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These traditional card games are finding new popularity with millennial players

These traditional card games are finding new popularity with millennial players

Back in the 1970s and 80s, packs of playing cards could be seen lying around in every home, not to mention in pubs and bars, and we all knew a handful of games. Teenage students would play the top trending card games in study halls, while their grandparents met up for weekly games of bridge, cribbage and brag. 

Card games have never completely gone out of fashion, but their popularity certainly declined in the 1990s and into the new millennium, as other leisure activities competed for our attention. However, that has seen a turnaround over the past couple of years, as millennials who have grown up around technology have turned away from it  and hunger for new – or in this case old – ways to socialize. 

Not only has this led to a revival in traditional board games, it has also seen packs of cards reappearing in the homes of thirty-something householders. That’s not to say bridge clubs will be back in vogue any time soon, however. Let’s find out what they are playing. 

Poker

Most of us know what we know about poker from watching either the World Series of Poker or movies like Casino Royale. That can give us a somewhat lop-sided view of the game, as it’s not really all about bluffing for million dollar pots. The online age has actually encouraged more people to learn the rules of poker and give the game a proper chance, so perhaps it is no surprise that it is more popular in the 2020s than it has ever been, especially among tech-savvy millennials. 

There’s no experience quite like playing poker at a physical card table. However, the internet remains a great resource for poker novices and is the obvious place to start. It is easy to find poker rules for beginner poker players online.

Hearts

This reverse-scoring trick-taking game uses the entire deck of cards, so is ideal for four players, but can accommodate any number. For example, if five are playing, the 2s of diamonds and clubs are removed so players start with 10 cards each. 

Hearts score face value, while the Queen of Spades scores 25. The objective is to keep your score as low as possible, so to discard high hearts and the Queen of Spades. Players delight in leading with low spades to try to “flush out the lady.” A fun aspect to the game is the possibility of “shooting for the moon” – win all hearts and the Queen of Spades, and your score reverts to zero.

Cheat

This classic game of deception has become the must-play after-dinner game for the 2020s. The objective is to be first to discard all their cards. Ranks are called consecutively, with players discarding all their cards of that rank face down. They can elect to cheat and discard an extra card or two. Other players can challenge by calling out “cheat” or some other agreed term.

A correct challenge means the “cheat” must take up all the cards from the discard pile. If the challenge is incorrect, then the challenger must take them up.     

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