More generally this can refer to any game played with cards, including Poker and others played with the "standard" fifty-two card deck; collectible trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Illuminati: New World Order; and games which consist only of cards, such as Apples to Apples.

Not surprisingly, a card game is a game that is played with cards. These cards can be the standard deck of playing cards, or a specialized deck of cards made specifically for the game in question.

There are literally thousands of card games that can be played with a standard pack of cards, some of them with dozens or hundreds of variations depending on country, region, locale, or even your own house rules. Some games use the full deck of 52 cards, some include the Jokers, some remove certain cards depending on the rules of the game, and some require multiple decks. In addition, certain games apply different meaning and values to the face cards, suits, Aces, or other cards in the deck.

Regardless of the game being played, there are many standard practices involed in playing a card game.

The Deal and the Dealer

Dealing can be performed clockwise or counterclockwise. In general, English-speaking countries, Northern and Western Europe, and much of Russia assume that cards are dealt clockwise, while South America, and Southern and Eastern Europe assume that cards are dealt counterclockwise (unless otherwise specified in the rules).

A player is chosen as the Dealer whose job it is to shuffle (sometimes called riffle) the cards to ensure they are not in any particular order. Sometimes, the dealer has one of the other players cut the deck which helps to ensure that the dealer did not alter the deck for his advantage in the game.

It is then the responsibility of the dealer to deal the cards. This is accomplished by passing out the cards face down, one by one or in a group to each of the other players according to the rules of the game. Any leftover cards are left on the table and may or may not be used later in the game.

The cards that each player is dealt is called their hand. Typically, it is in the interest of the player to hold their cards so that other players can not see them. In many games, it is useful to re-order your cards by rank or suit to make the game play easier. In some games, however, this practice may give a clue to your opponents on what cards you have in your hand.

Game Play

In general, game play begins with the person to the left or right of the dealer (depending on whether play goes clockwise or counterclockwise). The player will perform the appropriate action(s) (i.e., pick a card, play a card, discard, etc.). After the player's turn is over, the next player takes his turn. Specific rules for each game may be found in the links below:


The Card Game Metanode

If you know of a card game that has been noded on E2, /msg me and I will add it.

Types of Cards

Games Played with a Standard Deck of Playing Cards

Solitaire / Patience (Single Player Games)

Two or more Players

Accumulating Card Games

The object of these games is to win/accumulate all (or most) of the cards from the other players.

Shedding Card Games

The object of these games is to get rid of all of your cards.

Comparing Card Games

These games are played by comparing the players cards (or hand) at the end of each round to determine who is the winner.

Drinking Card Games

Obviously you don't have to play these as drinking games, but they tend to be more fun when you can make the loser do something.

Matching Card Games

The object of these games it to collect and meld (match up) cards based on certain criteria (i.e., sets, suits, runs, etc.).

Trick-taking Games

The object of these games is to get the most, least, or specific number of tricks during a round of play.

Card Game Shows

Specialized Decks

Collectible Trading Card Game / Customizable Card Game

Other Specialized Deck Games

Find more card games

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