Popular card games in the UK

Popular card games in the UK

A simple game of cards can provide entertainment in a variety of different ways. Card games are ideal for summer holidays when the weather isn’t looking great outside, catch ups with friends, or any other occasion where an easy to organise, fun activity is required.

Need some inspiration? Here are some of the most enjoyed card games played in the United Kingdom:


Poker has been around for centuries, and while it is traditionally played in casino venues; you can now play poker online from your smartphone or computer. As a game of skill, learning to play and succeed at poker can take time and patience.

Poker is a card game where the players wager on who has the best hand according to the rules of the game. There are many different variants of poker, in the UK the most popular is Texas Hold’em poker but other well liked versions include stud poker, draw poker and house banked games like pai gow poker. 

The game is most often played for a standard 52 card deck and in social games, players sometimes like to add in a wild card option. For example, all four deuces could be wild cards or, in a 53 deck pack, the joker might be a wild card.


Another casino card game that players enjoy both online and offline is blackjack, sometimes known as ‘21’ or pontoon. There are different variants of blackjack too but European blackjack is the one usually played in the United Kingdom.

This game has been around for hundreds of years but in the UK it started to become popular around World War One, when soldiers would play during their downtime to keep morale high. In blackjack, the player aims to get a value of 21 or as close to 21 as possible with their cards, without going over, before the dealer manages to.

Ace cards are valued at either 1 or 11, face cards and 10 and all other cards in the deck at their index value. While the game can be played just for fun, many people like to place a wager on the outcome.

It is considered to be an easier game than poker but for serious players, developing a strategy for planning helps their chances of winning the game. All you need to get started with this game is a pack of cards and a minimum of two players (including the dealer).


If you are looking for a fun card game for a large number of players, then Cheat is a great option. In Cheat, each player is trying to be the first to get rid of all of their cards. 

Each player will group their cards into pairs or sets. Players will then take it in turns to place their cards face down in the centre of the table and tell the group what they’ve put down. You can place down cards valued one above or one below the previous player’s.

If you suspect someone is lying, yell ‘Cheat!’ and if the player did in fact cheat, they must take all the cards that are currently placed on the table. This is a fun, high energy game that can work well as an icebreaker of new groups of people.

Go Fish

If you have two or more players than Go Fish is another well liked game worth trying. Go Fish is ideal for playing as a family as the rules are fairly simple for children to understand. 

The overall aim of the game is to have the most set of four of the same card in each different suit. Every player starts off with five cards and the remaining cards are placed in the centre of the table, faced down.

Players take it in turns to ask for the cards they need, if a player does they have to hand it over or tell them to ‘Go Fish!”. This means they must pick a card off the pile. 

The game ends when all the cards in the centre are gone and the winner is the one with the most sets of cards.


Card games aren’t just multiplayer, solo players with a pack of cards can enjoy Solitaire. The aim of this game is to create columns of cards in ascending order in the suits they are from. Each will start with an Ace and end with a King.

Card games are an easy, fun pastime. You don’t even need a deck to get started as many can be played online on gaming sites and apps too.