Best Card Games To Challenge Strategic Thinkers

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A compass arrow pointing to the word “strategy.”
BetMGM Jun 19, 2024, 4:46 PM

Card games come in all shapes, sizes and formats. From the downright easy to the mildly challenging and the most complicated card games, there’s something for everyone. The evolution of the online space has also resulted in a multitude of new games and different varieties of the old classics.

Casino table games are some of the most popular card games on the market and if you’re after something challenging, then you’re in luck because they’re also some of the best strategy card games too. Take a look at some of the top online casino games that double as challenging card games and more.

Poker

You don’t get much better than poker when it comes to strategic card games. The quintessential game of bluff and skill has captivated players and audiences for hundreds of years. Unlike many other casino games, poker doesn’t simply rely on luck; strategy plays a huge role in who wins the game most of the time. 

There are four key aspects of poker strategy:

Observation

Observation gives you the information that you need to inform your decisions in the game. Watching each opponent closely helps you to figure out what they might be holding and what actions you need to take. It’ll also give you insight into their playing style, making it easier to predict their plays. Of course, if you’re playing in person, you can also learn their tells and adjust your poker strategy accordingly.

Memory

Observation skills won’t serve you well if you can’t remember what you’ve observed. You need to have a good memory not just to remember what happened in the previous round, but you want to recall everything from the hands before that too. Remembering players tells in order to calculate whether they are bluffing is important too.

Mathematical strategy

Most of the decisions you make when you play poker online or live will be influenced by a mathematical calculation. Although you don’t need to be a mathematician, basic math is essential to work out your chances of winning and how much you should bet in certain situations. You’ll need to be able to make relatively quick calculations during the game while you’re under pressure.

Psychological strategy

Psychology is an essential part of any poker strategy. You don’t need to read minds, but you should be able to interpret your opponent’s body language to get an idea of what they’re thinking and why they’re acting the way they are. You also need to be aware of your own tells and try to avoid projecting them for opponents to read.

Blackjack

Although blackjack undoubtedly relies on luck more than poker does, there’s still a large element of skill involved to win the game. In fact, blackjack relies heavily on strategy — just like many brain card games. There’s a vast array of blackjack strategies out there, but the best ones come with a strategy chart.

This means that players should first play blackjack with a strategy chart in front of them, like on their desks or taped to a wall when they are playing online. This offers an opportunity for players to learn the strategy chart and memorize it for the times when they won’t have the chart with them. 

These blackjack strategy charts map out the different mathematical chances of winning for the different scenarios that you might come up against in a blackjack game. They help players to be strategic about whether they hit, stand, double down, split pairs or surrender on their hand.

There are entire books devoted to improving strategic thinking, which can have a hugely positive impact on your blackjack game when paired with a memorized strategy chart.

Bridge

Bridge gets a bad rap for being an old-people-only game. The truth is, though, that it’s one of the best card games strategy-wise and it’s mainly played by older folk as they have the time to learn about its complexities. 

To be able to play bridge well, players must have excellent communication skills and the ability to think analytically, as well as precisely bid for tricks. Far from being a simple retirement favorite, bridge is a game with a complex system that involves trumps, partnerships and suits. Strategy is key to winning a bridge game as it takes skilled planning and execution to succeed, as well as the ability to anticipate the actions of partners, opponents and allies.

Practice Your Strategy With BetMGM

At BetMGM, there’s a whole blog filled with quick and easy gambling strategy tips, as well as game reviews, informative pieces and more. It’s the perfect place to practice your gambling strategy for a number of different online casino games. 

Register with BetMGM and play your favorite casino games whenever and wherever you choose.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.