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15 Reasons Why Card Games Trump Board Games: A Modern Card Game Enthusiast's Perspective

15 Reasons Why Card Games Trump Board Games: A Modern Card Game Enthusiast's Perspective

As a seasoned card game enthusiast, I've had my fair share of epic battles on both the card and board game fronts. While board games have their charm, there's no denying that card games hold a special place in my heart.

Both, card games and board games are an amazing way to spend your free time with friends and family, so this article is not about why board games are worse. But rather it is a testament to the advantages of (most) card games.

So, in this blog post, I'll share 15 compelling reasons why card games, in my opinion, are superior to board games, with unique and unheard suggestions that will leave you itching to shuffle those decks.

Are Card Games and Board Games the Same?

Ah, the classic debate - are board games and card games one and the same? As a seasoned enthusiast who has spent countless hours indulging in both, I can confidently tell you that while they share many similarities, they are distinctly different beasts.

At a glance, both board games and card games fall under the umbrella of tabletop gaming, where players gather around a table for some good old-fashioned fun. However, the devil is in the details, and it's those very details that set them apart.

Generally speaking, board games come with elaborate setups and immersive storytelling, while card games offer simplicity that is compensated with strategic depth. Both create social connections, but their gameplay and mechanics set them apart.

You should embrace the best of both worlds and let the games unite you in fun, but for now - let's have a look at the battle of giants; or - what makes card games better than board games!

illustration of two warriors fighting with cards

Why are Card Games Better Than Board Games?

In this article, I'll delve into the reasons why, in my humble opinion, great card games reign supreme in the realm of tabletop gaming.

Some advantages are more objective; others - bit more subjective, but all of them are in the form of my opinion, so feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below! 

Portability and Convenience

Most card games comes in the form of a small box, or medium size box, so card games' first major advantage over board games lies in their portability and convenience.

Whether you're heading out on a vacation, going camping, or simply want to entertain friends during lunch breaks, card games fit effortlessly into your pocket or a small bag. Unlike board games that demand ample space and setup, card games allow you to dive straight into the fun, no matter where you are.

Travel-Friendly Expansions

While some board game expansions can be bulky and cumbersome, card game expansions typically come in compact packages.

This makes them ideal for travelers who want to enhance their gaming experience on the go. With expansions, you can inject fresh content and mechanics into your favorite card games, keeping the fun alive on your adventures.

Low Cost

Another alluring aspect of card games is their affordability. Many, especially modern, board games come with many intricate details, like, specific board(-s), several card sets, and accessories, so naturally it results in a hefty price tag.

In contrast, standard deck of cards come in a small box and include only cards with maybe some cutouts and dice, so they are incredibly cost-effective and can entertain you and your friends for countless hours without breaking the bank. The average card game will be cheaper than 30 USD, sometimes even significantly cheaper than that.

Related: Top board games under $20.

Therefore, while many board games come with hefty price tags due to their intricate components and designs, card games provide a more budget-friendly gaming experience.

Unlimited Variety

The diverse world of card games offers an unlimited variety that board games struggle to match.

From classic favorites like Uno, Go Fish, and Rummy to modern sensations like Exploding Kittens, Spheres of Life, Cards Against Humanity, and Sushi Go!, there's a card game for every taste and occasion.

Each game comes with its unique mechanics and challenges, ensuring that boredom is a foreign concept in the realm of card gaming.

Strategic Depth in Simplicity

One might assume that board games boast deeper strategies due to their elaborate setups, but card games prove that simplicity does not equate to shallowness.

The elegant simplicity of card games masks layers of strategic depth, where players must carefully manage their hands, anticipate opponents' moves, and deploy their cards with precision. Such tactical intricacies make card games intellectually stimulating and incredibly rewarding to master.

Quick Learning Curve

Card games are renowned for their accessibility and a quick learning curve, making them perfect for introducing new players to the world of tabletop gaming.

Of course, there are simple board games and difficult card games, but the average card game will be much easier to learn as the average board game. 

The rules of most card games are straightforward and easy to grasp, allowing players to jump right into the action within minutes. The simplicity doesn't undermine the enjoyment; instead, it ensures that everyone can join in the fun, irrespective of their gaming experience.

So, card games will be better for those situations where you simply want to try something new without the hassle of spending hours of learning the rules.

Minimal Setup Time

Setting up a board game can sometimes feel like a chore, requiring a considerable amount of time and effort. On the other hand, card games can be arranged within seconds, allowing players to jump right into the action.

The reduced setup time means more gaming and less waiting around, making card games perfect for impromptu gatherings.

Enhanced Social Interaction

We have established that card games for the most part have simpler setup and simpler rules, therefore it usually is compensated with rules that require social interactions. So, card games inherently foster social interaction among players.

As you gather around a table, you share laughter, camaraderie, and memorable moments. The close proximity during gameplay also allows for friendly banter, playful taunts, and a chance to showcase your best poker face. These moments of connection create lasting memories and strengthen the bonds between players.

Adaptability and Customization

Not all card games allows this, but many card games offer unparalleled adaptability and customization options, allowing players to create their own rules and variations. The most versatile being the good old playing cards.

This flexibility encourages creativity and personalization, as you can introduce house rules or invent entirely new game modes. Such adaptability ensures that no two card game sessions are ever the same, keeping the experience fresh and exciting.

Perfect for Any Group Size

One of the standout advantages of card games is their ability to cater to any group size. Due to the nature of board games, they usually come with rules limiting the player count. 

But most card games can be played with as few as two players or as many as a dozen or more. This adaptability makes card games ideal for intimate gatherings or large parties alike.

Unique Card Collectibles

This leans towards a niche realm, but some card games, particularly trading card games (TCGs) and collectible card games (CCGs), offer an extra layer of enjoyment through card collectibles.

The thrill of collecting rare cards, building custom decks, and engaging in epic duels with friends creates an addictive and immersive experience. These collectible elements turn card games into a journey of discovery and conquest.

cartoon illustration of a man standing victoriously with playing cards flying around him

Subjective Reasons Why You Should Choose Card Games over Board Games

The previous reasons and arguments favoring card games over board games were for the most part objective (if we look at the average card and board games. But the few following points lean toward the more subjective side.

So, let's find out my truly personal reasons why I think card games trump board games.

More Engaging Gameplay

I love playing either card and board game, but in my experience, card games provide a more fluid and fast paced gameplay.

Of course there are superb games at both sides, but for he most part, board games provide a mental challenge when learning their rules, even when playing the game. 

But card games provide an excellent pace of the playthrough, requiring players to continuously assess their hands, calculate probabilities, and strategize their next moves.

The combination of simpler base rules, strategic thinking and adaptability keeps players on their toes, improving the pace and fun of the game.

A Blend of Luck and Skill

Yes, there are card games that are severely leaning to luck, but many card games masterfully blend luck and skill, offering a dynamic and engaging gaming experience.

While luck determines the cards you draw, skill comes into play as you utilize your hand wisely and respond to opponents' moves. This balanced combination ensures that even newcomers can find success, while seasoned players can showcase their mastery.

Psychological Bluffing

Card games often involve elements of bluffing, deception, and reading opponents' tells.

This psychological aspect adds an exhilarating layer of excitement and unpredictability to gameplay. Successfully bluffing your way to victory or sniffing out your opponents' bluffs is a thrilling experience that tests your intuition and observation skills.

Time Flexibility

Card games offer the advantage of time flexibility, accommodating busy schedules and limited time frames.

Unlike some board games that demand hours to complete, card games can be tailored to fit shorter play sessions. Whether you have a few minutes to spare or an entire evening, card games ensure that you can enjoy a satisfying gaming experience within your available time.

an illustration of a man and woman playing cards, white background


While board games undoubtedly are fantastic and fun, card games offer an a combination of portability, variety, strategic depth, and social interaction.

From the low cost and adaptability to the psychological bluffing and mental stimulation, card games stand tall as the best choice for modern enthusiasts seeking a dynamic gaming experience.

So, the next time you're contemplating which game to bring to the table, let your heart and instincts lead you to the captivating world of card games. Shuffle those cards, deal them out, and let the games begin!

In the meantime, if you enjoy playing new, exciting card games, we can recommend checking out the Spheres of Life: Mythical Forest - a competitive card game for two to seven players set in a dark fantasy setting!

Related articles:

- 30+ Best Card Games to Play With Friends

- Brief History of playing cards and their impact on modern games

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