Countless card games
Perform a Google search for “card game rules” and you’ll get more than 669 million results.
From rummy to crazy 8s, hearts, bridge and cribbage to dozens of versions of poker — including the reigning most-popular version, Texas Hold’em — there are thousands of games that can be played with a standard 52-card deck — not including 52 pick-up (hint: If you don’t know the rules, ask an older sibling).
You’ll need two decks for some games, like canasta, pinochle and alternate versions of games that include a larger number of players.
Stuck at home alone? There are more than 1,000 versions of solitaire — and not just on your phone.
Speaking of phones, if you need help learning a card game (or any game, for that matter), there’s most likely an app for that, as well as countless tutorials and how-to-play videos online.
Don’t like card games? Use them as building materials instead: see who can build the tallest or most intricate house of cards before they tumble down.
Have a look around the game section at your favorite store (or online store) and you’ll probably find a set of dominoes.
Dominoes and Mahjong are the two most popular tile games in the world, and, like board games, have ancient origins. The modern versions also gained widespread popularity in different parts of the world in the 1800s, and remain popular today.
According to Google, there are more than 20 variations of Mahjong and dozens of games played with dominoes, although the rules for the most popular games usually come with the sets.
With dominoes, especially, there is an added bonus: If you don’t want to play the actual game, you can stand them up vertically in columns and create tracks of falling dominoes.
Emerging in the mid-1970s, modern role-playing games have grown into a multi-million-dollar industry all their own.
Considered by many as a subset of board games, some RPGs come with boards and dice, although most are tabletop storytelling games run by a “game master,” a referee who either creates or runs a pre-published interactive story, sometimes referred to as a campaign. In each campaign, the GM sets up a number of imaginary scenarios and challenges for characters created and controlled by a handful of players who each track their character’s progress on paper and achieve goals (or sometimes fail them) by a variety of dice rolls.
RPGs are often set in fantasy, science-fiction or horror genres, but can follow nearly any theme.
Some RPGs go beyond the tabletop to include live-action sessions, where players portray their characters somewhat like a play. Others incorporate miniature wargaming, using miniature figures and models are used to show distance and scale between characters, settings and the foes or challenges they face.
Supply-wise, what you’ll need to play depends largely on the game — many RPGs require polyhedral dice, while some use nothing more than paper and pencils.
There are hundreds of different versions to choose from, including a number of free versions online. Several companies also post free starter rules to attract new players.
Collectible card games
First emerging in the 1990s, collectible card games, also known as CCGs, mix traditional card play with elements from tactical board games and RPGs, making them some of the most intricate games available today.
Each CCG brand has different rules with decks based on their own systems, styles and genres, including several based on anime series, animated and live-action movies and TV shows.
With CCGs, individual cards typically have their own artwork and characteristics, often with stats representing attacks, defenses, other point values, special rules or abilities, making some cards valuable collectors’ items. Most systems are designed to allow players to customize their decks with any cards they wish, and then compete with other players’ decks either one-on-one, in a group or both.
Read on: Tips for creating your own game: