National Card Playing Day
annually on December 28th
Family and friends play cards today in celebration of National Card Playing Day, a day that provides an opportunity to unwind from the stress and busyness of the holiday season. The traditions of old card games are shared, and new games are learned and played. Card playing tournaments are sometimes held.
The type of playing cards considered to be traditional playing cards likely originated in China in the ninth century. These rudimentary cards spread around the world, to places Persia and India, and then to Europe by the end of the fourteenth century, first to larger cities like Florence and Paris. The designs of the cards were ever-changing, as were the way cards were used. It was not until the mid-fifteenth century that card playing began to look similar to what it does today. Packs of cards began being sold, and with the rise of the printing press, cards became more popular and their designs became more intricate. In 1628, the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards was founded, further increasing the stature of playing cards.
Symbols started being used: first, there were acorns, bells, shields, and hearts, and then out of France came clovers, pikes, and tiles. In England, clubs and spades were derived from the clovers and pikes of the French deck. From England, the cards made their way to the British colonies in North America. In the eighteenth century, playing cards were given rounded edges, and the type and value of cards began being printed on the edges, making it easier to read a number of cards at once while fanning them out. Today, hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs are the most common suits. These are used in the most internationally known deck, the 52-card French deck with English pattern, but there are other deck systems.
Some card games are folk games particular to a certain region, or have rules particular to a region, while some have variations all around the road, or have formally standardized rules worldwide. There are one player, two player, and multiplayer card games. Some card games use playing boards, but the boards are for card placement or scorekeeping, and the gameplay mainly depends on the use of the cards. This is different from board games, which may utilize cards in a secondary function.
There are a number of types of card games. Trick-playing games have multiple rounds, or tricks, where each player plays a single card and the values of the cards determine who "takes," or wins, the tricks. Spades and bridge are examples of trick-playing games. The object of matching games is to acquire matching cards before an opponent can. Examples are rummy and go fish. With shedding games, the object is to become the first player to discard all of one's cards. Crazy eights is a shedding game. Some card games are multi-genre games, which include elements of more than one type of game. The most common multi-genre games mix matching and shedding. The objective of catch and collect games is to acquire all the cards in the deck. War is a common example.
With fishing card games, cards held in the hand are played against cards on the table. If the cards match, the table cards are captured. Cassino is one of the most noteworthy fishing games. With comparing games, a winner is determined by comparing hand values. Most of these games are designed as gambling games. Poker and blackjack are two of the most common examples. Poker is a family of related games, and one of the most known card games in the world. Players bet in a pool called a pot and have a hand of five playing cards. A ranking system determines which hands beat other hands.
Solitaire is a game for one player. Drinking card games are drinking games that use playing cards. Many are commonplace card games that have rules specific to drinking added. President is a popular drinking game. There also are card games that use cards besides traditional playing cards. Collectible card games are a type of strategy game. Some popular examples are Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! There also are tarot card games, a type of trick-taking game. Whether it be one of these games or a traditional playing card game, people play cards today and unwind from the stress and busyness of the holiday season.
How to Observe National Card Playing Day
Take part in the day in some of the following ways:
- Play a popular card game with family or friends. Some common traditional games are poker, blackjack, spades, bridge, rummy, go fish, crazy eights, war, cassino, spoons, hearts, and speed.
- Host a card playing tournament.
- Learn how to play a new card game.
- If you are alone, you could play a solitaire game like klondike.
- Watch a film that focuses on gambling or poker.
- Do some card playing in Las Vegas or in a casino closer to home.
- Learn some card tricks.
- Visit a playing card museum.
- Play a collectible card game like Magic: The Gathering.