Card game

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A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary things with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games (such as poker). Some games have formally standardized rules, while rules for others can vary by region, culture, and person.



A card game is played with a deck of playing cards intended for that game that are identical in size and shape. Each card has two sides, the face and the back. The backs of the cards in a deck are indistinguishable (except for those games employing the non-standard cards commonly accompanying a deck of cards, such as a calendar card in "Tek 4"), preventing any player who cannot see the card's face from knowing its value. The faces of the cards in a deck may all be unique, or may include duplicates, depending on the game. In either case, any card is readily identifiable by its face. The set of cards that make up the deck are known to all of the players using that deck.

The form and composition of European-style playing card decks have evolved over more than 600 years, and a variety of cultural decks have resulted. The deck most often seen in English-speaking cultures, and common in other countries where the deck has been introduced, is the French deck with English styling. This deck contains 52 unique cards in the four French suits (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs) and thirteen ranks running from two (deuce) to ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. Commercial poker decks commonly include two or four Jokers, which are used in some games as special cards (the role of the Joker varies by game and region).

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