Many different types of card games exist to provide hours of enjoyment to players. Whether playing alone or with two or more players, card games are an inexpensive form of entertainment as well as using memory, statistical and competitive skills. The Internet provides another forum in which one player can still play team card games against interactive players all over the world.
Solitaire is the perfect card game for one individual. Matching wits against a standard deck of cards, the goal of basic solitaire is to move seven rows of cards into four piles consisting of the four types of cards found in a deck (clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds.) An ace from each card type starts a pile and cards are arranged in ascending order (ace through ten, jack, queen, and king.) Cards are moved, flipped and stacked based on the type of card that is played. A player wins the game when all cards have been played and the four piles created. If a player fails to create all four piles, they lose the game. Many different variations exist to Solitaire including FreeCell, Spider Solitaire and Aces Up.
Rummy is played by multiple players and enjoyed all over the world, including North America, Europe, Sri Lanka and Argentina. Basic Rummy is played with two to six players. Points are scored by melding combinations or sequences of cards. Players agree at the beginning of the game how many points are needed to win the game. After each hand, players count the number of points left by the cards in their hand and the value is added to the winner’s score. While Americans enjoy a variation of basic rummy called Gin Rummy, players in India prefer to play Indian Rummy and Nepal players fancy the rummy game called Marriage.
Poker is a gambling game where players use chips worth certain amounts of money, to bet on their hand. There are as many variations to poker as there are types of players. The premise of Poker is to have the best card hand so you win the pot of chips, or at least bluff well so the rest of the players think you have a good hand. Once cards are dealt, players have the opportunity to bet on their hands, raise a previous bet or fold, relinquishing whatever chips they contributed to the pot and discontinue playing their hand. A player can choose to pull out of a Poker game and cash in any chips they have won. Texas Hold'em is one of the easiest Poker games to learn, but it can take a lifetime to master. In tournament style, it is the gamed played at the World Series of Poker. Seven Card Stud and Five Card Draw are two other popular variations.
Card Games for Children
What youngster has not enjoyed a game of Go Fish or Old Maid? Once cards are dealt, each player takes a turn asking another player for a card that will match ones they are holding in their hand. The most enjoyable aspect of the game is to yell “Go Fish,” when the player does not have the required card. Even if you do not have an Old Maid deck, children can still play this game, substituting a joker for the “Old Maid.” Each player takes a turn picking a card from another player. Pairs are laid down until the end when the child stuck with the “Old Maid,” loses.
Other Card Games
Bridge and Pinochle are both popular card games played with two sets of partners, paired against each other. The premise of both games is to bid on each hand, name a trump suit and win as many tricks as possible. Both games keep score and the team with the highest predetermined score wins. Hearts is a game with a twist. Rather than trying to gain points to win, players try to give away points. Each heart gains the holder a point and the nasty Queen of Spades is to be avoided at all costs, being worth 13 points. Cribbage can be enjoyed by two, three or four players and knowing how to add is an important skill. Pegs are moved around the cribbage board based on players' hands.
Anne Reynolds is a writer who has worked for the U.S. government, the public school system and as a public library specialist. She began writing in 1990 and has contributed articles to various online publications.