What Card Games Were Played in the 1700s?

Photo of author

By Monica Bates

The 1700s were a time of great change and social transformation. It was also a period when card games became increasingly popular, especially among the upper class. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular card games that were played during this era.


Whist was a popular trick-taking game that originated in England in the 16th century. It gained widespread popularity in the 1700s, especially among the upper classes.

Whist is played with four players, who are divided into two teams. The objective of the game is to win as many tricks as possible.

How to Play Whist

To play Whist, each player is dealt 13 cards, and the remaining cards are placed in a pile at the center of the table. The dealer then leads the first trick by playing any card from their hand. The other players must follow suit if possible but can play any card if they don’t have a card of the same suit.

The highest-ranking card of the suit led wins the trick, and that player leads the next trick. The game continues until all 13 tricks have been played.


Piquet was another popular card game in the 1700s and was considered one of the most complex and intellectually challenging games of its time. Piquet is a two-player game that involves taking tricks and scoring points based on various combinations of cards.

How to Play Piquet

To play Piquet, each player is dealt 12 cards, and six additional cards are placed face down on each side of the table to form two “piles.” Players take turns drawing cards from these piles to improve their hands.

The game consists of several “phases,” each with its own set of rules for scoring points. These phases include “sequences,” “sets,” and “flushes.” The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.


Faro was a popular gambling game in the 1700s and was often played in saloons and gambling houses. The game involves betting on the outcome of a series of cards drawn from a deck.

How to Play Faro

To play Faro, players place their bets on one or more cards from a deck of playing cards. The dealer then draws two cards from the deck, one for the “banker” and one for the “player.”

Players win if their chosen card matches the card drawn by the banker. The game continues until all of the cards have been drawn, and players receive payouts based on their winning bets.


In conclusion, these were just a few of the most popular card games played during the 1700s. While these games may seem outdated or even simplistic by today’s standards, they were an integral part of social life in this era. They provided entertainment, intellectual stimulation, and sometimes even opportunities for wealth accumulation.