I recently came across an interesting article “10 reasons why a deck of cards is better than a board game”. Part of the theses from it is quite controversial, but in general, the material is entertaining, because from it you can clearly see what is good in board games in general. Just as the deck of cards is actually a component for many different games, it naturally combines almost all the advantages. I propose to acquaint myself with my free translation.
I bet, when you hold a deck of cards, you do not suspect that you have a history in your hands. History! You’re probably playing games whose age counts for centuries. Invention of paper in China, spread from east to west, such famous personalities as Charlemagne, Alexander the Great and King David, proverbs and sayings like “ace up the sleeve”, the dawn of the American revolution and the formation of the idea of human rights (add drama!) – all this is a history of playing cards, exciting and diverse. It’s true, it’s true!
You are on the site about board games. We here are fond of board games and know about them, and you too, because that’s why you are here. Board games – it’s a great hobby and a great way to spend time with family and friends (and make new ones). But the games have their shortcomings. And every time we talk about them, I think about playing cards. Because a deck of cards can be better than a board game. Here are ten reasons for that.
Taste of life
With one deck of cards you can master the whole world of games. They – a great many, literally unimaginable and endless, you can find a variety of styles and variations. There are simple games, fast games, complex games, long games, luck games and strategic games. And even if a particular game may seem quite incomprehensible to you, most are still quite easy and very accessible.
Recommendation: Whist – “grandfather” of all games with bribes, and he has many options. From 2 to 7 players, children’s version, no bids, no trumps, with trumps, for most bribes, the exact number of bribes, absolutely no bribes, choose – do not want!
A deck of cards isn’t just a lot of options. It’s also a very inexpensive entertainment. Many opportunities for a small price – that’s what you should pay attention to. Even imported decks are much cheaper than any board game, including card games. In fact, the price is so low that if you bend, lose or tear some card, you just buy a new deck and play next.
Recommendation: Drunkard – a classic game known around the world. It is so simple that it should not cost more than the cards themselves.
Easy to learn
Maps are familiar to most people. And long ago. Everyone knows about the suit, dignity and meaning of maps, not just boarders. It does not matter whether you play something simple or something complicated, the basics of the game will be clear to almost everyone. Moreover, many people have cards – a family tradition. Anyway, to teach a person a new card game is much easier than to sit him down for a new board game. And certainly none of the newcomers will not look at you, as if he sat down to study Chinese literacy.
Recommendation: Basra – a simple game where you have to open the cards from your hand and take cards of the same dignity from the table.
Micro-games? Yes, it’s easy!
How about a fresh enthusiasm for “micro-games”? Yes, a deck of cards is a micro-game! It’s easy to transport, easy to decompose, it takes only a little time to get ready for the game, and after the game it’s quickly cleaned. The deck is the golden standard for fast play with minimum components. But it’s not just a quick game for quick play. Thanks to the great variety (remember point 1), you can enjoy deep, challenging and impressive games that stand the test of time and lure you to the table over and over again… unlike 90% of today’s micro-games that are forgotten just the next day.
Recommendation: The Yuker is a little known team game for 4 players (two for two) with bribes, it uses 24 cards and the game lasts 5 rounds (micro!).
You determine the duration of the game yourself
Micro-games or not, but one of the great advantages of a traditional deck is that you choose how long you play with your friends. Just determine the desired conditions of victory. You can play multiple giveaways to a certain number of points. You can play a few quick passes and determine the winner by the total number of wins. There may be other options, such as considering the results of 1-3 passes. The main thing is that you are not constrained by the idea of a developer who was focused on a certain period of time. The game will take exactly as much time as you can and are ready to devote to it.
Recommendation: pitch – a bribery game for 4-5 players with a large number of options and conditions for the end of the game.
What’s missing from the board games is the team game. There are cooperative toys, known and popular, but games where one team opposes another – a rarity. Few representatives of this type mainly belong to the family Ameritresh, and, not surprisingly, simple card games. With ordinary cards can play thousands of games where one team converges with the other. This type of games is so widespread that some people do not even imagine how it is a card game without a teammate. Engaging with a teammate that you must support, whose vision you must unravel and develop is a separate pleasure that can both make relationships with others closer and more developed, and serve as a source of fun. Alas, this too, is almost a unique quality of traditional maps, not inherent in modern board games.
Recommendation: Peaks is a classic bribery game for 4 players, where each of the team members makes a bet, and then the team must achieve the goals.
Let’s just play
By their nature, classic card games are interactive. You play and try not to play along with your opponent. Many games use bids and auctions as a typical form of interaction between players. In general, there are two types of games. The first is where bets are placed for the right to choose a trump card. The second is where you name the planned number of points to be gained, and at the same time you try to prevent your opponent to fulfill his bid. Thus, there is an interaction between players, but it is not direct and does not cause your opponent any obvious damage. In the same board games, the level of interaction can be at the same level, as well as extreme and too direct. There are also games with virtually no interaction, puzzles or solo versions.
Recommendation: Hearts – a game for 4 players, where everyone for himself, you should try not to take hearts and the queen of spades. Players co-operate with each other, trying to get unnecessary cards taken by the opponent, plus in the beginning of the game there is still a card exchange.
One of the interesting questions about board games is the topic. In some games it is pronounced, in some – not very, some it would not hurt. A deck of cards has no such need. You do not need to come up with any stories or introductions to bring the explanation to the game mechanics. Since there are a lot of games, the theme can be far-fetched or funny, and only to distract from the game. Boring, strange, or overly pronounced themes can distract people. Some can cause obvious irritation. With a deck of cards theme is not important. The cards themselves and the rules of the game – that’s all it takes.
Recommendation: Cribbage – a duel (usually) game to collect collections with a counter to count the points; as in any Euro game, here you need to gain points, but there is no need to immerse yourself in some theme.
Traditional card games have a perfect balance between known and hidden information. Although this is also true for some board games, the deck of cards is still ideal for analysis. In almost all card games, you have access to information that none of the other players have. In many games some cards are open to everyone, while in many other games some cards remain hidden. A strict count of cards is not required, but it is desirable to pay attention to what was known from the beginning. It is not easy, of course, but the result will not wait. And thanks to the small amount of information, to follow the maps and remember them quite realistically. In many board games because of information overload, we see the paralysis of analysis and the use of spreadsheets.
Tip: Poker is a well-established game about analyzing what you know and what you don’t, where you need to use the information to calculate your opponents, calculate your chances and bluff.
Define the role of luck
Okay, card games depend a lot on chance. There’s even a saying, “how the card goes down.” You can only use what comes into your hand. In board games, the role of chance can be very great, it can simply disrupt your plans, or completely change the course of the game at a crucial moment, can serve as a mechanism to help lagging players or be used as an unnecessary element of risk. And it may not be manageable at all. With a deck of cards everything is wrong, an accident will not take you beyond the initial surrender. Victory or defeat depends on the skills of the player.
Tip: Briscola is a simple bribing game for 2-5 players, the rules do not force players to walk from certain cards, which leaves a lot of room for strategy.