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Easy Card Game for Older Adults: 21 or Blackjack

card game for older adults

Fun games that aren’t too complicated

Playing card games is a perfect activity for older adults because it’s inexpensive, they can sit comfortably, and it’s a fun way to pass the time! Solo games give you time to do other things while they’re happily occupied. Playing together is an activity you can both enjoy.

Modified for mild cognitive decline

A simplified game of 21, also known as Blackjack, is a great card game for older adults. We’ve made a few changes to the standard rules to make it easier and more fun to play. Our version is perfect for people with mild cognitive decline.


Games are good for health

Adding up the cards forces your older adult to do math in their heads, exercising their brains. Shuffling, dealing, and moving the cards around exercises their fingers and hands. And, they have to use judgement to make decisions about whether or not they want another card.

What you’ll need

A standard deck of playing cards with Jokers removed.

21 or Blackjack – 1 player version

The goal of this game is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Playing 21 by yourself might not seem very exciting to you, but some older adults find it entertaining.

How to play with 1 person

  1. Deal 2 cards to yourself.

  2. If the points are greater than 21, you “busted” and you lose that hand.

  3. If the points are less than 21, you can stop there or decide if you want to try your luck by drawing additional cards.

21 or Blackjack – 2 player version

The goal of this game is also to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. To make things more exciting, you can place simple bets on whoever wins the hand. For example, whoever wins gets 1 penny. At the end of the game, you can see who has the most pennies!

How to play with 2 people

  1. Deal 2 cards to each person using the “one for you, one for me” method.

  2. Each person decides if they want additional cards or not.

  3. Compare cards to see who wins – whoever is closest to 21 without going over is the winner.

Special cards or holder

If poor vision or shaky hands is getting in the way of enjoying a card game, try these inexpensive aids:

  1. Large size playing cards – here are a few options


  1. Large print or large font playing cards – here are a few options

, they’re mixed in with large size cards.

  1. Easy grip or hands-free card holder – here are some options


By DailyCaring Editorial Team Image: Casino Center


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