Card Games

Why are Card Games Appealing?

Card games have been a part of our culture. They were invented in the Far East and came West with trading. In 1400s, the French solidified the 52-card deck and the four suits — spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds — that we use today.

They have existed in various forms for almost a thousand years. They are present in all nations and cultures and they are still a staple in every gathering even until today. For literally centuries now, families, friends and strangers have convened around dining room tables, campfires and bar tops to play friendly and perhaps not-so-friendly games of cards. (Click here to know more about the history of playing cards).

With its continued popularity even until today, it kind of makes you wonder what makes it appealing. Why are they still a prominent part of our culture?

Below are some of the reasons why card games are still undeniably appealing.

  1. Portability

Why carry around a bulky game board on your trip when you can conveniently carry a pack of cards on your pocket instead?

Because cards are portable, they are very popular with travelers, soldiers and sailors. Cards don’t need to occupy a lot of space on your luggage; you can just carry it on your pocket or throw it to your seabag. Its portability is also one of the reasons why it rapidly spread all over the globe. A traveler from Russia can introduce a bit of his culture to his new friends in Italy by showing them their local card games.

People don’t like to complicate things. If they could conveniently carry around a good thing in their pocket, they would surely patronize it.

  1. Speed

We live in a crazy world where everything needs to be done abruptly. We can only afford a little of our time in pleasure and recreation.

Not only board games require much time to set up, the games are also quite lengthy. If a break is needed, you’d easily forget where you stopped before the pause. Card games, on the other hand, are loved for its speed. You just need a few seconds to shuffle then you can pretty much play any card games you want. And most games have natural breaks at the end of a hand or deal so playing for a few minutes or a few hours is entirely up to you.

Card games present an opportunity for people to have fun without requiring much time or effort.

  1. Informality and Adaptability

There may be different kinds of card games, but one common factor amongst them is that most of them are folk games.

Rules are being passed on and changed from generation to generation. It’s no wonder tracing the specific history of the game is a difficult task to do. There is no formality in this game, there’s really no set rules on how you play it. Every region and family has their own preferred set of rules and those rules are still continuing to change to cater on what’s the most enjoyable for them. You can even change the level of difficulty of the game depending on who’s playing it. You can scale it down to incorporate the kids or scale it up for expert players.

Now, it makes sense why solitaire is played differently on my friend’s house compared to how it is played in my house.

  1. Balance of Chance and Skill

Games scholar David Parlett quotes: “A major attraction of card games is that they are in general neither wholly mindless, like most dice games, nor excessively cerebral, like Chess, but offer a reasonable balance of chance and skill. The actual balance varies from game to game, enabling well-informed players to select from the vast repertoire of card games the one or two best suited to their tastes and talents.”

In the past, even though players don’t have control over the luck aspect of the game, it is considered that a player who had a streak of luck is highly favored by the gods, which enhanced his honor.

It has the perfect balance of luck and skill. Unlike dice games, you don’t have to solely depend everything on luck. You’re not going to end up with a headache in playing card games either. Read more on how to beat card games at

  1. Manly Competition

Anthropologist Michael Herzfeld had an observation that the daily card games played in a mountainous region of Crete were a “medium for the expression of contest in emblematic form.”

The games that men are playing are symbolic representations of their more violent clashes in fighting and war. Men are always searching for manhood and honor. The requirement of strategy and the element of risk and reward that are present in card games answers this quest.

  1. Ease and Enjoyment of Conversation

If there is one thing that facilitates an easy and no-pressure conversation, it would be card games. While playing, anyone can simply say anything they want to say. Camaraderie is easy to form. You’d notice that a group of young men playing cards are throwing jokes or banters to each other. Card games create this light environment where everyone can let go of their apprehensions and just enjoy every piece of conversation.

As Herzfeld notes, while other male activities like hunting or war “require swift and often silent action . . . the card game provides a forum for skill in that other area of demonstrative masculinity, clever talk. The rules of the games themselves are fixed, and therefore of relatively little interest . . . But the conversational gambits, well-timed gestures, and of course the flamboyant triumph of the winners are all legitimate themes in male interaction.”

  1. Element of Mystery

In most board games, there’s only a little piece of mystery since every player is aware of the possible moves of every other player. With cards, on the other hand, the only thing that your opponent can see is the back of the card that you has been dealt. There is always this fun air of mystery looming around. No one knows when you are going to drop your cards on the table.

If card games interest you now, click here to expand your knowledge about this fun game genre.

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