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When you’re spending time at home, you need to be a bit more resourceful when it comes to finding engaging activities that are not screen-based. For many, that means getting reacquainted with a good ol’ deck of cards! If your card-playing skills are a little rusty, here are some challenging—yet not too taxing—card games to play by yourself or with others. You’ll find the basics here, but you can search for more details and variations online to spice things up. 

Solo Card Games
Accordion: Using a single deck of cards, the object of this solitaire variant is to pile all the cards into one stack. You’ll deal the cards out one at a time, left to right, in rows. A card, or a pile of cards, can be placed onto another card or pile if the top card matches by suit or value. Cards and piles can only be matched with the card to their immediate left or three cards to the left.

Pyramid: The object of this single-deck matching game is to clear away a 28-card pyramid shape by creating pairs that add up to 13. You can choose two cards in the pyramid that equal 13, or draw from the deck. Special game bonus: Kings are worth 13!

Monte Carlo Solitaire: This fast-moving matching game begins with the creation of a 5 x 5, 28-card grid. Match cards of the same value that are adjacent to each other, and discard. Then consolidate the grid by moving all cards to the left and up, which creates new possibilities for pairs. Spoiler: This game is far more challenging than it sounds!

Card Games for Two or More
Gin Rummy: A classic game with many variations, the Gin portion involves finding groups of three or more cards of the same value, or in a run of the same suit, within a seven-card hand. Players alternate choosing cards from either the face-up deck or face-down discard pile until they have a hand of matching cards. The Rummy portion involves reaching a cumulative score for matched cards.

Slapjack: A lively and fun game for all ages, the goal is to win all of the cards in the deck by slapping down quickly on jacks as they’re played. Start by dealing out the deck evenly among players, with cards remaining face down. Players reveal their cards one at a time, and when jacks are played, the first player to slap down on it gets all the cards in the pile. Penalties for slapping down on non-jacks help keep players in line!

Crazy Eights: Eights are wild in this simple but fun game that’s suitable for all ages and two or more players. Each player starts with a five-card hand then must match the facing card in the center pile by either number or suit. If you don’t have a match, you must continue to draw until you find one…or a lucky eight. Whoever depletes their hand first, wins, and collects points from the cards remaining in their opponents’ hands. 

These card games will remind you that you don’t always need tech gadgets or hit movies to stay entertained. Sometimes, the simplest ways to have fun are the best!

Source: Bar Games 101

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