We love card games. We find it amazing that from a simple instrument such as a deck of cards, you can get so much variety, so much fun. Cards as we know them today have been around for hundreds of years and throughout that time many card games have surfaced. They were primarily used as a gambling tool when they were first created and they continue to be used as such to this day, but cards are also universal and can be used to do everything from perform magic tricks, to play casual games with friends and family.
There is a game for every occasion, and whilst we’re huge fans of blackjack on this site, it isn’t a game that you would want to play with one friend or two, especially when there is no money involved. There are more versatile games that can fit that role, games that, like blackjack, are also played all over the world. In fact, whilst there are hundreds of games out there, many of them are popular all over the world.
So, with that in mind, just which card games are universally adored, which are the most popular games in the world?
It’s hard to get an exact figure on the most popular games in the world, which makes it hard (if not impossible) to create a top ten list. However, we’re fairly confident that if we did, Texas Hold’em would be at the top. This game attracts players from the US and UK, to China, Japan and Australia, with poker professionals coming from all countries and all walks of life. The popularity of Texas Hold’em has only really exploded in the last couple of decades, helped by an age of internet poker and by the lure of the World Series of Poker Main Event. These days there are million dollar Hold’em tournaments, events and cash games played in most countries, and Texas Hold’em is also the most popular home game and pub game.
Of course, blackjack has to have a role here, but we’re not including it just because it is our favorite game. Blackjack is played all over the world, popular in casinos from Las Vegas to Macao, and everywhere in between. It doesn’t hold up as a home game, but it is still hugely popular even out of the casinos and is one of the most popular online card games as well, second only to Texas Hold’em.
You might recall this game as something that your parents or grandparents played. You might even have Bridge Nights yourself, as this is a very popular home game, one of the few card games that works just as well without money staked as it does with money staked. Bridge is a complex game and it is not something you can pick-up and play instantly, but once you learn the rules and develop a style of play, there is a lot of fun to be had with Bridge. It’s not just about home games and amateur play either, as there are also professional Bridge players and tournaments where big money can be won playing this game.
There are many Rummy card games, but Gin Rummy is by far the most popular of them. As with Bridge, this is a hugely popular home game and one that has also made it as a professional card game. It is a little more luck-based than Bridge, but there is still a strong element of skill involved and that makes Gin Rummy a perfectly balanced game and one that works well whether there is money at stake or not. The rules are simple, involving 10 cards dealt to each player, from which they have to make straights or combinations, creating 3 sets and winning the game when they are the first ones to do so.
This is a game for one person, a game that anyone who has spent extended time alone with nothing but a deck of cards, has almost certainly played. Solitaire can be played a few ways and there are also many variants of the game. All of these require a great deal of luck, as well as a lot of focus. There is no skill involved as such, but you do need to know how to play the game and you also need to pay attention, whilst applying some logic on occasion. It’s not quite chess or sudoku, but it does get the mental juices flowing and will also help you to kill some time when you’re by yourself.
A game that is best played by 4 players, Hearts is similar to Bridge in some ways, but it is its own game and there are many unique rules and plays. All of the 52 cards in a deck are used during a game of Hearts and the winner is decided via a point system, which is where one of the similarities to Bridge lies.
Whilst not as popular as Texas Hold’em, Draw Poker was historically way more popular. This is the game that was played by Wild Bill and friends, the game that is commonly found on all video poker machines. Before Texas Hold’em exploded onto the scene and became the most popular variant of poker and the most popular card game in the world, Draw was very close to owning that accolade. There are several versions of Draw Poker, but the most popular is 5 Card draw. This involves the use of 5 cards, dealt to each player (a minimum of two). After checking their hands and placing some bets, the players then decide if they want to change any of their cards in an effort to improve their hand and get the best 5-card hand possible. If you know how to play other variants of poker and therefore understand poker hand values, then you should be okay with 5 Card Draw.