Games of Probability With Cards

By Luc Braybury
Card games are a combination of skill and chance.

Card games are a form of popular entertainment enjoyed by people and cultures all over the world. Hundreds of card games exist though some games are played with more or less standardized rules and traditional playing decks. One of the primary features of game play in card games is the reliance on chance and probability to determine who gets what cards at what time during the game. Some of the most popular, and standardized card games of chance are poker, rummy, Uno and blackjack.

Poker

Poker is a category of card games that share a foundational structure of rules including better and similar hand rankings. The main differences in the various forms of poker include how cards are dealt, how hands are formed, bet sizes and the number of betting rounds. In general, poker games begin by dealing a set number of cards to each player. Next comes a round of betting where players bet that their hand has the highest rank. Play moves around a table of players who must match or raise the previous bet or quit the game, losing their bets. Betting ends when all players match their previous bet or fold. Remaining players reveal their cards, and whoever has the highest ranking hand wins the money.

Rummy

Rummy is a family of card games based on matching. The basic rules state that a two player game begins with dealing each player 10 cards then placing the remainder of the deck between the players, face down. A card is then taken from the top of the deck and placed face up next to the deck. Players draw a card from the deck in an attempt to form pairs of cards, laying down sequences or pairs of cards and discarding a card each turn. If an opponent is showing a sequence or pair that another player can add to with their own cards, they may do so. A player wins when all of his cards are played.

Uno

Uno is a non-traditional card game that includes cards of four different colors: red, green, blue and yellow numbered 0 to 9. Three "action" cards are included for each each color including: "skip," "reverse" and "draw two" plus black-colored "wild" and "wild draw four" cards. Seven cards are dealt to each player, the remainder deck is placed between players and one card is placed face-up next to it. Players must play a card matching the color or rank of the exposed card, or play a wild card to change colors. Otherwise, the player must draw a new card. Players must say "Uno" when playing their next to last card. The first person to discard all of her cards wins.

Blackjack

Blackjack is a card comparison game between a player and a dealer with a deck of standard playing cards. The goal is to collect cards with a total face value of 21 without "busting." Busting means the value of your cards is greater than 21. Generally, a player is dealt two cards. The dealer also receives two cards with one exposed. The player is then given the opportunity to "hit" or "stay," meaning the player can request another card to add to his pile or refuse an additional card. After the player's turn, the dealer always takes a hit until he reaches 17 or above. The game continues until the dealer reaches a sum total of 17 to 21 or busts, or the player reaches 21 or busts. Whichever player is closest to 21 without going over wins.

About the Author

Luc Braybury began writing professionally in 2010. He specializes in science and technology writing and has published on various websites. He received his Bachelor of Science in applied physics from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga.