Cards and Hoyle

A Memory

I have always played card games, (well, as far back as I can remember that is).

Memories of playing card games, started with my grandma. I would go to her house to spend the night. At some point in the evening, she would bring out a standard deck of Bicycle brand playing cards.

Bicycle brand Standard playing cards

She would get paper, a pen and a card shuffling machine, (which as a kid I though was just cool).

Grandma would then put 2 cups of English tea on the table, (one for her and one for me), followed by a tin of Danish butter cookies.

At this point we settled in for a couple of hours, playing Rummy.

English Tea and Danish cookies, Grandma knew how to have a good time !

What a wonderful memory for a person to have. It’s my memory, (maybe it’s yours too). If you want to have fun and create a memory, play a game of cards with someone.

A Deck of Standard Playing Cards

Lots of people play cards. According to, the United States Playing Card Company (USPC) is the largest manufacturer of playing cards in the world. They sell more than 100 million decks of playing cards per year.

If you don’t already have a deck, you can purchase a standard deck of playing cards through Amazon.

The brand doesn’t have to be Bicycle, but I have found over time and use that they make a deck that lasts.

I love to save money by stocking up and quite often I find buying in quantity often saves me money. Here are two decks of standard Bicycle brand playing cards. I suggest you click on the link and be amazed by the savings buying in bulk brings you.

A standard deck of cards typically has 52 playing cards and a couple of joker cards, (jokers are for games that use wild cards). There are hundreds of different games that can be played with a standard deck of cards.

Special Decks and Special Boards for Playing Some Card Games


Unless you want to play the game Pinochle, do not buy a deck that says Pinochle on it.

A Pinochle deck can not be used to play most card games as it only has 48 cards. It has duplicates for each suit of the A, K, Q, J, 10 and 9. Also all cards with the numbers 2 – 8 are not in the deck. This deck is specifically used to play Pinochle.


Be aware that the game of Cribbage uses a special board for pegging points. It is used in conjunction with a standard deck of cards.

My board (seen below), has peg tracks enough for up to three players. At the bottom of the board is a section that helps players keep track of how many games each person has won. Not all boards have this handy section.

This board also has room inside to store my pegs and one or more decks of playing cards (the entire top slides down to reveal the storage area).

This is a my cribbage board with pegs and a standard deck of Bicycle brand playing cards.

The board I own is made of beautiful dark wood. It sits on one of my tables in my game room (right next to my chess set). The board itself was made of high quality materials. I’ve owned it for over 20 years. It should last me a lifetime.

If you lose one or more pegs, don’t throw out your board. You can click here to purchase a set of replacement pegs.

If you are looking for a gift for someone, a cribbage board makes a great gift. I’d advise you buy them a deck of standard playing cards to go with it though.

For ease on the eyes, a board will have color differences between the tracks. Here is a link to a beautiful cribbage board that has a game tally section at the bottom and has different colors to help a player see their game track more easily.

If you don’t already own a cribbage board, you might want to buy one. This link will take you to a nice cribbage board with a drawer to hold pegs and cards too. I especially love that this board has a separation through the use of color in the tracks, making pegging visually easier.

Here is another nice cribbage board. It too has a place to store your pegs and a place for a deck of cards. This might make a nice all in one gift, as according to the link in Amazon, it comes with pegs, a deck of cards and game instructions.

If you think you might like to learn how to play the game of cribbage (or if it has been a while and you need a refresher), when you are done reading this post, read my post “Games – Cribbage“.

Games You Can Learn and Play with a Standard Deck of Cards

If you’ve never played a game of cards, you can learn some simple games on your cell phone, table or computer. Many devices have simple card games already accessible to play for free. Often there are several versions of a game called Solitaire, (a game you can play by yourself).

If you want a myriad of card games to choose from, (and learn to play), you can get a book called Hoyle’s Encyclopedia of Card Games, by Walter B Gibson.

I bought this book on Amazon prime as a paperback. Some of these types of books are sold in hard copy and at the time of this writing, I found one offered in Kindle.

Some games detailed in this book, require special decks, (different than a standard deck), special boards and some games may require more than one deck and various counts of players.

In the back of this book is an Index/Glossary. This is very helpful as it lists where in the book you will find a specific game you want to read about. It has some definitions of game terms and it will tell you if the game is a version of Solitaire or Poker when applicable.

Lets say you have a friend who says what fun they have playing Klondike, (which is sited in this book as being the most popular of American Solitaires). You can turn to the back of the book and see which page it’s description of play begins on and that it is a game of Solitaire.

Within a games description, the book also defines game specific terminology. For example, when you look up Cribbage, it explains what “His Heels” is and how you peg points for it. It also defines what a “Crib” is, (which has nothing to do with small children, in this instance).

There are several people who have written a book like this. There is R.F, Foster, Richard L Frey, Albert H. Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith which was then Revised and Updated by Philip D. Morehead. There are likely other people who have written, and then revised this kind of book too. Games listed in the books vary greatly by count sometimes, as do the prices of the books themselves.

Don’t get stuck on, “I must find this book by this author”, because Hoyle rules are pretty much the same no matter who writes them. Find the book that fits you budget and / or liking.

I love owning books, but if you don’t want to own one, you can look up the rules of play for many games on one of the devices referenced above in this post.

Another thing you could do is check with your public library, to see if they have a book of Hoyle you can borrow.

Where to Begin

I’d recommend you start with the game called Rummy. Sit down with someone you enjoy being with, have some refreshments, some snacks and make a memory.

If you like, you can learn how to play rummy, from me. Click here to read my post about the game of “Rummy“.

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