Card Games Cafe
Card Games Home
Featured Card Games
Card Games Online
Card games have been providing people of all ages with a diversion for centuries. Since most card games require only a single deck of cards, they can often be taken anywhere and enjoyed with little preparation. This has contributed to making them the most popular form of entertainment around the globe.
Card Games Cafe looks at the various card games available, and provides information about card games, online card games, and free card games to play.
This first page of the site covers the various types of card games.
We also cover what defines a card game. What are the mechanics of these games, and what elements go into basic gameplay?
Our goal is to provide the reader with an understanding of the underpinnings of the modern card game.
Elements of Card Games
Decks and Cards
A card game is a game where a deck of cards is the primary means of play. A deck is made up of a number of printed pieces of cardboard or plastic called cards. People in the UK call a "deck of cards" a "pack" of cards.
Most card games feature cards of a fixed size and shape. The front of a card is referred to as the face, and the back of a card is referred to as the back. Since almost all cardgames require you to keep the identity of your cards hidden from your opponent, the backs of cards are usually identical. The faces may either be unique or come in sets, depending on the type of game being played.
Some card games use unique decks (in terms of size, shape, and number of cards), but the 52-card deck is the standard. This deck is broken up into four suits (called spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs) and thirteen ranks (2 through 10, and jack, queen, king, and ace). The 52-card deck is used in the most famous card games like poker, blackjack, and solitaire.
Some card games are played with multiple standard decks. In multiple deck games, a deck refers to a single 52 card deck, while a pack or shoe refers to a collection of decks mixed together (such as in blackjack).
Most card games follow a basic order of action:
To shuffle, the person chosen as the dealer takes the cards and arrange them so that all cards are situated in the same direction both vertically and horizontally. There are numerous techniques for shuffling, but the end result is always intended to be the same. The cards should be mixed together to achieve a true random order, with no card resting in the same location as it did in the previous hand. During the shuffle, the dealer should hold the cards in a manner which conceals the faces of the cards from the players. When the shuffle is complete, the dealer often offers the cards to another player so that he or she may cut them.
If the cards are to be dealt clockwise (common in North America, Northern and Western Europe, and Russia), then it is common for the player on the dealer's right to be offered the cut. If the cards are to be dealt counter-clockwise (more common in Southern and Eastern Europe, along with Asia, Switzerland, and all Tarot games), then the player on the dealer's left is offered the cut.
The dealer places the cards face-down on the table in front of the player who's making the cut. This player then lifts up a portion of the cards and places them, still face-down, alongside the other cards. The lower portion of cards is then picked up and placed on top. Afterwards, the dealer picks the cards back up and prepares to deal.
To deal, the dealer holds the cards face-down with one hand and removes the top card with his other hand. This card is given, always face-down, to the player on his left or right (depending on whether the deal is to proceed clockwise or counter-clockwise). The first player to receive a card from the deal is often known as the eldest hand or forehand.
Afterwards, the dealer places cards in front of each player, one per player, until the dealer places a card in front of himself. It should be noted that some games require the dealer to give players multiple cards at one time, but one at a time is the most popular method. Once the dealer has gone around the table, he or she begins again. This continues until all players have the number of cards set out in the rules of whatever game is being played. The cards which have been dealt to a player are known as his or her hand.
In some games, all the cards from the deck will be dealt out to players. In other games, only a certain number of cards will be distributed, and the remaining cards will be placed in the center of the table to form what is alternately known as a skat, talon, or stock. Regardless of the rules, it is generally required that all cards remain face-down and concealed during these phases of the game.
Commonly, if the face of a card is accidentally exposed, then any player can call for a redeal. During a redeal, all the cards are gathered up, shuffled again, and then cut by the player sitting next to the dealer. It is considered dishonest to try to see the faces of cards during the deal.
Afterwards, players pick up their cards and look at them, making sure to conceal their value from nearby opponents. In many games, players find it easier to sort their cards according to rank and suit. After all these steps have been completed, gameplay is ready to begin.
Types of Card Games
Thousands of different card games are played around the world. The rules may be quite common and known by citizens of numerous countries, or the rules might be custom-made and enjoyed by only a select few friends. Either way, card games can be categorized by looking at the objectives required to win the game. While some games may defy a simplistic definition, most can be identified in this way.
Trick-Taking Card Games
In trick taking card games, each round of play is broken into units known as tricks. Players select a card from their hand and introduce it into play. Usually, the object of the game is to "catch a trick," allowing the player to score points.
Trick taking card games are often played with a partner. Trick-taking games are popular and have been played on multiple continents for centuries. While the games may be relatively simple to learn, they also require the players to employ a certain amount of mathematics and psychology to stay one step ahead of their opponents. Examples of trick taking card games include Bridge, Pinochle, Hearts, and Spades.
Gambling Card Games
Gambling card games are defined by the fact that money is traditionally wagered on the outcome. Often, cards will be dealt, money will be bet, and then additional cards will be dealt. In games like Texas Hold'em Poker, for example, this pattern may be repeated several times. When the round of play is complete, the winner collects their winnings and a new round of play begins.
Gambling card games are also hugely popular, and the most common online card games are gambling-related. Many Online casino sites offer all of the classic games like blackjack, baccarat and poker. You can play casino games for real money at the online casinos approved by http://onlinecasinosuite.com/.
Many of these games can also be played without money. (Then they're "free card games".) Gambling card games include Blackjack, Texas Hold'em, and Red Dog.
Rummy Style Card Games
Rummy style card games require the players to collect certain types of cards and "meld" them together with similar cards. For example, if a player has a jack in his hand, he will often be trying to collect the remaining 3 jacks. This can sometimes be done by drawing the card from a community pile, while others rules allow you to take it from the hand of an opposing player.
When someone has successfully melded all their cards together, the game is usually at an end and scores are tabulated based on the number of melds. Typically, melds receive positive points while non-melds receive negative points. Bonus points may also be rewarded for particularly difficult melds or for being the first person to meld all the cards in their hand. Examples of Rummy style card games include Canasta, Rummy, Go Fish, and Five Crowns.
Solitaire (or Patience) Card Games
These games are known as Solitaire in the United States, while citizens of the United Kingdom know them as Patience games. The most common feature of these games is that they are only played by one person (although a few have been adapted for multiple players). They generally involve dealing cards from a deck into a set arrangement. From there, the player attempts to arrange the cards by suit and rank, usually moving cards about under the restrictions of the rules. Common examples of solitaire games include Klondike, Concentration, Nertz, and Russian Bank.
Shedding Card Games
The objective of shedding card games is almost always to get rid of your cards as soon as you can. Examples of shedding card games include UNO, Crazy Eights, President, and California Speed.
Accumulating Card Games
Accumulating card games are the opposite of shedding card games. These games require the player to capture or otherwise gain cards. Players may also be called on to eliminate cards belonging to the opponent. Games such as Seven Spades, War, Snap, and Egyptian Ratscrew all fall into this category.
Fishing Card Games
In fishing card games, the players have a hand of cards, and there is also a layout of cards face-up on the table. When a player takes his or her turn, he plays a card from his hand. If it matches a card face-up on the table, both cards are captured and placed in front of the player. If the played card does not make a match, it is added to the cards on the table.
In many Asian versions of these games, you may also turn over an additional card from a face-down stock and capture with that card as though you had initially played it. In other versions, you may capture multiple cards if their ranks add up to the rank of the card you played from your hand. Examples of this genre include Cassino, Cuarenta, and Pasur.
Multi-Genre Card Games
Multi genre card games draw upon elements from multiple genres of card games. Some examples include Tichu, Poke, Tripoli, and Skitgubbe.
Collectible Card Games
These games are also referred to as trading card games or customizable card games. These games are played with special decks of cards, and additional packs of cards can be purchased independently (it's not unheard of for players to spend large amounts of money to purchase rare individual cards).
Collectible games combine the appeal of card collecting with strategic play. More modern games involve combat between characters represented on the cards, and some games allow the ultimate victor to actually keep a card from his opponent's deck. This makes for spirited play, and tournaments have become popular around the world. Some examples of this type of game include Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, QuickStrike, and OverPower.
Casino Card Games
Card games like poker and blackjack are commonly played at online casino sites. You can find a guide to safe online casinos at many gambling review sites. Google also offers a nice gambling directory.
Other Card Games
Of course, despite the large number of genres, there are always going to be games which seem to defy such definitions. They may still contain small elements of other games, but their rules and objectives are different enough to place them outside of the normal categories. Such games include Illuminati, Chez Geek, Chrononauts, and Armchair Cricket.
Other pages on this site can be found in the menu on the left. You'll find more information about free card games and other types of card games online there.
Card Games Cafe is Copyright 2007 - 2011. All rights reserved, no unauthorized duplication.