The World’s Most Popular Card Games

Here’s a fun fact: did you know there are 1,000 and 10,000 card games? The precise number is hard to pin down because it depends on what you classify as a game (rather than as a slight variation of an existing game), but the bottom line is that there are a lot of card games out there. And they’re just the ones that involve a state deck of cards.

Of course, not all card games are equally popular. Some are so common that virtually everyone knows how to play them, while others are so niche that you’d have to travel to the ends of the world to find a group of players. Better to focus on the widely played games if you plan to play regularly. So what are they? Let’s take a look.


It’s hard to say whether poker is the most popular card game, but it’s certainly up there. It’s arguably the most iconic and has an aura that no other card game can match. It was invented in the early 1800s in the southern part of the United States, but as with all charismatic games, the exact origins are unknown.

What is known is that poker continues to be highly popular. A mainstay in online and real-world casinos and frequently played among friends, the game is easy to pick up but difficult to master. The popularity of poker is such that it’s one of the few card games to be televised, with international poker tournaments routinely attracting a loyal and sizable audience.


Blackjack was invented in France in the 1700s and has been popular in the United States since it arrived in the early part of the 19th century.

Part of blackjack’s widespread appeal is the relative simplicity and accessibility of the game — learning how to play takes minutes, and the game only requires between 2 – 7 players and a deck of cards, or players can play online right from their device by joining a web-based game.

Though blackjack is easy to pick up, it’s challenging enough to keep players engaged, which is another reason for its longevity. Indeed, blackjack is arguably as popular as ever, especially since the internet has brought it to an entirely new audience.


It’s not hard to see the appeal of solitaire. For one thing, it’s one of the few games you can play by yourself. The game was initially designed to be played by two players, but over the years, it was adapted to become a single-person game. Plus, since the game was included for free on early Windows computers, everyone over the age of thirty already knows how to play the game.

As with all good games, it’s challenging but not too challenging. You’ll win some and lose some, and since you’re only playing against yourself (or the universe, since some luck is required), there’s no real pressure to put in an excellent performance. It’s a fine way to spend a lazy afternoon with your dog by your side.

Magic: the Gathering 

Based on the number of players alone, Magic: the Gathering isn’t the most widely played game. But it deserves a place on this list due to the sheer passion elicited by those who play the game.

Though the game was only invented in the early 1990s, some 20 million players around the globe stepped into the make-believe Magic realm armed with their unique collection of branded cards. Some cards are so highly prized by players that they attract a costly price tag.

Take The One Ring card, the most powerful card in the game, sold for a staggering $2.64 million. That is that commitment to a game, but hey, anything for immortality!

Magic: The Gathering was also responsible for the biggest trading card game tournament ever held when more than 7,500 competitors gathered in Las Vegas for the ggame’s2015 Grand Prix tournament.

Sarah C. Burdett

I hail from Baytown in the American South. Reading is my passion; it broadens my understanding of the world. Sharing is my joy; I hope my content brings you delightful experiences. In a world rushing you to grow up, I aspire to protect the fairy tale within your heart with my words.

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