Popular Card Games

Popular Card Games

Games that use cards instead of boards or other items are called “card games.” This word refers to everything from poker and blackjack to Old Maid and Spit in the Ocean. Card games are as varied as board games, with games for all ages and skill levels.

Here are the five most popular card games, ranked in order of number of players.

5. Spades

Down South, it isn’t a get-together until someone pulls out a deck of cards and starts dealing a game of Spades. Spades is technically a variation of bridge, a simpler version with a shorter duration. There are endless variations of Spades, including the popular “jailhouse rules” which penalize sandbagging, a tactic by which players underbid intentionally. Spades is a game of the middle and lower class in America, but a game that most people know how to play.

4. Whist

Whether you think of Whist as “poor man’s Bridge” or not, you have to admit that it is incredibly popular. There was a time in the 20th century when Whist was the game young people played–these days, it has an older audience. A typical Bridge variation involving bidding and trick-taking, Whist is popular because it is easy to play while distracted.

3. Hearts

Professional poker players are Hearts fanatics, getting together in secret to bet piles of cash on the game. The game of Hearts involves matching and double-crossing, though it isn’t a “bidding” game, making it one of the few really popular card games that don’t involve bidding. Hearts is as much about screwing the guy across the table from you as it is about playing the right card at the right time. A very “social” game, Hearts is a standard inclusion on pre-fabricated computers, pointing to its widespread popularity.

Popular Card Games

2. Texas Hold’em

Yes, Texas Hold’em exploded in popularity over the last ten or fifteen years. Even without the recent Hold’em drama, the story of Texas Hold’em is a unique story in card gaming. First thought up (and eventually popularized by) poker sharks in Texas, Hold’em is the most popular poker variation.  Since the game of poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, it could be said that Texas Hold’em is the most popular card game in the world. The standard card game of the World Series of Poker, Texas Hold’em is the gold standard for card game variations.

1. Bridge

This game is popular everywhere in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised to find Martians playing Bridge.

Bridge is a contract bidding game, and inspired dozens of game variations that themselves became popular card games. You can still find Bridge strategy in the newspaper and all over the Internet. Wherever card games are played, you’ll find a Bridge game gathering. Considered by many to be the hardest card game in the world, Bridge is constantly adding to its massive fanbase, spreading from one generation to another.

Card games have been around for hundreds of years, and even though we’re living in the age of the Internet, when everything is instant and online, physical card games are still very popular.

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