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5 Games to Play with a Deck of Cards
Pontoon is the British version of the internationally popular banking game, Twenty-one. It’s perhaps now best known in the form of the American Casino version, Blackjack. The game Pontoon and its name are derived from the French Vingt-et-un (21).
Fun fact: The name "Pontoon" appeared during the First World War and appears to be a soldier's corruption of Vingt-Un.
Rummy is not actually a single game but a group of matching-card games, notable for similar gameplay. The game is based on matching cards of the same rank/sequence, and same suit. The basic goal in any form of rummy is to build melds (a set of matching cards). The winner is the first person to get rid of their cards, by melding or laying off.
Fun fact: Rummy supposedly evolved from ‘Conquian’, a game that originated in Spain or Mexico. It is believed that it was invented in Spain, and that it moved to America with Spanish migrants.
Gin Rummy is a variant of Rummy, originating in the States.
Fun fact: Gin Rummy became very popular during the Roaring Twenties and the Depression in the 1930s. It’s a pretty authentic one to play during a Roaring Twenties themed evening!
Patience (Europe), or solitaire (US/Canada), is a genre of card games that can be played by a single player. In this particularly well-known version of the Solitaire game, the aim is to complete suits, with Ace being the lowest value card and King being the highest.
Fun fact: Card solitaires originated toward the end of the 18th century, apparently in the Baltic region of Europe and possibly as a form of fortune-telling; whether or not a game “came out” supposedly indicated whether or not the player’s desire would come true.
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th centuries. Played in pairs, players sitting across from each other are considered a team and they have to try to get as many tricks as possible – together.
Fun fact: Whist is a descendant of the 16th century game of trump or ruff. The game takes its name from the 17th century whist (or wist, or whisk) meaning quiet, silent, attentive. Perfect for getting your game face on!