Playing cards were first invented by the Chinese during the Tang dynasty over 1000 years ago before making their way to Europe in the 14th century via the Mameluke empire of Egypt.
There have also been suggestions play cards may have been a form of currency and the oldest surviving playing cards are dated back to the 12th century and the oldest near complete pack to the 15th century.
The most common modern deck is the standard 52-deck of French playing cards with the suits comprising of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades however some countries also use bells and acorns (German) and cups, coins and swords (Italian and Spanish).
Similar to philately (stamp collecting), some people collect cards with the Guinness World Records suggeting the largest card collection is owned by Liu Fuchang, fittingly from China, with over 11,000 decks of cards.
Regardless, a deck of cards is an easy to carry form of entertainment with many games available to keep people of all ages amused. Here are some card games that you may enjoy playing with your Grandchildren.
An absolute classic and resulting in pink hands across the word, cards are shuffled and divided evenly between players. Player to the left of the dealer goes first. Everyone takes a turn putting down a card. When there is a match (2 jacks for example) players throw their hand down on the pile and yell SNAP. First person down takes the cards. The object is to finish with as many cards as possible.
A game for 3-6 players, five cards are dealt to each player. Player to the left of the dealer goes first. That player asks for example “Nana do you have an eight?” If Nana has an eight, she has to give it to the player who then has a pair they put aside. Otherwise she says “go fish” and they need to collect a card from the pile in the middle. The object of the game is to collect as many pairs as possible.
Use a standard deck of cards removing one of the four queens. Dealer deals out all of the cards to players (don’t worry if they don’t have an equal number of cards). From the deal, remove the pairs and put face down (if a player receives 3 of a kind, only put 2 down). The dealer offers their remaining hand of cards to the player on the left who selects a card. If this card is a pair, they will put the pair face down, otherwise will add it to their deck, shuffle and offer their cards to the next player. The object of the games is to avoid ending up with the final single queen.
If you are playing with 4 people, you will need 4 different denominations (say 2’s 6’s, jacks and queens), put the remaining pack aside. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals four cards to each player. Players look at their hands and pass one card to the left and collects a card from the player on the right. This continues rapidly so other players find it hard to keep up with the pace. The first player to get four cards of a denomination (2’s, kings, aces etc) stop and puts their finger to their nose. Once other players notice they must too stop and put their fingers to their noses. The object of the game is to be the first player to collect all 4 or not be the last to notice when someone puts their finger to their nose.
What card games do you enjoy playing? Do you play a different game altogether? When did you last play cards? Let us know what you enjoy playing.