A strategy for a two-dimensional contact analysis involving finite strain plasticity is developed with the aid of variable-node elements. The variable-node elements, in which nodes are added freely where they are needed, make it possible to transform the non-matching meshes into matching meshes directly. They thereby facilitate an efficient analysis, maintaining node-to-node contact during the contact deformation. The contact patch test, wherein the contact patch is constructed out of variable-node elements, is thus passed, and iterations for equilibrium solutions reach convergence faster in this scheme than in the conventional approach based on the node-to-surface contact. The effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed scheme are demonstrated through several numerical examples of elasto-plastic contact analyses.