Some of the Most Played Classic Card Games from Around the World

Get ready to journey through some of the most popular and beloved traditional card games across different cultures. From strategic gameplay to fast-paced action, these timeless favorites will bring joy and entertainment to your gatherings with family and friends. So grab your deck of cards or get your digital devices ready because we’ll dive into some traditional card games from around the world!

Top Classic Card Games Across Different Cultures

Familiarize yourself with card games that have shaped how people entertain themselves in different parts of the world. From Asia to UK, here are some of the top classic card games that have stood the test of time and are still played to this day:

La Loteria

A Mexican card game that means “The Lottery” is La Loteria. Although it’s renowned in Mexico, it actually came from Italy and was introduced to the country in 1769. Since then, it has been enjoyed by Mexican families during gatherings or at parties!

The game begins with each player needing 16 small items to be used as markers, such as a pebble or a piece of corn. The La Loteria deck contains 54 unique cards with 16 different card images on it. One player becomes the caller, and the goal is to mark all cards on their board as the caller flips over the cards one by one while calling their names.

Apart from its delightful gameplay, the cards are filled with fantastic artwork. Many people even have tattoos of these cards due to their cultural significance and beautiful designs!


A quintessential game from the United States is Spades. It was invented in the 1930s and became a popular game in the 1940s. It may be a newer addition to other traditional card games, but it has remained a favorite among Americans since its popularity surged.

Some Spades’ basics:

  • The game is played between two teams with two players each.
  • The bidding phase refers to the number of tricks players think they can win.
  • The game is won when the team reaches a predetermined score (usually 500).
  • Spades are always the trump cards.

Due to the game’s popularity, numerous free Spades online games have been invented for avid gamers to access any time of the day. From browser-based platforms to mobile apps, there’s no excuse not to enjoy this classic card game anytime and anywhere!


A well-known game in the UK is Battle. But in North America, it’s called War and the game is played based on the same rules. The ideal number of players for Battle is two since both will share a deck of cards. If there are more than two players, it’s best for each to have their own decks.

For two players, the deck is shuffled and divided equally among them. The stack is placed neatly in front of each player, and the top card is flipped over simultaneously by both players. The player with the higher card wins, takes both cards from the round, and adds them to the bottom of their stacks.

If both cards have the same value, Battle begins, where the players take a card from their deck and place it to the side while still facing down. Another card is picked for the round to be compared again. The winner takes all cards from this round, including those placed to the side.


A game famous in Russia and former Soviet countries is Durak, which translates to fool in English. It’s ideal for two to six players and utilizes a standard deck of 52 cards, although the numbers 2 to 5 are removed. The objective is to be the first player to eliminate all cards from your hand after going through the whole deck.

Some Durak basics:

  • Durak is a mix of shedding and trick-taking.
  • Each player receives six cards, one turned up and placed at the bottom.
  • The goal is to shed all cards after the deck is already exhausted.
  • Players may attack and defend while trying to get rid of their cards.
  • The player with the lowest card value is declared the Durak or fool.

The game revolves around attacking and defending. Defending can be successfully done by playing a card with a higher value of the same suit or any card of the master suit. The attack continues until the defender cannot or does not want to defend. The defender becomes the attacker, and the game continues until a player has no more cards left.


In Pakistan, their infamous card game is Bhabi, which people of all ages can play. What sets it apart from other games on this list is that there’s no set number of players so everyone can join in the fun! Of course, the recommended or the best number of players is typically four or five, but two to 13 people can play it.

Like other card games, the aim is to be the first to finish your cards before your opponents. The last one to do so loses and will be punished or penalized. A standard deck of 52 cards is divided equally among all players in the game. The person holding the Ace of Spades will begin, with the person sitting next and playing their card next. Everyone should follow the same suit.

The fun and stress begin when a person doesn’t have a card of the same suit, which is when they have to discard any cards, and the player who played the highest card for that round has to collect all cards played thus far. The best strategy is to play all your high cards as early as possible so that you will only have smaller valued cards left.

Which of the Card Games Enticed You the Most?

The exceptional gameplay of the card games listed above makes them enticing and addicting for players from all over the world. Whether it’s a game of luck, strategy, or both, there’s always something exciting about playing card games with friends and family. Try them today, and you might find something worthwhile!

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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