Solitaire is fine if you’re home alone in quarantine or need something to help you go to sleep at night, but nothing beats the fun of a group game.
And playing cards for group games are especially popular.
In fact, it seems that people have been playing cards together for quite a while now.
According to Wikipedia, playing cards were invented in Ancient China and they were found in China as early as the 9th Century during the Tang Dynasty. The first reference to the card game in world history dates no later than the 9th Century, when the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang described Princess Tongchang playing the “leaf game” in 868 with members of the Wei clan, her husband’s family.
That sounds like fun, but the variety of group games using playing cards today is mind-blowing!
So, we have put together a quick overview of five types of playing cards for group games with some of the most popular (and even “classic”) card-based games around.
6 Group Games Using Playing Cards
A fairly recent addition to the card game genre, Taboo has enjoyed popularity as a party game since it was first published in 1989. This game is in the category that uses a “non-standard” deck of cards, as opposed to the classic, 52 card deck of playing cards.
In Taboo, the players must explain the word their card assigns them to their teammates, and they must guess what that word is.
The catch is that the card also lists five or six words commonly related to the assigned word that the player can’t say or use. These words are all “taboo”. This game is best played with four or more players. Taboo is a unique and fun party and was a pioneer of the party game genre.
There are now multiple editions of the game including a Platinum Edition, Junior, and Kids editions of the game. Overall, nearly 20 editions have been released in the last 30 years.
Uno is a classic card game that also uses a non-standard deck of cards. In addition to numbers, players will find cards that allow them to take certain actions throughout the course of the game, like skipping other players’ turns, or forcing opponents to draw more cards. The goal is to play all your cards.
This fast-paced and wild card game has a curious origin story. According to Wonkavator.com,
“After having an argument with his son about Crazy 8’s, Merle Robbins, a barbershop owner and card lover, invented UNO in 1971 in Reading, Ohio. He introduced the game to his family, and after they started playing the game more and more he decided to have the game printed.”
The objective is to be the first to get rid of all your cards, and players that cannot play a card on their turn must draw a card, which they can play instantly if it is playable.
Once a player gets down to one card they must say “Uno!” to let the group know they have only one card left. If the player fails to say uno before another player says it then they must draw a card. Simple, immensely popular, and great fun, Uno can be played with 2-10 players.
Even if you’ve never played or even seen this wildly popular game, you’ve likely heard the name.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game is what is known as a trading card game (TCG). The Pokémon franchise started as a video game for Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld gaming system. It soon became so incredibly popular that the company that made the video game decided to produce the TCG.
Before long, a Pokémon television show was created, as well, and once the video game, TCG, and television show all hit in the late 1990s it was Pokémon everywhere making it one of the most popular franchises in gaming history. And Pokémon is still one of the most popular TCGs ever created.
Sometimes referred to as a role-playing game (RPG), Pokémon players assume the role of a Pokémon trainer and use their Pokémon to battle their opponent’s Pokémon. A Pokémon that has sustained enough damage is knocked out, and the player who knocked it out draws a Prize card. There are usually six Prize cards, and the primary objective for winning is to draw all of them.
Canasta is played with two standard 52 card decks and their Joker cards – 108 cards in total – and is similar to Rummy.
Like Rummy, the players try to meld cards by building hands of matching cards, or suited runs and different types of cards have different values. Players attempt to make melds of seven cards of the same rank and “go out” by playing all cards in their hand.
Considered “the most recent card game to have achieved worldwide status as a classic”, the game was invented in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1939 and today there are several national variations. Canasta is also somewhat notorious for having as many different sets of rules as players, because so many players grew up learning the rule versions of their own house.
Officially titled Magic: The Gathering, Magic, or MTG, is the original Trading Card Game, being first published in 1993. Today, the game has over 12 million active players worldwide, with over half of them competing at various levels.
Magic is played everywhere from coffee tables to massive convention centers around the world. Having pioneered one of the most popular genres of card game, Magic is still one of the most popular and successful games today.
Each game of Magic involves an imaginary battle between wizards who cast spells, use artifacts, and summon creatures that are depicted on individual cards to defeat their opponent. This is typically done by draining them of their starting life total.
Or, as Wikipedia explains it,
“A game of Magic involves two or more players who are engaged in a battle acting as powerful wizards. Each player has their own deck, either one previously constructed or made from a limited pool of cards for the event. A player starts the game with twenty as their ‘life total’ and loses the game when their life total is reduced to zero. A player can also lose if they must draw from an empty deck. In addition, some cards specify other ways to win or lose the game.”
Rack-O is a classic sequential-matching card game that challenges players with the objective of obtaining 10 numbers in a hand, all in numerical order. Rack-O was released in 1956 and has been a perennial favorite among party card game fans ever since.
According to the website, How Do You Play It,
“Score may be kept on a separate piece of paper, based upon either a custom system or the system provided in the rule book. The deck consists of 60 cards, each containing a number from 1 to 60. Depending on how many people are playing, the deck may be reduced in size. If two people are playing, only the cards from 1 to 40 are used; if three people are playing, the cards from 1 to 50 are used; and if four people are playing, the entire deck is used.”
Each player has a rack containing 10 slots to hold their cards, thus the name Rack-O. With just 2 to 4 players, Rack-O is recommended for players age 8 and up.
Family Get together? There is Fun in the Cards!
At Fundemonium, you’ll discover tons of great, card games for children, teens, adults, and the whole family! Explore our wide selection of card-based games along with board games and other indoor fun products along with toys, crafts, and hobby items.
Fundemonium is more than a store – it’s a fun family experience, where families and fans of card games can meet and play.
Fundemonium is a safe and friendly place where adults and children of all ages can enjoy creative fun. In addition, we have a great selection of games, toys, arts and crafts, and hobby products for your entire family.
And you can be sure that our friendly and knowledgeable staff makes it their business to help you have fun.
We always do our best to quickly respond to website inquiries about card games (and more!) or you can also find answers to your questions by calling us at (707) 540-0701.
Just give us a call during our business hours if you’d like to speak directly with one of our Fundemoniacs.