a game of strategy and luck that comes complete with a folding game board and travel-friendly pieces.

Scrabble Deluxe Travel Edition

Ages: 8+

Players: 2-4

This classic word game comes in a finely crafted wooden case with a magnetic closure, making it perfect for game players on the go. With a raised letter tile grid, the board halves slide out easily to reveal a handy storage area underneath. Measuring just 9.8 x 9.2 x 1.2 inches when closed and 9.8 x 4.6 x 2.4 inches when open, this is an extremely compact version of one of the best-loved games of all times.

Beat your opponents by using the solid wood letters on your letter rack to make words with high scores. Classic and compact, this version is a winner wherever you are.

Sorry! Game

Ages: 6+

Players: 2-4

Remember your manners as you beat your opponents in this classic game of sweet revenge! As each player picks 1 or 2 cards, get 1 of your 4 pawns out of the starting area and off around the game board. This super fun game will call on strategy, chance, and luck to see you, or your opponents, chase, race, bump, slide and score their way around the board to be the first to get all 4 pawns to home base.

An updated version of the original Sorry! game, this is perfect fun for all the family on long journeys, campouts, picnics, sleepovers, and all kinds of other adventures.

Connect 4 Grab and Go Game — Travel Size

Ages: 8+

Players: 2

This simple but popular game has been scaled down into a convenient travel size, making it great for keeping you and your crew entertained on the move. Starting with 21 checkers each, you must outwit each other to be the first to get to 4 in a row. Block your opponent at every turn, and see if you can outwit them before they block you.

This Grab and Go edition from the game experts at Hasbro has space to store the checkers in the columns, and the trays fold up neatly for added portability.

Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere — Bingo

Ages: 4+

Players: 2

For a modern and completely child-friendly twist on traditional bingo, this 6.75-inch square tin case holds everything your younger players need to enjoy a game of bingo on the go. Suitable for players from 4 years and over, the large magnetic playing pieces are easy for little hands to play with while being big enough not to get lost.

Have your kids spin the spinner and place the magnetic markers on the corresponding animal as soon as they see it. When they get 5 in a row, it’s time to shout “Bingo” and enjoy being the winner — until next time, of course.

QuadPro Magnetic Travel Checkers Board 

Ages: 3+

Players: 2

Enjoy Checkers anywhere in the world with this durable yet lightweight, foldable plastic checkers set. The 64-square board comes complete with black and white magnetic pieces that can easily be moved around the board for the win. When you have finished the game, the same pieces can be stored away inside the checkerboard to keep them safe during transit.

Bottom Line: Perfect for bus, plane, or train journeys, camping trips, lunch breaks, and so much more, this compact, folding board game is easy to play and perfectly portable.

Battleship Grab and Go Game

Ages: 8+

Players: 2

Sink your opponent’s battleship with this Grab and Go version of the ever-popular strategy game. Each of the portable game units opens upwards to block your opponent’s view while you track each other’s shots using the included red and white pegs. When you are finished, fold them up again for easy storage.

With 2 carriers, 2 destroyers, 2 cruisers, 2 submarines, and 2 battleships included in this compact portable edition, you can get busy sinking battleships, even on the go.

Catan Traveler

Ages: 10+

Players: 2-4

With a space-saving box that unfolds to reveal the variable board, you and your fellow players can work together to keep your roads, cities, and settlements safe. This handy travel size edition of the popular Catan game can be set up in seconds, with 6 double-sided board pieces that can be assembled randomly to ensure that every game you play is completely different.

Designed with portability in mind, this handy travel edition even features cards that are held securely in holder trays and a hex-shaped dice shaker that can’t get dropped or lost as you play on the go.

Monopoly Grab and Go Game — Travel Size

Ages: 8+

Players: 2-4

Monopoly is one of the most popular and biggest-selling games in the world, and this travel size edition makes it even more convenient for game fans on the go.

This set includes all of the classic properties, Title Deed cards, Community Chest cards, Chance cards, Get Out Of Jail cards, houses, hotels, as well as the iconic Monopoly banknotes, meaning there is still big fun to be had even with this smaller version.

Trade your way to success with this Grab and Go game that is perfect for budding entrepreneurs of all ages.

Amazon Exclusive Pressman Rummiku

Ages: 8+

Players: 2-4

This ever-popular tile-based game combines the very best elements of Mahjong and Rummy to produce a perfectly portable game of skill that is suitable for up to 4 players at a time. With a canvas bag for easy storage, each player starts with the same number of tiles and tries to put as many down into groups or runs as possible.

Fast-paced and easy to play, this game is not only a great way to pass the time, but it also helps to reinforce basic STEM skills, including sequencing, pattern recognition, and planning, making it a great choice for both older children and adults.

QuadPro Magnetic Travel Chess Set

Ages: 5+

Players: 2

For chess lovers everywhere, this foldable, plastic chess set allows you to practice your strategic skills on the go. The traditional 64-square playing field comes complete with all of the traditional chess pieces that glide effortlessly across the board when the time is right.

Perfect for playing at home, at school, in transit, or virtually anywhere else you can think of, this compact chess set is designed to keep the pieces safe inside the case. You will be capturing your opponent’s king in no time.

Yahtzee

Ages: 8+

Players: 2

This classic tile game takes a travel size twist in this portable version of an old favorite. You and your opponent get 13 rolls of the dice to find the best combinations of numbers to achieve different scores. Whether you decide to hustle for a full house or risk it all for a Yahtzee roll, you must fill in 1 empty box at the end of each turn.

Bottom Line: This game comes complete with 5 dice and a shaker that doubles up as easy and convenient storage for your tiles, making it a great choice for easy entertainment on the go.

Guess Who? Board Game 

Ages: 6+

Players: 2

This much-loved, classic 1980s guessing game is back, and this time it’s portable. While your opponent picks a mystery card, you must ask enough questions to be able to eliminate the sea of faces in front of you until you find their hidden identity. Is your opponent wearing a hat? Do they have blue eyes? A beard? Ask away until you can “Guess Who” they really are.

With 2 travel-size game units, 48 character cards, and built-in face frames for easy viewing, your kids will have hours of fun getting to guess each other’s new personas.

Hasbro Gaming Jenga Mini-Game 

Ages: 6+

Players: 2

This pocket-size version of the popular balancing game offers gigantic amounts of fun. With 18 mini hardwood blocks, this portable classic takes skill and patience to ensure that you are the last person standing.

Simply stack the blocks as high as you can without causing the tower to crash to win the game. Compact enough to carry with you, this is a great game for sleepovers, camping, and travel.

Blokus Game

Ages: 6+

Players: 2

This fun strategy game is perfect for all the family to play, both at home and away. The rules take less than a minute to learn, and you will soon be battling against each other for the win.

Each player takes turns to place their 21 pieces on the board, making sure that each piece touches another piece of the same color but only at the corners. Protect your territory by strategically blocking your opponents at every turn to win the game.

Made from sturdy, wipeable materials, this game can easily be taken with you in its box to keep you all amused on the go.

Smart Zone Games Hive Pocket

Ages: 9+

Players: 2

This highly addictive strategy game can be played on any flat surface. Complete with its very own travel bag, you and your opponent can break open the 22 pieces to form the patterns that become the playing surface. The object of the game is to surround your opponent’s queen while keeping your wits about you to ensure that they don’t do the same to you.

The first player to surround the queen wins in this bug-tastic travel game with a difference.

Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere — Tic-Tac-Toe

Ages: 4+

Players: 2

This super chunky edition of the timeless strategy game is perfect for playing Tic-Tac-Toe on the go. The 6.75-inch tin is compact enough for carrying with you on long journeys, and the tin will keep everything safely stored when not in use. The magnetic board keeps your pieces in place, and this compact version comes complete with 6 magnets, 10 red markers, 10 blue markers, and a die.

Switch up your gameplay from pen and paper with this easy to use magnetic travel game.

Cinco Linko, a Strategy Board Game

Ages: 4+

Players: 4

This travel-size tile game is easy to learn and super fun to play, either back at home or on the move. Simply choose a color, grab your stack, and start laying down the tiles until someone achieves a line of 5, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Completely designed for travel, the game comes in durable, waterproof travel-size stacks than can easily be clipped onto your carry bag.

Ready to play on any surface, Cinco Linko is the winner of multiple awards and a great little game for kids.

Pressman Mancala — Real Wood Folding Set

Ages: 6+

Players: 2

This simple but exciting game is one of the world’s oldest and best-loved strategy games. Players take it in turns to collect special stones and count them out 1 at a time into the pockets on the board. Drop a stone into an empty pocket and capture all the stones in the opposite pocket for the win.

Requiring plenty of skill and strategic planning, this game also helps to reinforce STEM skills for younger players. As an extra bonus, the wooden box folds up flat for easy gaming on the go.

Pop-O-Matic Trouble Grab and Go Game

Ages: 5+

Players: 2-4

This compact and incredibly portable game is a reduced-size version of the Trouble game — small in stature but big on fun.

The all-in-1 game board is perfect for sleepovers, long journeys, camping trips, and much more and can be played by up to 4 players at a time. Complete with the famous Pop-O-Matic die roller and cover and 16 pegs, you can try and beat your opponent by being the first to get all your pegs across the finish line.

Bottom Line: Easy to play, and full of excitement, this is a great game to play with all the family, both at home and away.

The 20 Best Small Card Games

Monopoly Deal Card Game

Ages: 8+

Players: 2-5

The portable way to play the classic property-trading game will keep you entertained both at home and away. Be the first to collect 3 full property sets of different colors using the cards, and you’ll be the winner. Pick up extra properties along the way, charge your opponents rent, or even steal their cards when they slip up to show your ruthless side and become the next Monopoly property tycoon.

This card version of the world-famous and much-loved board game is perfect for playing on long journeys, sleepovers, camping trips, on vacation, and virtually anywhere else, too.

Mattel Games UNO: Classic Tin Box 

Ages: 7+

Players: 2-10

This classic family card game is easy to learn and a ball to play. UNO has a huge following all over the world and is compact enough to take anywhere with you. Race against your opponents to rid yourself of your hand as you match cards on the deck by either color or number.

Take advantage of special cards such as Skips, Reverses, Draw-2s, and even color-changing Wild Cards to increase your chances of standing victorious.

Perfect for all the family to play, don’t forget to shout “UNO” when you are down to your last card in this wild and noisy card game.

Taco vs. Burrito — Strategic Card Game Created by a 7 Year Old 

Ages: 7+

Players: 2-4

Created by a child and funded via Kickstarter, this crazy, fun strategic food fight is a smash hit with both adults and children alike.

If you and your opponents like card games and enjoy dreaming up weird food combos, this is just the game for you. Use the cards dealt to start making your crazy sandwich combinations, or switch up the game with action cards to gain the extra ingredients you need to win.

Don’t forget to keep a lookout for the Health Inspector or Order Envy that can spoil your meal, ruin your appetite, and eventually lose you the game.

Czech Games Codenames

Ages: 14+

Players: 2-8

This spy game sees teams compete to discover who can make contact with all of their agents first. Using 1-word clues, you and your teammates must try to guess the words of your team color while avoiding those that belong to the other team. Get you spy-skills switched on, and work together in this lively discussion game that can be played in groups.

Watch out for the double-agents, though, as well as the assassin who is out to get you. Whether you win or lose, it is still great fun to figure out all of the clues in this portable card game for older children and adults.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza 

Ages: 8+

Players: 3-8

Perfect for hand-slapping fun wherever you are headed, this unique take on traditional Snap! type card games are great fun for all the family. Each player places a card from their hand face-up in a pile, while simply saying “taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza” in player sequence. The magic is made when the card matches the mantra and players race to be the first to rid themselves of all their cards.

Bottom Line: For extra fun, throw a gorilla, narwhal, and groundhog into the mix in this travel-sized, super-fun, and addictive social card game.

Mattel Games Apples to Apples Party Box

Ages: 12+

Players: 4-8

This hilarious game is perfect for party play while away, and just as much fun at home, too. The aim of the game is to win the most rounds by playing a “red apple” card from your hand to best match that round’s communal “green apple” card, as chosen by that round’s judging player.

With 441 Red Apple Cards and 63 Green Apple Cards, there are plenty of crazy combinations to be found. As a former Mensa International “Mensa Select” game-winner in 1999, and the “Party Game of the Year” in December 1999, this is a great game that remains as popular as ever.

Family Feud Strikeout Card Game

Ages: 10+

Players: 3 or more

If you love the game show, you will really enjoy this travel-sized, fast-paced Family Feud Strikeout card game. Play alongside your friends or family as you work to find the top answers and play volleys while avoiding strikes. With a variety of topics to choose from, this game has endless answers that make it fun to play, time and time again.

Compact enough to carry with you, the 102 survey cards, 3 red strike cards, and 3 blue strike cards are perfect for playing at parties, on vacation, or even just at home.

Magilano SKYJO

Ages: 8+

Players: 2-4

All you need is a bit of space in front of you to enjoy this strategic card game. With 12 hidden cards, 2 face-up, each player takes it in turn to the take the top card from the discard or draw pile. Exchange 1 card from your 12 card display until your or your fellow player has only open cards. When the round ends, its time to add your cards for scoring, with the lowest number for the win.

Portable and easy to play, this addictive card game is perfect for playing around a table, on the floor, or anywhere you are all together on the move.

Goat Lords Game

Ages: 7+

Players: 2-6

This fabulously fun card game features thieves, monsters, magic bombs and lots, and lots of goats. Become the most successful Goat Lord by gathering the biggest goat herd, simply by stacking pairs of goat cards in front of you and stealing your opponent’s goats right from under their nose.

Use your skill to attack other players, or hold your nerve as you keep your cards close to your chest. Whatever your strategy, this is a great party game for goat lovers of all ages.

Great fun is guaranteed and lots of laughter, too, as you strive to become Lord of the Goats with this crazy travel card game.

Kids Against Maturity 

Ages: 8+

Players: 2 or more

Using the tried and tested fill-in-the-blank game method, Kids Against Maturity is a more family-friendly version of the more adult games usually found in this genre. While each player gets 10 white cards, they can make hysterical answers by turning over the blue cards to finish the sentence. Whoever manages to make the funniest answer will be declared the winner.

Bottom Line: Perfect for keeping the kids amused on the go, this multi-award winning card game can be played virtually anywhere and is always guaranteed to raise a smile or 2.

Punderdome: a Card Game for Pun Lovers

Ages: 8+

Players: 2 or more

From the creators of the well-renowned game show, this travel version of Punderdome is part game, a part conversation starter, and a whole lot of fun. The goal of the game is to make the worst bad pun jokes by drawing cards from the deck and reading the prompt to the rest of the players. The player who can create the most groan-worthy pun from the 2 prompts wins the round and the prompt cards.

Make your way to winning 10 pairs of cards to enjoy a glorious, fun-fueled victory over your opponents in this perfectly portable travel game for pun lovers everywhere.

PlayMonster 5 Second Rule Game

Ages: 10+

Players: 3 or more

This fast-paced and fun travel-sized card game is perfect for players on the go. Simply pick a card, read out the topic, and set the timer. With just 5 seconds to go, you must name 3 things that fit in with the given topic before the timer runs out. It’s super easy to get tongue-tied when playing against the clock, so just say what comes to mind, no matter how ridiculous it might sound.

With a twisted timer that makes a fun zoooop sound when flipped over, and balls that slide down to mark the 5-second mark, it can be easy to get distracted. Try to stay focused and enjoy laugh-out-loud fun with this fast-moving card game.

Spot It!

Ages: 7+

Players: 2-8

This award-winning, visual perception game will test your observational skills and help to hone your reflexes. With a sharp eye and a quick hand, you will need to find the 1 single match between the symbol and the 2 cards, usually resulting in frenzied fun as you try to spot it fast.

To ensure even more fun on the go, this edition offers a combination of 5 different ways to play, and everything comes neatly packed away in handy grab ‘n’ go tin.

Unstable Unicorns Card Game

Ages: 14+

Players: 2-8

Build yourself a unicorn army as the unicorns are your friends now! This strategic card game is great fun to play, both at home and away. With over 20 Magical Unicorns to collect, you need to build your army as quickly as possible before getting destroyed by one of your so-called friends.

With twists and turns along the way that can lead to total destruction and utter madness, you need to outwit your opponents to be crowned The Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical.

Our Moments Kids: 100 Thought-Provoking Conversation Starters

Ages: 6+

Players: 2

Taking a slightly different approach to traditional card games, this innovative set of questions has been designed to lead to thought-provoking conversations with your child. Perfect for passing the time on long journeys, family bonding on vacation, or even just to help understand your child that little bit better, this is a card game that helps to build relationships.

In a fun game-style format, the cards ask a wide variety of leading questions that encourage your children to talk about their thoughts and feelings, without being pressured. Fun, upbeat, and simple — you can learn a lot from this game.

Loaded Questions On The Go Card Game

Ages: 8+

Players: 2

Rated one of the hottest card games by the likes of USA Today and Games Magazine, this simple but fun card game offers hours of family-friendly fun, both at home and away. With over 500 fun, personality-filled questions, can you be the first player to reach the WIN space by rolling high, matching players’ answers correctly on your turn, and writing the “favorite” answer on the starred space?

With no right or wrong answers, this is a great way to stay competitive while also getting to know a little bit more about your fellow players. Perfect for passing the time on long journeys or keeping away from the rain.

Scattergories the Card Game

Ages: 8+

Players: 2 or more

This fun and challenging game has been a family favorite since the 1980s, and this card game edition offers a twist on the traditional gameplay. With 2 card decks, players need to name something beginning with the letter on the card in a certain situation to win the game. The player with the most cards at the end is the winner overall.

Easy to play wherever you are, this fun and fast-paced retro game will get your brain in gear as you try to beat your opponents.

Oh Fruck!

Ages: 12+

Players: 2-6

If you feel too old for a game of Old Maid, but not quite ready for Texas Hold ‘Em, this crowdfunded game could be just right for you. By turning over the top 3 cards of the red deck, you and your fellow player discover the “special rules” that will disrupt your gameplay for the ultimate excitement. If you can’t play a card, you’ll be the 1 that “Get’s Frucked” as you get 1 card closer to losing the game.

Bottom Line: This is a raucous card game for more grown-up players that combines strategy with special rules to really stick the knife in the way you play.

Mattel Games Pictionary Card Game

Ages: 8+

Players: 2 teams

This clever travel game uses ready-made pictures instead of relying on the player’s artistic ability. In a cross between Pictionary and Charades, you and your team will need to act out clues against the clock using nothing but the picture on the card. You can build scenes or use props, and the first team to guess the correct answers wins the point.

Crazy team fun comes as standard in this fast-paced guessing game where silence is golden.

SKIP BO Card Game

Ages: 7+

Players: 2-6

Coming to you from the makers of UNO, this sequencing card game is great for game playing while you are on the move.

Use your skills to create stacks of sequentially numbered, ascending cards, until there are no more left to play. Break up a static situation with the Skip-Bo “Wild” cards that can be played as any number, and put your strategic thinking cap on to help smash your opponents and win the game.

Brightly colored and easy to play, the winner is the first player to deplete all of his or her Skip-Bo stockpiles, then you can shuffle, deal, and start from the beginning again.

Final Thoughts

Put down your devices and enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun with compact, travel-size board games or card games next time you hit the road. Long journeys will fly by, and bad weather will never spoil your fun. From traditional card games to fast-paced, super-fun board games, there is something to suit players of all ages.


Frequently asked questions

What are the most popular board games right now?

According to Amazon, the best selling board games are Connect 4, Battleship, Sorry!, Monopoly, and Catan.

What are the most popular board games ever sold?

While it can be challenging to get exact sales figures for board games that are sold, it is generally agreed that the classic board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, chess, and Clue are the most popular board games of all time.

Do people still buy board games?

People still buy board games, and they are as popular as they ever were. For example, in the toys and games category of Amazon’s bestseller list, 7 out of the top 25 are board games or card games.

What is the best card game for travel?

One of the best selling card games on Amazon is UNO, where you race against your opponents to rid yourself of your hand as you match cards on the deck by either color or number. UNO is compact enough to take anywhere with you and can be a wild and noisy card game as you shout “UNO” to win.

What is the best board game for young children?

Guess Who is a popular travel board game that is suitable for children aged 6+. With 2 travel-size game units, 48 character cards, and built-in face frames for easy viewing, your kids will have hours of fun getting to guess each other’s new personas.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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