Playing cards have long been used as a form of quick and easy entertainment. They are versatile enough that they can be adapted to any number of games. The first playing cards originated in ancient China. Their popularity spread through Asia and then Europe. Quite often, card games are played in conjunction with tokens or coins to include betting or gambling in the game. Today some of the most popular games played include Blackjack, Euchre, Poker, Rummy, and Solitaire. Very often, new games are formed on the basis of older ones, so they may share some features such as scoring systems or rules. Playing card games is a fun way to socialize while helping players to improve their strategic and memory skills. Have a look at some of these games to start playing.
The Rules of Bridge (PDF)
Bridge uses a standard deck of cards and is typically played with four people. It is one of the most popular types of card games and is played casually as well as competitively.
Three Card Tonk
This game is best played with two people. Three Card Tonk is card game that crosses features of rummy, blackjack and gin.
Game of Ombre
The Game of Ombre is played among three people with a standard deck where all cards of 8, 9, and 10 values have been removed.
Despite the name, this card game is not actually related to Russia in any way. Players can opt to bluff in order to trick their rivals.
Sheepshead uses a shortened deck of 32 cards. This instruction guide comes with full instructions, including a quick reference guide for beginners.
Like the board game, Monopoly, Scum focuses on a theme of capitalism within a card game. The overall objective is to rise to the highest possible position and maintain it while defeating other players.
Las Vegas Solitaire
This game is a variation on the traditional version of Solitaire. Each card is assigned a monetary value and the player wins a jackpot if they are able to stack all of the cards within the basic foundation.
Blackjack is a card game that is popularly played in casinos. It involves comparing cards and can be played with one or multiple standard card decks.
Poker is a card game that primarily involves chance or luck. Players also need to incorporate strategy when include betting in the game.
This game involves a modified scoring system while the play and rules are based on the traditional game of Hearts.
Rummy usually takes a few hours and is played with a maximum of six players. It involves matching cards. There are many variations of Rummy with regards to scoring, rules, and game play.
Gin is played with two people and a single standard deck. The players agree upon the number of points needed to win the game and then attempt to achieve that score first.
Lady of the Manor Solitaire
This unique take on the usual game of Solitaire makes the game a little more challenging and fun.
Kings in the Corner
This is a game modeled after solitaire, but with multiple players and just one deck of cards.
Eight Off is a modified version of the game Patience, with some similarities to Solitaire. It uses eight main “cells” and four foundation piles to choose card from.
Skitgubbe is a unique and fun type of card game that is played in two separate phases: War and rummy. It traces its origins to Sweden.
Six Card Cribbage
This spin on the traditional game of Cribbage is meant for two players. To win, players have to engage in numerous deals in an attempt to be the first to reach 121 points.
This original card game requires players to test their memories as they play, in order to strategize effectively.
Doppelkopf has long been a popular card game in Germany. It uses two decks as suggested by its name, which translates to “double head”.
Klaberjass is a an extremely fast-paced card game that tests two players’ skills in bluffing and working out their opponent’s next move.
The Game of Alfred
In The Game of Alfred, two players battle each other through a series of challenges in order to lose all of their cards first.
In Spades, four players are organized into two teams. Each team attempts to reach the highest possible score through various strategies, while avoiding penalties.
8-Ball can be played with two to four players, or by multiple players in teams. The party to first reach 30 points through winning tricks is declared the winners.
Friendlier Than Thou (PDF)
In this unique card game, players have to imagine themselves in 19th century America. Each suit represents a different virtue, and players are judged according to the hand they have.
Euchre is typically played with four players divided into two teams. A partnership can win by being the first to gain a minimum of ten points.
This game of Euchre uses modified rules and a scoring system based on the original version.
Alan’s Ladder is an original card game that was adapted so that it was easy enugh for children to play. It can be played in just a few minutes without the need for much skill or strategy.
This oddly named card game is a very frenetic and fun game that requires players to think quickly and act fast.
This interesting card game was actually inspired by one that appeared in a work of fiction.
Mao works in a similar manner to UNO, although it uses a standard 52-card deck.
Barnga is best played with several small groups to demonstrate the idea of cultural differences. Each group is given a different set of rules and they rotate to play with the other teams.
Elizabethan Card Games
Learn about some older card games that were popular during Elizabeth I’s Golden Age.
Assorted Card Games
The card games presented here are generally lesser known but fun and fast-paced all the same.
Read the rules and descriptions of various card games that originated in previous centuries.
Card Game Rules (PDF)
Find instructions and rules for many popular card games such as Go Fish.