What Are Some Old Card Games?

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By Monica Bates

When we think of card games, we often think of the classics like poker and blackjack. However, there are many old card games that have been played for centuries.

These games may have fallen out of popularity but they still hold a special place in history. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting old card games.


Whist was once one of the most popular card games in England and America during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a trick-taking game that is played with four players.

The objective is to win tricks by playing the highest card in each round. Whist has a unique scoring system where players receive one point for each trick they win, with additional points given for winning all tricks or no tricks at all.


Pharaoh is an ancient Egyptian game that dates back to the time of Cleopatra. It was played with a deck of 52 cards and involved betting on which card would be drawn next from a shuffled deck. Players would place their bets on a table and the dealer would turn over cards until the chosen card was revealed.


Rummy is believed to have originated in the early 20th century in America. It is a popular game that can be played with two to six players.

The objective is to create sets or runs of cards by drawing and discarding cards from a deck. Rummy has many variations including Gin Rummy, Canasta, and Kalooki.

Gin Poker

Gin Poker was first played in New Orleans during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is a combination of two popular games: poker and gin rummy.

The objective is to create sets or runs of cards like in rummy while also trying to make the best poker hand possible. Gin Poker is played with two to six players and can be quite competitive.


Bridge is a popular trick-taking game that has been played since the 19th century. It is played with four players in two partnerships.

The objective is to score points by winning tricks and bidding on the number of tricks each partnership thinks they can win. Bridge has many complicated rules and is often played competitively.


These old card games may not be as popular as they once were, but they still hold a special place in history. From ancient Egyptian betting games to modern American card games, there are many unique and interesting games to explore. Whether you’re looking for a new game to play or just interested in learning about the history of card games, these old favorites are definitely worth checking out.