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Card Games That Poker Players Love

Home » Card Games That Poker Players Love

Card Games That Poker Players Love

Close-up of a man holding a hand of playing cards during a game of rummy.

Whether you play online poker with friends or prefer to keep it old school with classic in-person games, sometimes it’s good to take a break from your favorite game to get a fresh perspective and return with a fresh appreciation for the game. While an outdoor adventure or trip to your favorite restaurant is always a good idea, there are times you’d like to keep things closer to home. So how do you strike the perfect balance? A game of cards, of course!

We’ve all heard it being said before that a change of scenery can do you a world of good, or in this case, a change of gameplay could have you returning to the poker table with renewed vigor. As exciting and thrilling as poker is, there are several other enjoyable games that you can turn to if you’re looking to expand your card game knowledge and expertise. Ready for a change of pace? Take a look at seven of the best card games that poker enthusiasts enjoy. 

Other Card Games To Try

1. Blackjack

Players who enjoy playing at online poker sites will find blackjack an easy transition from their preferred game. The best online casinos offer a variety of casino table games, so depending on the platform, you’re likely to find many blackjack titles available, too. While the game’s basic rules are simple, there is a degree of strategy involved. This is especially true with betting, making this game ideal for those who enjoy the mental challenge of live poker online. 

Blackjack is played between individual players and a dealer, so you’re not pitted against any other players. Each participant is dealt an initial two cards with the aim of getting as close to 21 as possible without going bust (exceeding 21.) Participants can either hit (ask for another card) or stand (play with their current cards until the end.)

Just as there are many poker variants available online, there are also several blackjack variants, including live dealer versions, leaving players with a lot of entertainment options. This game also offers a particularly generous RTP (return to player,) making it among the most popular casino games played with cards.

2. Baccarat

If you’re looking to add some James Bond flair to your game, baccarat’s the game for you. It’s also ideal for players who enjoy games of chance because, unlike poker, there’s no skill or strategy involved in the game – only luck (or the lack thereof.) In a baccarat game, there are only three possible outcomes: player wins, banker wins, or a tie. The game begins with those at the table betting on one of these three outcomes. The dealer then deals a hand for the player and the banker and the first to get to nine wins.

Because a bet on the banker has a house edge of 1.06%, a bet on the player has a house edge of 1.24%, and a bet on a tie carries a casino advantage of 14.36%, our only strategic tip for this game is: never bet on a tie!

3. Gin

Gin is a two-player game, arguably the most popular of its kind, and was invented in the early 1900s. Because Texas Hold’em poker can be played with anything from two to 10 players, players who like this variant will likely feel right at home during a game of gin. Each round lasts around 15 minutes, making it ideal for a quick game or for a few rounds. During the game, each player is dealt 10 cards, which they must use to form valid sequences of three or more cards (these can be runs, three-of-a-kind or four-of-a-kind.) The player to form combinations from all the cards in his hand announces, “Gin,” and will then score 20 points plus the value of the opponent’s unmatched cards. The first player to reach or exceed 100 points wins the game.

Gin is a variant of rummy, which has a similar concept. 

Top view of a group of friends playing cards on a small table.

4. Spades

Spades was invented in the US in the 1930s but only became internationally recognized in the 1990s. It can be played solo, against other opponents, or in partnerships. As with poker, spades can be played by two or more players and uses a standard 52-card deck. Like bridge, the objective is trick-taking and each player gets a 13-card hand. After the cards have been dealt, each player must make a bid, that is, estimate how many tricks they expect to win (between one and 13.) The game starts after all the players at the table have made their bid, as players must now chase their tricks and win what they bid for. Players who fail to meet their target are penalized and those who clear it get points. The player or team to reach a certain number of points (usually 500) wins the game.

5. Bridge

Bridge is so famous that the International Olympic Committee recognizes it as a sport! Considered the ultimate trick-taking game, bridge is played by millions of people all over the world. The game offers both fun and challenges, making it an ideal alternative to video poker online. Bridge is played by four players who form two partnerships. A standard 52-card deck is dealt out clockwise around a table so that each player holds 13 cards sorted into separate suits. The object is to win tricks, with each trick consisting of one card played by each player in turn. The game is divided into bidding and play, a structure that makes it highly engaging. Each deal is played within seven or eight minutes, which serves to keep things interesting.

6. Canasta

Some might say this is just the right game for you if you enjoy teamwork – which is rather unusual around the casino table! Unlike when you play poker and play single-handedly against opponents, canasta is a game that you can play in pairs or partnerships. While the rules of canasta can be complex and layered, they can become second nature when you play the game often enough. Simply put, the premise and purpose of canasta is to form combinations of three or more cards of the same rank; you can do this with or without the help of a wild card. In canasta, jokers and deuces are considered wild cards, which can replace any other cards and ranks to help you achieve your winning combinations.

7. Cribbage

Cribbage is a little different in that it includes a board used for scorekeeping. That means that you have to understand the scorekeeping process and rules if you want to get the most out of your cribbage gameplay. In addition to the scorekeeping board, cribbage also has two stages of scoring, the play and the show.

These two factors are arguably why cribbage can be considered a comparatively more complex and different card game because of the rules you must grasp before trying your hand at it. Despite that, it’s still one of those classic and underrated card games that you must try at least once in your life.

If you’re the type of person who has set aside some time specifically to play poker online to unwind, then taking some time to learn and understand cribbage may be a refreshing addition to the routine. The aim of this card game is to be the first player to reach 121 points. However, some game variations may bring the target down to 61 points instead. In cribbage, you can earn points by making various card combinations and tracking them accordingly on the scorekeeping board.

Play Real Poker Online With BetMGM

There’s nothing wrong with stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new every now and then, which also applies to online casino games. When you’re back in the mood, online casino BetMGM offers an extensive selection of world-class poker games, including video and live dealer versions of several poker variants. You’ll also get to enjoy daily online poker tournaments when you register with BetMGM, as well as a 100% deposit match and up to $75 in tournament tickets. 

Check out our online poker guide, which features everything you need to know to get started. The BetMGM blog covers an extensive range of poker topics, including how poker strategy has changed in recent years and what the future holds for women in poker. Discover all this and more with BetMGM!

Apart from poker, there are several other card games that you can try to expand your skills before returning to the poker table. Discover popular options here.