The Best Card Games of All Time

History of Card Playing

Scholars have said the belief is that playing cards were first invented in the ninth century by the Chinese. Although there have been many variations of card decks from twenty-four to forty-eight cards, it has been said that the first deck of printed cards contained thirty-two in the pack.

From the beginning, cards were printed on wood, bone, and paper, and continued with many different variations throughout the centuries into India, Persia, Egypt, and Europe before landing in the United States when soldiers brought the cards home with them in their pockets.

It is believed that the fifty-two cards were developed with the idea of the fifty-two weeks in a year, and if you add up the symbols in each deck, you will find that it will equal 365 which is the exact amount of days in a year.

Throughout the years, playing cards have been used to play games with money, and just as many competitive games without money. People have been known to compete with the cards, stacking them into “card houses” without knocking the cards down, and many people use cards to perform magic tricks.

As you can see, cards have been a popular form of entertainment throughout the centuries, creating a variety of fun for all ages.

Known in the United States as a deck of cards, the package is small enough to carry with you anyplace you go.

Many styles of cards are printed, from standard to themed, and you can even purchase cards with large print and braille.

Not only do card games come in standard form, but many card games are available in boxed or tin sets, and can be found with many game variations from pre-school to adult ages.

Next time you want to pass the time, ignore the electronics and the television, and instead, pick up a deck of cards and explore all the game variations you can play. You will find numerous games that can be played solo or with a group of friends.

Test your skills with a simple memory game, or learn the art of magic, no matter what you desire, you will discover a whole new way to enjoy a relaxing day on the back deck, or killing time while waiting for the spring rain to pass.

Not sure how to play, or are you looking for a new way to play? Don’t worry, we have you covered, from old games to current games; solo or teams; children or adults; you will find one of the best card games here that will blend with anyone’s desires. Let’s get to the list of best card games.

Old Card Games

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy was established in 1909 with intentions of moving along faster than the original game of rummy. The object of this two-player game is to beat your opponent by reaching 100 points first.

Using a standard deck of playing cards, you must draw a card with the idea of forming sets or runs of cards in your hand. Sets are cards of the same numbers. Runs are formed by ranks of cards in a certain order from highest to lowest.

You must always discard to complete your turn. Play continues clockwise until a person knocks to end the round. The knock will indicate that the player has completed all sets in a hand and is ready to go out, then laying the cards down face up while calling Gin.

The score is then tallied per the face value of the cards; one point for aces, ten points for face cards and all other cards score the matching number on the card.  The first person to score 100 wins the game.  

Canasta

Since 1948, Americans have enjoyed teaming up for a great game of Canasta. Using two standard decks of playing cards, including all four jokers, four people can play this game in partnerships of two.

Each player is dealt two hands of cards consisting of eleven cards each. The dealer must put all remaining cards face down in the center of the table, creating a draw and discard pile.

The play begins with the player to the left of the dealer and then continues clockwise with each additional player.

The object of this game is for each player to collect all cards of the same suit using wild cards when necessary.

During each round, a player will draw a card and then will discard at the end of the turn. The first person who has no cards left wins that round. The score will be tallied by adding the two partner’s hands together, and the first team to get 5000 points wins the game.

Spades

Since the 1930’s, Spades has been a popular trick-taking card game that was created for two or more players.

Using a standard deck of cards, the beginning player lays down a card, and all the other plays must follow suit. If they don’t have the proper card in their hand to follow suit, they can then trump or discard.

The first player to get 500 points wins the game.

This game would be more suited for adult players.

An Age of Electronics

With this electronic age, communication is almost a thing of the past. People are always looking at their phones for one reason or another, and verbal conversation is done through emoji’s and texts.

Games can be played on many devices from phones to gaming platforms, therefore, physical card playing is becoming obsolete.

There are many reasons that playing with an actual deck of cards is better than playing a virtual game over the internet.

Reality card playing gives you the opportunity to exercise your hands and brain. Eye-hand coordination is important, and watching a child’s eyes light up with excitement when they win a game against Mom is priceless.

One of the best reasons a physical game of cards is so important is the thought of bringing family and friends together for a few hours of socialization and relaxation.

A serious game of cards will keep your creative juices flowing, your brain working, and fun and laughter are the medicine to calm stress.

Single Player Card Games

When you need to kill some time, or you need to do something while watching television, put your phone down and pull out a deck of cards.

There are so many solo card games that you can play, and you might even find yourself becoming addicted to some.

Solitaire

Let’s begin with the ever so popular game of Solitaire. With all the variations of this game, there is sure to be one that will satisfy your brain.

Start with a standard deck of fifty-two cards and choose from many different games. The most popular of the solitaire family are:

  • Spider Solitaire
  • Klondike Solitaire
  • Pyramid Solitaire
  • Tri-Peaks Solitaire
  • FreeCell Solitaire

Most of the Solitaire games are fun, easy, and addictive, but out of them all, you will probably have your favorite.

For a fun variation of Solitaire, challenge a friend to play a game of Solitaire with you, each using your own deck of cards. Compete to see who can clear the board first.

Forty Thieves

Another fun Solitaire game is Forty Thieves. This game requires two standard decks of playing cards and a large playing space.

Although the rules to this game might seem simple, winning the game will be a chore.

The object of this game is to make eight foundation piles in suit order from Ace to King.

You will start this game by forming ten columns with the cards by stacking them four high faces up in each column. Like other Solitaire games, the remaining cards will be dealt one at a time as needed.

The game is complete when all the cards are piled in the proper order.

These Solitaire games can be enjoyed by all, young or old, and should continue to carry on an old tradition of physical game playing!

Quiddler

Play a short word game of Quiddler to sharpen your brain, while you work toward building words from all the cards in your hand.

The number of cards dealt will increase with each hand, beginning with three and ending with ten.

Scoring is like Scrabble, some of the letters are worth more points and some letters are worth double points.

Create the most words or the longest, and gain extra bonus points!

Compete against yourself, comparing your scores from each game, or gather up to seven more players from ages 8 and older.

2 Player Card Games

Enjoying a game of cards with a friend is an excellent way to relax while talking about everything, or nothing at all!

Blink

Start with a fun and exciting game of Blink. Don’t look away because this fast-paced game moves so quickly it’s over within two minutes!

Everyone is dealt the same number of cards, and everyone plays at the same time racing to match the cards in their hand with the cards on the table. When the first person runs out of cards, the hand is over, and that person will win the game.

For two players, this game can be enjoyed by everyone in the family from ages 7 and up. There is no reading required to play this game, just color and shape matching, along with eye-hand coordination and a lot of concentration!

Peanuts

Another fun way to keep your hand and eye coordination in training are to play a fast-paced game of Peanuts.

This is an ideal game for two players but can be just as much fun with three or more players, just be aware, the more people that play, the harder the concentration level!

Each player is issued their own deck of standard playing cards. Each deck should be distinctively different from the others because they will get mixed up throughout the game.

The game begins with each person shuffling their own deck of cards and placing twelve cards down and one up in a pile of thirteen. Four more will be placed face up in four columns next to the pile of thirteen.

When an ace is turned up on the table by either player, the ace is then placed in the middle of the table for each person to build on up to King.

The first person to run out of cards in the pile of thirteen calls out “Peanuts” and wins that round.

The first player to get 100 points wins the game.

This game is ideal for pre-teens to adults.

Cribbage

Cribbage, also known as “Noddy” in early English terms, is another card game that can be enjoyed by two people.

Using a Cribbage board for making score keeping simple, the object of this game is to earn points by making various combinations of cards on the pile. The first person to get to 121 points, wins the game.

Solid Wood Folding Cribbage Set

Purchase a Solid Wood Folding Cribbage Set and get everything you need to play the game.

The kit comes with the wooden game board and plastic pegs for score keeping, a standard deck of playing cards and game instructions. Everything conveniently stores inside the game board.

Although the game is intended for two people, four people can play in teams of two, and it is easy enough for anyone in the family to learn!

Speed

If you are looking for an exciting, fast-paced card game that two people can play, you will enjoy a fun afternoon with a card game of Speed.

Played with a standard deck of fifty-two cards, this card game will keep your adrenaline running and your brain focused.

The game is played at the same time while each player flips cards over, and discards to the center of the playing area, racing to get rid of all the cards in their hands.

Placing cards in numerical order from forwards to backward, players must be quick to win the game.

The game can only be played with two people, and will be enjoyed by all ages.

3 Player Card Games

There are not as many card games for only three people, but the fortunate thing is that most games calling for two or more players can easily accommodate three people at the table.

Karma

Karma is a fast-paced card game that can be played by three people from ages 8 to adult without a problem.

In this game, you will want to quickly play your high cards to avoid getting caught with them in your hand at the end of the game. Turn your karma cards into wild ones, or use them to dodge the discard pile.

Who will win this game? That will remain a mystery until the very last card is played.

Fill the room with happiness on a gloomy rainy day when you pull this card game out of the box!

Ideal Rage

Ideal Rage is another game that can be easily played with three players from ages 8 to adult.

This fast-paced game of revenge is a strategy game that can also assist younger family members with the recognition of colors and numbers.

Before the game begins, each player will guess the number of cards they will end up with at the end of the game.

The first player will lay down a card on the table; the first card will determine trump. All players will take turns trying to lay down cards with the matching trump color. Use a Rage Action card to change the color of the trump.

Score points for using Rage cards, by guessing the number of cards you will have, and for each trick you collect.

Win the game by scoring the most points at the end of ten rounds!

This game comes with 110 cards and instructions.

The Oregon Trail Game

Although the Oregon Trail Card Game is for two to six players, you will have a great time playing with just three!

This blast from the past game that was once played as a video game, can now be played the good old fashioned way from a box.

In this game, the players must work together to accomplish the goal of reaching the end of the Oregon trail by traveling over rivers and other obstacles while fighting to survive.

Each player starts the game with five trail cards, playing either a trail or supply card on each turn, carefully following the instructions on the trail cards.

Be careful not to die or your name will be erased and replaced on a tombstone card!

The average playing time of this game is thirty minutes, and it ends when ten sets of five Trail is complete.

This intermediate game is great for family game night and is recommended for ages 8 and older.

Duo

The lively, fast-paced game of Duo will have you anxiously awaiting to play your next turn.

The game is played by matching two out of three components on the cards.

Win the game by being the first one to run out of cards, it’s that simple!

For two to six players, this game can easily be played with three people.

4 Player Card Games

There is an ample amount of card games that four people can play.  Grab a few friends, pull up a chair, and have a great time playing some of the following card games!

Uno

Uno is a classic family card game made by Mattel. Since the early 1970’s, this exciting game has been the center of every family get together throughout the country.

A simple game to learn, and addictive enough to create hours of fun, players compete to go out first, racking up points from their opponent’s cards. 

The object of this game is to match the colors and cards in your hand, being the first to lay them down on the table. Aggravate players sitting beside you by placing a “skip” card or “draw two” card to the discard pile. Confuse everyone by reversing the play order, and don’t forget to shout “Uno” when you have one card remaining in your hand. Win the game by being the winner of 500 points.

For an interesting twist, try the game with a partner, or compete in a tournament.

The game includes 108 cards and game play instructions.

Phase 10

A great four player card game for a Saturday night get-together is the exciting game of Phase 10

Race to get through all ten phases of this game without getting left behind. Each time you complete a “phase” you can move on to the next, but if your opponent gets stuck with cards, he or she must add them to their score and repeat the phase again.

In this game, you want to have the lowest amount of points to declare bragging rights.

An enjoyable, and easy game for all ages, and perfect for a small group of four.

108 cards are used to play this game and it comes with instructions.

Dutch Blitz

Try your hand at a fast-paced game of Dutch Blitz. Created in the Pennsylvania Dutch country, this game will keep you moving as you try to be the first to eliminate your 10-card Blitz pile.

Everyone will play this game at the same time racing to put the cards from their Blitz pile onto the center Dutch piles in order of the same color.

The first person to run out of cards from their Blitz pile wins the game.

Adults and children alike will enjoy this game of quick thinking, and the room will be exploding with laughter when the game gets moving into confusion.

This game is a great way to exercise eye-hand coordination and mobility.

For two to four people ages 8 and up, Dutch Blitz comes with 160 cards and play instructions.

Euchre

Euchre is a trick-taking game that is played with two teams, four people in total.

Using a deck of Euchre cards, the object of this game is to take at least three tricks from the discard pile on each turn between the two team members.

If the team that named trump does not pick up the three tricks, that team will be “euchred” and the opposite team will earn the points, while the “euchred” team goes backward in points.

The team that scores the agreed upon amount of points, wins the game.

The game does take some practice but can be very addictive when you catch on.

This is a great party game that can be enjoyed from young adult to adult ages.

Not Parent Approved

For a great family game night choice with the tweens, Not Parent Approved: A Card Game for Kids, Families and Mischief Makers will be a popular hit.

Designed for four to ten players ages 8 and older, this amusing came will keep the entire family entertained for hours!

This game is easy to learn, and equally easy to play, just fill in the blanks from the words on the cards.

This is the ideal sleepover game, or play it on your next long road trip.

The game comes with 455 durable cards and instructions for play.

Card Games for Kids

Limit the kid’s electronic time by introducing them to a fun game of cards. There are many advantages to a kid playing a card game. From education to exercising motor skills, it’s a great way to educate without them ever knowing they are learning!

Play as a family on a rainy day or while camping, it doesn’t matter where or when, because you will receive great joy as they are laughing about getting the highest score!

Go Fish!

Start the day off with a classic game of Go Fish!

This colorful game full of excitement will have your little one fishing for the winning match!

Introduce them to numbers and teach them how to match them up while they are giggling because you have more cards than you do.

The perfect size for their little hands, you can teach them how to hold the cards properly, and they can practice putting the numbers in order.

For ages 3 and older, this game can be played with three to six players.

The game comes with forty-eight cards and playing instructions.

They will enjoy this game so much that they will be begging to play it again and again!

Memory

Although this classic card game can be played with a standard deck of 52 cards, you will keep your child’s interest much longer when you play the Original Memory Game by Hasbro.

Children will enjoy the colorful pictures on these cardboard cards as they turn them over trying to match the puppies, elephants, smiling suns, and other fun pictures that they will surely recognize.

They can play solo, or with friends. The more people that play, the bigger the challenge!

Concentration skills can be exercised with this game, along with learning patience while others take a turn. They can practice counting their piles of matches too!

The person that takes the most matches wins the game.

For ages 3 and up, this game includes forty-eight cards constructed from cardboard and a convenient storage tray.

Smack It!

Sit down with anticipation, waiting for the first person to smack the pile with this exciting game of Smack it!

The whole family will enjoy playing this fast-paced card game, and it won’t take hours to learn because it is that simple.

Created with a combination of War and Slapjack all in one card game, each player will take a card from the divided piles and place it face up in the center of the table. Everyone will anxiously wait for a smack it card to turn up, thus allowing the first person to smack the deck and win the pile.

This is the perfect game for teaching patience and self-control to the kids, and it allows for everyone to work together as a team to accomplish a goal.

This card can be played with a group and is recommended for ages 6 and up.

Don’t be surprised when Grandma asks to play again, because it is that much fun!

This game comes with fifty-seven colorful playing cards and instructions.

Family Scavenger Hunt Card Game

This exciting Scavenger Hunt Card Game will have the whole family scouring to find the items listed on the cards.

Choose items found outdoors, or play the indoor game, that way you can enjoy the sunshine, or play inside on a rainy day.

This game is so convenient to carry it can be played anywhere. Take it along on a trip and look for things in unfamiliar places. Use it to entertain the kids at a birthday party, or take it along on a camping trip.

Although it should be played with at least two players, you could create a version of your own for one.

Everyone 6 and older will enjoy this game, but younger children could play as a “helper” for an older player.

These colorful cards will keep minds intrigued for hours of play!

Old Maid

This card game goes back many years and can be played with a standard deck of playing cards, but games that are colorful will hold the attention of a child much longer.

Purchase a special game of Old Maid Illustrated Card Game that is specifically designed for children ages 4 and older, and watch their eyes light up with excitement!

The plastic-coated cards in this set are designed with twenty-two careers, one old maid, and twenty-three colors that are easy for a child to recognize.

The age old matching game of Old Maid can help children learn the essentials through the fun of card playing.

The brilliant design of these cards was made strong to avoid tearing, and they can easily be wiped off in the event of an accident.

Card Games for Adults

Sometimes the adults need to get away from the kids and unwind with friends. The perfect after dinner card game is a great way to complete an excellent evening.

If you are looking for something that will keep everyone interested until all the snacks are gone, then the following list should be a big help.

Never Have I Ever

Be careful what you say in the popular Party game of  Never Have I Ever.

As seen on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Never Have I Ever is the fun game of telling the truth, but will you?

The game is best played in a group, and when one player reads from the red question card, everyone else will answer the question using the best blue card they have.

When the card proves that the person is guilty, the card will then go on the individual’s “wall of shame.”

The first player to get ten “wall of shame cards” wins the game.

This is a great game to break the ice at any party or play the game to get to know your partner better.

Poker

Get your friends together and make it a Poker night!

The early days of Poker, known then as Pochen, began in Germany. Later the game traveled to France where the name was known as Poque. The game finally landed in New Orleans, and in the 1800’s the game was improved and at that time the name then became known as Poker.

This betting game was intended to be used with chips, but it is a common card game that is played with money.

Various combinations of the game are played, but the most common hands known are ranked from five of a kind to nothing.

This card game can be played with a standard deck of 52 cards adding the jokers, however, in some cases using two decks of different colors are common to speed up the game.

The game is designed for adults only, and it is best to play with poker cards designed specifically for the game.

Keep Calm

Gather your friends and try to relax and keep calm no matter what happens!

Keep Calm the Game will have everyone shaking in their shoes when they must decide what they would do in each scenario.

Like other popular adult games, Keep Calm will give a scenario and you must figure out which one of your answer cards would best fit.

When you are at your wit’s end, throw down a panic card, leaving everyone else in shambles!

This game is packaged in a sturdy box with all the cards needed to keep the game in a panic.

Not recommended for players under the age of 17.

Battle of the Sexes

What does he know about cooking? What does she know about football? Find out when you play this hilarious card game version of Battle of the Sexes.

This is a simple game, well maybe not simple to answer, but it is simple to play in a group, or just with the two of you.

In this game, the guys must answer questions that the girls will most likely know, and the girls must answer questions that the guys would know.

This would make a great after dinner game, or play as a group at the next “grown-ups only” party.

Although it can be played by anyone 12 and older, it is best suited for adults only.

The cards are packaged in a convenient pocket-sized box so you can conveniently carry it with you.

Easy Card Games

Sometimes it’s fun to sit down and play a game of cards that doesn’t take four years and a day to learn. It’s a pleasant gaming experience when you can just sit down and begin to play, and sometimes it’s just plain nice to play for fun and think less!

Try a simple game of cards that’s easy to play while giving your brain a vacation.

Get started with some of these fun and easy card games:

Spoons

Sit down, play a round, and with great luck, you will snag up a spoon!

This easy card game of spoons will create a constant array of movement around the table.

With this game, you will pass all the cards around the table, racing to collect four of a kind. Be the first to collect the four cards you have been waiting for, and grab a spoon. Since there will always be one less spoon on the table then players, someone will be left without and will lose that round.

For a twist in the excitement, keep score by giving each person a letter for each spoon they miss. Keep going until the first person has lost so many times that they have the word “spoons” spelled out under their name.

Remember, it’s just a game so there is no need to fight for the spoon until someone gets hurt.

This game is designed for three to six players ages 7 and up, but can be played by more when using additional plastic spoons.

Family Feud

Who doesn’t like the long-running television game show Family Feud?

With the Family Feud Strikeout Card Game, you can play this easy game on-the-go or at home, it’s that simple!

Complete with all the survey questions and the strikes too, the whole family can enjoy this easy game of family feud.

For three or more players ages 10 and up, the cards are packed in a convenient box that is easy to tuck away!

Ratuki

Pull up a chair and stay awhile, because once you start, you will be addicted to this game of Ratuki.

This fun game is easy to play and exciting to win! Start the game by building piles from 1 to 5, and try to slam the pile before your opponents.

The object is to be the person who lays a 5 down on the top of the pile, and when you do, shout “Ratuki” and take the pile!

The person that wins the most piles, in the end, wins the game.

This card game is convenient and can be played almost anyplace. It includes 170 cards, 5 reminder cards, and the playing instructions.

For ages 8 and up and two to five players.

Pokeno

Much like Bingo, Pokeno is also played by marking spaces on a card, but the twist comes with a standard deck of cards.

Each person is dealt a Pokeno card printed with five rows of cards across and down that represent various Poker hands.

The dealer calls out one card at a time, and the players will match the spot on their Pokeno cards hoping to win the round by covering all five spots in a row on the card.

This card game can be played with two to twelve players ages 6 to adult.

Several variations of this game have been played by using coins in the place of the chips or add a twist with special games such as four corners or picture frame.

This Pokeno set includes 200 chips, 12 large boards, and a deck of playing cards.

Make your next party a pokeno night!

Trading Card Games

Since 1993, a new kind of card game was invented that allowed for players to build their collection of cards.

Beginning with a starter deck, the players would later be determined to purchase booster packs to add to their collection of cards.

Each game comes with a different set of rules, variations, and combinations for play, and a person can gain and lose points along the way.

On each player’s turn, he or she will execute the actions related to the game and will begin by drawing the required number of cards from the deck.

Play will then continue through to the main phase, followed by the combat phase, and through the completion of the turn.

Five popular trading card games are:

  • Pokemon: Trading Card Game
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
  • DragonBall Z
  • Magic: The Gathering

Pokemon: Trading Card Game

Imagine acquiring 100 assorted Pokemon Trading Cards with a bonus of six Holo Foils free!

This is a great way to build your collection or add to the collection you have already established.

The title says it all, and with 100 of these sweet cards, you should have enough to get into the game quickly!

Yu-Gi-Oh!

With a collection of 500 assorted Yu-Gi-Oh cards, you will have no problem finding the cards you need to add to your collection.

With this collection of cards, you will also get Ultra Rare and Holographic Cards with a collectible tin.

World of Warcraft

Begin with the World of Warcraft TCG Dark Portal Starter Deck.

These cards come in a hard case and it contains the cards you will need to get started including the possibility of a few character cards, and maybe a loot card too.

DragonBall Z

Get the game going with a 2014 DragonBall Z Trading Card Game Starter Deck.

In this set, you will get all the exclusives of a starter deck.

The set includes a pre-constructed deck of 60 cards, 5 Prizm Technology cards, 4 Parallel cards, and 3 foil parallels.

This set is perfect for any beginner!

Magic: The Gathering

Who could ask for more when they are offered 1000 Magic the Gathering Cards with a bonus of 25 rare cards in the same package?

Combined with revised cards, along with the latest editions, this set will make a great beginning for the new trading card player, and it will make an excellent addition to a collection that has already begun to build.

This one is the best set for the money!

Card Battle Games

For a game of strategy and competition, you will want to play a good card game of battle.

Put on your thinking cap for these games, prepare to get the room quiet, and battle it out with your opponent!

Stratego

With Stratego Battle Cards, you will stay busy setting up your front line for battle and defending your flag while trying to catch the enemies flag, all at the same time!

This quick-playing game offers all the same features in the original board game but is condensed into a convenient compact card game.

For two players from ages 8 and up, this game is easy to learn and can be completed in approximately ten minutes.

Exercise your brain and strategic skills with this battle card game.

Adventure Quest Worlds

For a great game of anything goes, this game of Adventure Quest Worlds is the best choice for a battle on battle card game.

This fantasy card game is easy to play and it is full of non-stop action and excitement!

Line up your attack with a poison, pet, or a powerful weapon before your opponent comes at you with his or her own plan of attack that will backfire on you before you even have a chance.

Think about your strategy and remember, anything goes in this fast and easy card game.

The game comes with 110 cards and can be played with two people or four.

Game of Thrones

Prepare to win or you will die in this Game of Thrones Card Game.

Prepare to be at battle with your opponent for at least one to two hours.

You can play the game stand-alone, or you can expand it with monthly chapter packs.

There are two formats for playing this game; a multiplayer melee format with three to four players or play in a one-on-one joust format with two players.

For two to four players, this game will be enjoyed by everyone from ages 12 and up.

Prepare to win the battle in the Game of Thrones!

There you have it, a list of the best card games. Now that you have all these card game ideas, you should have no problem keeping the kids busy on a rainy day, and your friend’s will be begging for another one of your entertaining party game nights!