Below is a list of card games and links to pages with information about card games that have become popular in my circle of friends. Most of the time they are games that are games popular in the Nebraska area. However, some of them are original creations or modifications of existing card games. This list is continually expanding and any submissions are welcome. Also, I am certain that many of these games are known by other names and I’d love to find them all out.
Modified Card Games
The game of complex hearts, is pretty much like the regular old card game of hearts, except that scoring is modified slightly to include complex values. The origins of the game are from none other than Richard Garfield, Magic guru. The instructions first appeared in an issue of Games magazine.
Corellian Pitch is a dynamic multivariation game based on 10 point pitch. I “invented” it in 1996 based on the game of Corellian Rules Sabacc I read about in a Star Wars book….allegedly the game played that won the Millenium Falcon by Han Solo.
Common Card Games
Hearts is an trick-taking card game for four players, although variations can accommodate 3–6 players. The game is also known as Black Lady, The Dirty, Dark Lady, Slippery Anne, Chase the Lady, Crubs, Black Queen and Black Maria, though any of these may refer to the similar but differently-scored game Black Lady. The game is a member of the family of trick-taking games (which also includes Bridge and Spades), but the game is unique among in that it is an evasion-type game; players avoid winning certain penalty cards in tricks, usually by avoiding winning tricks.
Pitch (or “High Low Jack”) is an American trick-taking card game derived from the English game of All Fours (Seven Up). Historically, Pitch started as “Blind All Fours”, a very simple All Fours variant that is still played in England as a pub game. The modern game involving a bidding phase and setting back a party’s score if the bid is not reached came up in the middle of the 19th century and is more precisely known as Auction Pitch or Setback. Whereas All Fours started as a two-player game, Pitch is most popular for three to five players. Four can play individually or in fixed partnerships, depending in part on regional preferences. Auction Pitch is played in numerous variations that vary the deck used, provide methods for improving players’ hands, or expand the scoring system. Some of these variants gave rise to a new game known as Pedro or Cinch.
Cribbage, or crib, is a card game traditionally for two players, but commonly played with three, four or more, that involves playing and grouping cards in combinations which gain points. Cribbage has several distinctive features: the cribbage board used for score-keeping, the eponymous crib or box (a separate hand counting for the dealer), two distinct scoring stages (the play and the show) and a unique scoring system including points for groups of cards that total fifteen.
Spades is a trick-taking card game devised in the United States in the 1930s. It can be played as either a partnership or solo/”cutthroat” game. The object is to take at least the number of tricks (also known as “books”) that were bid before play of the hand began. Spades is a descendant of the trick-taking family of card games, which also includes Bridge, Hearts, and Oh Hell. Its major difference as compared to other is that, instead of trump being decided by the highest bidder or at random, the Spade suit is always trumps, hence the name.
Rummy is a group of matching card games notable for similar gameplay based on matching cards of the same rank or sequence and same suit. The basic goal in any form of rummy is to build melds which consists of sets, three or four of a kind of the same rank; or runs, three or more cards in sequence, of the same suit. You can also have mixed runs in all types of rummy so long as all 7 cards are in order. The original form of rummy is called Sai rummy, Straight Rummy, Standard Rummy, Traditional Rummy or Basic rummy.
Gin rummy, or simply gin, is a two-player card game created in 1909 by Elwood T. Baker and his son C. Graham Baker. According to John Scarne, Gin evolved from 19th-century Whiskey Poker and was created with the intention of being faster than standard rummy but less spontaneous than knock rummy.
Euchre or eucre is a trick-taking card game most commonly played with four people in two partnerships with a deck of 24, 25, or sometimes 32, standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs; this was invented around 1860 to act as a top trump or best bower (from the German word Bauer, “farmer”, denoting also the jack). It may be sometimes referred to as Knock Euchre to distinguish it from Bid Euchre.
Nertz is a fast-paced, real-time, multiplayer card game involving multiple decks of playing cards. It is often described as a combination of the card games Speed and Solitaire. Nertz is known by a number of different names: Hell, Nerts, Pounce, Peanuts, Racing Demon and Squinch.