Pairs uses a simple triangular deck of cards: that’s 1×1, 2×2, 3×3, and so on all the way to 10×10. There are many ways to play, but here’s the basic game:
Pairs is a simple press-your-luck game. Players take turns taking cards, trying not to get a pair. If you get a pair, you score points (and points are bad). You can also choose to fold, instead of taking a card, and score the lowest card in play. Folding gets you some points, but catching a pair could get you even more.
Pairs doesn’t have a winner, just a loser. The first player to reach a target score loses, and the target score depends on the number of players. For example, with 4 players, the loser is the first player to 16 points.