The Best Tabletop Card Games

Tabletop card games have been around for centuries. Before computers were introduced, people spent most of their time around a table with family and friends, playing a variety of tabletop card games. Even in today's high-tech modern world, these captivating games still provide an entertaining experience for everyone involved.

Tabletop card games offer a variety of choices, ensuring an endless supply of fun and excitement regardless of your skill level. Some only require a sheet of paper and a pencil, while others require additional equipment such as a dice or character pieces. You will find small-scale tabletop card games that can be enjoyed between two players or big party tabletop card games that can be enjoyed by as many friends as you can fit in a room. In this article, we are going to explore the various tabletop card games you will find both online and in stores around the world.

Types of Card Games

A card game is essentially any type of game that involves the use of playing cards. Tabletop card games were initially invented in China during the 9th century and have since exploded in popularity, leading to thousands of different card games being invented around the world, each offering its own set of unique characteristics and game rules. There are several types of card games that you can enjoy, including trick-taking card games, matching card games, shedding card games, comparing card games, and patience card games. Below you will find a brief description of each along with examples to assist you in differentiating between each of them.

Trick-Taking Card Games

The primary objective when it comes to trick-taking card games is to play multiple tricks in every round with each player playing a single card. One player can either win or take the trick as playing cards are essentially based on values. The outcome can vary in every game, including winning a specific trick, winning by having the least number of tricks, winning with an exact number of tricks, or winning by having the most tricks in the game. Examples include 500, Spades, Bridge, and Whist.

Matching Card Games

The primary objective of melding or matching card games is to obtain groups of cards and lay them down on the table before anyone else has the opportunity. A great example of a matching card game is Rummy where players discard the cards they don't need and draw new cards to form a group. Another excellent example is Mahjong but instead of using traditional playing cards, the game is played with tiles. Other matching card games include Go Fish and Old Maid.

Shedding Card Games

The main objective in shedding card games is to get rid of all playing cards in your hand. The most popular shedding tabletop card games include Crazy Eights and Daihinmin. It's worth mentioning that several shedding card games can also be considered as matching card games, including I Doubt It, Old Maid, Rummikub, and Phase 10.

Patience Card Games

Patience tabletop card games also referred to as solitaire card games are specifically designed to be played by a single player. Most patience card games begin with a specific card layout and the primary objective is to clear the layout which is achieved by moving all playing cards to discard or foundation piles.

Role-Playing Card Games

Computer gaming allows you to jump into the life of brand-new character and experience a virtual world as a superhero or wizard with a variety of powers. However, even though computer games are highly sophisticated, they are still limited. Players can steer a character's actions in a computer game, but only in ways that the game allows. It doesn't affect the beliefs and personality of the character you are playing with.

In role-playing games, or adult strategy games, these restrictions don't exist. You can completely dive into your persona and experience endless adventures through the eyes of your character. In addition, you also have a group of other players around the table, all working together to complete various challenges to advance in the game's storyline. Whether its solving mysteries, fighting monsters, or collecting loot, playing role-playing tabletop card games with your friends and family offers a more in-depth bonding experience as oppose to playing tabletop card games where you are constantly playing against other players.

Playing cards are primarily used as a type of strategy in both collectible card games or trading card games. The cards in tabletop card games typically feature artwork that depicts a specific genre, ranging from fantasy to science fiction, as well as additional text that is used in a strategic fashion to interact with other cards during a game. Tabletop games that include trading cards or collectible cards will feature a wide range of game rules which describes how each card interacts in the game. These cards typically provide a player's objectives in the game or offer an element from the game's source material, such as magic spells or fantasy creatures.

The most popular role-playing card games include Warhammer, Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons and Dragons. However, there are hundreds of other role-playing card games with various settings and systems, ranging from film noir to cyberpunk. All role-playing games have one thing in common, however, and that's improvisation. You will need to use your imagination to determine how a character will advance through the various challenges and quests in the game world. Most role-playing card games also utilise a dice which introduces an element of chance and therefore you can never know if your strategy will fail or succeed, making the game more suspenseful and exciting.

Casino Card Games

Apart from playing a key role in the realm of tabletop card games, making them far more interesting and strategically enjoyable, playing cards have also influenced the world of gambling, allowing players to enjoy a wide range of different casino card games while placing real money wagers. The addition of betting money while playing a card game has been around for centuries and continue to expand in popularity around the world. The most popular casino card games include Poker, Baccarat, Texas Hold'em, and Blackjack to mention a few.

Casino card games can be enjoyed at home or by visiting a land-based casino or an online casino where hundreds of different casino card games are always available. Unlike traditional card games, you don't need a bunch of friends to enjoy casino card games as you can easily play against a dealer at any online casino that offers these types of card games. With casino card games, the rules are also more simplistic and easier to understand when compared to the cards used in role-playing games, making them far more appealing and rewarding to players around the world.