Manly Skills

The Gentleman’s Guide to Card Games

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So when I was growing up, my family loved playing card games, and they still enjoy playing cards to this day. As a result, I learned how to play a handful (no pun intended) of different card games that I thought would be good for any young gentleman to know. So today, I’m  going to go over some of my personal favorite card games and their basic rules so you can play them yourself at a family game night, a night in with the guys, or anything else. So without any further delay, let’s get started!

1. Rummy

This one is a particular favorite among my family. The object of Rummy is to essentially empty your hand before the other players do by placing down 3’s of a Kind or straights involving at least three sequential cards of the same suit on the table. If only two players are playing, each player starts with ten cards. If three or four are playing, every player starts with seven cards, and with five or six players, everyone starts with six cards. After the cards are dealt, the rest of the deck is set face-down on the center of the table and the top card is flipped face-up to start the discard pile, beginning the game. Players starting to the left of the dealer can choose to take the top card off of the deck, take a card out of the discard pile, or put down any melds (3’s of a Kind) or straights they already have. Every player must put a card into the discard pile in order to end their turn. As the game continues, players that have already put down their own melds or straights can then place down cards that continue another player’s set. For example, if one player notices that his opponent has as three 7’s on the table, he can choose to set down the fourth seven if he so chooses. The round ends when the first player “goes out” by setting down his last card without putting a card into the discard pile. Once the round is over, the scores are added up and the game continues for as long as the players please. Now, the rules for different aspects of the game like point values, taking multiple cards from the discard pile, and other things can vary, so it’s important to discuss such things with the dealer before starting the game.

2. BS

This was a particular favorite of mine when I was younger. This is a fun and simple one that can be a good choice for those who don’t have much experience with card games. The object of the game, like Rummy, is to get rid of all of your cards before your opponents. The game begins with the dealer dealing out the cards one at a time until there are no cards left in the deck. Whoever has the Ace of Spades begins the game. How it works is that the player with the Ace of Spades sets it down at the center of the table along with any other Aces they have, and state what they are setting down (so if the player has two aces, they would say “two aces” when they set their cards down). The game continues with the cards increasing in numerical values with Aces representing 1. The catch is, that if a player doesn’t have the specific card they’re supposed set down, they still have to set down cards, but have to lie about what they’re setting down (for example, they would set down a card and say “one five”, but the actual card is anything other than a five). On top of that, any player can call “BS” on another player if they think the last card that was set down is false. If the player who called “BS” is right and the card is indeed false, then the player who set down the last card then picks up all the cards currently in the center of the table. However, if the player who called “BS” is wrong, and the card is actually what the player claims it is, then the player who called it takes all the cards. The game continues around the table until one player runs out of cards.

3. Blackjack

This one is a relatively simple one that can be a decent introduction to the thrills of gambling (in all seriousness, please gamble responsibly. Know your limits and don’t bet any more money than you’re willing to lose). The object of Blackjack is fairly straightforward. Have your hand equal twenty-one or lower while also having a greater value than the dealer’s hand. If your hand is greater than twenty-one, you “bust”, meaning you forfeit your entire bet, a rule which also applies to the dealer. To begin the game, the dealer places to cards in front of him, one face up, the other face down, and then gives two cards to the other player. Once the round begins, the player can choose to either hit or stand (there are other options in higher-stakes games, but those won’t be addressed here). To hit means to request another card from the dealer. The player can hit as many times as they like, but if at any time their hand goes over twenty-one, they bust. If the player chooses to stand, they are satisfied with their hand, and will have no other cards given to them. Once the player chosen to stand, their hand is revealed, as well as the dealer’s face-down card. Whichever player gets the highest value closest to twenty-one without going over wins, and a new round begins. The values of each card break down as follows: Kings, Queens, and Jacks (face cards) are worth ten, Aces can be worth either one or eleven, depending on which will be more advantageous for the player, and numbered cards are worth their number.

4. Poker

Of course, Poker is the quintessential card game that is recognizable all over the world. Now, there are multiple ways to play poker, but the ultimate goal across most of those different forms is to get the highest five-card hand, so for this entry, I’m going to list some of the most popular terms in Poker as well as the hand hierarchy  to understand what you’ll be doing and what to be aiming for when you sit down to start placing bets.

Popular/Universal Terms

  • Call – match the previous bet.
  • Raise – to bet a greater amount than the previous bet; some may call this “upping the ante”.
  • Check – hold off on betting or folding to see what the other players will do. The betting round then ends on the last player who checked.
  • All-in – Putting any chips you have left. into the pot
  • Fold – to forfeit your hand, keeping you from placing any further bets.
  • Pot – total amount of money that has been put on the table.

Hand Hierarchy

Here are the different hands in Poker, listed from best to worst

  • Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and ten all of the same suit
  • Straight Flush – Any five cards of the same suit in numerical order
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards with the same number
  • Full House – Three cards with the same number and two cards with  the saem number
  • Flush – Any five cards of the same suit
  • Straight – Any five cards in numerical order, regardless of suit
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards with the same number
  • Two Pair – Two cards with with the same number and another two cards with the same number
  • Pair – Two cards with the same number

In the event of a tie, the higher numerical value takes precedence. For example, a pair of two tens will beat two threes.

So there we have it! These are just a few card games you can start incorporating into your game nights or hangouts! Card games can be wonderful way to socialize since they, more often than not, require the participants to interact with each other in way that’s a bit more serious and personal than a lot of other games. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!



One reply on “The Gentleman’s Guide to Card Games”

Hello Max. I’m not a card player, but I, too, blogged about Poker. WP attached your blog about card games to my blog entitled “God Dealt Me A “Royal Flush” This Week” which was posted on in May 2019. I thought you might like to read it, so if you do, just click my website and then go to the right side of the blog and click May 2019 and scan through it to the title mentioned above. It sounds like your childhood was full of family fun and interaction. As you may know, lots of kids grow up without what God blessed you with. And the last thing I want to say is that besides ‘gents’, other species read your blogs, too.


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