What Card Games Do People Play in Jail?

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By Valerie Becker

Incarceration can be a lonely and isolating experience. For many people in jail, playing card games is a way to pass the time and connect with others.

But what card games do people play in jail? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

Spades

Spades is perhaps the most popular card game played in jails across America. It’s a trick-taking game that requires four players and a standard deck of 52 cards. The objective is to win as many tricks as possible by playing high-value cards, with spades being the trump suit.

Hearts

Another popular trick-taking game is Hearts. Like Spades, it requires four players and a standard deck of 52 cards. However, in Hearts, the objective is to avoid taking certain cards (namely, hearts and the queen of spades), rather than winning tricks.

Pinochle

Pinochle is a game that originated in Europe but has gained popularity among incarcerated individuals in America. It’s a trick-taking game that uses a special deck consisting of two copies of each card from 9 to ace (making for a total of 48 cards). Pinochle also involves melding – or grouping together – certain cards for points.

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy is another classic card game that’s often played in jail. It’s a two-player game that involves drawing and discarding cards until one player can form their entire hand into sets or runs.

Cribbage

Cribbage is a unique card game that uses a special board for scoring. It can be played with two or three players and involves creating pairs, runs, and other combinations to earn points.

Other Games

Of course, these are just a few examples of the card games that people play in jail. Depending on the facility and the individuals involved, other games like Euchre, Bridge, and Rummy may also be popular.

Conclusion

Playing card games can be a way to pass the time and connect with others while incarcerated. Spades, Hearts, Pinochle, Gin Rummy, and Cribbage are just a few of the many games played in jails across America. Whether you’re behind bars or not, these classic card games can provide hours of entertainment and socialization.