What Card Games Did Soldiers Play WW1?

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By Valerie Becker

During World War 1, soldiers needed a way to pass the time between battles and relieve the stress of war. One popular way to do this was by playing card games. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly played card games during WW1.

Trench Whist

One of the most popular card games among soldiers in WW1 was Trench Whist. This was a variation of the classic game of whist, but with some key differences.

In Trench Whist, each player was dealt only five cards instead of the usual thirteen. Also, there were no trumps in this game.

The objective of Trench Whist was to win as many tricks as possible and score points. Players had to be strategic with their plays, as each trick won would earn a point. The game could be played with two or more players and provided a great way for soldiers to pass the time during long periods in the trenches.


Another popular card game among soldiers in WW1 was poker. This classic game is still immensely popular today, but it had its roots on the battlefields of WW1. Soldiers would play poker during their downtime, often using cigarettes or other items as currency.

Poker provided an excellent opportunity for soldiers to socialize and bond with one another while also testing their skills at bluffing and strategy. It is no wonder that this game has stood the test of time and remains one of the most beloved card games around.


Bridge is another classic card game that was popular among soldiers during WW1. It is similar to whist but involves four players divided into two teams who try to win tricks for points.

Bridge requires a great deal of strategy and skill, making it an excellent option for soldiers looking for a mental challenge during their downtime. The game also provided a way for soldiers to bond and strengthen their teamwork skills, which was essential on the battlefield.


In conclusion, card games provided a much-needed distraction for soldiers during the stress and chaos of WW1. These games allowed soldiers to bond with one another, pass the time, and develop their strategic thinking skills. Trench Whist, poker, and bridge were just a few of the many card games played by soldiers during this tumultuous time in history.