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8 Different Types of Card Games

by | Last updated: Sep 7, 2023 | Interesting Facts

Card games have captivated people across cultures and generations, offering a timeless source of entertainment and skillful gameplay. From classic favorites to innovative creations, the different types of card games encompass a vast array of options to suit every player’s taste.

The collaborative nature of Bridge, or the quick thinking required in shedding games, card games provide endless possibilities for fun and challenge. With each game boasting its own set of rules, mechanics, and unique twists, exploring the diverse universe of card games promises an exciting and rewarding experience for seasoned players and newcomers.

Now, buckle up and watch us explore eight card game categories.

1. Trick-taking games

In trick-taking card games each participant plays a single card from their hand. Based on the values of the played cards, one player emerges victorious and takes all cards, or “takes the trick”. There are two categories of trick-taking card games.

The first one is plain-trick games, where the aim is to accumulate the most tricks. Examples of plain-trick games are Bridge, Euchre, and Spades. Additionally, games like Hearts, Black Lady, and Black Maria are known as reverse games, where the objective is to avoid specific cards.

The second category is point-trick games, where individual cards hold point values, and the objective is to amass the majority of points by winning tricks with higher-value cards. Games like that are German Skat, French Belote, Dutch Klaverjassen, Spanish Brisca, Portuguese Sueca, Austrian Schnapsen, and French Tarot.

2. Matching games

The objective in matching games is to obtain specific sets of matching cards before your opponent can achieve the same. In games like Gin Rummy, players accomplish this by drawing and discarding cards, forming groups referred to as melds. The process involves skillful decision-making as players weigh the value of each card drawn and discarded, aiming to create melds that maximize their chances of winning.

3. Shedding games

In shedding games players must discard all the cards in their hand to claim victory. The primary objective is to be the first player to successfully rid oneself of all the cards held. Well-known shedding games include Crazy Eights, which has been popularized by Mattel under the name Uno, as well as Daihinmin.

Interestingly, certain shedding games can also be categorized as matching-type games. Variants of Rummy, such as Paskahousu and Phase 10, as well as Rummikub, a tile-based game, fall into both shedding and matching categories. Additionally, bluffing games like I Doubt It and children’s games like Musta Maija and Old Maid can also be considered shedding games, as players attempt to get rid of their cards through strategic discards and gameplay.

4. Catch & collect games

Catch and collect games involve accumulating or collecting all the cards in the deck. These games often incorporate elements like “War” and involve slapping a discard pile. A prominent example of a catch and collect game is Egyptian Ratscrew, which combines both of these features.

In accumulating games, players strive to gather all the cards from the deck, typically through a series of gameplay mechanics. “War” type games, for instance, involve players comparing cards with opponents, and the player with the highest-ranked card wins and collects the cards played. This process continues until one player accumulates all the cards, securing victory.

Slapjack, another game falling within the catch and collect category, adds an exciting twist to the gameplay. Players rapidly flip cards from their individual piles onto a central discard pile. When certain cards, such as jacks, appear, players compete to be the first to slap the pile. The player who successfully slaps the pile gets to collect all the cards in the pile.

5. Fishing games

Fishing games are an engaging category of card games where players strategically play cards from their hand to capture matching cards from a layout on the table. These games have gained popularity worldwide, with various nations showcasing their own unique fishing game variations.

China, for example, boasts a rich assortment of diverse fishing games, showcasing the widespread appeal of this genre. In Italy, Scopa holds the distinction of being one of the national card games, deeply rooted in the country’s gaming culture.

Meanwhile, Germany offers Zwicker, providing a distinct twist to the fishing game concept. The Balkans enjoy the fishing-style game Tablanet, showcasing their unique take on this captivating genre. Fishing games combine elements of strategy, observation, and timing as players carefully select and play cards to capture matching cards from the table layout.

6. Comparing games

Comparing games are a captivating category of card games in which the values of players’ hands are pitted against each other to determine the victor. These games, also referred to as showdown games, include popular titles like Poker, Blackjack, Mus, and Baccarat. It is worth noting that many comparing card games are traditionally associated with gambling.

Poker stands out as a renowned comparing game, known for its strategic gameplay and various hand rankings. Players aim to create the strongest hand, utilizing their skills in bluffing, reading opponents, and making calculated bets to emerge victorious. Blackjack, on the other hand, combines strategic decision-making and luck as players compete against the dealer, attempting to achieve a hand value as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Mus, a popular comparing game in Spain, focuses on combining cards in players’ hands with those on the table to form the best hand. Baccarat, often associated with high-stakes casino gambling, involves comparing the values of two hands: the player’s hand and the banker’s hand, with the objective being to bet on the hand that will have a higher value.

7. Compendium games

Compendium games are characterized by a series of diverse contracts played consecutively, offering a dynamic gameplay experience. Typically, these games feature a pattern where players engage in reverse deals, aiming to avoid specific cards, followed by a final contract that resembles a domino-type game. Several examples of compendium games include Barbu, Herzeln, Lorum, and Rosbiratschka.

In compendium games like Barbu, players encounter a sequence of different contracts, each with its own set of rules and objectives. The gameplay may involve strategies such as card avoidance or specific card combinations, adding depth and variety to each contract. Similarly, Herzeln, Lorum, and Rosbiratschka present players with a series of distinct contracts, each introducing new challenges and tactics.

8. Solitaire card games

Solitaire card games, specifically designed for solo play, provide a delightful and engaging experience for individuals looking to enjoy a game of cards on their own. These games typically commence with a predetermined layout of cards known as the tableau. From there, the objective can vary: it may involve constructing a more intricate final layout or clearing the tableau, draw pile, or stock by skillfully moving all the cards to one or more designated “discard” or “foundation” piles.

Solitaire card games offer a diverse range of variations, ensuring that there is a game to suit every player’s preferences. From classic games like Klondike and Spider Solitaire to lesser-known gems like Yukon and Golf Solitaire, there are many possibilities. Read more about it in our article about Solitaire card games.

The world of card games is a rich and diverse landscape, offering a multitude of options to suit any player’s preferences. There is something for everyone to enjoy. So, shuffle the deck, deal the cards, and embark on a journey of endless possibilities. Explore the various types of card games and discover the joy and excitement they bring to your life.