How to play potato pirates game

Ahoy pirates! It’s time to prepare your ships and crew for the battle. Before you get started, watch this step-by-step video guide, or if you’d like to read it, download the full instruction below.


Shiver Me Timbers! A programming error has caused the legendary Potato King to be simultaneously stuck in seven different places. Successfully rescue all seven Potato Kings from the Deadlock of Doom, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded! Beware, this mission will be anything but smooth sailing. To keep your enemies from your future riches, you’ll have to program attacks and eliminate enemy ships. Will you master the Art of Potato War to save Potato King?


Battle other players to eliminate their Potato Crew and seize their Potato King Cards. Acquire all seven Potato King Cards OR be the last player sailing. You can acquire Potato Kings by:

How to win potato pirates coding card games

Drawing them at the beginning of your turn

How to win potato pirates coding card game

Looting them from other players

how to teach kid coding with potato pirates game

Eliminating players and taking their Potato Kings


Shuffle the card deck. Each player begins with 5 Playing Cards, 2 Ships, and a Crew of 20 Potatoes, divided evenly between both Ships (1 Big Potato = 5 Small Potatoes). Place both Ships face-up in Anchor Mode. All remaining Playing Cards become the Draw Pile.

How to set up potato pirates game


Potato Pirates the best way to learn coding with games

During Your First Turn

Draw 2 Cards and then program attacks by placing Action Cards and Control Cards on your anchored Ships. Each Ship can hold a maximum of 3 Cards.

Potato Pirates the best coding games for kids

During Your Second Turn

Draw 2 Cards and send your Ships to Battle and run each attack on one enemy Ship each.

How to play the best coding games for kids

During All Subsequent Turns

On each of your ships, during a turn you can either build/modify the attacks or run your attacks by turning the Ship to battle mode. You cannot do both.

When running your attacks, you need to choose which ship you wish to attack.

You can also buy ship(s) or redistribute your Potato Crew amongst your anchored Ships.

Play Surprise Cards like Loot and Hijack at any time—even when it’s NOT your turn.

Play potato pirates game

If Your Ships Sink

Once a Ship loses all of its Potato Crew, it will sink. Any cards onboard the Ship go down with it and are put into the discard pile. Losing all Ships and Crew would mean elimination and any cards in your hand (including revealed Potato King Cards) will be surrendered to the person who removed you from play.


Potato pirates card, learn coding with games

Action Cards

Use Action cards to attack enemy ships. Opponents must discard Potatoes according to the amount illustrated on the Action Card(s). These cards can be stacked with one another to create additional damage, but they can only be used once unless you have Control Cards that allow you to repeat the attack (during a single turn).

Potato pirates are computer science games

Control Cards

Control Cards boost Action Cards. They consist of LOOPS and CONDITIONALS that let you use Action Cards multiple times during the same turn! You can even stack two Control Cards and one Action Card together to create serious damage.

Surprise cards in Potato Pirates computer science games

Surprise Cards

INTERRUPT your opponent’s planned attack with Surprise Cards! Surprise Cards can be played anytime, even when it is NOT your turn. They must be placed in the discard pile after a single-use.

Win potato pirates game with potato king cards

Potato King Cards

Upon drawing a Potato King Card, you must reveal it immediately by waving it in the air and saying “All Hail!” If you have a Potato King in your starting hand, reveal it on your first turn. After you reveal a Potato King Card, all players must shout, “Potato King!” AND salute you. The last player to do so must surrender 2 potatoes to you.


Teach fundamentals of programming in 30 minutes with Potato Pirates Coding card game

Best Game To Teach Computer Science For Kids

Potato pirates game concept

Game Concept

Potato Pirates is a highly competitie and thrilled educational game that encourages anyone to explore basic coding concepts without the need for prior knowledge of programming. It is an excellent coding card game that is perfect for family day, game night with friends, and even the classroom.

Potato pirates game teaches fundamental programming concepts

Programming Concepts Covered

Our coding card games teach fundamental programming concepts, such as variables, functions, while loops & if-else conditional, nested loops, algorithms & sequential logic, interrupts & control flow, as well as common programming bugs. Potato Pirates is so popular amongst kids because our pirate card game theme makes it fun to play!

Playing potato pirates game showed effective results

Game Play

The game is simple with an easy setup so you can play it immediately. Your mission is to eliminate other players’ Potato Crews and seize their Potato King Cards. Other ways to win the game are by acquiring all seven Potato King Cards or being the last player sailing. One of the best card games for the whole family!

Definition of numers, strings, floats in computer programming

Shown Effective Result

When we say best programming games for kids, we mean it! Potato Pirates games have shown to result in an 85% rise in interest, a 78% increase in confidence and a 9 in 10 success of explaining Computer Science concepts amongst children or families who have played our card for just 1 hour.

Frequently Asked Questions


When do I switch from Anchor to Battle or vice versa?

The switch from Anchor to Battle happens when you decide to launch an attack built under that ship. Switching from Anchor to Battle is only legitimate in 2 scenarios:

1) Control and Action cards were placed under your ship on the previous turn AND you have not modified (the sequence, add or remove cards) the cards under that ship.

2) It is your turn, you hijack a ship (on your turn or another player's turn) AND you did not modify any cards under that ship. You may switch that hijacked ship from Anchor to Battle immediately.

Switch from Battle to Anchor only happens on the next turn after you launch an attack. There should be no cards under the Battle ship as they should have been discarded.

Can I put a ship in battle mode even if it has no action/control cards loaded (i.e. to protect it from being hijacked?)

The strategy is interesting and possible. However, doing that does not protect your ship from being attacked. Also note that you can't build any attacks under ships that are in Battle mode.

Can I build on a ship in anchor and then switch to battle before ending my turn?

No. See answer above. Ship that you modify in your turn cannot be turned to Battle in the same turn. You must wait till your next turn.

Control Cards

When I have an If-Else card, it attacks all ships, does it attack the other ships you own too?

Potato War has no friendly fire. Only attack enemy ships.

Surprise Cards

Can I hijack a ship and send it to battle on the same turn?

No. Even in Potato War, we have code of honour. If a player hijack ship outside of their turn, player must wait till their turn before attack. If a player hijacks ship within their turn, is acceptable to send it to battle.

When hijacking a ship, can I put a crew on the hijacked ship or should I wait until it’s my turn?

Hijacker can assign crew to ship. Hijacked player must wait until turn to rearrange their crew because minions all panic and run to nearest ship. 

Can I use one deny card to deny multiple ship attacks or only one ship?

The deny card is like toilet paper. Only use 1 time for 1 attack. You cannot deny multiple ships or attacks.

See how strategic you could play it? Our best games for kids can be very exciting even for adults!

What do I do if I play a switch card and I have more than 3 ships? Do I just draw three cards?

There is a default statement at the end, if you have zero ships or more than 3 ships, you get nothing. Player get nothing, because player fall outside of defined condition on card. If you have 0 ship or more than 3 ships, it become default - which means nothing happens. However, you can abandon a ships to your desired number in order to use the Switch card.

Just for the note: the strategy in these programming games for kids and adults is revolving around how to teach kid coding in a fun way. Or for those people who want to start learning to code.

Do all pink action cards interrupt each other? E.g. a deny can block a loot. But if player A attempts to loot player B, can player B play a card like Hack/Hijack and resolve it before the loot happens?

Pink card will run in order of who play first. Maybe if you lucky you loot the Hack or Hijack. Only Deny can cancel out.

Surprise cards represent common bugs in programming. It’s a more practical strategy of how to teach kid coding effectively.


When there are only 2 players left and one of them has a Potato King card, is it an automatic lose to the opponent, since there is no one else to race to salute?

Yes. Potato King no mercy, so you also have no mercy.

If I loot a Potato King from someone else, do I have to play it, or can I keep it in my hand to play later?

If player loot on their own turn, must play immediately. If loot out of turn, keep until turn.

If a player is eliminated and I take over their Potato King cards, do I get to play them again to gain potatoes?

No. You only get to play them if you loot the Potato King bug cards from other players.