In the 21st century, there are many ways that we can choose to spend our free time. As well as many of the more traditional activities, such as board games, playing a musical instrument and reading, technological advancements create many choices. A mobile phone, a TV, a games console and a computer are enough to keep you occupied for hours, if not days. But what if there’s a power shortage, you’re on a long journey or find yourself miles away from civilization with none of these modern amenities? A deck of cards could help to keep you occupied in more ways than you think.
Build a House of Cards
Nonmetaphorically, and with enough practice, you could build a house of cards. It requires a lot of patience and often necessitates you to start from scratch as your house will likely collapse frequently, but it can feel rewarding as you build higher than before.
Go Fish can be an excellent game as it provides an opportunity to learn numbers and patterns. For adults, it may get a little tiresome after a while, but it can be fun to play in the interim before deciding on a different game. The good thing about Go Fish is that it is a simple game with few rules, so it is simple to pick up, even for those who haven’t played it before.
Poker is a game that is hundreds of years old, with some tracing its origins back to ancient China. But just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s still not fun to play, and as long as you understand the hierarchy of the different hands, then you can learn strategies and other techniques along the way. Like many other card games, you can play it in groups of varying sizes and is an excellent way to bond with friends.
If you’re feeling some withdrawal symptoms from not using your computer for a while, then playing solitaire may bring you some comfort. Microsoft turned it into a household name by including the game in every version of its operating system since the 1989 release of Windows 3.0, but the game itself has existed since the 1700s. If you find yourself alone, as well as without any technology, solitaire is an excellent way to keep yourself entertained. If you’re ever board, it’s a great time to play solitaire.
If you like solitaire, there are a variety of variations you can play. In fact, classic solitaire is a version called Klondike Solitaire. The most popular variation is spider solitaire, which is played with 104 cards that you have to sequence in eight foundation piles. Solitaired.com has a version where you can see how your score compares to others on a leaderboard.
FreeCell is another popular variation where you can move cards out of the tableau into open cells (freecells), to help you sequence cards. To play online and avoid the manual setup of actual playing cards, try Solitaire Bliss, where they also have other variations of FreeCell like Bakers Game and Eight Off.
Learn Some Magic Tricks
You don’t need to sign up to the Magic Circle to do a few magic tricks with a deck of cards. And there may be one or two that you know already, although you may have to learn some from scratch, too. Just do some research ahead of time for this one, but all you need for your magic routine is a deck of cards and perhaps a glamorous assistant.
No matter who you are or what you enjoy, there is something exciting to do with a deck of cards. Whether it’s an engineering project, a game to play with others or working a little magic, 52 cards are all you need to keep you occupied for hours.