Donkey Card Game

Donkey Card Game


The Donkey card game, also known as Donkey Monkey, is a fast-paced, multiplayer collection card game. 

The main objective of the game is to strategically make Four-of-a-Kind with cards in your hand to finish your cards before other players. It requires a skillful understanding of knowing when to hold your cards and when to pass them.

It is widely popular because of its availability as an online game, providing easy access for players. It is a simple and engaging choice for card game enthusiasts.

What is the Donkey Card Game

While it may have a funny name, the Donkey card game is one of the most popular card games in the world. It is a favourite with children and lots of fun for friends and families playing card games together.

As per some historians, the game originated in America in the early 20th century. The game is also known as ‘Pig’ and ‘Spoons’ in different regions around the world. It is played in the same manner as the Victorian card game, Old Maid. The goal is to form a ‘Four-of-a-Kind’ hand and not be left on the table with odd cards in hand. 

How to Play Donkey Card Game

  • Number of Players and Rounds:

    • Not capped by rules
    • Playable between 3 to 13 players
    • A standard deck of 52 cards used
    • Extra decks are needed for more participants
  • Dealing Cards:

    • Remove Blanks and Joker cards from the deck
    • The dealer shuffles and deals four cards to each player
  • Gameplay:

    • Players view their cards
    • Simultaneously discard one card face-down for the player left to them
    • Pick up the card discarded by the player to their right
    • Objective: Collect four cards of the same rank
  • Tokens and 'Donkey':

    • Chips, matches, or other tokens are placed in the middle of the table
    • The player with 'Four-of-a-Kind' picks a token, calls 'Donkey'
    • Others quickly grab the remaining tokens
    • The player who fails is crowned as the 'Donkey'
  • Decision-Making:

    • Players quickly decide which card to keep and discard
    • Check if a pair can be made with the received card
    • Pass unwanted cards to the player on the left if necessary
  • Ending the Game:

    • The player with four cards of the same rank lays them down quietly
    • The last player to put down cards becomes the 'Donkey'

Donkey Card Game Rules

The Donkey card game is a favourite among players due to its straightforward and easy-to-understand rules:

  • Players are only allowed to pass one card at a time
  • Players pass cards in a left-to-right pattern, forming a cycle of card transfers
  • Players pass cards simultaneously to prevent strategizing the next move based on the cards they receive
  • A player must pass a card and then pick up the one passed to them, adding an extra thrill to the gameplay
  • On making a 'Four-of-a-Kind,' the player places their cards face down on the table without disclosing anything
  • Players signify their victory in the Donkey card game in a low-key way. They place their hands under the table without making any verbal announcements
  • Players must stay alert and focused so they don't miss noticing a player placing their hands under the table 

Tips and Tricks for Donkey Card Game Made Simple:

While becoming a pro at card games like Donkey takes time, these tips can help you improve and have more fun with family and friends. Let's dive into some easy Donkey Card Game tips!

Monitor Cards:

Pay attention to the cards you pick and pass. Monitoring cards will help you plan your moves and get rid of odd cards.

Time Your Moves:

Act quickly when passing or picking cards. Fast decisions can make a big difference in your success.

A Poker Face always helps:

Hide your feelings when getting cards. A poker face makes it difficult for your opponents to guess your hand.

Beware of the Donkey:

Avoid becoming the ‘Donkey’ by staying focused. Missing a cue leads to a funny punishment, so be on the lookout!

Predict Opponents:

Try to guess what moves your opponents will make. Messing with their 'Four-of-a-Kind' formations can give you an edge.

Smart Card Holding:

Save certain cards to create potential 'Four-of-a-Kind' combos later. Planning increases your winning chances.

Don't overdo bluff:

Confuse your opponents with bluffing, but be careful; don't overdo it. Too much bluffing can attract unwanted attention.

Enjoy the game:

Experience the lighthearted and fun spirit of the Donkey card game. Laugh and have a good time with your fellow players.

These tips can be handy, so gather your friends, shuffle up the cards, and get ready to start the entertaining Donkey card game journey!

How do players decide on the ‘Donkey’ as per the Donkey Card Game?

A player in the Donkey card game lays their cards face-down on the table and slides their hands under the table when they achieve Four-of-a-Kind. To see if they have a set, the other players are constantly inspecting their own hands.

The other players must pay attention during this bustle when one or more players slide their hands under the table and do the same. The odd one out is whoever is still clutching their cards and is lost in thought.

The oddball is forced to play the role of the Donkey and gallop around the table while yelling "Hee Haw." Given that they are played among children for amusement and to help them learn to be aware of their surroundings, Donkey card games don't really have any tricks.

Donkey Card Game vs. Poker 

The Donkey card game and poker both involve cards, but they differ significantly in gameplay and objectives. 

  • The Donkey card game is straightforward and focuses on quickly playing and collecting cards to beat your opponent. In contrast, poker involves strategic thinking, incorporating elements of psychology and mathematical calculations
  • In the Donkey Monkey card game, the goal is to finish your cards and gather specified objects before your opponent does. It's a simple game that doesn't require deep strategy or complex rules
  • On the other hand, poker, especially in real-money online games, aims at winning the pot. The pot accumulates from bets made by players, and the objective is to create the best five-card hand using a combination of two private cards and five community cards. In poker, players strategically bet, hoping to have the strongest hand or to bluff convincingly, encouraging opponents to fold their hands

In summary, while the Donkey card game is a quick and easy competition focused on completing a simple objective, poker involves a more intricate blend of skill, psychology, and probability, with the ultimate goal of winning the accumulated pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the Donkey Card Game created?

Although the exact origin of the game remains uncertain, it is believed to have originated in the early 20th century in America. 

How do you win a Donkey game?

To win the Donkey card game, be quick in passing and grabbing cards. Stay alert, pay attention to other players, observe card movements, and remember who has what. On top of that, use bluff tactics to misdirect opponents. The game is about speed and strategy, so practice quick decision-making for better chances of winning.

How many cards are there in the Donkey game?

In the Donkey card game, a standard deck of 52 cards is required. You can use extra decks of cards if there are more participants.

How do I play the Donkey Card Game?

The Donkey card game requires players to match a Four-of-a-kind hand and avoid being left with an item while using a conventional 52-card deck. 

When a player has a Four-of-a-kind, he can pick up any object that is kept in the middle. When other players notice this, they must all pick up an item as well. The loser of that round is the one who is left without any objects. The Donkey card game can be downloaded and played online as well.


In conclusion, the Donkey card game stands out as a casual, fun-filled experience. With its origins dating back to the early 20th century, the game has evolved into a favourite worldwide, especially among children and families. 

The easy-to-understand rules, the excitement of forming Four-of-a-Kind, and the quirky custom of designating the 'Donkey' make it a cherished choice for card game enthusiasts. Its online availability further enhances its popularity, providing easy access for players of all ages.

Customer Care
1800 572 0611
10 AM to 7 PM | All Days