A Look at the History and Spread of Card Games

Today, more people than ever enjoy playing cards at home with friends and relatives. Card games have also been developed for the digital realm, and you can now play those same games on hundreds of dedicated card gaming websites and numerous fully licensed and regulated iGaming sites. You can do this from any modern Wi-Fi/internet-connected desktop computer or mobile device, provided you are of legal age in your country.

Let’s take a closer look at the history and spread of card games.

A brief history of card games across the globe

According to the history books, playing cards were first invented in China around the 9th century before eventually making their way to Europe several centuries later. Many experts say they arrived in Spain or Italy around the 1370s before arriving anywhere else. Those early European playing cards were hand-painted and were often luxury items that only the wealthy could afford.

Over the coming centuries, decks of playing cards rapidly spread across Europe and became a popular pastime for the rich and well-to-do. Playing cards were also popular with all other classes who could get their hands on them.

Those early decks didn’t resemble anything like the standard decks we recognise today.

The advent of woodblock printing technology enabled people to make decks of playing cards far easier and quicker than ever, and it massively brought down the average price it costs to produce a deck of cards. They were now far more accessible and affordable than ever, even to society’s lower/poorer classes.

Around the 1500s in France, we started seeing decks of cards with the four main suits – spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs (pique, coeur, carreau, and trèfle), which closely resemble what we know today.

Cards were now more popular than ever, and over time we have invented several different card games that could be played either alone or against other players.

Around the 17th century, gambling was introduced into some games, meaning people could now wager on the outcomes. Over the next few centuries, card games became even more popular and became a huge part of the entertainment culture in many countries.

What are the most popular card games commonly played in casinos?

Most trends vary (at least a little) depending on where you are in the world, even with social media making us more interconnected than ever. But the classics of casinos are relatively immune to that. If a player signs up to play at an online casino in NZ in 2024, classic card games like baccarat, blackjack, and poker will be available for players, just as they would at a site for European, Asian, or American visitors. They may also find a growing number of state-of-the-art live dealer card games.

You can play computer-generated card games or live dealer card games. To play either, you must be at least 18 years old.

The most popular card games commonly played on today’s most trusted iGaming sites are the following hit titles:

  • Blackjack by Relax Gaming (computer-generated).
  • Live Dragon Tiger from Evolution Gaming (live dealer).
  • Hold ’em Poker 3 from Microgaming/Games Global (computer-generated).
  • Baccarat Deluxe from PG Soft (computer-generated).
  • Blackjack Bonus Wheel 1000 from Gaming Corps (computer-generated).
  • Live Lightning Blackjack from Evolution Gaming (live dealer).
  • Live Baccarat from Evolution Gaming (live dealer).
  • Live Texas Hold ’em Bonus Poker from Evolution Gaming (live dealer).
  • Live Three Card Poker from Evolution Gaming (live dealer).

Other popular card games people still like to play in 2024, either online or offline, are Cribbage, Rummy, Hearts, Crazy Eights, and Whist. That’s not forgetting Gin Rummy, Go Fish, War, Canasta, and Solitaire too.

Uno is also hugely popular, and there are many other fantasy-themed card games that players can’t seem to get enough of, such as Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, Slay the Spire, Dominion, Gwent, and Legends of Runeterra, to name a few.

Final thoughts

People have long been fascinated with cards, and it looks like we will continue to be in the future. When it comes to card games, the possibilities are endless. The older, classic titles remain a firm favourite with young and old audiences, plus much newer card games that are equally as fun.

Don’t forget that to play cards on a licensed and regulated iGaming site you must be at least 18 years old. If you do play card games at online casinos, remember to gamble sensibly and responsibly at all times.

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