Category Archives: Games

Cards Against Humanity

“Cards Against Humanity” is a pun, of sorts, on “crimes against humanity” — which isn’t really funny. But if you got a half-dozen people to vote on it, they’d probably say it was. Individual taste becomes awful in groups, and nothing demonstrates this phenomenon better than Cards Against Humanity, a party game for horrible people. That’s not even my opinion; it says so right on the box: “A party game for horrible people.” The website elaborates: “Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.”

It’s a seductive pitch, inviting the reader to join a conspiracy at once self-deprecating and proud. Who doesn’t think of themselves and their friends as secret degenerates? No one — and therein lies the problem. Like America’s most successful brands, Cards Against Humanity positions itself against the masses, when in fact it is mass taste distilled. It is the product of a culture in which transgressing social norms has become an agreed-on social norm.

Cards Against Humanity plays in the same way as Apples to Apples, a game for 5-year-olds, and it promises the same idiotic freedom that small children enjoy. The whole architecture of the game is designed to provide the thrill of transgression with none of the responsibility — to let players feel horrible, if you will, without feeling bad. There are two sets of cards: black cards with questions or fill-in-the-blank statements, and white cards with noun phrases that fill those blanks and answer those questions. At the beginning of each round, one player, called the “card czar,” deals a black card from the deck. The other players choose white cards from their hands to answer it. The card czar then chooses the funniest answer and awards a point to the person who played it.

These randomly generated jokes are outrageous — and in the case of cards like “the profoundly handicapped” or “this year’s mass shooting,” even taboo. But they are also safe. Because the premise of the game is that you play the cards you’re dealt, players get points for creating shocking combinations but don’t have to take responsibility for them. The genius of Cards Against Humanity, as a party game, is that it encourages intimacy by allowing players to violate norms together without worrying about offending one another.

That may be because Cards Against Humanity isn’t really transgressive at all. It is a game of naughty giggling for people who think the phrase “black people” is inherently funny. That demographic includes nervous parents, people who describe themselves as “politically incorrect,” the pathologically sarcastic, accidental racists — in a word, everybody. Cards Against Humanity recasts popular prejudices and gross-out humor as acts of rebellion for small groups, imparting the thrill of conspiracy to values most people hold in common. (At least among the straight, the able-bodied and especially the white. The game implicitly assumes that no one playing will actually have AIDS or be profoundly handicapped, so that its gags remain only theoretically offensive.)

This premise is perfect for a society in which real, enforced taboos still exist but are outnumbered by the expanding category of utterly safe rebellions for which we congratulate ourselves daily. We pretend to be scandalized by the phrase “coat-hanger abortion,” but in the end it is a punch line in a party game. Once you see through this hypocrisy, it becomes impossible to enjoy Cards Against Humanity again. The frisson evaporates, and the game becomes more like church: a profoundly alienating activity where the suspicion that everyone is faking it vies with the fear that everyone is more into it than you.

The worry that objecting to Cards Against Humanity might make you a jerk deepens with the knowledge that the people who made it are incontrovertibly good — or at least like to act that way while simultaneously extending the brand. They have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity. They bought an island in Lake St. George in Maine, named it Hawaii 2 and gave away 250,000 licenses to use it recreationally. Although boxed versions now retail for $25 to $40, the game began as a free download that people could print at home. Cards Against Humanity proves that something crass and saddening can emerge from a sense of decency and fun.

Since I first encountered the game five years ago, it has become a mainstay in the households of young urban professionals. Because it is an icebreaker, the people trying to get me to play it are invariably friends of friends — the class of person that commands the most deference in social situations. This puts the Cards Against Humanity objector in a difficult position. Because what’s even more awful than bloodless pop rebellion? Refusing to play a party game. The same qualities that make Cards Against Humanity boring and unfunny also make it a reliable crowd-pleaser. People love it. It gets them laughing and talking over each other, which is something every party needs. Only a monster would sit on the couch and flip through back issues of Granta while everyone else selects a card czar, an office the game awards to “the person who most recently pooped.”

Just typing that makes me angry. But other people seem to love it. The ones who have played before cannot conceal their anticipation as the host digs out the cards. They bite their lips, waiting gleefully to break the shackles of convention by admitting that they have pooped.

The awful thing is that it works. The reliability of Cards Against Humanity as an activity most people will enjoy only makes it more depressing to those of us immune to its charms. It is, in the end, a party game for horrible people. But who else is there to party with?

Different Types of Card Games

There are limitless types of card games to be played. People think because two games use the same deck of 52-cards that they are similar games, but nothing could be more different than Barbu and Speed, or Pai Gow and Pinochle.

Here’s a list of twenty different kinds of card games, and some facts about them.

1.Bridge

Bridge is a popular contract bidding game. Bridge has a culture — there are websites, newspaper columns, and even radio shows devoted to bridge strategy. There is a world-wide obsession with bridge, even though it has been called the hardest card game in the world. With a complicated strategy and steep learning curve, to many bridge is not just a game, it is a lifestyle. I wish I were exaggerating.

2. Whist

Whist could be called “Bridge, Jr” — and though it is not as big a game as it once was, and is dwarfed in popularity by big-brother Bridge, Whist has never really died out. Card gamers love trick-taking games — beating out your opponent in such a visual way is one of the more exciting part of any card game. Whist has some of the complexity of Bridge without any bidding.

3. Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is something of a legend — a poker variation with a story as rich as a Spaghetti western. This version of poker, a drawing and betting game, was invented and then made popular by old time poker sharks in Texas, hence the name. This is easily the most popular poker variant right now, and is bringing more new people to card gaming than any other game.

4. Hearts

It is said that most of the professional poker tour players are hardcore Hearts players and that they bet big money on cutthroat games of Hearts in dark mysterious rooms during tournaments. Romantic as that may sound, it would make sense for these card sharks to love the game of Hearts – an otherwise childlike game of matching cards (and no bidding) usually turns into a competitive nightmare. Because of the game play, there are lots of ways to screw your opponents in Hearts. Trick-winning and passing card are big elements of Hearts.

5. Spades

People don’t realize it, but spades is a variation of bridge that simplifies the game even more than Whist and changes the outcome of the game as well. Spades is really popular in large groups, on college campuses, and in tournaments around the world. There may be as many variations of Spades as there are groups playing it — thanks to “jailhouse rules” which penalize tactics like point sandbagging and the existence of multiple versions of “house rules”. A strategic game you can play without paying much attention if you want.

6. Go-fish

This is the simple children’s card matching game we all remember from our childhood. You can play Go-fish with as many players as you have cards. Some people claim Go-Fish is a variation of Rummy but the simplicity of the game and the children’s game gimmick make it likely just some toy company’s creation. Strangely enough, Go-fish is known as Literature in some parts of the world. Write in if you understand that one.

7. War

Another children’s game (or time-killing game) War is a straight luck based game. Depending on the flop of the card, you either win or lose a war. Most people under the age of 30 learned War before they learned any other card game. You’ll see War played a lot in lines at airports.

8. Oh Hell!

Substitute your own dirty word for “Hell!” and you know this party game. Most of the fun is the fact that you get to cuss a lot and people laugh at you. What keeps this game popular is that it is a strict betting game. The object of Oh Hell! is to bid the precise number of tricks you will win. You have to take only the number that you bid, no more and no less. Play is precise, and because of the structure of the game, one player always blows it big time. There. That’s what’s fun. Screwing your opponent.

9. Blackjack

A skill game that in some casinos is the best bet you can make, if you can play a perfect hand. This is one of the most popular casino card game, and has a place in popular culture as THE “Vegas” game. The point is to build a hand that adds up to a total of 21 points without going over, and ending up with a higher number than the dealer. Players compete against the House directly, adding to the fun. Little known fact — there exists somewhere in this world a blackjack player’s hall of fame. Safe to say that this game’s got a cult following

10. Baccarat

James Bond’s favorite game (don’t believe the hype — it wasn’t poker or blackjack — read the books) Baccarat is a basic betting game. Players bet on who will win a given hand – the player, the banker, or if there will be a tie. Sure it looks easy, but Baccarat is a skill game. A small sidenote about Baccarat — the name comes from the name of the worst possible hand. This would be like calling your video poker machine “High Card Poker”. Just doesn’t have the same ring as “Royal Flush”.

11. Solitaire

The most varied card game in the world. In England, they call this game Patience, and for good reason. Solitaire requires little set up beyond putting cards in specific places, and is usually played by yourself. Solitaire is another popular airport line waiting game.

12. Rummy and variations

There are lots of different kinds of Rummy, more than are probably written down on any list. I’ve written for a website that had me list 500 variations or other names for Rummy, so I’ll spare you the reading and just say there’s lots of kinds of Rummy. The more popular versions are called Gin Rummy, Liverpool Rummy, and Contract Rummy. The feature that makes a game a Rummy is a player matching identical cards into pairs and other groups. Some experts believe the Chinese game of Mahjong is part of the Rummy family, though I’d bet the Chinese are just fine with Mahjong as it is.

13. Pai Gow

This is an old Chinese domino game that has been passed down through the years as a poker variation. You’ll see Pai Gow at casinos in both as a poker and a domino game — it is probably the casino game that the least number of people understand. This is a game of fast bets, player versus dealer. Pai Gow strategy is just as rich as any other poker betting game, and the culture of Pai Gow is similar to the Blackjack culture — super-fast bets and edgy behavior at the margins.

14. Spoons

A silly card game probably invented to keep kids out of trouble, Spoons is a bluffing game (with some elements of matching) that uses simple kitchen utensils as an added play element. The first player in the group to draw a poker style four of a kind reaches to a pile of spoons in the middle of the table, signalling the other players to grab for one. Since there’s one less spoon than players, one player will be left out every time. So its a social interaction game, and not a game chock full of card strategy. its still fun. Great date night game.

15. Speed

Speed (sometimes called Spit) is a matching game that is unique because both players play simultaneously and as fast as they can. In Speed, a player tries to ‘get rid’ of his or her cards by matching them to cards placed face-up on the table. This is a face to face game, though there’s actually little interaction between the two opponents. The last few moments of any game of Speed reminds me of solitaire on fast-forward, with hands and cards flying around and rows forming and draining like water pipes. Strange game, Speed.

16. Crazy 8s

This is another children’s matching game, you could say it is cousin to the popular game Uno. The 8s in the deck of standard cards are considered “crazy” not because they need to be medicated but to indicate they are wild cards. In some variations of Crazy 8s, not just Wild Cards but other “rule cards” exist, making the game more complex for older players.

17. Slapjack

If you want to teach more complex card games to younger kids, Slapjack is the perfect vehicle. The object of Slapjack is to acquire the whole deck of cards by matching and slapping pairs. Kids like to slap stuff, and the game can be played over and over again.

18. Old Maid

You don’t need an “Old Maid” deck to play this kid’s card game — any standard 52 card deck will do. Just remove one of the Queens. Old Maid is a matching game where players find pairs You trade cards with your opponent until that player is left with the unmatched Queen. Matching games are popular, and the novelty “Old Maid” packs are fun for kids.

19. Cribbage

This is a hybrid board and card game with complicated rules that generally intimidates people, even hardcore card gamers. You play cribbage by forming groups of cards that are worth different point values, and moving a peg on a board that represents your progress accordingly. Requiring a specific board (or a quick hand with a pen and paper) cribbage isn’t the best travel game, but as fans of cribbage will tell you, no two games are alike. There are solitaire versions of cribbage, and other varieties of cribbage game play to choose from if you’re bored with the standard version.

20. Pinochle

Pinochle is popular because it is a trick-taking game that you play with a 48 card deck. In Pinochle, you try to make melds or tricks, much like in Gin, but there’s a really complex scoring system making the game fun to learn and to master. To be good at pinochle, you have to play for a number of years, and lose plenty of hands. Though it is less popular year after year, Pinochle is one of those “heritage games”.

Solitaire Or Patience Games

Solitaire, which is also known as patience in England, is a hugely popular single player card game. Solitaire is not actually a single game, solitaire is in reality a family of games, there are hundreds of different ways to play solitaire and loads of different versions and variations of the game using either one or more decks of cards shuffled together, each individual version of the game has different rules and different skill levels. The most basic versions of solitaire can be picked up and learned fairly easily by most card players. However the more complicated versions of solitaire could take the player hours to complete and are also much harder to learn.

Solitaire games typically entail dealing out the cards from a deck, in some game two decks are used, the cards are normally shuffled first before set out into a preset layout on a tabletop or other flat surface, and then a player attempts to reorganize the deck of cards by rank and suit using a sequence of card moves, transferring the cards from one position to another whilst keeping with in the rules of the game. The ultimate goal of most versions of solitaire is to build complete foundation piles with all of the cards in perfect suit order, but first you need to achieve access to all of the face down cards.

The history of solitaire originates in France, but its exact history and origins are uncertain. Some people like to think solitaire was first invented by the French prisoners, held in the royal prisons of France while others claim solitaire was made-up by a French aristocrat during a length of time in solitary confinement in the Bastille sometime at some point in the 18th century. The first recorded collection of solitaire games has been attributed to Lady Adelaide Cadogan in her book titled Illustrated Games of Patience, it was first published around 1870 and has been reprinted numerous times since. Before this date there was no other literature with reference to solitaire. There have been numerous variations of the original solitaire game over the years and at the present there is close to five hundred different solitaire games.

Today solitaire can be played on many electrical devices such as your home computer or mobile phone. Basic forms of solitaire such as Klondike and FreeCell come pre-installed with every new version of Microsoft Windows and the most up-to-date operating system Windows Vista also comes with a fun version of Spider solitaire. If you enjoy playing card games, then Solitaire is a great game that is sure to keep you entertained for hours and with all those different variations your bound to find a version you enjoy.

Review on Cards Against Humanity

Are you a fun lover? Then, Cards Against Humanity – second expansion is your cup of tea. You just can’t experience better humor in your lifetime.

When you’re a game lover, it is always old out and new in. Then, new out and newer in. It is such a great news that Cards Against Humanity has introduced its second expansion. This just means a lot more of amusement. The best part is that the second version confiscates the political bearing of dolphin safety. It is definitely dolphin safe.

It is proved scientifically that a man who laughs out loud more frequently whiles away diseases and remains healthy. On this stance, you cannot find a better suit for the laughter therapy to maintain your health. Cards Against Humanity version II is just brilliant at this.

I have already purchased the previous versions and enjoyed playing them. Just a small instance that shows how this product works in changing your doomed day into a joyful one. One fine day, I was so upset due to an issue at work wherein I was blamed for a mistake not done by me. On my way back, I got a call from my friends saying they are coming home. We were chatting for sometime and decided to play this game. I was laughing so much that at the end of it, I didn’t even remember the issue at work.

Yet another good thing I love about this game is that it encourages sportive spirit. The initial rage that prevails at the start of the game is slowly driven away into a sweet lighter mood of laughter and merry at a later stage. At the end of it, the players feel great joy and togetherness. I even see people build new friends playing this game.

Moreover, this product is definitely worth the money you pay. It is so meager in comparison with the numerous benefits it bestows. I have tried playing many video games and others. Some are difficult to understand and others are difficult to win. Those that are difficult to win leaves dissatisfaction at the end of the game while Cards Against Humanity – second expansion is the simplest and cheapest way to have loads and loads of fun.

There is no complication in understanding the game and no hassle during the play. All it endows you is with a joy-filled evening with light and peaceful heart. What more do you want?

A Different Kind of Card Game

Playing games has always been a good way to fight boredom. One of the most popular pastimes is playing card games. There are the popular casino card games like poker and blackjack; those that test one’s patience like solitaire and memory; and the ones that are popular among hobbyists which are the trading card games.

As time went by, more and more kinds of card games came to be known. Soon, it began to be a favorite among groups of friends who started bringing it with them to parties for everyone to enjoy. An excellent example would be Cards against Humanity.

Cards Against Humanity: An Overview

The card game is a multiplayer party game which can either be downloaded and printed for free, or purchased and delivered as a hardcopy. Designed by a group of friends from the USA, this game is considered to be one of the most horrible yet also one of the most brilliant games out there.

Upon purchasing, the game includes a box filled with 90 black cards and 460 white cards, along with a copy of the game rules and a copy of the alternate rules as well.

How the Game Is Played

The concept for Cards against Humanity is pretty simple. At the beginning of the game, players have in their hands a selection of White Cards on which are written a myriad of crazy things ranging from Santa Claus to chainsaw hands and anything else that are meant to be fun and entertaining. One player is chosen to play as the Card Czar. The Card Czar’s duty is to pick a black card that contains either a statement filled with blanks or a question that needs an answer.

The other players should each pick a response from the white cards they have in an attempt to come up with a funny (or absurdly horrifying) answer to that statement or question. The Card Czar chooses the one he or she likes best, and gives the black card to the one who came up with the best answer. The black card scores players awesome points.

To end a game, players pick out three of their card and attempt to construct a haiku. It doesn’t really matter whether the syllables aren’t enough.

Cards Against Humanity takes card games to a whole new level. Whether you want to have a good time with friends during a sleepover or just want to while time away with your family during vacation, this game is sure to keep you amused. Keep in mind, however, that some of the statements may contain an immense potential for being offensive. Even so, the game’s purpose is to entertain and the statements should not be taken seriously.