What Card Games Do Sailors Play?

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By Monica Bates

When it comes to passing the time on long voyages at sea, sailors have been known to turn to card games. These games not only provide entertainment but also serve as a way for sailors to bond and build camaraderie. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular card games played by sailors.


Cribbage is a classic card game that has been enjoyed by sailors for generations. This two-player game involves each player being dealt six cards and then using those cards to form combinations that add up to 15 points or more. The game is won by being the first player to score 121 points.


Spades is another popular card game among sailors. This four-player game involves teams of two working together to win tricks.

The objective is to be the first team to reach 500 points. Spades requires strategic thinking and teamwork, making it a favorite among competitive sailors.


Euchre is a trick-taking game that originated in Europe but became popular among American sailors in the 19th century. This four-player game involves players using trump cards and trying to win tricks while also trying to prevent their opponents from doing the same.


Poker is perhaps one of the most well-known card games in the world, and it’s no surprise that it’s also popular among sailors. This game involves betting on hands of cards and trying to create the best possible hand based on the cards dealt.


Blackjack is another classic casino game that has become popular among sailors. This game involves players trying to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21 points.


Bridge is a complex card game that requires both skill and strategy. This four-player game involves two teams working together to score points by winning tricks. Bridge is a popular game among sailors who enjoy a challenge and are willing to devote time to mastering the game.


Hearts is a trick-taking game that involves players trying to avoid taking certain cards, specifically the queen of spades and any heart cards. This game can be played with three to six players, making it a versatile choice for sailors with varying group sizes.

  • Conclusion:

Card games have long been a favorite pastime of sailors, providing entertainment and opportunities for socialization during long voyages at sea. From classics like cribbage and spades to more complex games like bridge, there’s no shortage of options for sailors looking to pass the time with a deck of cards. So next time you find yourself on a boat or ship, consider breaking out the cards and challenging your fellow sailors to a game or two.