Whether you’re planning on approaching the green felt in a casino or organising a friendly cards night, a modern gentleman should know his way around the three key card games. We’re not recommending that a modern gentleman should be a ‘card shark’ or prolific gambler, but not even James Bond himself can look good trying to raise a game of Snap.
If you only know one card game. Make it Blackjack – also known as twenty-one. Blackjack is the most widely played casino card game in the world, according to Wikipedia. It’s a simple game which balances a huge amount of luck with a little strategy. The basic premise is for your cards to reach the value of 21, without going over 21. Face cards are all valued at 10 and aces are either 1 or 11. Being a strong Blackjack player will take you a long way as it’s so widely played.
Rummy is more of a social game. Better suited for more sociably games with friends and family. There are many different flavours of Rummy, from around the world. In it’s simplest form it’s a strategy game in which players try to create sets and runs of their (7 card) hand. The many variants of Rummy are a testament to its enduring global popularity.
- Basic poker
Poker’s reputation greatly precedes it. Even if you don’t know how to play you’ll have heard social references (Poker face, showing your hand etc). Like Rummy there is a growing range of variations on the basic game. Unlike the other games on this list Poker is primarily a betting game played against other players, rather than the bank. It’s not recommended approaching the poker table in a casino until your poker table etiquette has been refined (start with this article by The Art of Manliness).