Gambling is an activity where people wager money or something of material value on an event or an activity that has an uncertain outcome. There are a fairly large number of different kinds of gambling games, and they run the gamut, from something as simple as a bet on whether or not a favorite sports team will win, to the intricate rules and strategies employed in a game of mahjongg. People have enjoyed gambling for centuries, and today, establishments such as casinos and cardrooms capitalize on people’s love for gambling, providing them with a venue for their pastime.
Gambling card games are particularly popular. While there are card games that are played purely for fun, such as the children’s game, Go Fish, most card games were originally created for gambling purposes. This is because in most card games, betting is usually a distinct part of the gameplay sequence. Anyone who has watched a poker tournament or played online blackjack can attest to this. There are a lot of different kinds of decks of cards from different cultures, such as Tarot cards, which, while used for divination and other kinds of cultural practices, have their origins in the playing cards of the middle ages. Today, the card games played in casinos and cardrooms or poker rooms use European style playing cards that have 52 cards, four suits, and thirteen ranks per suit.
Mahjongg may technically count as a card game, but since it uses tiles instead of cards, this is often not the case. Most of the card games played in casinos and cardrooms fall under the “comparing games” category of card games. Poker, baccarat, and blackjack all count as comparing games, where the winner of the game is determined by the hand values of each player. “Comparing” games are also frequently called “showdown” games or “vying games,” since the players all vie for a “pot” or a collective bet, and there is usually a final round in these games where all of the players show their hands.
The most common exception to casino card games that do not count as comparing games is solitaire. Solitaire is an example of a “patience” game. This is so because it is designed in such a way that only one person can play the game at a time. The objective of solitaire is to construct a different card layout from a simpler layout called a “tableau,” out of all of the cards in the deck.