Unlike board games, card games are one of the easiest genres of games to classify: games that utilize cards exclusively for play.  Classically, card games were played with the same deck of cards, herein referred to as a standard deck of cards (52 cards comprised of 4 sets of 13 cards).  However, in recent years, card games began a simple evolution: card games that not unique in their design, but also in their cards.  The cards for these games could not be used for other games; as such, card games became collectibles.  In fact, most cards games are collectiblecard games (or CCG); in that one does not acquire the entire collection of cards under typical circumstances, but has to purchase packs of a random assortment of cards to build one’s collection (much like collecting sports trading cards).  Most of these CCG’s give players the opportunity to assemble their own decks or even changing their decks from game to game; providing a plethora of variety of play within the same game rules.  As a CCG gains popularity and, let’s face it, profitability, the game company responsible often releases expansions; much in the same vein as board games releasing expansions, except that board games provide everything in a single purchase, whereas card games require scouring, haggling, and just a bit of luck in order to complete one’s set or to have exactly what one wants for their deck.

Examples– poker, blackjack, Solitaire, Go Fish!, War, Baccarat, Hearts, Euchre, Magic the Gathering, Hackers, BattleTech, Dominion, Spellfire, Geek Fight, Revenge of the B-Movie

Developmental Potential
Mental-all CCG’s help form the basis of strategy: developing a theme for a plan of operation to achieve a goal.  While the goal is always the same (win the game), the means to that end vary from game to game and from deck to deck.  Along with every deck, one figures out what tactics (the immediate short-term plans of action) work best considering the situation, along with what resources one has immediately available, and the design of one’s deck.  The aspects of strategy that each card game professes varies from game to game, naturally, but can be set into three categories: resource management, finance management, and risk management.  Resource management simply describes one’s handling of available, and sometimes future resources, to further one’s end (hopefully, winning the game).  Finance management is a specific form of resource management wherein one manages one’s money.  Finances can be anything from budgeting expenses for the latest booster packs (individual packs of randomly assorted cards) to knowing how much to bet on a hand in poker.  With betting comes risk management, assessing the risks of various actions to determine the best outcome in any given circumstance.

Intersocial-because card games pit players against one another with concealed resources (i.e. their cards in hand, a deck of cards), card games begin delving into psychology; in this case, ‘reading’ one’s opponents. One notices the knacks and habits of other players, typically referred to as ‘tells.’ Knowing how your opponent will react to a certain situation (e.g. what possibilities are available, how much one stacks on a move) allows for a dramatic tactical edge that a wise player will exploit.  Also, this allows for one to prepare oneself to avoid giving too much information away; or to give false information.

NOTE: the above is meant to be informative and analytical.  It should not be misconstrued as advocacy for gambling or any illegal activity, nor condone any such activity.