We’re going to show you how to play Help Your Neighbor! This is a card game (well, really a card and dice game) that is perfect to teach kids. It can be hard to find games that are equally fun for young kids as well as older kids and teens, and this one really fits the bill. I grew up playing this card game with my family when my grandparents came to visit.

Number of players: 4-8

Recommended ages: This game is great for ages 4 to 99! Seriously!

This game works with 3 players, and my kids will sometimes play it that way. But I think it’s more fun with at least 4. You can have any number of players from 4 to 8. I wouldn’t recommend it with more than 8, just because it would get a little crazy, and the wait for turns would be longer.

Here’s what you’ll need to play Help Your Neighbor:

  • 1-2 decks of cards. You’ll need one full suit for each player.
  • 2 dice
  • Poker chips – 15 for each player
  • A bowl to be the “pot” for the poker chips

Setting Up the Game

Remove the kings, aces, and 7’s from the deck. You won’t need the jokers either.

Each player will get 10 cards from the same suit. They should arrange them face up in front of them as shown below.

Each player will also get some poker chips. You can decide how many, and it depends on how long you want the game to last. I would recommend 10 for families with young kids, and 15 if you want your game to last longer. When we have played with 10 chips each, players are starting to be eliminated in round 2.

How to Play

Each player will put a chip in the pot to start the game.

The first player will roll the dice. Then they will flip over the card that matches the number rolled. Jacks are 11, Queens are 12.

Here’s the help your neighbor part! During game play, if a player rolls a number that they do not need (because that card is already flipped over), it will go to the next person who needs it, going clockwise around the table. This ends that player’s turn, and play resumes with the player who accepted the roll. The player who accepted the roll ALSO gets to roll and take their own turn.

As the game progresses, a player will likely roll a number that everyone has already flipped over. If that happens, they keep rolling until they get something that they can use, or someone else can use.

During game play, anyone who rolls a 7 puts a chip in the pot. This ends their turn.

The first person to turn over all of their cards wins! Each player puts a chip in the pot for every card left face up. Then the winner gets ALL the chips in the pot!

Then you can continue to round 2, etc. Once a player is out of poker chips, they are out of the game.

And that’s all there is to it!

Looking for more family game ideas?

Here are 15 Card Games for Families – these games are perfect to play with kids and adults together.


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  1. Teri Mez Feb 12, 2020

    Thanks for sharing! This sounds fun and pretty doable even with the littler kids... great for counting. :)

  2. RaShell Southerland Feb 12, 2020

    This looks like fun! We are going to play after dinner.

    It would be awesome if you had a printable of the rules of the games on your site. ☺️

  3. Janet Feb 16, 2020

    So much fun! Modified the game a bit for preschoolers...only used cards 2-6, one die and if you rolled a 1 is when you put a chip in the pot. Also helped with manners...Thanks neighbor! You’re welcome!

    1. Barb Clough Jan 24, 2022

      Great idea for the even younger kids! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Lucette Feb 28, 2020

    I play this with my aftercare group. They love it thank you for a new activity!

  5. Cari Mar 30, 2020

    My family of six just played. We had a blast! All ages, 8 through 18, all had fun. Thanks so much, we will enjoy this one again!

  6. Sussi Goff Apr 3, 2020

    This would also be great for elders in a daycare setting because they usually have varying degrees of dementia. Most of them naturally gravitates towards helping one another out.

  7. Jenny Jun 20, 2020

    When someone is rolling the dice do they continue to roll until there is nothing to turn over, or do they only roll one time and then pass the dice?

    1. Sarah Jun 23, 2020

      If they roll a number that they need to turn over, then they turn the card over and pass the dice. If they roll a number that they don't need but someone else needs, then the turn goes to that person. They DO keep rolling if they roll a number that no one else at the table needs. I hope that helps!

  8. Linda L Persoon Jun 30, 2020

    Do you just roll 1 die for the numbers 1-6?

    1. Sarah Jul 15, 2020

      I don't, but that's a great idea!

  9. Michelle Jul 22, 2020

    Thank you for posting! This is the game I remember playing at my grandparents house with my cousins. I've been looking for the rules so I could teach my kids. So excited to finally find them! Thanks!

  10. Cheryl Aug 22, 2020

    I remember playing at my grandparents house when I was growing up. I loved it. Of course my grandmother loved playing cards. I didn't realize this was on here and just needed a refresher course. Forgot about the chip part of it. Thanks for sharing. Love it.

  11. Elizabeth Aug 27, 2020

    So you never turn number 7 over?

    1. Sarah Aug 31, 2020

      You don't put out the number 7 card, lay out 2 through king, but skip the 7. Whenever you roll a 7, you put a chip in the pot.

      1. Betsy Feb 1, 2024

        In the directions, it said to remove the aces, 7s and kings…makes sense since the value of a queen is 12 and that’s the highest possible value of two added together.

  12. Rindy Sep 12, 2020

    Thanks for sharing! This is a game that I could have my students play to build our classroom community vibe!

  13. Richard Nov 27, 2020

    Oh, the fond memories of playing this as a kid with my extended family of all ages back in the 1950s and 1960s! It was a big hit for the 8-12 of us who opted to play it at the long dinner table after a Thanksgiving feast.

    I never forgot the fun nor the name of this game but I DID forget how to play it long ago and by then the older generation who did know how to play it had passed. So I'm very pleased to see this well-organized set of rules so I can play it again with extended family again someday!

    And we all did make sure to say "Thank you, Neighbor" at the right time as noted in the third post. That was also fun to do because we kids could be creative in how we said that!

    Thank you so much!

  14. Tam Dec 1, 2020

    Say everyone only has one card left. Does the next person to roll keep rolling until they either win, roll someone else’s face card (in which case that person would win), or roll a 7?

    1. Sarah Dec 2, 2020

      Yes, that's right. :-)

  15. Florence Ellis Feb 13, 2021

    Looks like a fun game to play with my grandkids when they come over. Thank you!

  16. Shirley R Talken Mar 16, 2021

    When someone wins the pot do they put the winnings aside and continue to round two with their remaining 15 chips or do they add their winning chips to their first 15?

    1. Sarah Mar 18, 2021

      They add the winning chips to what they had at the end of the round. No one ends up still having 15 at the end of the round because you will inevitably roll a 7 at least once and put a chip in the pot.

  17. Lori Aug 19, 2021

    This will be a great game to introduce to my special needs young adult daughter. She loves UNO, but we need a simple game like this to introduce suits, counting/recognizing die numbers. I look forward to trying it soon!!

  18. Qu Mo Nov 3, 2021

    Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to play this with the family.

  19. Kathryn Jan 31, 2022

    This was the first game that we've played as a family where all ages from preschool on up were able to play. Thank you so much! The hardest part was keeping the game moving with the little hands wanting to keep the dice, LOL. It worked great with 7 of us! We only played one round and that was good too. Next time we'll start earlier so we can go longer. Thank you so much! Looking forward to trying some of your other games!

  20. Patty Apr 30, 2022

    So, player #1 rolls a number he cannot use. Player # 2 also does not need it, so it passes to player # 3 who does. Player #3 uses the "gift" roll and then rolls for herself and play continues. Does player #2 then not get a turn this round?

    1. Sarah Apr 30, 2022

      Correct. But player #2 will likely get a bonus roll before long... turns are always switching around in this game, and it comes out surprisingly even.

  21. Kathryn Jun 18, 2022

    I just read a newspaper article from 1955 that told of my grandmother playing this game at a baby shower for a neighbor. I had to know what it was because I had never heard of it. Thank you very much for the instructions!


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