Card games online: Popularity in different countries

by MaddOx
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Card games first appeared as far back as the middle ages. Due to the extensive geography, each region around the globe got itself different variants of very similar games and some completely different card games altogether. That is why some games are popular in the USA but players from Asia can be indifferent to them, and it works the other way around too. Now the majority of different types of card games can be played online. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular games and the countries they are popular in.

Europe and USA

When considering card games, the first one that is worth mentioning is blackjack. It is popular throughout the world but the situation used to be different. Blackjack used to be unpopular in the USA for a long time and the players needed additional stimulation. This kind of card entertainment emerged in Italy at the beginning of the fifteenth century.

Now blackjack is present in all gambling establishments. In the article about blackjack betting strategies, you can get a better understanding of the tactics to increase your chance of success. According to the rules, players have to collect more points than a dealer has. The limit is 21 points. In case of exceeding the limit, the player loses automatically.

Another popular game that could be found in all casinos is baccarat. It also originated in Europe but the exact way how it first appeared is vague. For a long time, baccarat had been played only by the upper strata of society, but later the game became popular throughout the world. It is similar to blackjack as you have to collect a particular number of points. Baccarat is featured in mass culture. It is mentioned in numerous films, books and others.

Gin rummy (the first word in the name is often omitted) is especially popular in the USA and Europe, and also in Latin countries. Unlike the previously mentioned kinds of card games, it is a much younger game that first appeared a century ago. But the rules have not changed since then. The main goal is to collect a combination of cards of the same value or suit (at least three).

Whist is not so popular now but previously it was a leader among card games in Europe. This kind of entertainment emerged in England and its main distinction is the level of complexity. Whist has difficult rules and makes players stick to the strategy as chance does not really affect the outcome. Unlike the previous games, it is a team game. You do not play only against the dealer. At the beginning of the round, drawing lots define pairs that play together. Then players take turns to beat opponents’ cards.

Poker deserves to be called the most popular card game. The first mentionings of the game date back to the sixteenth century. There are several poker variations. The most popular is Texas Hold’em. It is played around the world, especially in Europe and the USA. Poker gathers large tournaments with big prize pools. The game even has an international sports status. Poker represents combination card games. The combinations and their value depend on the kind of poker table. 

Bridge is considered to be a whist successor. This game outshines the more popular predecessor. As well as poker, this game has been acknowledged as an intellectual kind of sport and has an international status. The game can be compared to chess and backgammon: the outcome of the game depends on memory and the ability to think logically. There are different variants of bridge. Variants with fewer players are more popular as the likelihood percentage increases significantly. 

Another game similar to whist and bridge is preference, a game that is popular in western countries. But this game is usually played with a few people, a maximum of 3-4 people. As well as the previous games, preference has been acknowledged as a kind of sport, and its complexity could be compared to chess. The rules that appeared a year ago almost have not changed. 

The full list is the following:

  • Blackjack;
  • Baccarat;
  • Gin rummy;
  • Whist;
  • Poker;
  • Bridge;
  • Preference.

Despite the fact that the games are more common in the USA and Europe, most of them are popular around the whole world.

Arabic countries

One game that stands out among other card games in Arabic countries is baloot. It is especially spread in Saudi Arabia and Arabian Peninsula. The rules resemble the French below which is popular in South Europe. You can familiarize yourself with the rules of Baloot in the corresponding article. Baloot uses 32 cards but the game is divided into two kinds. They are different by the ranking of suits. 

Card games like Baloot are popular in Arab countries. Group of men can be seen here playing the game.


Zheng Shangyou is a popular Chinese variant of hearts that is well-known in Europe and the USA. The main distinction is that cards are given specific meanings by points. Players have to gather a particular number of points and avoid fines. There are no card deals before a game starts which exists in the western counterpart. 

Rummy is popular in India and China. It is a whole group of card games whose origin is the subject of disputes. Some think that it appeared in Asia, while others think it originated in Mexico. Rummy was first mentioned in the nineteenth century. As in many card games, the principle of the game is built on a collection of card combinations. There are several variations and kinds of entertainment similar to rummy


Many card games are similar to each other. Most of them even use a common deck. Players usually have to collect a card combination that is regulated by the rules. In some kinds of entertainment, chance can affect the outcome of the game and in others, everything depends on skills. 

Western entertainment has become popular throughout the world. They are usually spread in Europe or the USA because they emerged in these territories. Games used to be played with people gathering together in real life. Now card games are going through a second wave of popularity. You can play popular games online. Now you do not need to gather together with friends as you can find opponents in a jiffy on the net.

For more articles like this, check out our opinion pieces.

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