The Most Popular Card Games

Try some of these games!

Playing cards appeared in Europe in the late 1300s, but some believe they may have existed in China as early as the 9th century. Games have come and gone over the years, but have always been one of our favorite ways to pass the time. Let’s take a look at today’s 10 most popular card games.

1. UNO


One of the most popular card games in the world isn’t played with traditional playing cards, but with a specialized deck. The object of the game is to be the first person to get rid of all of their cards by putting down a card with the same color or number as the previous card. But beware of the dreaded “draw 4”; these treacherous cards can turn a friendly game into all-out war!

2. Blackjack

Blackjack hand of cards and casino chips

Blackjack is one of the card games frequently associated with high-rollers in glitzy casinos. Players win and lose huge amounts of money trying to be the player at the table whose hand adds up to the number closest to 21. However, if your total goes over 21, your hand is a bust, and you can lose some serious dough. This highly strategic game is not for the faint of heart!

3. Solitaire


Sometimes, you may be looking for card games that you can play all by yourself. If that’s the case, Solitaire may be for you. There are a variety of ways to play Solitaire, but in every version of the game, your only opponent is yourself. Many Solitaire games are now available on computers and even smartphones, so it’s never been easier to pass the time with this extremely popular game.

4. Hearts


Hearts is one of the most unusual card games in that the object is to end the game with the fewest points. The game is usually played with four players but can involve anywhere from 3-6. One player puts down a card, and the other players take turns putting down a card of the same suit. If they are unable to do so, they can put down any other card, but receive points as a penalty. The game continues until the players use up all of their cards.

5. Gin Rummy

gin rummy

Gin Rummy is typically played with two players. Unlike in Hearts, the object is to score the most points. Typically, players agree on a number of points and the first to reach it wins. Players score points by getting cards of the same number or cards that go in sequential order. Once someone reaches the goal, the game is over.

6. Go Fish

go fish cards

Go Fish is one of the most unique card games on this list, as it can be played with a standard deck of cards or with a specialized deck. The rules of this game are simple, so it is popular among younger card players. In this game, you ask another player if they have a specific card, with the goal of making a match with a card in your own hand. Whoever makes the most matches by the end of the game wins!

7. Poker


Poker is another of the popular casino card games where large amounts of money are often at stake. The rules of poker are highly complex, so strategy is key. In fact, poker is one of the only card games that boasts televised competitions featuring the world’s best players. The object of the game is to have the best hand according to the specific rules of the game. Players bet money several times during each round based on how great a chance they think they have of winning. Without any knowledge of your opponent’s hands, Poker is a risky game that can potentially cost you big.

8. Crazy Eights

crazy 8's

Crazy Eights is similar to UNO but played with a standard deck. Players start with five cards and take turns playing cards with the same number or suit as the previous card. If they can’t, they draw a card from the pile. Eights can be played at any time, and playing an eight means that you get to chose any number and suit for the next player to match. The first player to discard their entire hand wins the game.

9. War

war card game

War is one of the simplest card games on this list, but it can also be one of the most heated. At the start of the game, each player gets an equal number of cards. In each round, every player puts down the top card in their deck. The player with the highest card wins and takes all cards played that round. If two players tie, they have a “war” until one is declared the winner. The object of the game is to collect every card in the deck in your own hand.

10. Egyptian Ratscrew

Egyptian rat screw

This oddly named card game is similar to War but requires a bit more speed and vigilance. In this game, players get an equal number of cards to start. They then take turns quickly putting down cards (without peeking) until someone plays a face card. The next player then puts down a certain number of cards (which varies based on the face card played). If they fail to produce a face card, the original player wins and takes the entire pile. If they do produce a face card, the challenge moves onto the next player. As in War, the object is to collect all the cards. The game can get heated, as the rules also state that when two cards with the same number are played back-to-back, the first player to slap the deck takes all the cards in the pile. This can result in hectic hands and bruised fingers.

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