Card Games For Seniors

Card playing is a fun hobby at any age, but it’s especially beneficial for older adults. Studies show that playing cards can improve mental health and stimulate brain activity. Here’s a more detailed look at some of the benefits of card playing:

  • Combats feelings of depression. Most card games are played in a group or with at least one other person. Some even require players to partner up. Card playing is a social activity that encourages conversation and friendship and can help stave off feelings of isolation.
  • Reduces stress. Successful card playing requires a fair amount of attention and encourages participants to refocus on the game and away from other potentially stressful thoughts. Card playing can also be a relaxing activity when enjoyed with a group of friends.
  • Improves memory and cognition. Many card games require memorization or short-term recall, which can be helpful for exercising the brain and keeping memory sharp. Engaging in memory-oriented leisure activities over a sustained period of time can even reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  • Sharpens logical thinking. Most card games rely on math skills and strategy. Regularly playing cards can be beneficial for mental agility.

Popular Card Games
Ready to get your deck out and get started? Here are some popular card games to enjoy with friends and some basic rules to follow. 

  • Rummy. Rummy is one of the most popular games in existence with roots in the early 19th century. It requires two-four players and there are a number of different variations. But in any variation of the game, the goal is to create “melds” which consists of sets (three or four of a kind of the same rank) or runs (three or more cards in sequence) of the same suit. If a player discards a card, making a run in the discard pile, it may not be taken up without taking all cards below the top card. Learn more about Rummy here.
  • Pinochle. Pinochle is a very popular game that’s been around for decades. It has many variations and is great for two-four players. Pinochle utilizes a special 48-card deck of cards. The goal of the game is to score the largest number of points by creating melds and by trick-taking. A Pinochle deck contains Ace (high), 10, King, Queen, Jack and 9 (low) in each of the four suits, with two of each card. Learn how to play Pinochle here.
  • Big Two. Big Two, also known as Deuces, is a fun card game that has origins in China. It’s popular in Southeast and Eastern Asia but is currently experiencing a surge in popularity in the United States. Big Two is similar to other “shedding” games such as Crazy Eights, as the goal is to “shed” or get rid of as many cards as possible. In this game, two-four players are dealt all of the cards and the first person to get rid of all of their cards is the winner. Learn how to play Big Two here.
  • Solitaire. Solitaire has roots that date back from the late 17th century. Solitaire is a unique card game because it can be played either alone or with a partner utilizing a special point system to determine a winner. Solitaire is played with a standard 52-card deck, and this game has a number of different variations. Learn how to play Solitaire here.

Looking for more card game ideas? Here is a popular card game resource that includes an index of hundreds of card games. Pick a game that’s new to you and introduce it to friends at your next get-together. At Daylesford Crossing we believe that being part of an active and well-connected community is a critical component of aging well. Schedule a tour today to learn more about our various lifestyle and wellness programs.