Top 10 Most Popular Card Games of 2021
Updated: Feb 8
Card games are one of the most played games today. They are loved by many people worldwide for their simplicity and ease of play. If you want to keep your children or friends entertained, having some card decks with you can help with that.
While some card games feature NSFW content that isn’t appropriate for kids, most companies nowadays design various versions of the same game to accommodate different audiences. Plus, if you like, you can remove cards that may be inappropriate before you start playing.
Today, we will talk about some of the most popular card game choices that you should try if you haven’t already.
History of Playing Cards
Many people have some card decks in their houses, which they use to play different card games. Unfortunately, not many of us know where these games originated. Before we talk about popular card games, it’s essential that we look at the history of card playing to help you understand where it all started.
Many articles claim that playing cards started in Chinese in the ninth century. That’s because symbols and designs on cards are similar to those on Chinese money during those times. As such, individuals traded cards like the way we trade with money today.
In the 13th century, Europeans learned about card-playing and started enjoying card games. However, their cards featured different designs than those used by the Chinese. Most of these styles were Etienne Vignole’s inventions.
Later in the 1400s the French adopted card playing and designed the four suits that we use today, that is, hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds. These suits were then adopted in England in 1462 during the War of the Roses. The Germans then later started printing cards in large volumes, which made card games more popular.
The first card deck to be printed had 32 cards. But nowadays, we have variations featuring 24-52 cards in a pack. Some people argue that the 52 card deck is based on 52 weeks that a year has, which makes sense because the total value of cards in a deck adds up to 365, the same number of days in a year.
Previously, cards were printed on wood and bone. However, this changed when US soldiers introduced these cards in the country, which saw them being made from paper. Card symbols have also changed since the first day they were created. Some people associate the four suits with Medieval society’s four classes. Clubs, diamonds, spades, and hearts represent peasants, merchants, spades, and hearts for church members, respectively.
Why Are Card Games So Popular?
Card games have a prominent place in today’s world, and for good reasons. Here is what makes these cards popular;
Easy to Adapt- card games feature rules and gameplay that have been passed to different generations. However, note that rules are dependent on the cards’ region. Players can modify these rules to create a more interesting game. Also, anyone can play these games despite their age and expertise. Since there are many different card games, it’s easy for one to find one that’s appropriate to their age and suits their preference.
Are Portable- you can easily fit cards into your pockets or bags and comfortably walk with them. It’s why they’ve been popular among soldiers, sailors, and different travelers.
Easy Set Up- players only need to shuffle a deck and play any card game they want. Plus, most games have natural breaks, meaning you can conveniently decide how long you want to play.
Depend on Both Luck and Skill- while players can’t control their winning chances, in the past, lucky players were considered gods’ favored, which made people honor them. Some card games will require you to employ a little bit of strategy to win. However, others are based purely on luck.
Enhances Bonds and Friendships- players can carry out even serious conversations without interrupting the gameplay. Therefore, if someone has something to say, they mustn’t stop the game first. As such, this not only makes them fun but also increases connections.
An aspect of Mystery- in board games, all other players can easily predict your next moves since they can see what’s going on. However, in card games, they only see what you’ve dealt and can’t guess what your next move is. So, nobody can know what you have until all of you drop cards on the table.
10 Popular Card Games Everyone Should Know
The above reasons can attract one to playing card games. Don’t be surprised to play the same game your great grandparents played long ago. The following ten games are popular card games that you should know and learn if you haven’t yet.
Also referred to as Noddy is a two-player card game that requires individuals to make card combinations on a pile. Each combination placed earns a player some points. A cribbage board is used to record scores, and a player with 121 points wins that round.
When starting, all players pick a card from their pack and leave not less than four cards inside. If you have the lowest card, you start the game. The person playing first places their four cards as face up so that the other players can add their total value. Ace is equivalent to one point, all royals make ten points, and other cards are respective of their face value.
Once the dealer puts a card in a pile, all players present one, so that they add up to 31 and not more than this. If it’s your turn to play, but all your cards will add to more than 31, you‘re out of that round.
2. 500 Rum
500 Rum is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and two jokers. It can be played with up to five players. If two people are playing, they are given 13 cards. However, if players are more, each is given seven cards. All are face value cards with face cards carrying 10 points and jokers 15.
Players will each pick one card from the pile and discard another before the next player can play. Players aim at collecting at least three cards of a similar rank or suit and place them facing down in front of them. Any card that completes a sequence can be added to it. Jokers, since they are wild, can also be placed on a sequence.
Individuals can pick the discard pile’s top card. When any player finishes their cards, the game ends. You can make this game harder by playing with two decks of cards. Follow these same rules, meaning that one can’t drop two threes of clubs and one three of hearts.
Once a round has been won, players subtract the card values they have in their hands from the value on the tableau. Note that the score could be negative. What’s essential is to play the game until a player ends up with a score of 500.
Poker nights are common among those who love card games. However, if you are playing with money, keep this game exclusively for adults. Individuals play with poker cards that are designed specifically for this game. And they try to remain with the highest rank. For instance, one can have K, Q, J, 10, 9, like that up to ace. However, note that suits are not higher than other suits.
At the start, a dealer distributes equal cards and chips to players. Then they’ll bet with the chips in turns. What’s interesting about poker is that you can make your competitors believe that you have good or bad cards. But consider your risk and your cards’ value when deciding how much money you want to bet with.
After a round, all players show their cards to one another to determine who has a high value, and the person with it wins. You can play different poker combinations. But the common hands are counted from 5 of a kind to nothing. If you’re not an expert poker player, we advise that you avoid money betting first. Instead, concentrate on watching and learning how others are playing this game.
Solitaire is the most popular card game. While initially it was designed for two players, nowadays, you can enjoy it on your own. Players are required to build cards in descending order from King, Queen, Jack, 10, like that, into four piles. You should arrange those cards in alternating colors, which means if the top card is red, the next should be black.
Individuals start with a standard deck that has 52 cards. From it, they create seven rows with cards facing down. On your first row, add one card, two, three, and four cards on your second, third and fourth row, respectively. Proceed like that with the other rows, so that you end up with seven cards on your seventh row. Also, remember to deal the last card on all your rows as face up.
Create a pile using the remaining cards that can be used later. Then try creating a descending sequence by moving the cards in the rows across each other. If that’s not possible, pick a card from the pile you created.
Once you’ve built a proper sequence from king to ace, place that in one of your four piles.
Try playing MobilityWare Solitaire on your phone or computer here.
Here, the player with the lowest score wins. Heart cards score one point, and Queen of spades/black maria has 13 points. Thus, these cards should be avoided.
Hearts is played with four players, each dealing with 13 cards. You’ll evaluate your hand and carefully pick three cards that you pass to the player on your left. These will be in an attempt to get rid of cards with high values in your pack. Second and third-round players pass cards to their right and across, respectively.
The fourth round doesn’t have a pass, meaning that it’s time to repeat the cycle, which is started with a person who has a two of clubs, but they must not tamper with the suit. If that’s not possible, they can get rid of another card, mostly a King, Queen, Ace of Spades, or heart. But you can’t play with these in the first trick. The player that places a card with the highest value wins a round.
The winning player then starts the next trick. Once the game is over, players add their total scores. Those with all hearts and queens, however, get 0 points, while other players are given 26 points. The game ends once someone scores 100 points. And the player with the lowest points is declared the winner.
6. Gin Rummy
Rummy referees to games where individuals deal 3 or more sets or melds of cards of the same rank or number. Gin Rummy was derived from rummy and was established in 1909. It’s a multiplayer game that can be played with 2-6 people.
Gin Rummy uses the standard 52 card deck where players build cards in a sequence of the same suit. Cards are arranged numerically, for instance, from 6,7, 8 of diamonds, or 4,5,6 of hearts. But, one can also win this game if they have the same number, even if it’s not of the same suit. For instance, a player can have 5 of hearts, 5 of diamonds, and 5 of clubs. The player who scores 100 wins that round.
To play this game, individuals start by shuffling the cards. Then if the players are two, each is given ten cards. But if they are three or four, they’ll be given seven cards each. And for five or six players, they will have six cards.
After, you’ll choose a dealer. Excess cards are placed in two piles; a stockpile where all cards are dealt as face down and a discard pile that has face-up cards. Players then take a single card from any of these piles.
They follow a clockwise direction. The round ends when a player knocks on the table to indicate that he/she has completed the sets in a hand. Then, the other players will place their cards face up and say “gin.”
The score is calculated depending on the cards’ face value. Aces score one point, and 10 points are awarded to face cards. The scores of the other cards are the same as their values.
Blackjack is usually played in a casino as it is easy to learn and fast to play. Players compete with the dealer and not each other. And the goal is to get cards to add up to or close to 21 and not past. The person who gets close to 21 wins this game. But if a dealer gets close to 21, you lose that round.
Players are given three face-down cards that they aren’t supposed to look at. Then, they are given another six cards as face down that they should keep separate from the first three. They can look at these six cards and pick three cards to face up on top of the higher cards. Usually, it’s better to expose cards with the highest rank. Then the other three cards are placed in a draw pile where they flip a top card to start a discard pile.
If you have three face-up cards, you’ll start the game. However, if there are two or more players with these cards, the person with four starts the game. Then the starting player plays a card equal to or higher than the cards that started, and the game continues like that. Card of value two resets the game.
Draw cards from the discard pile until the draw pile is empty. Then, start playing with your hands and end with three cards, each as face down as you initially had. A player to finish their cards wins that round.
Spades has been around since the 1930s. It was invented by college students and requires a little bit of strategy to win. It can be played by 2-7 players. The goal is for a player to collect as many tricks as they can for that round. That is one matches cards in suit or number.
At the start of the game, players decide on the number of points that will win it. Generally, the winning player should have 500 points. However, this can be changed with those playing.
Each player will be given equal cards. But, the one who ends up with the card of the highest value, will deal the game. From him/her, the game is played in a clockwise direction, with players trying to follow suit.
But, if it’s your turn to play and you don’t have the card that follows in suit, you can decide to trump a spade or discard.
A player who wins the trick starts the next round, and players continue until they run out of cards. Note that a spade can’t be used unless it’s the only card a player has in their hand.
This is a fast-paced game that requires coordination of your hands and eyes. While it was initially designed for two players, you can make it more fun by having three or more people playing it. However, concentrating becomes difficult with many players.
Players are required to play cards into the middle foundations and try to score as many points as they can. The player who scores 150 points wins this game. If several players have reached this score, that with the highest points overall is declared the winner.
Every player is given their own standard card deck, which should be different from the other players as they’ll be mixed as the game continues. Then, each player shuffles their deck, removes 12 cards, and places them down and another card up in a pile to form thirteen cards. Then next to that, put four cards, each on the four columns.
When either player reveals an ace, it is put in the middle of the table and all players can build it up to a King. Cards are shuffled in the middle of a round.
These top ten card games are worth trying if you are looking for something to keep you busy and entertained. Plus, some of them, like poker, can give you some money through betting. Host a game night and invite your family or friends, then pick any of the games above. As long as you have enough cards and know the rules of each game, you’ll be good to go.