Saturday, December 21, 2019

Card Playing Day - Reviewing a Winter Entertainment Holiday

A hand of playing cards displayed for National Card Playing Day
Playing cards any time of year is fun, but it's an especially entertaining activity in inclement weather.  Thus it is the perfect indoor wintertime activity. This unofficial holiday is held on December 28 each year right after winter officially begins.

There are literally hundreds of different kinds of card games that can be played using a standard pack of cards.  Some of the top favorites include  Spades, Poker, Solitaire, Spite and Malice, Hearts, Spoons, Gin Rummy, Black Jack and Texas Hold’em. 

With a Deck of 52 …

A Poker Hand of Cards
Source: Pixabay

You'll Have Hours of Entertainment

From the 9th century to modern day, people have been entertained with playing cards. A simple deck of 52 provides us with hours of fun in a wide variety of card games, either by yourself (solitaire) or with groups of 2 or 4 or more. It's an activity that will never go out of style!

Cards are Popular at Any Time

Four Aces in a deck of cards
Source: Pixabay

No matter what the seasonal time of year or time of day, this is a very popular form of entertainment. From simple 'matching cards' for very young children to intricate ones for adults to the ageless variations of Solitaire, cards hold our interest in many forms:

  • UNO is the Number One card game for kids (in my opinion) -- it is just as much fun for us grown up parents and grandparents to play, especially with the kids.
  • GIN RUMMY (or Gin) is a popular 2-player game that has been around since 1909. It is one of several variants of Rummy, which has been played worldwide for centuries. 
  • POKER and Texas Hold'em are both a popular choice with men
  • PINOCHLE - A game we played for several years with our best friends.
  • SOLITAIRE - Now it's Everyone's Favorite Card Game on the Computer!

The game of solitaire as seen on a computer screen

Solitaire is also called Patience and refers to single-player card games involving a layout of cards with a goal of sorting them in some manner. Anyone who enjoys card games likes Solitaire. There are more variations than you can 'shake a stick at' and in today's computer age the standard Solitaire game on computer has really increased it's popularity and is irresistible when sitting in front of your computer. (My favorite version is 'Spider Solitaire)

  • THREE-THIRTEEN - a Fun 'Rummy-Style' Card Game

Hand holding all 3s in a deck of playing cards
Source: Wikipedia

A couple years ago I learned a new card game called "Three Thirteen" that is such fun. It's a form of Rummy and is an eleven-round game played with two or more players. The Rules can be found on Wikipedia. I've played it with just two players, with three players and with 6 players and each way is enjoyable. My favorite part of the game is the fact that the wild cards change with each hand! 

*Two Years Ago: My son & I have been playing 3-13 once or twice a week all year. We have been keeping a running score sheet of each person's score, with the prize being dinner at a restaurant for the winner (paid for by the loser) at the end of the year. At the moment, I am 199 points ahead and have my choice of restaurant picked out!

*This Year: Son & I have continued our weekly 3-13 games and THIS year son is ahead in the 'free dinner' race by over 400 points. I don't think I have time to 'catch up' before the end of this year! LOL. HE already has his favorite restaurant picked out. :) 

My Love of Card Games

Two decks of playing cards and a card deck holder decorated with card symbols
Personal Photo (c) Wednesday Elf

I've enjoyed card games all my life, from childhood hours of Canasta with my grandmother to teaching MY grandchildren "War" and "Uno". I grew up in a card-playing family.  My parents seemed to learn some of the most unusual card games over the years, having a "new" one to try every visit. 

My favorites are Pinochle, Kings-on-the-Corner and 3-13. And the most fun card game ever I learned by the name of "Dwindle". It may be known by other names. You can't beat a deck of cards to give you or you-and-a-group hours of entertainment

The Most Fun of All...

Playing cards were found in China as early as the 9th Century, and it's popularity has continued to grow ever since. I can't imagine not having a deck of cards around. It is fun entertainment for all ages.

Grandson Tyler (age 5) playing the  Card Game  War.
Grandson Tyler (age 5) playing the  Card Game  War.

December 28 is "Card Playing Day"

Related Posts:

Games Day includes card games.

monopolyReviewing Monopoly Deal

The Playing Card Version of the Classic Monopoly Board Game

(c) Wednesday Elf 12/21/2019. Updated 12/28/2021

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Playing cards is a wonderful way to enjoy the company of family and friends of all ages. Some our favorite games include Five Crowns, Wizards, and Cribbage. I enjoyed your review Pat.

    1. I like Cribbage too, Mary Beth. Haven't played it in ages. Usually a game I play with my brother. I LOVE playing cards.

  2. I do enjoy playing of good game of cards! There are a few card players in the family and we have been known to play a version of rummy that lasts for hours during the holidays. Winter, especially when family is in for the holidays, is the perfect time to celebrate Card Playing Day. Of course, those of us who enjoy cards believe any day of the year is card playing day.

    1. Exactly, Mouse. Any day is the right day to play cards no matter the time of year. Enjoy playing with your family this Christmas holiday.

  3. I grew up playing cards with our family. My dad was amazing at it! I swear he could count cards or something. He would remember which cards had been played. When I was a teenager we played Nines and Hearts. I think those were the names of them. We haven't played in decades. Your article is bringing me back to those wonderful days with my parents. Our home was filled with fun. I sure do miss that. Cards were a big part of our life. My dad was also a big Bridge player, especially with my mom, my brother and his mother. Great memories. Cards are much more than games, they're tradition, connection, and they create memories that last forever.

    1. I agree, Barbara. card playing with family and friends is certainly a trip down memory lane. Different games were played with different sets of people in different areas of the country as we moved around - from pinochle to Bridge to euchre and back again. Cards ARE a tradition and a connection to those past fun times and also to today. And it is certainly a 'portable' activity. Easy enough to carry around a deck of cards. :)

  4. I used to play gin rummy with my grandmother when I was a girl, and then played bridge often when I was in my 20s and 30s. After that, I didn't play cards again until several years ago, when my mother-in-law introduced my husband and me to Five Crowns, which we all really enjoy! For me, as for many people, playing cards is something I associate with good times shared with friends and family.

    1. I will definitely have to look up Five Crowns, Margaret. From the dozens of card games I've learned over the years, I don't remember this one at all. Although I noticed that some games may be called by different names in different parts of the country, so perhaps when I read the Five Crowns rules I will remember it. I too played Bridge in college and my early 20s, but other card games wooed me away. Gin rummy is always popular too.

  5. My family has a long history of playing cards. Whenever we got together for the holidays, we had marathon card sessions. It was my favorite thing to do at family gatherings. My dad was a real pro. I liked when he was my card partner because he had such a mind for winning. He never forgot what cards had been played and had a real sense for who was holding what cards. It's a real gift. Growing up in the frigid north, winter snow days were game days and card days for everyone. We played most of the games you mention. Thanks for a review that brings back such great memories.

    1. My brother today is like your dad, Diana. He 'remembers' which cards have been played and thus seems to know who is holding which cards when we play. Thus, he quite often wins, LOL. Memories indeed. Nothing like it. Between get togethers with your family, you need to do like that famous painting of the dogs playing cards and teach Finn & Toby and the cats to play - perfect for your snowed-in days this winter - LOL.

  6. I love my card games too. Everyday I start out with 3 different types of Solitaire and once those are under my belt, I can continue with the rest of my day. I did not know there was a special day dedicated to card playing, so I will make it a point to play some cards just for you! Maybe I rouse up some friends for a friendly game of Euchre or Poker.....who knows.

    1. My folks used to play Euchre a lot, Olivia. I've played a few times, but don't really remember the rules as there are 'years' between sessions. It is a fun game, the few times I've played.

  7. Replies
    1. Me too, Tracey. Played it for years on a regular basis with our neighbors in California. Haven't played it since we moved away. Sure was fun.

  8. This brings back many memories of playing cards with friends and family. Our family spent many rainy days and Saturday nights playing UNO or SKIP BO. Before we had kids, a group of friends would often gather to play Hearts. As a child I would sometimes play Canasta with an elderly cousin and her roommate. They are the only ones I knew that played. Seems this pandemic is a great time to get out those card decks and games again.

    1. I loved playing Hearts with my aunt & uncle. They were experts! When Uncle Pete would get real quiet, my Aunt Jeannine would say "watch out -- he's running them"! :) And he was -- and it was usually too late to stop him! LOL.

  9. This is so fun! Playing cards is something that we should get back to doing more frequently. Perfect for a Covid winter.

    1. Cards are perfect anytime in winter in my opinion. Cold days are good days to stay inside and play cards! :)


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