6 Card Games Everyone Should Know

The art of skillfully playing card games has been around since the beginning of time. These 6 classic card games are a must-know for every poker, blackjack and solitaire fan.

The “most popular card games” is a list of six different card games that everyone should know. The list includes some of the most common card games, as well as some more obscure ones.

6 Card games everyone should know.

For a long time, card games have been popular. They were originated in the Far East and have been around for millennia in different forms. The French consolidated the 52-card deck and the four suits — spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds — that we use today in the 1400s when they came West with commerce. While many cultures and countries use different decks of cards, it is the most generally utilized method worldwide. Friends, relatives, and strangers have gathered around bar tops, campfires, and dining room tables for ages to play pleasant and sometimes not-so-friendly card games.

Card Games: Their Allure (and Manliness)

What is it about card games that appeals to males, and why have they taken such a significant position in their culture?

Vintage men outside playing cards in the woods.

Portability. A deck of cards, rather than a game board and several potentially misplaced components, may easily fit into a pocket or other compact location. One of the reasons they’ve always been popular with sailors and soldiers (as well as tourists and explorers of all types) is that they can simply be tossed in a pack or seabag and cracked open on the frontlines or in a submarine’s berth.

Vintage men playing cards.

Speed. Long set-ups are common in board games, and games may take a long time to play. If a break is required, it is easy to lose track of where one is in the game. Card games, on the other hand, just need a shuffle and may be used to play nearly any game. And most games, even those that go on for a long time, have natural pauses at the conclusion of each hand or deal. You may play for as little as a few minutes or as long as you choose.

Vintage family playing cards.

If you can figure out who placed the card down, you’ll get bonus points.

Adaptability and informality are two qualities that stand out. Most card games are folk games, with rules that are handed down and altered from generation to generation (which makes researching the history of each game quite difficult!). Every family and even area has its own set of rules, and those rules may grow over time depending on what the players find most fun. Most games may be adjusted up or down in difficulty to accommodate both novice and experienced players.

Vintage seamen playing cards.

There’s a good mix of luck and skill in this game. “A key appeal of card games is that they are in general neither entirely mindless, like most dice games, nor extremely intellectual, like Chess, but provide a healthy mix of chance and ability,” argues games historian David Parlett. The real balance changes from game to game, allowing well-informed players to choose the one or two best suited to their likes and skills from the huge variety of card games.” Despite the fact that players have no influence over the random components of games, in the past, a man who had a lucky streak in cards was said to be favored by the gods, which increased his honor.

Vintage soldiers playing cards.

This is a manly competition. Men’s sports have long been seen to be symbolic representations of their more violent confrontations in combat and war. This is true of football just as much as it is of card games. When anthropologist Michael Herzfeld lived among the harsh, rugged shepherds in a remote, mountainous part of Crete, he saw how their daily card games provided as a “means for the expression of struggle in iconic form.” He says in his letter:


“They are, without a doubt, contests. ‘Let’s clash lances [na kondarokhtipisomene]!’ would exclaim one of my favorite card-playing groups. Card games are often referred to as’struggling,’ and heroic opponents are referred to as pallikaria (‘excellent young men.’) When two kinsmen of opposite generations were pitted against one other, even though they were close in age, an observer jokingly excused the situation by stating that it was a contest between the old and the young. Almost every action is accompanied by violent gestures, like as pounding the table with the knuckles as each card is tossed down.”

This echoe of masculinity and dignity, the need for strategy, and the element of danger and reward “adds flavor to what would otherwise be a daily repetitious routine.”

Vintage men playing cards.

Conversation is simple and enjoyable. Card games allow for simple, no-pressure discussion; if someone has anything to say, they may say it; if not, they can focus on the game. Jokes and insults are shared, especially when all the players are males, and add to the distinctive feeling of male camaraderie that may form around card games. While other masculine hobbies such as hunting or battle “demand rapid and frequently quiet action…the card game offers a venue for competence in that other domain of conspicuous masculinity, witty conversation,” as Herzfeld points out. The game’s rules are set in stone, thus they’re of little interest… Conversational gambits, well-timed gestures, and, of course, the victors’ spectacular victory are all appropriate motifs in male interaction.”

Vintage older men playing cards.

Aspect of Mysteriousness In most board games, every player is aware of every other player’s probable movements. Everyone can see what’s going on and whether a player is near to winning when you roll a die. The only thing the other players see when dealing cards is the uniform back of what you’ve been dealt. Knowing that you may go out on your next turn and no one else will know until you exultantly dump your cards on the table adds a delightful air of intrigue to the game.

Every Man Should Know These 6 Card Games

Vintage men playing cards backstage.

For the reasons stated above, as well as the rich history of cards (you may play the same game your ancestors and great-grandparents played, as well as those far before them! ), every guy should be familiar with a few games. The six games listed below are especially worthwhile to learn for reasons of both popularity and intrinsic value; they’re games you’re likely to be requested to play by others, and if you aren’t, you should try asking people to play them since they’re so entertaining!

Note that a handful of the games mentioned are one form of a larger category of games (e.g., gin rummy is just one of many types of rummy that can be played). However, understanding the main concepts of that “subgenre” can help you understand how that bigger type of game is played.


Rummy with Gin

Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan playing cards backstage.

In Hollywood, gin rummy was popular, and co-stars Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan are seen playing in between filming sequences for Letter From An Unknown Woman.

Rummy is a larger group of card games in which players aim to form sets, or melds (in card-playing jargon), of three (or more) cards of the same number/rank or three (or more) matched cards in succession (a run). It’s also a “draw and discard” game, in which players draw a card from either the undealt or discard piles, as well as discarding an undesirable card. When all of a player’s cards are part of a meld (or as many as are required according on the variant), they go out and score points based on the remaining players’ hands. In most cases, you’ll play to a predetermined number, such as 100.

Rummy is said to have originated in the 1700s as a card adaptation of the Chinese tile game mah-jong, according to game researchers. Gin rummy, according to legend, was invented in 1909 by whist (another card game) instructor Elwood Baker and his son, Charles Baker, after several cultural and regional variations (who went on to become a renowned screenwriter). They are said to have created the variant as a speedier version of traditional rummy. Gin’s history is difficult to trace since, like many card games in the United States, it didn’t truly take off until the 1930s, when the Great Depression drove families to stay at home and occupy themselves. It’s a simpler game to pick up than bridge, and it’s more family-friendly than poker.

Gin rummy soon took off in Hollywood, where it quickly gained a reputation as a simple game with a better reputation than poker that could be played in dressing rooms and picked up and dropped off between shoots. Gin and “gin sharks” appear in a number of films, shows, and plays from the late 1930s and 1940s.

From then, it established its position in American leisure and game-playing, and it’s now a game that the whole family understands and enjoys, especially while visiting grandparents.

Learn how to play gin rummy by clicking here.

2. Hearts

Hearts is a card game that originated from whist and belongs under the trick-taking category. Hearts is unusual in that you want to avoid accumulating tricks, depending on the cards in the pile; hearts are bad, and the renowned queen of spades (also known as “Calamity Jane” or the “Black Lady” in the game) is awful. It’s normally played to a score of 100 points, but the player who reaches 100 is the loser, and the one with the fewest points is the winner (hearts being a point each, and the queen of spades being 13 points).

Hearts was originally played in the United States in the late 1800s, although it has roots in a 1600s French game called “reversis.” The idea, similar to contemporary hearts, was to avoid accepting tricks that included particular cards. While the contemporary version of hearts needs four players to start a game (though it may be played with fewer with rule adjustments), it nonetheless had pockets of popularity in the twentieth century, particularly among college students.


In the 1990s, Microsoft Windows integrated the game as a built-in game in their operating systems, giving it fresh life near the end of the century. You were given three participants and could start a game whenever you wished. Actually, this is how I learnt the game. On a computer or phone, practice and learn, then locate three people to play with. It’ll be a lot more fun than staring Pauline, Michele, and Ben down (the default opponents in early Windows versions).  

To discover the laws of hearts, go here.

3. Texas Hold’Em Poker

Vintage men playing poker.

Poker is a card game that is uniquely American. The betting aspect is what distinguishes it from any of its predecessors. While the gameplay is similar to that of other global games (and also card games in general), the betting system sets it different from the competition.

It’s probable that the game began aboard Mississippi River gambling boats in the 1820s in New Orleans. From then, poker moved north along the river and west with the Gold Rush, becoming a popular pastime among cowboys. Poker became the go-to distraction when the muddy and fatigued men were done breaking horses or transporting cattle for the day and wanted some amusement around the campfire. It required a little more skill, chance, and friendly rivalry than many other card games. Betting, even with pennies or matchsticks, increased the stakes.

Various ranking systems and game play variants proliferated throughout the nation (and later the globe), but poker took off in the late 1980s when Congress approved the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which authorized casinos on Native American soil. Prior to then, all kinds of gambling were far more tightly controlled. Different locations have their own popular varieties, but Texas Hold ‘Em became the most popular in the Western United States. Texas Hold ‘Em became the most popular poker game in the world in the 2000s, when ESPN started broadcasting the World Series of Poker and internet gaming became popular.

Poker is unique in that it maintains a competitive atmosphere even when played for modest stakes, and it can be adjusted up or down based on the group’s preferences. You have the option of playing for $.05, $5, $5,000, or $500,000. Alternatively, Chips Ahoy cookies. It’s also a great card game to play with a big group. Do you need to organize a bachelor party? Or maybe a birthday bash? Or a weekend boys night out while the ladies go wine tasting and painting? In the garage or basement, a game of Texas Hold ‘Em is ideal. Here’s a primer on the game and how to organize a poker night to get you started.

4. Playing solitaire

Solitaire, as a collection of games mainly played by oneself, was invented in the mid-1700s and defined in writing in the late 1700s. I’m including it here as a wide category, unlike the other individual games in this page. Why? For the simple reason that everyone is likely to have a favorite version of the game! (I learnt mine from my father, and it’s a version of Kings in the Corners solitaire.)


Solitaire was initially played with a group of players, either by taking turns making plays or by each person using their own deck and competing to see who could “win” first. It’s possible that the version played just against the deck came up as a result of individuals preparing for the multiplayer version. Innumerable variations of solitaire arose as a result of the fact that every player could create whatever set of rules they wanted. Napoleon is claimed to have played while he was banished, although despite the fact that a number of solitaire variants bear his name, this is most likely simply a story.

Solitaire, like hearts, rose in popularity with the computer. There’s no need to shuffle the card every time. Because most machines in the 1990s included Klondike, FreeCell, and Spider, they became the most popular (at least on PCs). Today, you may download applications with hundreds of solitaire variations.

Try some out (see the “Solitaire” part of this book or seek them up online), practice playing them by hand rather than on a gadget, and the next time you’re bored, dish out some cards and play solitaire instead of reaching for your phone.  

5. Croquet

Vintage military men playing cribbage.

For decades, men have adored the game of cribbage. While it includes a board, it is primarily a card game for two players (but three and four may easily be accommodated with minor changes), with the board used merely to keep track of scores. Cribbage is divided into two parts: pegging (numerically counting your and your opponent’s cards up to 31) and counting (creating sets, runs, and 15s with your cards – see the rules for more information). It’s a game that defies categorization, making it exceptionally enjoyable and unique; there’s nothing else quite like it!

It is said to have been originated, or at least defined, by British soldier and poet Sir John Suckling in the 17th century, and it was carried to America by English immigrants, where it quickly became popular in the colonies, particularly in New England. It was quickly embraced by sailors and fishermen as a means to pass the time since it only required two players. Cribbage boards, which feature 61 or 121 holes, were (and still are) made from a variety of materials (learn how to create your own board here!) and might be rather distinctive in design and appearance. To trade with the sailors and fisherman that came to port near their communities, Eskimos would build cribbage boards out of walrus tusks.

Cribbage has been a favorite pastime among sailors for hundreds of years, and it was particularly popular in the Navy during World War II. It was supposed to be an unofficial game played by submariners while they patrolled for Japanese ships around the clock.

Cribbage was a popular game of college students up to the previous generation, and it was still played after the war. However, like most other analog games, it seems to have gone out of popularity and sight. It’s also not a game that simply translates to digital play, which means that many people are familiar with the game but aren’t sure how to play it. Don’t be like those knuckleheads.


To learn the rules of cribbage, go here.

6. The game of blackjack

Blackjack is different from the other games on this list in that it is largely a casino game. It is, in fact, the most extensively played casino game. Why do you think that is? Mostly because it’s simple to pick up and play. You and/or a group of other players are betting against the dealer — only the dealer; you’re not competing against other players — to see who can reach the closest to 21 (or at 21) without going over. There’s a little more to it than that, but you get the idea. You win if you come closer to the dealer than 21. (as does anyone else who did the same). You lose if the dealer is closer to 21 than you are. The benefit of knowing the game is that you’ll be able to comfortably stroll into a casino — which may be a scary environment — and play at least one game.

Blackjack (formerly known as “21”) was first mentioned in literature in an early 1600s short narrative by Miguel de Cervantes (of Don Quixote fame), indicating that it was conceived and played around the mid or late 1500s. An early, apparently random rule demanded a 10-to-1 payoff if your hand featured a black (spade or club) jack when it was introduced into US gambling halls in the 1800s. Even though the 10-to-1 payoff was immediately abandoned, the term lingered.

In the late 1950s, several mathematicians devised tactics that allowed the player to gain an edge over the house, and the game grew in popularity in the United States. Card counting was initially introduced to the general public in Ed Thorp’s classic 1963 book Beat the Dealer, and since then, optimistic players all over the globe have sought, both successfully and miserably, to (mostly) lawfully earn millions of dollars (as portrayed in the popular movie 21).

While card counting is theoretically legal as long as you aren’t using any type of aid, it’s very difficult to master, and casinos have the power to toss you out and ban you if they don’t like your odds and accuse you of it. So don’t even bother. Know the fundamentals of the game, though, so that if you chance to be in Vegas for your brother’s bachelor party, you’ll be able to at least hang around and not simply shamefully look over his shoulder as a spectator.

To learn the rules of blackjack, go here.

You’ll be able to boldly enter a contest with friends, pass the time with your family on a wet camping trip, occupy yourself on a lengthy journey, and keep your grandmother company every Sunday night if you know these 6 card games.



The “top 10 most popular card games” is a list of six card games that everyone should know.

Frequently Asked Questions

What card game can you play with 6?

A: You cannot play the card game 6+ with six people.

What is the most common card game?

A: The most popular card game is Magic the Gathering. There are about 11 million people who play this game worldwide, as of 2015

What card games should you know?

A: Here is a list of card games that are pretty fun.
• Yugioh- This game has been around for 20 years and its considered one of the most popular trading card games out there. It also has an anime series and video game version, as well as manga versions in Japan.
• Pokemon- This franchise is still running strong today, with more than 700 million cards sold to date! Each set comes with new amazing cards that you can use to build your own decks for competitive gameplay or just have some fun playing against friends in local matches on your phone or tablet. The app allows you to play against other players online too! • YuGiOh TCG – You might want to try this if yuou like all the different types of monsters from any show where theyve ever aired plus a few others thrown into the mix; even though theyre not actually real creatures but rather drawings on paper (in case you were wondering).

Related Tags

  • list of card games
  • easy card games
  • card games with a deck of cards
  • easy to learn card games
  • group card games