Despite the rising popularity of Esports – the industry term for competitive video gaming – there’s still a huge appetite for card games online.

Playing cards may appear somewhat dated against state-of-the-art Esports titles, which arrived in South Philadelphia in 2021, but there’s something wholesome about card games. This authenticity is something video games just can’t match.

The simplicity of card games is what makes them so immersive, without the bells and whistles of 4K graphics and high-definition (HD) audio.

There are several card games that have endured multiple generations. These traditional games still have a place in popular culture today, thanks largely to their accessibility online as well as offline.

Below, we celebrate four of the most iconic card games still enjoyed in 2023 and beyond.


Blackjack remains the most widely played card game on the planet. Its simple rules and game dynamics mean there’s very little barrier to entry at the blackjack tables. Online sites continue to host blackjack games, with the live casino industry also taking the game under its collective wing to offer immersive versions of the game, also known as “21”.

One of the main reasons why blackjack is enjoyed online is the ability to deploy a form of strategy to its gameplay. Blackjack’s basic strategy makes it possible to compete on a more level playing field against the dealer. Although the game will always carry a house edge, basic strategy motivates players to mitigate it as much as possible. It’s designed to encourage people to play the probabilities and remove emotion from the game.

Texas Hold’em Poker

Online poker remains a very popular pastime among card players. The initial online poker “boom” was almost two decades ago. Nevertheless, today’s well-established online poker rooms continue to innovate and keep things interesting for long-time poker players while attracting the next generation of poker players.

One of the biggest talking points in the world of online poker right now is the Spin & Go concept coined by PokerStars, which can be played via a web browser. Spin & Go is a high-octane three-player poker tournament. Available at multiple buy-in levels, the prize pool is determined by a random number generator (RNG), giving players the chance to play for big payouts worth up to 12,000x their modest entry fees.

Aside from these new innovations, online poker rooms still offer cash games, sit-and-go’s, and multi-table tournaments to cater to all tastes and bankrolls.


Photo: drown_in_city/Unsplash

Baccarat is comfortably the most popular card game played both online and offline in Asia. Asian people – predominantly those in China and Macau – are attracted to baccarat due to its simplicity and, bizarrely, the fact there’s no strategy involved. That’s right; the fact it’s controlled largely by fate is a major pull for Asian card players. They like the anticipation of wondering whether fate will be on their side.

Baccarat is a very easy game. You just need to wager on the Player, the Banker, or the Tie. The Player wins if their hand value is closer to nine than the Banker’s hand and vice versa for the Banker’s hand to win. There’s also the Tie bet to throw into the equation. This occurs when the Player and Banker’s hands are of the same value. The likelihood of this happening is around 9.5%, which means payout odds of 8:1 resemble poor value. Newbies to Baccarat should stick with the Player and Banker wagers.


They say the old ones are always the best, and bridge is still going strong online as a popular card game. Contract Bridge, which was devised by a man named Harold Vanderbilt in the mid-1920s, shot to notoriety in the US during the following decade. At its peak, over 20 million Americans used to enjoy playing contract bridge regularly. This version remains the most played today, too.

An article on the American Contract Bridge League suggests that 25 million Americans still know how to play contract bridge today. However, the average age of a competitive bridge player in the US is still in the early 70s, suggesting the game needs to quickly appeal to the next generation of card players or risk being consigned to the history books fast.

Photo: Ryan Snaadt/Unsplash

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