The French suits were introduced around and, in France, mostly replaced the earlier Latin suits of swords , clubs , cups and coins. This drastically simplifies the production of a deck of cards versus the traditional Italian deck, which used unique full-color art for each card in the deck. The French suits became popular in English playing cards in the 16th century despite historic animosity between France and England , and from there were introduced to British colonies including North America.
The rise of Western culture has led to the near-universal popularity and availability of French-suited playing cards even in areas with their own regional card art. In Japan, a distinct card hanafuda deck is popular. It is derived from 16th-century Portuguese decks, after undergoing a long evolution driven by laws enacted by the Tokugawa shogunate attempting to ban the use of playing cards.
The best-known deck internationally is the card Anglo-American deck used for such games as poker and contract bridge. It contains one card for each unique combination of thirteen ranks and the four French suits spades , hearts , diamonds , and clubs. The ranks from highest to lowest in bridge and poker are ace , king , queen , jack or knave , and the numbers from ten down to two or deuce. The trump cards and knight cards from the French playing tarot are not included.
Originally the term knave was more common than "jack"; the card had been called a jack as part of the terminology of All-Fours since the 17th century, but the word was considered vulgar. The earliest known deck to place suits and rankings in the corner of the card is from , but these cards did not become common until after when Hart reintroduced them along with the knave-to-jack change.
However, books of card games published in the third quarter of the 19th century evidently still referred to the "knave", and the term with this definition is still recognized in the United Kingdom. Since the 19th century some decks have been specially printed for certain games. Old Maid, Phase 10, Rook, and Uno are examples of games that can be played with one or more card decks but are usually played with custom decks. Cards play an important role in board games like Risk and Monopoly. Any specific card game imposes restrictions on the number of players. The most significant dividing lines run between one-player games and two-player games, and between two-player games and multi-player games.
Card games for one player are known as solitaire or patience card games. See list of solitaire card games.
Generally speaking, they are in many ways special and atypical, although some of them have given rise to two- or multi-player games such as Spite and Malice. In card games for two players, usually not all cards are distributed to the players, as they would otherwise have perfect information about the game state. Two-player games have always been immensely popular and include some of the most significant card games such as piquet , bezique , sixty-six , klaberjass , gin rummy and cribbage.
Many multi-player games started as two-player games that were adapted to a greater number of players.
For such adaptations a number of non-obvious choices must be made beginning with the choice of a game orientation. One way of extending a two-player game to more players is by building two teams of equal size. A common case is four players in two fixed partnerships, sitting crosswise as in whist and contract bridge. Partners sit opposite to each other and cannot see each other's hands. If communication between the partners is allowed at all, then it is usually restricted to a specific list of permitted signs and signals.
Another way of extending a two-player game to more players is as a cut-throat game, in which all players fight on their own, and win or lose alone. Most cut-throat card games are round games , i.
For some of the most interesting games such as ombre , tarot and skat , the associations between players change from hand to hand. Ultimately players all play on their own, but for each hand, some game mechanism divides the players into two teams. Most typically these are solo games , i. But in games for more than three players, there may also be a mechanism that selects two players who then have to play against the others. The players of a card game normally form a circle around a table or other space that can hold cards. The game orientation or direction of play , which is only relevant for three or more players, can be either clockwise or anticlockwise.
It is the direction in which various roles in the game proceed. Most regions have a traditional direction of play, such as:. Europe is roughly divided into a clockwise area in the north and a counterclockwise area in the south. Games that originate in a region with a strong preference are often initially played in the original direction, even in regions that prefer the opposite direction. For games that have official rules and are played in tournaments, the direction of play is often prescribed in those rules. Most games have some form of asymmetry between players.
The roles of players are normally expressed in terms of the dealer , i. Being the dealer can be a minor or major advantage or disadvantage, depending on the game. Therefore, after each played hand, the deal normally passes to the next player according to the game orientation. As it can still be an advantage or disadvantage to be the first dealer, there are some standard methods for determining who is the first dealer. A common method is by cutting, which works as follows.
One player shuffles the deck and places it on the table. Each player lifts a packet of cards from the top, reveals its bottom card, and returns it to the deck. The player who reveals the highest or lowest card becomes dealer. In case of a tie, the process is repeated by the tied players. For some games such as whist this process of cutting is part of the official rules, and the hierarchy of cards for the purpose of cutting which need not be the same as that used otherwise in the game is also specified.
But in general any method can be used, such as tossing a coin in case of a two-player game, drawing cards until one player draws an ace, or rolling dice. A hand is a unit of the game that begins with the dealer shuffling and dealing the cards as described below, and ends with the players scoring and the next dealer being determined. The set of cards that each player receives and holds in his or her hands is also known as that player's hand. The hand is over when the players have finished playing their hands.
Most often this occurs when one player or all has no cards left. The player who sits after the dealer in the direction of play is known as eldest hand or in two-player games as elder hand or forehand. A game round consists of as many hands as there are players. After each hand, the deal is passed on in the direction of play, i. Normally players score points after each hand. A game may consist of a fixed number of rounds.
Alternatively it can be played for a fixed number of points. In this case it is over with the hand in which a player reaches the target score. Shuffling is the process of bringing the cards of a pack into a random order. There are a large number of techniques with various advantages and disadvantages. Riffle shuffling is a method in which the deck is divided into two roughly equal-sized halves that are bent and then released, so that the cards interlace.
Repeating this process several times randomizes the deck well, but the method is harder to learn than some others and may damage the cards. The overhand shuffle and the Hindu shuffle are two techniques that work by taking batches of cards from the top of the deck and reassembling them in the opposite order. They are easier to learn but must be repeated more often. A method suitable for small children consists in spreading the cards on a large surface and moving them around before picking up the deck again.
This is also the most common method for shuffling tiles such as dominoes. For casino games that are played for large sums it is vital that the cards be properly randomised, but for many games this is less critical, and in fact player experience can suffer when the cards are shuffled too well. The official skat rules stipulate that the cards are shuffled well , but according to a decision of the German skat court, a one-handed player should ask another player to do the shuffling, rather than use a shuffling machine , as it would shuffle the cards too well.
French belote rules go so far as to prescribe that the deck never be shuffled between hands. The dealer takes all of the cards in the pack, arranges them so that they are in a uniform stack, and shuffles them. In strict play, the dealer then offers the deck to the previous player in the sense of the game direction for cutting.
If the deal is clockwise, this is the player to the dealer's right; if counterclockwise, it is the player to the dealer's left. The invitation to cut is made by placing the pack, face downward, on the table near the player who is to cut: Normally the two portions have about equal size. Strict rules often indicate that each portion must contain a certain minimum number of cards, such as three or five. The formerly lower portion is then replaced on top of the formerly upper portion. Instead of cutting, one may also knock on the deck to indicate that one trusts the dealer to have shuffled fairly.
The actual deal distribution of cards is done in the direction of play, beginning with eldest hand. The dealer holds the pack, face down, in one hand, and removes cards from the top of it with his or her other hand to distribute to the players, placing them face down on the table in front of the players to whom they are dealt. The cards may be dealt one at a time, or in batches of more than one card; and either the entire pack or a determined number of cards are dealt out.
The undealt cards, if any, are left face down in the middle of the table, forming the stock also called the talon, widow, skat or kitty depending on the game and region. Throughout the shuffle, cut, and deal, the dealer should prevent the players from seeing the faces of any of the cards. The players should not try to see any of the faces. Should a player accidentally see a card, other than one's own, proper etiquette would be to admit this. It is also dishonest to try to see cards as they are dealt, or to take advantage of having seen a card. Should a card accidentally become exposed, visible to all , any player can demand a redeal all the cards are gathered up, and the shuffle, cut, and deal are repeated or that the card be replaced randomly into the deck "burning" it and a replacement dealt from the top to the player who was to receive the revealed card.
When the deal is complete, all players pick up their cards, or "hand", and hold them in such a way that the faces can be seen by the holder of the cards but not the other players, or vice versa depending on the game. It is helpful to fan one's cards out so that if they have corner indices all their values can be seen at once.
In most games, it is also useful to sort one's hand, rearranging the cards in a way appropriate to the game. For example, in a trick-taking game it may be easier to have all one's cards of the same suit together, whereas in a rummy game one might sort them by rank or by potential combinations. A new card game starts in a small way, either as someone's invention, or as a modification of an existing game. Those playing it may agree to change the rules as they wish.
The rules that they agree on become the "house rules" under which they play the game. When a game becomes sufficiently popular, so that people often play it with strangers, there is a need for a generally accepted set of rules. This need is often met when a particular set of house rules becomes generally recognized. For example, when Whist became popular in 18th-century England , players in the Portland Club agreed on a set of house rules for use on its premises.
Players in some other clubs then agreed to follow the "Portland Club" rules, rather than go to the trouble of codifying and printing their own sets of rules. The Portland Club rules eventually became generally accepted throughout England and Western cultures. There is nothing static or "official" about this process. For the majority of games, there is no one set of universal rules by which the game is played, and the most common ruleset is no more or less than that.
Many widely played card games, such as Canasta and Pinochle , have no official regulating body. The most common ruleset is often determined by the most popular distribution of rulebooks for card games. Perhaps the original compilation of popular playing card games was collected by Edmund Hoyle , a self-made authority on many popular parlor games. Playing Card Company now owns the eponymous Hoyle brand, and publishes a series of rulebooks for various families of card games that have largely standardized the games' rules in countries and languages where the rulebooks are widely distributed.
However, players are free to, and often do, invent "house rules" to supplement or even largely replace the "standard" rules. If there is a sense in which a card game can have an "official" set of rules, it is when that card game has an "official" governing body. For example, the rules of tournament bridge are governed by the World Bridge Federation , and by local bodies in various countries such as the American Contract Bridge League in the U. The rules of Poker 's variants are largely traditional, but enforced by the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour organizations which sponsor tournament play.
Even in these cases, the rules must only be followed exactly at games sanctioned by these governing bodies; players in less formal settings are free to implement agreed-upon supplemental or substitute rules at will. An infraction is any action which is against the rules of the game, such as playing a card when it is not one's turn to play or the accidental exposure of a card, informally known as "bleeding. In many official sets of rules for card games, the rules specifying the penalties for various infractions occupy more pages than the rules specifying how to play correctly.
This is tedious, but necessary for games that are played seriously. With four players, it is often more interesting to use two decks of cards shuffled together. This is the case for quicker or more experienced players; with new, slow or young players, it is often appropriate to use only one deck, as this slows the game considerably. It is, of course, possible to have more than four players in a single game, but the playing field quickly becomes confusing and muddled simply because of the distance and amount of action. Also known as Super-spit in Wisconsin, Spit 2 in Texas, Rush in Missouri, and Spit 3 in Kentucky, [ citation needed ] California Spit is a fast paced shedding card game that has the added bonus of shuffling the deck.
The two players sit at opposite sides of a vertical playing surface. The dealer deals half of the cards to each player. The cards are held face down. Every round, each player plays five cards face up vertically in between both players and slightly closer to themselves. Once both players have done this, they look for two or more cards having the same number. When a player finds one, he places another card on top of the cards with that number until all of the cards with the common number are covered.
In other words, if there are three fours out then all three cards can get a new card on top of it. If a four is played on top of a four it is called a double, and the player may place a third card on top of it. This requires that players pay attention to the cards they are laying down on the pile. If a player runs out of cards then that player wins. When there are no more groups of cards remaining, each player scoops up the four piles directly in front of him or her and places them face down on the bottom of his or her deck.
The dealer is in charge of running all aspects of the game, from shuffling and dealing the cards to handling all bets. In the home game, all of the players have the. The procedure for two packs is as follows: While the deal is in progress, the previous dealer assembles all the cards from the pack he dealt, shuffles them, and.
That round ends and the next begins. Spit is a similar game in which two players simultaneously put down cards in ascending or descending order, until all of one player's cards are gone.
In Speed each player holds up to five cards in his hand, and has one stock pile, face down. In Spit each player has a row of stock piles, usually five, with the top card face up, so all cards in play are visible to both players. In both games each player is dealt a set of 10 "Spit Cards", face down, and one card, face down, in their "Spit Pile". See middle row of the diagrams. In Split each player lays out 15 cards in a "tableau" of 5 Stock Piles, with the topmost card of each pile turned up.
Subsequent played cards are placed face up on either of these Spit Piles, in ascending or descending order with aces fitting next to both kings and twos. In Spit the visible cards are played, and the card under it is then turned up. If a stock pile position is empty then a card can be moved from any other stock pile, whose next card is turned face up. In both games the replenishment of the hand or stock piles is not necessarily done immediately. If neither player can move, then each turns over a Split Card onto their Spit Pile and the game restarts.
If a player runs out of Spit Cards then the top card in their Spit Pile is left on the table, and the rest are shuffled and used as Spit Cards. The names and positions of the various piles of cards also vary. The terminology in this section follows McLeod. Strategy in Speed is limited by the fact that players must attempt to play everything they have in their hands, but there are many tricks that can help slow an opponent or speed the process of getting rid of cards. For example, it is usually prudent to arrange cards of adjacent rank together, but it is better to have cards in the order in which they can be played.
This is often a consideration to be taken at the beginning of the game, since it is often too time-consuming during play. For example, if dealt cards of ranks 4, 5, 5, 6 and 6, it is best to order them 4, 5, 6, 5, 6 rather than in standard ascending numerical order. If by any means it is revealed which cards are in an opponent's hand, it is often possible to 'block' the opponent from playing by not leading up to a point at which his card could be played.
Each card in the game must be played individually, this may be a disadvantage to some, however can prove to be advantageous. For example, if a player knows that their opponent has a King, and the card showing is a Jack, it is better for them to play a ten than a Queen, since the Queen would allow the opponent to play.
If both options are available, it is best to "explore" the former, by playing a card, then drawing back up to five to see if more moves can be made. On the other hand, it is sometimes advisable for a player to feed an opponent opportunities, if they will result in the value on the deck moving towards a large run in the player's own hand.
This is often the case when a hand contains multiple cards of the same number.