Famous Card Games Every Male Should Know

Card games have been played for ages and there are a bunch of reasons why. They are found in numerous types over the centuries, after their initial invention in the Far East. From that region, they arrived on the Western world via trading and during the 15th century, the French finalised the deck made of 52 cards and its four main symbols (suits)–spades, clubs, diamonds, and hearts that we are all familiar with nowadays. While each culture may employ different decks of cards, this card system is the most broadly used globally. For ages indeed, family members, friends and even strangers have gathered around bar roofs, dining room tables, pubs, and even campfires to try their luck playing friendly and a tad “aggressive” games of cards.

The Attraction of Card Games

What is the secret that makes card games so attractive and why they have earned their place on the hobbies and regular habits of males?

Mobility. A simple card deck can easily fit to any space or box or bag instead of an ordinary cardboard game in which we often tend to lose pieces. A deck of cards can even fit to our pockets. This is a common reason why the were famous among soldiers and sailors as well as travelers of all types that were often on the go. They could easily dump them in their sea bags or luggage or even ship bunks.

Time. Board games often need extended times to be arranged and this eats much playing time. You often miss where someone is in the game. Card games, on the contrary, simply need just a shuffle and you are free to play anytime you wish. The fact that the majority of card games have short breaks in-between playing sessions and you are free to play for minutes or even whole hours.

Additional manly points if you can recognise the player placing down the card…

Flexibility and informal nature. The majority of card games are actually popular traditional games with the “rules” that come with these being conveyed from one generation to the next (which makes the task of determining the origins of each game historically a bit tough). Nearly every family or area has its own combo of game rules they like to play with, and these rules keep on evolving in accordance to what the player group likes. The majority of games can also be modified e.g upgraded or simplified to suit different levels of players e.g beginners vs advanced or kids vs adults.

A balance between luck and skills. David Parlett, a game researcher and expert, states that they key appeal of card games is that they are not completely random like in the case of dice games nor too strategic and skillful as in a chess game, but provide a balanced mixture of luck and skills instead. The specific balance may differ from one game to another, and that allows well-thought players to pick from the wide selection card games 1-2 games that best match their preferences and skills. Even though the luck factor of such games is beyond a player’s control, in the old times, a man who had good luck in the cards was deemed privileged by the Gods which added to his fame.

Μale competition. It has also been found that competition between males in card games symbolize their more aggressive conflicts and war time. The same goes for football.+

When Michael Herzfeld, spend a portion of his life in a secluded rocky area in Cretan mountains with shepherds, he noticed that their regular card games were means of expression of their competition in symbolic manner. He added that they are competitions indeed, and one of the most popular card game companies will bear the slogan “let’s clash lances” (in greek: as kontarohtipithoume). Card games were often portrayed as fights and clashes between brave men (in greek:palikaria). Some ground for conflict that goes beyond friendly competition was usually found–when two blood relatives of different generations were playing against each other, despite being close in age, a supervisor explained this situation as a mere competition between the young and the mature. Nearly all card spreading movements has a bit of a violent or intense nature e.g hitting the hands on the table as each card is placed down.

The reflection of manhood and fame, the need for a strategy, the skills, and the aspect of odds and rewards is what made card games more than just a daily game activity.

Easy and fun communication. Card games foster a climate of easy and unofficial discussions–if someone wants to say something, they can simply say so or let other focus on their gaming. Particularly when everybody else involved are males, jokes, picks and even accusations are usually thrown in the mix enhancing a special atmosphere of male brotherhood during playing time. As Herzfeld states,while other manly tasks e.g hunting or fishing, need some strategy and “between the scenes” action, the card games provide a space for the development of skills in the aspect of “show-off” masculinity and witty convos. The rules of the games as they are are already set, but the movements, the talk, and of course the loudy triumph everytime a male or his team player wins are all original elements of interaction and connection between a male company.

The aspect of mystery. Typically in board games, every player can guess the potential moves of the other player/s. You roll a dice and everybody can spot your progress and if you are approaching victory or you are left behind. With cards on the contrary, others can only make guesses as they see the uniform back of the cards you’ve been given. There is a joyous element of mystery knowing that on your next round, you can get striked out and none is the wiser until the time you finally put your cards on the table.

For the aspects stated earlier and the lengthy history of card games through the ages, you can play the same game and rules that your dad or grandparents used to play with. Every male should know traditionally at least 3 card games. The 6 following card games are a combo that every males should learn and try out, both because of their popularity and fundamental value–they are also the kind of games that you are invited to join in or invite friends or family members to play with you because they are totally fun!

Note: Two of these stated include an single particular class of a general class of card games (gin rummy for instance is one  variation belonging in the general rummy category). But through the specific rules of each subcategory variation, you can get a glimpse of how the general category it belongs to is approached game-wise.

Gin Rummy

A very famous game in the Hollywood scene. Gin Rummy was played during the scenes of “A Letter to an Unknown Woman” by co-protagonists Joan Fontaine and Louis Jordan.

Rummy, in its general class of games, focuses on gameplay during which players attempt to create sets (also known as “melds” in card game glossary) of typically 3 or more cards of the same level or 3 same suit cards in a consecutive number sequence e.g 4,5 and 6 of hearts. It also a “throw and discard” type of game, where the player draws the next card from the pile and uses it or discards it, if they find it useless. When all the cards of the player form a meld (or more than one meld according to the game version), they are placed down and the player is given points out of the total sum/value of the cards he is left with at the end of each round. In most cases, players play until they reach a certain threshold of points e.g 100 or 200. Card game researchers assume that the Gin Rummy game originates from the former chinese game “mah-jong” and came into prominence during the early 18th century. Through many cultural and national variations, gin rummy, as the folk story proceeds, was established in 1909 by whist game instructor Elwood Baker and his son Charles Baker (who proceeded to become an established screenwriter). It is assumed that they came up with this subcategory of rummy to make it more fast-paced. The exact history of gin is hard to track down since it wasn’t widely played until the 30s  (as in the case of other card games in the U.S), when they great recession has urged families to seek alternative entertainment activities at home. It’s more simple than playing “bridge” and less aggressive than Poker.

Gin Rummy’s popularity skyrocketed thanks to Hollywood, TV, books, and even Broadway acts as a simple game with a better name than Poker, that could be played in dressing spaces with breaks and pick-ups between the shoots. If you study the filmology of the late 30s to early 40s, you’ll find many instances of the game being played as “gin and sharks” or simple “gin” in movies and theater acts. From that point, gin rummy has earned a solid place among the top card games in the U.S and nowadays it remains a game popular among family gatherings. Click here to get to know the rules of gin rummy…


The game of hearts belongs in the trick-initiating class of card games, originally coming from their “whist” predecessor. But instead of assuming tricks, you want to avoid these as possible, depending on the cards stocked on the pile–hearts for instance are bad luck as is the queen of spades which also goes by the epithet “calamity jane” or “black lady” in the game. The game is typically played up to a 100 point threshold–the player that reaches exactly 100 points is deemed the loser and the player with the least amount of points is deemed the winner (hearts are equal to a point each and the infamous calamity jane is burdened with 13 points).

Hearts were first introduced to U.S in the late 1800s, but their roots can be traced back to a 17th century french card game named “reversis”. Like the up-to-date version of cards, the target was to avoid taking trick with specific cards in them. While one obstacle to playing hearts was that the latests version/s call for 4 players to initiate a game (though it is possible to be played with more or fewer participants according to each version), it was still famous in the 20th century and specifically among uni students.

The game then gained a new dynamic towards the end of this millenium when M.S Windows have featured it as a integrated gaming app in their O.S since the 90s. You had 3 other virtual players and you could pause and pick-up a game anytime you desired. This was how I and many others became familiar with the game. I could practice on my screen with three virtual players and then invite 3 real players to join me in playing. This was of course less boring and brought a real sense of action than simply having to deal with Ben, Pauline, and Michele (the default virtual players) of its digital early Windows modes. Click here to get yourself familiar with the rules of hearts…

Poker (Texas Hold’Em)

Poker is a archetypal U.S card game, even a code of conduct for every gentleman. What makes it stand out among other card games, is its vivid risk-taking and betting aspect. Despite the fact that it resembles other card games of other civilizations, its betting format distinguishes it from anything that appeared formerly.

There is a possible theory that the game stems back to the 1820s New Orleans and Mississippi river betting boats. From that point, poker expanded along the northern river region and West together with the Gold Rush being a vital aspect of the cowboy lifestyle and tradition. When the filthy and exhausted finished tying their horses or guiding their cows for the day and wanted some form of entertainment around the campfire, poker soon became one of the staple games they played. This is because it plays along skills, chances, and a tad friendlier competition among players compared to other games. The betting aspect with real money, tokens, or even matchsticks also amplifies the thrill of the game.

There are numerous level systems and subcategories also circulating around the nation and even globally today, but modern Poker became especially widespread in the late 80s. This is  when Congress established the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which allowed casinos to be built and function over Native American lands. Before this happened, betting in all its forms was heavily supervised. Different cultures had varied forms of playing Poker, but Texas Hold’em remains the most widespread mode, especially in the Western regions. Towards the 00s, when ESPN network started to broadcast the World Series of Poker and online gameplay became vastly popular, it didn’t take much for Texas Hold’em version to become the most famous and played Poker mode globally. What makes a poker game session thrilling is its betting aspect and atmosphere, even when lower stakes e.g pennies, are involved-the amount of stakes at play can be adjusted either up or down based on player’s preferences. You can play for a penny or even stake for a small fortune e.g  $10K or more. You can even stake chips or peanuts and cookies. In case you have a bachelor party to arrange or just an in-home gathering with your best buddies while the women are out partying, Texas Hold’Em is without a doubt great for the occasion. To get you warmed up, here is a basis for the game and here is is how to plan a Poker night at your place.

Many sites in the UK offer such as Netbet offer poker games, as well as Bet365.


Solitaire is a set of games played for the most part by a single player which were introduced during the 1700s and where listed in written works towards the late 18th century. Compared to other particular games in this piece, I’m stating it here as a more general class of games. Why is that? The answer is because simply, every player likes to play in its own style and mode (my style for example is a Kings in the corners version that my Dad used to play also).

Despite its name, in its original mode, the game usually evolved multiple players either by assuming turns or each player using their own deck to find out which is going to win their game first. It’s probable that the mode played with a single player against the deck on his own, originated from folks that first played it in its multiplayer version.  But, it didn’t take long for countless versions of solitaire to pop up in the scene and any single player can play with its own adjusted set of rules. There was rumor that Napoleon played solitaire during his time in exile and even though some solitaire modes were called after him, this was only just a rumor.

As in the case of hearts, Solitaire’s popularity skyrocketed with the popularity of P.Cs and Internet. There is no need to shuffle the cards every single time, as the p.c can do this for you. Spider, FreeCell, and Klondike became the most widespread versions at least in computer mode, as they were featured as default games in PCs from the 90s. Today, you can seek and install apps that provide countless styles of Solitaire.

Give some of these a try  (head to the “solitair” area of this report or search them on the net), practice playing them in real by hand as opposed to a computer, and next time you seek some action, instead of taking your screen for some fun, deal out some cards and use your luck in solitaire.


The game of cribbage has been famous among men for ages. Whenever it involves a board, it’s essentially a card game played typically by 2 players (although it’s possible to engage 3 or 4 players with some adjustments)–the board here has the role of noting down the points collected. The two main phases of cribbage are as follows: the first is pegging, which calculates numerically you and your opponent player’s cards to 31 points, and counting cards (forming sets, runs, and 15s using your cards-see game rules for more info. It’s a game that stands on its own and can’t easily become a part of other more general categories which adds to its unique character. There are is nothing exactly like this kind.

It is said that cribbage was created or at least codified in its solid form,by Sir John Suckling, a U.K poet and soldier during the 1600s and was spread to American borders by British soldiers who spread the game among their colonies, and especially in New England. The game only calls for two players and was directly embraced by soldiers and sailors as may to spend their free time. Cribbage game boards, which bear 61 or 121 holes were and are still created from a combo of materials, which made them appear more different and unique appearance-wise. Eskimos for example used to make cribbage boards out of walrus ivory to swap with sailors and fisherman who arrived at their shores.

Cribbage was also famous among sailors for centuries and was particularly widespread during the World War II in the U.S navy. It was also considered as the informal go-to game for submariners who used to play it as they kept guard for Japanese ships.

Cribbage was still popular even after the world war era and became popular in college students as well, something that has kept to late generations. But, as in the case of other analog card games, it’s momentum is reduced a great deal. It’s not a game that can be easily set-up and played on a digital screen and many people may be aware of the game, but don’t know how the game is played. We suggest that you don’t be like these folks…


Blackjack is a single game included in this set as you typically find it in an online or traditional casino. It is actually the most popular and most played game in the casino gaming industry. Why? Simply because it’s easy to learn its rules and play it and because of its fast pace. You and the rest of players are playing against the dealer, not the deck itself or the rest of the players–the first whose cards approach closely or measure up to 21 points exactly, more than the dealer (without crossing that limit and getting burned), wins. There is a tad more fine distinction but that is the catch. If you approach closer the number 21 than the dealer, you win (and that can happen pretty much with any other game player). If on the contrary the dealer is more close to 21, they win and you lose. The catch about blackjack is that you will be able to pop up in a casino which can be a tad overwhelming, and know how to play at least one game confidently without feeling left out.

Blackjack, formerly called just “21”, was first reported in the writing works of Miguel De Cervantes with a fame equal to Don Quixote,in the first 1600s, which implied that it was formerly played during the mid or late 1500s. When the game was introduced to U.S betting houses in the 19th century, a former and sudden rule called for a 10-to-1 payout in case you had a black spade or club jack in your hands. The name of course remained, but this player rule was abolished fast.

The game increased in popularity in American during the late 1950s, when some smart-ass players came with with tactics that allowed the player to gain a privilege against the dealer.  The best-selling book “Beat the Dealer” by Ed Thorp published on 1963 did just that. However, this is tough to implement, especially if you don’t have any sort of computer to assist you and if you get caught using any such system, the casino has the right to ban you.  Thus, we don’t suggest it. Do get to learn the fundamental tactics of the games so you know what you are doing in your next casino visit.

By learning any or all of these cards games, you can invite your buddies and other family members or play online against strangers and virtually for any occasion.