These three card games have entertained families for generations: Spit (also known as Speed or Slam), Slapjack and Authors. Spit is a very fast-paced game that can result in damage to the cards -- so don't use your best deck; Slapjack is an often loud, raucous game that works well with children from about age 5 and up; and Authors can fairly be described as a slightly advanced version of Go Fish.
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I'm regularly asked by reporters why board games and card games remain popular despite the availability of more modern entertainment options, especially video games. My answer is that video games (many of which I also enjoy) will never replace board games because the two experiences are so different. I then go on to explain that there has never been a better time to be a fan of board games and card games, because so many designers and publishers are producing excellent and creative games.
So that's my answer. But what do you say? Why do you still play board games and card games? Share your thoughts, and tell us about a few of your favorite games.
Dexterity games are tough with kids. They like the chunky bits and the whole "stack stuff and watch it fall over" aspect -- but younger kids just do not have the proper fine motor skills to compete with adults successfully. But Mark Jackson says that Gulo Gulo is an exception to that rule. This is a dexterity game in which the smaller the hand, the better the player.
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Image courtesy of Rio Grande Games
Some board games not only require you to implement a good strategy, they require you to negotiate with the very opponents you're trying to defeat. Here are my picks for the top 10 negotiation games, one of my favorite game genres.
Image courtesy of Avalon Hill / Hasbro.
Game collections are wonderful things, full of great memories and future good times. I know people who love playing board games and card games who own thousands of games, and others who love playing just as much but own fewer than a dozen games. No matter what the size of your collection is, we'd love to hear about it. Why not take a couple of minutes to tell us about your game collection?
Chicken Cha Cha Cha is an excellent game in many ways -- the simple, egaging gameplay that allows children to compete evenly with adults; the chunky, fun-to-hold wooden pieces; and the ability to easily make the game shorter or longer. In fact, Mark Jackson says that this is one of the best memory games available. Here is his full review of Chicken Cha Cha Cha.
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Image courtesy of Rio Grande Games
To improve your skill as a Monopoly player, it is crucial that you learn which properties are most often landed on, because that makes those squares both more important to own and more dangerous if an opponent owns them. Here's a look at the most visited properties in the board game Monopoly.
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Bulls and Cows, a public domain code-breaking deduction game, was almost certainly the inspiration for Mastermind, designed by Mordecai Meirowitz and published by Parker Brothers in the early 1970s. Here are the complete rules for Bulls and Cows, a two-player game which can be played with just a piece of paper and a pencil for each player.
Mah Jongg, also known as Mahjong, originated in China -- although its exact history is somewhat shrouded in mystery. A simplified version of the game first gained popularity in the United States in the 1920s, but by 1937 the National Mah Jongg League had formed and the rules were standardized. If you're interested in learning this great game, Seth Brown explains how to play Mah Jongg.
The card game Pyramid Solitaire has simple rules and takes just a few minutes to play each hand. So it's no surprise that it's a popular way to pass some time. Here are the complete rules for Pyramid Solitaire.
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