Classic card games and fantasy card worlds on your Android phone? Yes, please!
For some, card games are the ultimate way to relax. Killing time on your morning commute or unwinding at the end of your day playing cards can now all happen on your phone, which is fantastic. You can play solo or face opponents in virtual game rooms anytime, day or night, in casino-style games or fantasy card games of every kind.
We’ve collected the best of both worlds with our rundown of the best card games for Android.
Gin Rummy Plus
Developed by Zynga, Gin Rummy Plus lets you play live against others from all over the world or invite your friends to play at your table. It features progressive jackpots and allows you to play at various skill levels; why not hop back onto a lower-level table to hone your skills before taking on a real card shark?
There’s no need for in-app purchases in order to get more coins or progress through different games (but they’re offered if you want). Every coin earned comes right from your own skill progression. The real-time leaderboards keep things competitive and give you a heads-up when you’re about to join a table of experts.
Sometimes you just want to play high stakes like you’re in Las Vegas but not drop all that money. There’s plenty of opportunities to improve your game, whether you’re an old pro or brand new to the table. The live games against real players will teach you new strategies every time. You can opt to play live, or explore other tables to get an eye on the action.
If you play your best and crack the weekly top 10 leaderboard, you’ll be eligible for fun in-app prizes! You also earn in-app Diamonds every time you play. Alternatively, you can opt to purchase them from the in-app store, but no purchase is necessary.
PokerStars Poker: Texas Holdem
You’ve seen the commercials for PokerStars, and it actually lives up to the hype, which isn’t always the case for such an advertised app. The poker tables are suitable for all levels, and the app features a built-in support site and forums so you can get tips and tricks from the experts. Play in tournaments or quick Sit and Go games when you have limited time. If poker is a new game for you, the app will be your teacher, and no real money will be on the line.
It’s a free download that offers in-app purchases if you want to play more competitively. You can select bundles of chips at various price points, or earn chips as you play and improve at the tables.
Cribbage With Grandpas
Cribbage is one of those timeless card games that has been passed down from generation to generation, and that is reflected perfectly in Cribbage With Grandpas. It’s a beautifully designed game which is unlike any other on the list because you actually get to create and customize your opponent.
Not only are you able fine-tune the look of your grandpa — perhaps you’ll model yours after your own family’s patriarch — but you’re also able to tweak their skill level and personality. Cribbage is a very social game, so you’ll be on the receiving end of some light-hearted ribbing as you play. If you’re new to cribbage, this is a great introduction that lets you practice strategies and play as many games as you’d like. There’s no multiplayer, but that’s what the physical card game is for! This is a paid app so it might be a hard sell to someone who’s never played cribbage before, but there’s a fine reason why this game is so popular.
Euchre is a simple game to learn and it’s played in quick rounds, called tricks. Four players play in teams of two, and the goal of the game is to play your highest cards one at a time to win all the cards on the table. You and your partner earn points by strategizing which cards are best to play and when to lay down your Trump cards.
A great feature in Euchre Free is the ability to choose who you partner with and who you play against. There are levels that range from beginner to expert, so you’ll be well-matched at your table of choice. You can customize your backgrounds or use your own photos, which enhances the simple and smooth game interface. There are also hints and help available, as well as stats for every player at your table.
The Elders Scrolls: Legends — Heroes of Skyrim
At first glance, The Elders Scrolls: Legends looks to be following the steps of Blizzard and its wildly popular card-battling game Hearthstone — and that’s great news. Hearthstone blew up fast, continually extending the already expansive universe of Warcraft while building up a fanbase of millions of players.
Bethesda is clearly looking to go after that Hearthstone market with The Elders Scroll: Legends and they’ve come out of the gate strong. Legends is a really polished game that recently launched on Android. Having got into playing Hearthstone way late into the game’s lifecycle, I enjoyed playing it but always felt like I’d never catch up with the best players who had been playing for years. If you’ve felt the same way, too, now’s the time to get in on Legends at the ground floor.
Rather than being a Hearthstone clone, Legends does introduce some new mechanics — most notably the inclusion of lanes. It’s a seemingly small change that really adds a whole layer of added strategy to how you play your cards.
TES: Legends gives you a few ways to play. Firstly, there’s the story mode that initially teaches you the ropes and lets you earn new Legend cards, decks, and packs; draft mode lets you build a deck and take on computer opponents. If you think you’re ready, test your decks against your friends or challenge online opponents in ranked battles. See you in the Arena!
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Hearthstone is a card-based strategy game set in a fantasy world. Play cards to cast a spell and summon your minions as you fight to win battles. Rather than go through a tutorial, you’re thrown right into introductory missions that teach you the ropes as you play. Additionally, before playing against other live players in the battle arena, you can engage in practice matches against computer-controlled heroes.
Your cards and points can be transferred from your phone to your tablet or computer, since your cards and awards are linked to your Battle.net account and will travel with you. The in-app purchases unlock new battles and give you access to rare, coveted cards.
The new offering from Magic is a build on Magic: The Gathering, in which you hunt mystical creatures across the Multiverse and earn cards you will use later to win battles. It’s a strategy-based trading card game with the goal of creating the ultimate deck.
You can buy booster packs via in-app purchases if you don’t want to wait to earn the big cards. You’ll have the option to play against friends or strangers to test the strength and ingenuity of your deck, so make sure you’ve stacked it well. It all might sound a bit complicated if you never played the traditional Magic card game, but the introductory tutorial lays out all the rules and goals quite well for beginners.
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
Play in the world of Vigil, besieged by ancient monsters banished long ago and eager to return to terrorize your home. Build your arsenal of cards by earning Heroes and defeating Monster cards in every battle.
The game has an intricate backstory of characters and origins; you’ll learn to manipulate the board with the help of The Enlightened and defeat your enemies with the knowledge of The Void. Your in-app purchases can be complex sets of cards or individual cards of high game value that are tough to earn.
Reigns: Her Majesty
Reigns has you play the monarch of your royal lands, tasked with making decisions that affect four aspects of the kingdom: the church, the people, the army, and the royal wealth. Your goal is to keep all four in balance — if any meter fills to the max or is entirely depleted your reign is over… and a new reign begins!
The sequel plays nearly identically to the first game, except this time you play as the Queen instead of the King, complete with new characters to interact with and multiple branching storylines to discover. The gameplay is as easy as swiping left or right on cards and if it’s anything like the first game there’s a ton of great easter eggs to find along the way!
There’s also a Game of Thrones-themed version (which I haven’t checked out because I’m not a fan of the series) that seems like a good fit given the show’s themes of betrayal and murder.
Card Crawl features solitaire-style gameplay served to you in four different game modes. Typical games last two to three minutes, so they’re perfect for commutes or quickly passing some time when you’re stuck standing in line.
As you play, you unlock ability cards and clear out dungeons to build your decks. You can check your progress against other players through an integrated leader board within Google Play. Try Card Crawl for free, and once you’re hooked, you can support the developers via an in-app purchase.
Exploding Kittens plays like Russian Roulette: players draw cards until some unfortunate soul draws an Exploding Kitten, which ends their game. You’ll play in groups of two to five people, and you can choose to play against your friends or strangers.
It’s a deceivingly simple game and you need a solid strategy to stay alive. Hilarious cards like Nothing but cat butt keep you laughing while you try desperately not to be killed right out of the game.
Show your cards!
Got a favorite card game that you’re hooked on? Shout it out in the comments below!
Updated January 2019: Revamped our list and added the Reigns franchise to our list!
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