AGO Auf Deutsch – Card Game for Beginners Learning German

Hallo, Deutschlerner! Do you like playing card games like Uno? Do you also want to learn German? I have a game for you that you are going to love. The game is called AGO auf Deutsch. Play with 2 or more players. Ask each other questions in German and answer them while playing a fun and competitive card game. It is definitely worth checking out. Let me show you how it works and why you should buy it today! 

The name ‘AGO’ represents the three color coded card levels (Aqua, Green, and Orange), and the Japanese word for English, “Eigo”. You can read the instructions for the game in German or English.

How to Play AGO auf Deutsch the Card Game for German Learners

To start each player gets 7 cards. The rest of the cards are placed on the table. Place the top card face up on the table next to the stack of other cards. The person to the left of the dealer starts and the players take turns clockwise. When it’s your turn you can play a card that matches rank or color with the previous card. Rank would mean the number on the card and the color obviously is the color. When you play a question card, ask the next player a question using the card as a guide. That player then answers the question in German and plays their card. 

The rest of the game is played almost identically to Uno. “Aussetzen” means you skip the next player. “Ziehen” forces the next player to pick up the number of cards on the card. “Farbwechsel” changes the color the next person has to play. It works like a “Wild” card in Uno. “Richtungswechsel” reverses the direction. When you get down to your last card, say “Letzte Karte!” If someone else says it before you, you have to draw another card. The first player to lay all of their cards wins. 

Complaints About AGO auf Deutsch

There is also an app that goes with this game, but it is only in English and not German, which was a huge disappointment for me. In the English version, you tap the card that was played and you can hear audio of someone reading the card. This would be awesome to help you learn pronunciation, but this is one of my only complaints and it really isn’t even about the game itself. 

When I first opened this game, I thought it would be incredibly easy for the German learners to simply not speak any German with each other, but then I read the one line in the rules that says “Use German only or pick up a penalty card!” If you get caught by one of the other players speaking in a language other than German, you gain a card!

Why AGO auf Deutsch is PERFECT for Beginners

The questions on the cards keep the dialogue going while you play and you can modify this in a bunch of different ways to get even more out of the game. Each number has a theme: 1 is “du”, 2 is “Farben”, 3 “Essen” and so on. The full list of themes is: du, Farben, Essen, Tiere, Sport, Wetter, Schule, Zeit, and Spaß. This makes the entire game perfect for beginners or German 1 classes. 

An Example Game of AGO auf Deutsch

Zuerst mische ich die Karten. Dann gebe ich jedem Spieler 7 Karten. Ich habe sie auf den Tisch gelegt um sie alle gleichzeitig zu sehen, aber normalerweise hält man sie in der Hand, damit die anderen Spieler die Karten nicht sehen können. 

How to Use AGO auf Deutsch in a German Classroom

I have considered buying a classroom set of these card games and having my students play in groups of 4 or 5 students per group. I would modify it a bit, however.

Modification #1

I would make it so that the next student can’t lay down their card until they have answered the question from the previous student in a grammatically correct sentence. If they say something incorrectly, it is the responsibility of the other students in the group to call them out. You could simply have them call out “Fehler!” and then correct the sentence the student said. For example: 

“Hast du ein Haustier?” 
“Ja, ich habe eine Hund.” 
“Fehler! Ja, ich habe einen Hund.”

“Hast du ein Haustier?” 
“Ja, ich hast einen Hund.” 
“Fehler! Ja, ich habe einen Hund.”

Then you can either skip the student who made the mistake, as they don’t get to lay a card unless they can correctly answer the question, or you can simply make them repeat their answer without the error. If the card played before them does not require an answer to a question, for example a color or direction change or an “Aussetzen!” card, that student has to play off of the card, but doesn’t have to answer a question. Of course, I would only do this modified version after the students have played the regular version first. I think it would be an interesting way to add a challenge to the game. 

Another thing I would add is the phrase “kein Englisch”, which you could use to call someone out for speaking English during the game and cause them to have to draw a card. 

Modification #2

I saw a few other ideas for modifying the game to make it more versatile and allow it to be used beyond the A1 or A2 levels. The first is just have the students lie about their answers. 

“Hast du ein Haustier?”
“Ja, ich habe einen Tiger.” 

Modification #3

The second is to have the students answer questions as if they were about the next person in the game. Since it is unlikely that they know what the other student will answer for everything, they can guess what they will say. Then the other student can correct them if they are wrong. 

“Hat er ein Haustier?”
“Ja, er hat einen Goldfisch.” 
“Nein, ich habe keinen Goldfisch. Ich habe eine Katze.” 

Modification #4

Another version I liked was making the students expand their answers. Make it so that they have to answer for at least 10 seconds or more. 

“Hast du ein Haustier?” 
“Ja, ich habe einen Hund. Er heißt Struppi. Wir haben ihn im Sommer adoptiert. Er ist schwarz und weiß. Meine Mutter mag ihn nicht. Es gibt Haare überall auf dem Boden in unserem Haus.” 

How to Play AGO auf Deutsch as a Board Game

You can also make this into a board game of sorts. Layout the cards in a path. Have each student race to the end. When they land on a question, they have to answer the question. When they land on a special card, you can make them do special things. The “Farbwechsel” cards can make the player that lands there choose 2 players to swap places. They can swap their game piece with another player or choose two other players to swap. The “Richtungwechsel” card requires that they roll the die and go back that number of spaces. Landing on an “Aussetzen!” card allows you to jump 1 space in front of whoever is in the lead. The “Ziehen” cards tells you to go back that many spaces. 

You can watch a full game played by Herr Antrim against himself in the video below.

Buy Your Copy of AGO auf Deutsch

If you would like to buy a copy of the game for yourself, you can find an Amazon link to AGO auf Deutsch: Card Game for Beginners Learning German here. This post is not sponsored by AGO, but I do earn a small commission from any sales when you click on the Amazon affiliate link in the description. 

Das ist alles für heute. Danke fürs Zuschauen. Bis zum nächsten Mal. Tschüss. 

Herr Antrim
Herr Antrim is a German teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. In 2011 he started his successful YouTube Channel "Learn German with Herr Antrim". In 2015 he created this website to enhance the German language lessons he was providing on YouTube. He is now the author of his own e-book, "Beginner German with Herr Antrim". He has also been featured on numerous blogs and other sites. *This site uses a variety of affiliate links. If there is a link that leads to an outside site from which you could potentially make a purchase, it is very likely an affiliate link for which Herr Antrim will receive a small portion of your purchase. This does not cost you any extra, but it does help keep this website going. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like more information about the affiliate programs this site uses, click here.
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