I deal out thirteen cards to my son the same amount to myself. The remaining thirty cards from a single deck of standard playing cards are face-down in a stack between us. This is the draw pile.
"You start." I say as we're organizing our cards with one hand and struggling to keep them fanned out properly with the other. You don't think about this simple act of coordination once you've become experienced but people new to cards struggle a little.
"Do you have any 8s?" he asks expectantly.
I quietly pull an 8 of spades out of my hand and make eye-contact with him to check his response. He's smiling a little, like he got lucky. He grabs it from me and places the card on the far right of his collection and tucks it in.
"Do you have any Aces?" he continues.
"Go Fish." I reply with a little uptick in my tone.
It's my turn. I need to surmise what he might be holding.
"Hast thou any card of the good lady?" I intone with an English accent.
He chuckles at my tomfoolery and confirms with a grasp of two queens from his hand. "Like these?" he says and pulls them back a little when I reach for them.
This game is genius. On the one hand, it's a guessing game. It's a decent way to pass the time. It's also an opportunity to get comfortable with others and turn something boring into something interesting. You can have fun with your language while you laugh and exchange pleasantries. You exercise your memory by recalling what the other players requested after you draw a new card from the pile.
Playing cards is a way to get to know each other without having to sit and awkwardly go too deep too quickly with direct questioning. And besides, who doesn't want to be told to Go Fish once in a while?