What Card Games Were Popular in the 1940s?

Photo of author

By Ralph Torres

The 1940s was a decade of significant cultural and social change, marked by the Second World War and the post-war economic boom. Amidst all this, card games were a popular pastime for people of all ages. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular card games of the 1940s.


Bridge was one of the most popular card games in the 1940s. It is a trick-taking game that requires four players, playing in two partnerships.

The objective of the game is to score points by winning tricks (a set of cards played in a single round). Bridge requires strategy, skill, and teamwork, making it a favorite among adults.


Canasta is another popular card game that gained popularity in the United States during the 1940s. It is typically played with two decks of cards and can be played with two to six players. The objective of Canasta is to score points by forming melds (sets) of three or more cards of the same rank.

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy is a two-player card game that became popular in the 1930s and remained popular throughout the 1940s. The object is to score points by forming sequences and sets from your hand before your opponent does.


Poker has been around for centuries, but it became especially popular during the 1940s as soldiers played it during downtime in World War II. There are many variations of Poker, but Texas Hold’em emerged as one of the most popular versions during this time.

Old Maid

Old Maid was a simple card game that children often played during this era. Players take turns drawing cards from each other’s hands with the goal being to avoid ending up with an odd card (the “old maid”).


In conclusion, the 1940s saw a variety of card games that were popular among people of all ages. From the strategic and complex Bridge to simple and fun Old Maid, these games provided entertainment and distraction during a tumultuous time in history. Today, many of these games are still played and enjoyed by people all over the world.