Explore 12 Card Game Types: Fun and Exciting Options

Type of card games

Card games are great for playing during vacations, camping trips, and family gatherings. They are a great source of entertainment, are easy to carry around, and the rules are straightforward. Their widespread availability and the different gameplay variations appeal to all age groups. You can play card games in a group or play as a single player. As there is a countless variety of card games, you can classify them into different categories based on the general objective of the game. This article lists 12 types of card games you can play in 2022, with examples in each category.

Types of card games

You require a deck or pack of playing cards identical in size and shape to play card games. A standard deck has 52 cards that comprise 13 ranks in each of the four suits – clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds. Each card game has its own set of rules and objectives. So, you must understand the game before you start playing.

Based on the game’s objective, we have categorized them into 12 types of card games:

  1. Trick-taking games
  2. Card exchange games
  3. Hand comparison games
  4. Layout games
  5. Staking games
  6. Catch and collect games
  7. Collectible card games
  8. Combat games
  9. Compendium games
  10. Race games
  11. Matching card games
  12. Multi-genre card games

Let’s look at each one of them in detail.

Trick-taking games

Trick-taking games are a good option for two or more players. It belongs to the “outplay game” category, where players play cards from their hands, and based on the values of playing cards, one player wins or takes the trick. Each trick-taking game has its set of rules, and the winner is decided based on the number or type of tricks taken. Certain games in this category have several tricks where many cards are played simultaneously.

There are three types of trick-taking games:

  1. Plain Trick games
  2. Point Trick games
  3. Quasi trick-taking games

Plain trick games

In this type of card game, the value of the trick doesn’t depend on the card. The main objective is to win as many tricks as possible, win a specific trick, or even lose tricks. Some popular types of plain trick games are the Last trick, Trump, Euchre, Rams, L’Hombre, and Boston.

You can also play IPL based Trump card game on Zupee. The Trump Cards Mania is a 2-player game where each player gets 11 cards with all-time top 100 IPL batsmen. You can select the stats you want to challenge your opponent with and earn points if your stats are higher than opponents. The player with the higher score is the winner

Learn more about how to play Trump cards mania.

Point trick games

In point trick games, cards have point values, and the result is found based on the total point value of cards taken rather than the number of cards taken. In positive point trick games, the aim is to take a certain number of points in tricks, while in negative point trick games, one needs to avoid taking points. Some examples are Tarot games, Manille, Couillon, Trappola, All-fours, Ace-ten games, and Sedma.

Quasi trick-taking games

These are generally accumulation or shedding games where players acquire extra cards during the game. Its main objective is to either gather or get rid of the cards instead of winning or losing tricks. Based on the mechanism used, they are grouped as Inflation games, Climbing games, and Beating games.

Card exchange games

Card-exchange games require each player to have a hand of cards and exchange one or more cards. The exchange can be with another player or a pile of face-up or face-down cards kept on the table.

Some examples include the Draw and Discard game, Commerce group, Cuckoo group, Quartet group, and Card passing games.

Hand comparison games

This type of card game involves very little or no play of cards because the result is determined by comparing players’ cards to see which is the best. In some cases, it involves simply turning one or more cards to decide the winner. Some of these games offer an opportunity to enhance the position by drawing some extra cards or choosing the way to arrange cards into groups.

Layout games

In layout games, as the name suggests, cards are laid out on the table by following rules regarding which cards can be played or moved to which position. There are three types of layout games:

  • Patience or solitaire: This single-player game has over 150 varieties, and its main aim is to arrange the cards in some systematic order. Some games also require you to make pairs to discard them.
  • Competitive patience: These games are similar to solitaire but with a minor change. Instead of playing alone, you compete with the other players. For example, two or more people play one-player solitaire simultaneously, and the person who finishes their game first wins. Some games also allow the players to play cards on other players’ layouts, making it more interesting.
  • Connecting games: The aim is to get rid of your cards by playing them in a layout. For example, the layout in card dominos consists of four suits. You must build a sequence with king and ace at the extreme and the 7s in the canter. 

Staking games

Staking games are based on the player’s luck as they just bet their stakes on the chances of a specific card turning up on the table. The best example is Trente et Quarante or Rouge et Noir, played in Europe. The game’s objective is to predict which row of cards will have a sum closest to 31. Another example is Faro, a staking card game played in Nevada. In Faro, aces are low, and kings are high in the ranking. The objective is to win the most bets.

Catch and collect games

Catch and collect games are the type of card games that aim to collect all cards in the deck. The best example in this category is war, where the deck of cards is divided between two players. The players must simultaneously reveal the top cards in the deck, and the one with the highest value captures the other. Both these are added to the winner’s card deck, and the first one who captures all the cards becomes the winner.

Collectible card games

These types of card games allow you to create your customized deck. Generally, a new player begins playing a CCG with a pre-made deck and then customizes it by acquiring other cards from players or buying a booster pack.  This category has various card games, each with its own rules. The best part of the game is players get a chance to collect the rarest cards and become a part of the worldwide card collector community. Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, and Magic are the best examples of this category.

Combat games

Each player in this game has an array of cards on the table. These can be used to attack other players or defend themselves against attacks. There are also cards held to be deployed on the table or used in the battle directly. Generally, a turn consists of:

  • Add one or more cards from the hand to fight the force on the table.
  • Attack another player’s forces to eliminate one or more cards from the game.
  • Draw a new card from the face-down pile of one’s card stocks or common stocks.

This type of card game aims to kill the opponent player’s fighting cards, create a fighting array to meet certain criteria, or unload all cards into other players through successful attacks. Some of the examples are Empires, Feuds, and UNO. 

Compendium games

Compendium games are the types of card games that use numerous mechanisms and can end up being a series of different games played in a fixed sequence or in a way selected by the players. Some games have various phases with varying mechanisms. A standard format of this category includes several reverse deals intended to avoid taking certain cards. Some aim to win the tricks, whereas some aim at getting rid of cards by laying them out in suit and sequence. Barbu, King, and Trix are some examples.

Race games

In this card game, cards are used for controlling movement. To play this type of card game, you need a board. Pegs, marbles, or other pieces are used in one group of race games. These are moved around a racetrack board. Some examples of this type include:

  • Pegs and Jokers: where the game is played in partnership. The objective is to get all your pegs home before your opponent. Each card denotes a movement. For example, a Queen, King, and Jack allow you to move 10 spaces ahead, whereas, if you get an 8, you move 8 spots backward on the track. 
  • Fast Track: where the objective is to be the first player to move all their marbles from starting point to the home. Similar to pegs and jokers, each card carries a value. For example, if you get an Ace, you can move 1 space.
  • Horse Race: where the objective is to bet on which horse or ace will complete the course first. The horse/ace moves forward when a card with the related suit is flipped up from the deck. The first horse/ace to have eight cards flipped with a corresponding suit wins the race.

Matching card games

Matching games are the type of card games in which you acquire particular groups of matching cards before your opponent. For example, in Rummy, you draw and discard cards to form a melds group. Another example is the concentration card game, where all cards are laid face down on a surface, and two cards are flipped in each turn. The objective is to turn over pairs of matching cards and collect them. The player who has the maximum pair wins the game.  

Learn how to play Rummy and its rules here.

Multi-genre card games

Most card games are hybrids and come with defining features based on which they are categorized. But some may contain features of other categories as well. An example is Go Fishing which is not just a matching game but also a trick-taking game. Similarly, the solitaire game falls in the category of matching as well as shedding games. So we can say that the classification of card games is not exclusive.

Types of Card Games – FAQs

What is the basis of classifying card games?

Rule complexity, duration of the game, or skill are some criteria considered for classifying card games.

What are some examples of card games classified on the basis of the types of cards used?

Chess cards, flower cards, Indian Circular cards, Domino tiles, German-suited cards, French Suited cards are some examples of card-game classification on the basis of the type of cards used.

How many cards does a standard deck have?

A standard deck of cards consists of 52 cards in each of the 4 suits of spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Each suit has 13 cards – King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace.

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