688 The Elements Of A Card

A modern deck of cards is defined by the elements on the cards that are in common with or different from other cards. There are 3 pieces of information that are used to group the cards:

  • the suit of the card (4 suits, typically)
  • the color of the card (black or red in modern decks) which is partially tied to the suits, since black cards can only ever be “spades” or “clubs” while red cards can only ever be “hearts” or “diamonds”
  • the number/face on the card, of which there is 4 of each in a deck

The balance between these 3 major elements is key to what has made a standard deck of cards so versatile and timeless. A game can (but isn’t forced to) use all 3, but it can also use only 2 or 1 of the elements. The card game War is a good example of something that uses only 1 element for its gameplay, the card’s value. Conversely, Solitaire is a ubiquitous example of a game that uses suits/colors/numbers together for its gameplay.

This is all to say that there are likely dozens of potential combinations of ways to group a classic deck of cards. There are other sub-groups that can be considered:

  • non-face cards and face cards (which would include the King, Queen, and Jack)
  • the 4 aces
  • face cards plus Aces (often these are grouped together, likely because of the Ace’s unfitting nature)
  • non-face cards plus Aces
  • the 2 jokers
  • etc…

[ Today I Was Playing: Dishonored: Definitive Edition ]

November 19, 2016

#card-game, #game-mechanic-system, #game-opinion