A Guide to Board and Card Games
What Are Board and Card Games?
Most commercially published games are either board games or card games. Board games get their name from the distinctive folding surfaces they are played on, which are called “boards.” Players move pieces on the board according to a given set of rule. There are many different types of board games, and each type has different common rules. Furthermore, specific rules necessarily differ among games within a given type.
The main criteria that separate types of board games from one another are the amount of chance they impose on their players, and the amount of strategy they require from their players. Some games are based almost completely on chance, while others try to strictly limit chance so that it becomes functionally inactive. Most successful games try to attain a good balance between the two.
The element of chance is represented by dice in a board game. In moving games like Monopoly, the dice are rolled to see how many spaces a player is allowed to move during his or her turn. Consequently, in Monopoly, chance has a great impact on the outcome of the game. The players can manage their money all they want, but all of their skillful management can come to nothing if they roll the wrong number.
Boardgames often also require players to draw cards. These cards can be beneficial or hurtful to the player, often to the point of swiftly changing the fortunes of the player who uses them.
In pure strategy games, like Chess or Stratego, the player alone is responsible for the outcome of the game. In games like these, players can only achieve victory by correctly moving their pieces and capturing their opponent’s pieces. Some strategy games, particularly military strategy games like Risk and Axis & Allies, add chance into the mix by requiring players to roll a certain number to see if they have destroyed their opponent’s pieces once the player’s pieces have been moved into enemy territory.
Card games are quite different from board games, though cards are always used in such games. Cards are usually made out of plastic or laminated paper. There are many different types of card games, just as there are also many types of board games.
There are, however, several rules they hold in common. Players begin the game by drawing cards or having cards dealt to them by a chosen player, known as “the dealer.” These cards, because they are held by the player, are often called the player’s “hand.”
Here are the major types of card games: comparing, trick-taking, accumulating, shedding, and collectible card games.
Comparing card games require the players to compare the value of the cards they possess in their hands with the value of the cards that their opponents hold. Wagers of points, chips, or some other type of tokens are often made before the players show their cards to one another. Poker is a very famous representative of this subgenre. There are several variations of Poker, with the most common being Texas Hold ‘Em and Stud. In Texas Hold ‘Em, players are dealt two cards each, and five community cards are successively revealed on the table. Players may use these cards and their private cards to make hands. The best hand wins. In Stud poker, players are dealt face-up and face-down cards. The face-down cards are called “hole cards.” The expression “Ace in the hole,” comes from Stud.
In trick-taking card games, players take turns playing cards into the center of the table or whatever space the players are using. The player with the best card takes the group of cards in the center, known as a “trick” and sets it in front of him or her. A player must take a certain number of tricks in order to win the hand. The game of Euchre is an example of this subgenre.
Accumulating card games are games where the object of play is to gain as many cards as possible until the player possess the entire deck. Games like War and Egyptian War are good examples of this sub-genre.
Shedding card games are the opposite of accumulating card games, and the object of play is to lose as many cards as possible until the player no longer has any cards in his or her hand. Uno is a good example of this type of card game.
Collectible card games (CCGs) differ greatly from other card games in several respects, namely that players must buy packs of cards in order to play. Because of this, CCGs become hobbies, not just games. In collectible card games, there are two basic types of cards, though many CCGs add more types. These types are unit cards and action cards. Unit cards represent the forces under the player’s control. They each have certain strengths and weaknesses. Action cards may be played on a player’s units in order to affect the units in some way. There are some action cards that may be played on a player’s own units, and others that must be played against his or her opponent’s units.
The History of Board and Card Games
Board and card games have been around for a long time, but board games have been around for far longer. The Egyptian board game Senet, dating from 3500 B.C., is one of the oldest known board games to have been discovered.
The earliest card games were created in China around the 9th century B.C., and were traditionally reserved only for royalty and nobility.
Mahjong, a variant card game that uses tiles instead of cards, is said to have been developed by the Chinese philosopher Confucius in the year 500 B.C., though is is debated. The Chinese also created two ancient board games that are still played today: “Go,” and “Backgammon.
Many different cultures developed board games throughout the years, but only a few developed card games. Card games were introduced to Europe in the 14th century, where they quickly became very popular. Traditional playing cards, in their current suits and numbers, were first developed by the French during the 16th century.
The 20th century saw a sharp increase in the number of board games created and published. The popular game Monopoly was created during this time, though it didn’t reach its recognizable form until 1930.
Risk, a world conquest strategy game, was created by Albert Lamorisse in 1957, and was originally known as “La Conquete du Monde.” Later, when the game was published in English speaking countries, it became known as “Risk.”
Trivial Pursuit, a popular trivia game, was created by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott in 1979, after they realized they were missing pieces of their scrabble game and decided to create something of their own to play.
The 1980s saw the development of a genre of games known as “Eurogames” or “German-style games” because of their European common origin. In 1995, Klaus Teuber published The Settlers of Catan, an extremely popular development game that revolutionized the genre and paved the way for many similar games.
Card games also continued to develop over time. Poker, one of the most popular and enduring card games, was developed in New Orleans during the early 19th century. As it began to spread, it quickly became an important part of pioneer culture.
Euchre, the card game credited with introducing the joker into traditional playing card decks, was introduced in the early 19th century as well, though the circumstances surrounding its creation are unclear. One theory suggests that it was introduced by German settlers in Michigan, while another suggests that it may have been invented by French or American prisoners in Dartmoor, a British prison.
Many card games have been recently developed, including such games as Uno, Phase 10, and Skip Bo.
Who Would Like These Games
There are many different types of card and board games, so it should be relatively easy to find something that can appeal to any player. Younger players might not enjoy more complicated games like Risk, Settlers of Catan, or Trivial Pursuit, or card games like Poker or Euchre. However, there are many other games that they might enjoy, like Egyptian War or Candyland. Older players have a wide range of choices available to them, and should be able to find a game to fit any personality type.