Have you ever been on a long train ride or stuck in the airport with a lot of time on your hands? Sometimes when you are traveling with somebody else or even a group of people you need something to do to kill the time and to entertain everyone.
We feel there are still a lot you can get out of a good card game that is portable and able to fit in your backpack for your next trip with friends, family, or maybe even yourself.
Here are our favorite card games that you will not worry about taking up too much space in your backpack.
Best Travel Card Games
There are so many games you can play with a classic deck of cards. From gambling games like poker and blackjack to games like president and euchre, the possibilities are endless with a classic deck of cards. Maybe you are playing by yourself and you could play some solitaire.
In the Wizard card game, you make a bid at the beginning of each hand as to the amount of “tricks” you will win, similar to Euchre but you do not play as a team. If you guess the correct amount of “tricks” you win, then you get those points. If not, you lose those points. The first person to one hundred points wins the game.
The card deck is the same as a normal card deck with the addition of “Wizards” and “Jesters”. Wizards are like the trump card and they take anything, whereas the Jesters are worth nothing. So when the deck is dealt at the beginning of each hand, you need to analyze your cards and make a bid as to how many “tricks” you will win. It is then a strategic game as you try to get that amount without going over or under.
Cards are played by suit and then that suit is followed. If you do not have the suit that is played, you can play any card you would like. If you have too many “tricks” already won then maybe you want to play a high card off suit to make sure you wont win that one. Wizards and Jesters can be played at any time.
This game for three to six players makes for a great strategic travel card game that you can take with you anywhere.
The concept of Exploding Kittens is quite simple. Draw an exploding kitten card and you explode and are out of the game. So simply put, do not draw an exploding kitten. Easier said than done.
In this game, the deck of cards are placed face down and players take turns drawing a card after playing as many action cards as you wish. Action cards help you by keeping you from drawing the exploding kitten card.
For example, “See the Future” helps you by allowing you to see the top three cards in the deck. The “Skip” card lets you skip your turn from drawing. A “Diffuse” card allows you to not explode if you were to draw an exploding kitten and thus remain in the game. A “Shuffle” card allows you to shuffle the deck. “Nope” cards can be played by any player at any time to stop a players action.
The remaining cards do not have actions and they are to be collected. Once you have collected two of a kind, you can lay them as an action card. You can then choose a player and choose a card from them without seeing their cards. If you get three of a kind, you can choose a player and declare a card from them without seeing their cards. Should they have the card you declared, they must give it to you. If not, then you are out of luck. The same can be done with collecting action cards.
The maximum number of players is five, but if you buy more than one deck you can combine them and add more players.
This one is a little bit larger than the others and is more of a party game. But that can be the best way to pass the time at the end of a long night together. This is good with a group of people.
Basically there are black cards and white cards. The black cards have a question or fill in the blank while the white cards have a response or a word. One player draws a black card and asks the question or reads the sentence. Everyone else chooses their funniest white card as a response. The player that chose the black card then shuffles and reads out all of the responses. That player then also chooses the funniest answer. If the answer was yours, then you get the point.
This four to eight player card game is actually meant to be “remixed” as stated in the rules and they provide lots of fun ideas.
Uno is a classic from my childhood. This two to ten player game is similar to that of crazy eights. The deck consists of four different colored cards of 1 through 9, Wild cards, Skip, Draw Two, and Reverse cards.
Cards are dealt at the beginning of each hand and the remaining cards are placed in the middle with a card flipped over at its side as the discard pile. The first player must match the color, number, or symbol of the card that was flipped over and the round continues just as that. You can play multiple cards should you have more of the same number. For example, if the color that is in the discard pile is blue and you have a blue nine and other colors of that nine, you can play all of them with the blue one being the first one down. This is how you get rid of a lot of cards.
If you cannot play any cards, then you need to pick up a card which signals the end of your turn. Wild cards can be played at any time. Do not forget to call out “Uno” when you have the last card in your hand or else you will need to draw two more cards.
Once a player is out, cards held by other players are counted as their face value with wild cards being counted as twenty points for the player who won. First player to reach 500 points wins.
Pit is one of my favorite card games of all time. This three to seven player game is a game of commodities where you try to collect all of the same commodity to win a round. There are eight commodities that have different point values such as: Wheat, Coffee, and Oil among others. In the deck are also two special cards: the Bear and the Bull.
At the beginning of each round the cards are all dealt out. You then look at your hand and decide which commodity you are going to trade. Everything else you want to get rid of you are going to try to trade.
Then, the chaos begins. This is the best part of Pit. There is no turn. When the round begins you try to trade the commodities with the cards face down and yelling out the amount of cards you want to trade. If somebody wants to trade with you and has the same amount of cards they want to trade, you can swap with them.
Once you trade, you look at what cards you received in return and repeat as you try to collect the commodities you want. Once you have collected all nine of the commodity you chose, you win the round by slapping the pit in the middle. Last one to slap the pit in the middle loses points.
Also, the Bull card counts as a wild card so you likely do not ever want to trade that away. The Bear on the other hand is the one card you want to get rid of because if you are stuck with it at the end of the round you will lose points. So if you trade away the Bear, make sure you are tracking who that person is trading with so you can track who has the Bear.
These are our favorite travel card games. Card games that you can slip into your backpack and not worry about it taking up excessive room. Card games that will provide you and your travel mates loads of fun times at the end of a night out, waiting for a flight, or on a long train ride.
What card games are you playing? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
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