If you’re a card game enthusiast looking for something different, check out these innovative trick-taking card games that span four unique genres. Whether you’re all about lighthearted family fun or want a more intense strategic challenge, there’s sure to be an exciting game in this list perfect for your next gathering.
From thrilling duels requiring careful thought and planning to fast-paced rounds of luck and chance – this guide is your essential resource for exploring some of the best trick-taking card games available! Check our list out today and determine which genre your favorite card game belongs to!
The most natural and straightforward definition of trick-taking is that it’s a card game mechanism, which includes rounds of players playing one card each and competing to create the highest-scoring combination.
The first player lays down a card from their hand in the center, and tricks are won depending on the rules. Most of the time, players can win tricks by being the highest card value of the suit led.
Since trick-taking has several genres, it’s worth noting that their objectives are different, but the main element for all of them is that players take turns to lay down the cards until there are none left.
Trick-taking card games are known to be a favorite among card players due to their main mechanics. The idea of winning or losing tricks based on a set of rules and different elements will test your abilities, giving you enough challenges to overcome.
With that said, trick-taking card games can be divided into four different types – each with distinct quirks that make them unique and worth playing. These genres include point-trick, plain-trick, last-trick, and trick-avoidance games. If you’re ready, let’s begin!
The most common or standard gameplay for most trick-taking card games follows the plain-trick card game genre. Here, the main objective is to get, take, and accumulate as many tricks as possible, as many tricks initially bid, or the exact amount of tricks bid.
Many plain-trick card games are still played today, and the outcome depends on the number of tricks you win. For instance, you lose if you don’t get the exact number of tricks bid and get extra points if you win more than expected.
Some examples of plain-trick card games are:
- Oh Hell
While playing any of the games listed, you should understand their objective to know how many tricks you should take before you can win. Otherwise, you might lose if you don’t play your cards right. Even though they’re all under the same category, they have differences that make them more complicated or challenging than the others.
Unlike most plain-trick card games where players must win tricks to score points or win, trick avoidance is all about avoiding or losing tricks. Yes, you read that right – the goal here is to evade as many tricks as possible!
In this genre of trick-taking card games, players must strategize how to avoid taking specific cards to earn the lowest points. The most popular trick-avoidance card game is Hearts. Whether you play Hearts online or offline, you should avoid cards from the Hearts suit as much as possible since they’re equal to one penalty point.
Other variations, such as Black Lady and Black Maria, incorporate the Queen of Spades. It’s equivalent to 13 penalty points, which is always the reason a player loses. Fortunately, different Hearts variations allow you to “shoot the moon,” which means getting all the penalty cards while your opponents get none. Doing so will award you zero points, and they’ll each receive 26 points!
If you want to try this genre, play Hearts online with a stranger or against an AI to learn its main gameplay. After that, you can experiment with other card games for more fun!
In point-trick card games, players must win tricks to score points. However, unlike plain-trick games, where players aim to take a certain number of tricks, point-trick card games refer to the value of the cards. Therefore, most of these game’s win or loss depends on the total value of counters left after the end of the game.
The card’s values are sometimes called “card points” and shouldn’t be confused with “game points,” primarily used as bonuses or awards for winning the game or round. For instance, players will add the values of their remaining cards. Whoever has the highest value is the winner.
Some examples of point-trick card games include:
- All Fours
- Tarock games
Numerous old-age or traditional trick-taking card games are based on this genre’s mechanics. Some aren’t even played today due to the more modern versions. However, there’s no denying that these games can be easily adapted with different elements to create an original gameplay.
The most unique of all the trick-taking game genres are games that belong to the last trick card games. Here, the whole focus and attention go to the final trick. These games can be unpredictable, and winning or losing depends on the outcome of the last trick.
Players must have a good strategy, memory and luck since they need to figure out which cards are played before to avoid taking unwanted tricks in their hands. Most of the time, these games have no trumps since they can make winning the last trick more objective since the right timing is imperative.
Some examples of last-trick card games include:
Whichever card game you choose from the list, never win more than what is required, or you will lose points. It would help if you used your trick-taking strategies to win the final trick without exceeding the limit or goal. It’s a tricky feat, but it can be a thrilling and satisfying experience!
Are you ready to become a master of all four trick-taking card game genres? It’s time to test your skills and knowledge by learning these different gameplay styles. Who knows, you might find a new favorite genre that will excite and challenge your card game sessions more!