When we think of gaming in the modern world, we almost always think of video games.
They’re such rich, deep experiences, that other forms of gaming can seem tame. Who wants to sit around playing a board game when there’s no levelling up, bright lights or thumping soundtrack? Board games might be more complex than ever before, and more immersive, but for many, they don’t hold an attraction. That means the humble card game is even lower down the list; surely, playing a game that you could have played 50 years ago is stale and unfulfilling?
That’s not the case at all. In fact, some age-old card games have stood the test of time because they’re so simple. There are plenty of card games out there right now you can play with a standard 52-card deck wherever you are. Some of them are so enjoyable with others, that they’ll rival any digital fun you can have.
Don’t believe us? here are five you can play today and if you must go digital, we touch upon where you can find them online as well!
While some think of solitaire as a fairly simple game, there’s more to it than most tend to recognize. Indeed, the BVS Solitaire Collection alone offers more than 500 variations of the game. While that may sound a little overwhelming however you can usually find tips and hints when you encounter a variety you haven’t played before (or if you want help with a move). On top of this, the collection allows players to customize rules and create their own versions of solitaire. If customizing isn’t your cup of tea though, we’re sure you’ll be able to find your favorite classic version (such as Spider or FreeCell) just about anywhere you want. And of course, you can also replicate any version in person with real cards.
Baccarat! by Fil Games comes with a learning mode that teaches you the game, from the basic rules to advanced strategies. If you’re completely new to the game, however, the basic page at WikiHow.com posts rules and instructions on how to play that should help get you started. Basically, this is a game in which you bet on whether the “player” or “banker” hand will end up closer to a value of 9 (with 10s and face cards being worth 0 and aces being worth 1, and with double-digit hands being valued according to the second digit). Once you get used to the game, you can start customizing the rules on the Baccarat! platform, or just setting up games on your own with friends. The online version is fun, however, because it includes leaderboards, and thus gives you something to strive for.
While there are lots of different versions of poker you can enjoy, there’s one in particular that you’ll likely want to focus on. Dubbed the “Cadillac of poker” in an overview at Poker.org, Texas Hold’em is far and away the most popular variety you’re likely to find online –– as well as the one most other people you know will relate to. There are oodles of apps and sites where you can play for free, as well as some sites where you can play with (and win or lose) real money –– although this depends on where you live. Best of all, there are also apps that allow you to play with friends online if you’re unable to get together for a game night. Zoom, for example, offers AceTime Poker by LGN, which can be found on the app marketplace on the Zoom app itself. And Facebook has supported an on-site poker app by Zynga for years.
Canasta by North Sky Games has simple but good graphics and animations, so it won’t slow your computer down or become laggy. And if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, this game offers three difficulty settings you can test your skills with. On the other hand, if you’re new to the game and you need an idea of how it works, Instructables.com has your back –– though to give you a summary, it’s a game played with four people split into two teams. Two full decks of cards (including jokers) are used, and the goal is to collect “melds” (collections of three or more cards of the same rank) and thereby outscore the opposing team. And as with the other options discussed here, it’s a great game to play in person with friends when you get the chance, too.
Blackjackist by KamaGames offers a smooth and engaging interface for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing experience. It also has a tutorial mode for those who may have heard of blackjack but never played it. And since you can’t learn something without practicing every day, KamaGames also offers daily quests, free daily chips, and challenges through which you can unlock achievements. If your inner (or outer) social butterfly is raring to go, you can also chat with other players as you play.
While most of these games seem pretty simple, that’s exactly what we’re aiming for: easy games that let players relax and have a good time, as opposed to other card games with thick rulebooks and deckbuilding (looking at you, Magic the Gathering!). Both types of games are excellent, but if you like the idea of simpler options, the ones above will have you covered.