5 Card Games You Must Play With Your Poker Buddies

You’re probably in that position right now. You’ve got a group of friends that regularly get together for a round of Hold ‘Em. Or maybe it’s Bridge. Or even Canasta. But what you really want to play is one of the newer hobby games that are collecting dust on your shelf.

We’ve covered quite a few card games over the years and think we’ve got a good bead on some titles that will help transition your friends away from a standard 52-card deck and into the wonderful world of themed card games. Here are five that will fit the bill just nicely (in no particular order):


If you like Hearts and Poker, you will love playing Nevermore by Smirk & Dagger Games. It takes the best of both and combines them into one 45 minute game! - SahmReviews.com

When we first received our copy of Nevermore by Smirk & Dagger Games, we were told it was a cross between Hearts and Pass-the-Crap Poker. That description was dead-on. Your poker friends will be able to utilize some of their strategies when they play Nevermore. Just keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not hiding a raven up their sleeve! Read more about Nevermore here.

Why First?

If you're the type that never seems to win at board games, then Why First? by AEG is exactly the game for you. You win by coming in second place! - SahmReviews.com

This is the one game on our list that is both a card and a board game. We all have that friend that no matter how hard he tries he just cannot win a hand to save his life. Why First? by AEG has the solution – second place wins! At first the premise sounds silly, but once you play just one round, you’ll understand why this game has been so popular. See our full write-up here.

10 Down

10 Down by CSE Games adds a new twist to the classic trick-taking card game genre. Find out what they've done that no one else has! - SahmReviews.com

One of our most recent card game previews, 10 Down became an immediate addition to our collection for its unique trick-taking mechanic. In most card games you start over once someone goes out or completes a hand. Not so in 10 Down by CSE Games, that player starts a new hand while everyone else continues working on their previous hands! How does this work? Find out more here.

Skull King

These three card games by Grandpa Beck's Games proves that they know what they're doing. Every single one is well worth the price! - SahmReviews.com

Grandpa Beck’s Games isn’t a household name, but with titles like Skull King, they’re sure on their way. With rules very similar to Hearts or Spades, getting your card buddies to convert to this multi-round game won’t be a chore at all. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them checking out their three other card game titles! See why we liked Skull King here.

Lost Cities

We may not play our Thrift Treasures right away, but we always end up getting them to the table. Lost Cities was one we wish we hadn't waited so long! - SahmReviews.com

We may have found Lost Cities at a thrift store, but that is someone else’s loss. This Rio Grande Games classic is a staple in many game collections and is probably the best 2-player card game we’ve highlighted to date. Each of you are working to create ascending piles of numbered cards in five different suits and applying multipliers at the right time. You have to see this game (here)!

Before you know it, that Hoyle deck will begin gathering dust and you’ll be buying new games as soon as they are released! I warn you, if you do take our advice, your friends will hate (and love) you for it. Their wallets, not so much.

16 thoughts on “5 Card Games You Must Play With Your Poker Buddies

  1. I’ve heard great things about Lost Cities and Nevermore is a blast. Will have to check out the others.

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