How Americans feel about 30 card games

Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
June 08, 2023, 1:12 AM GMT+0

Card games have a rich and varied history that spans several centuries. New polling by YouGov finds that they remain an activity of interest to large shares of Americans today: Four in 10 say they play card games either online or in-person very or somewhat often. Most people say they "love" (20%) or "like" (56%) card games, while far fewer say they "dislike" (11%) or "hate" them (5%).

Which card games are Americans most likely to have played before? To come up with a comprehensive list, we first conducted a poll in which we asked Americans to tell us their favorite card games in their own words. Responses to this open-ended question, along with information from other relevant sources, were used to generate a list of 30 card games — all of which involve the use of a standard 52-card deck.

Solitaire (83%) and Go Fish (79%) top the list of card games that Americans are most likely to have played before. Other games ever played by at least half of Americans are Blackjack (70% have played), Old Maid (66%), War (62%), Poker (60%), Hearts (46%), Crazy Eights (56%), Gin Rummy (52%), and Spades (50%).

There were also some regional differences in the likelihood that Americans had played specific card games before:

  • Cribbage is most popular among people living in the West (33% have played vs. 20% of Americans overall)
  • Texas Hold'em is most popular among people living in the Northeast (56% vs. 41% of Americans overall)
  • Euchre is most popular among people living in the Midwest (37% vs. 19% of Americans overall)

To what extent do Americans enjoy the card games they've played before? Among the 22 games played by at least 100 respondents in our survey, the ones that stand out as the most beloved — meaning the largest share say they "love it" — are Spit (also known as Speed), Pinochle, Solitaire, and Bullsh*t. Bridge is the most controversial game, with 22% of people who have played it saying they dislike or hate it.

— Linley Sanders contributed to this article

See the results for this YouGov poll

Methodology: This poll was conducted online on May 10 - 12, 2023 among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to March 15, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 28% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 4%.

Image: Adobe Stock (Paul)

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