On this page you will find the most comprehensive catalog of Canadian card games, board games, and dice games, focusing on rules, variations, strategies and a historical overview of each. Our ever-growing and curated database includes 2023’s most popular games, as well as odd-ball, goofy, and social ice-breakers widely played in Canada.
We trust that you’ll discover our directory to be a valuable resource. And we extend our gratitude to Pagat.com, one of our primary sources for research.
Card & Board Games
Social (Drinking) Games
9-5-2 (Canadian Sergeant Major)
9-5-2 is the Canadian variation of Sergeant Major, a supremely popular trick-catching card game from Great Britain that is believed to have gotten its name by originating in the British Royal Air Force. Overseas, it earned the nickname 8-5-3, wherein each player (dependent upon position) must catch 8, 5 or 3 tricks. Here in Canada, it’s a bit more competitive, requiring the dealer to catch 9 tricks; hence the name 9-5-2. Fans of the game can play in local tournaments, or take their game play online for fun or real money.
9-5-2 Rules – Learn how to play 9-5-2 in our complete Canadian Sergeant Major rules guide.
9-5-2 Strategy – With no partners and no bidding on trump, this game requires an in-depth knowledge of the rules and countless hours of experience to master. Our strategy guide for 9-5-2 offers some great tips to help you along the way.
9-5-2 History – There isn’t too much known about the origins of 9-5-2, or how it managed to spread across the ocean to North America. Check out this portion of our 9-5-2 segment as we theorize the history of Sergeant Major.
9-5-2 Variations – If you already know how to play the immensely popular Canadian card game, you should have no trouble picking up on its variant 8-5-3 rules.
Asshole is a popular Canadian card game of insulting proportions! Among younger players, it’s often known by less obscene name, like Beggar, Bum, Scum or Scumbag. Play for fun, play to win, play for drinks – whatever you do, don’t be an asshole!
Asshole Rules – Learn how to play Asshole, best for 5+ players.
Asshole Variations – There’s more than one way to skin an asshole!
Asshole History – Despite its rather derogatory name, Asshole history dates back much further than you might think.
Bridge is perhaps the most well-constructed card game in the world. It’s extremely popular in North America, where Bridge clubs hold regular events and tournaments. Bridge rules are a bit more complex than other card games, but not difficult to learn with a bit of practice.
Bridge Rules – Learn how to play, score and win this complex but heavily favored card game in our two-part rules section.
Bridge History – Learn the origins of Bridge and how the game made its way to Canada.
Bridge Strategy – If you’re going to play Bridge, you might as well give yourself the best shot at winning!
Bridge Clubs – The most comprehensive list of active bridge clubs in every province of Canada.
If the name didn’t give it away, Canadian Salad is extremely popular in the Great White North. It’s an amalgamation of anti-trick-catching games all rolled into one, and played over six rounds. In each round, players have a new set of tasks, or rather, tricks/cards to avoid catching.
Canadian Salad Rules – Learn to play one of the most fascinating trick-catching games in Canada.
Canadian Salad History – Without to many hard core facts to go on, we explore the theoretical history of this unique compendium card game.
Canadian Salad Strategy – A list of solid Canadian Salad strategies and tactics the best players employ in tournaments and online games.
Canadian Salad Variations – A catalog of popular variants rules for the games.
Coup is a fascinating card game, shrouded in secrecy, demanding nerves of steel, and players with a thirst for power. Each player is dealt secret identities, utilizing deception to hide their own, and deduction to unveil those of their opponents.
Coup Rules – Learn how to play Canada’s favorite game of calculated deception!
Coup Strategy – Learn how best to coerce, deceive and assassinate you way to the top!
Coup w/ Standard Cards – Don’t have a Coup deck? No problem! It’s easy to play Coup with a standard deck of cards.
Coup Expansions & Alternate Editions – Can’t get enough Coup? Learn about all the latest expansion packs and alternate editions.
A clever combination of the title Crazy Eights, Creights (aka Crates) is one of the most unique and fast-paced-fun party games you’ll ever play. It’s a speed version of the classic children’s game, Crazy Eights, with a lot more rules to confuse and confound you—which is the whole point!
Creights Rules – Everything you need to know to start playing the crazy game of Cregiths.
Creights Variations – Learn few ways to mix things up and make the game even more interesting.
Creights Strategy – The whole point is to play super fast! These strategies are meant for those who can think even faster.
History of Creights – Who thought of this crazy-fast card game? Learn about its origins here.
Canada is the foremost location for Doubles Cribbage, or Team Cribbage (4 players w/ partners). It is by far the most popular card and board game in the Great White North. Developed by an English poet in the 17th century, this points-based game has clearly lasted the test of time. Tournaments are commonly played all across the country. Fans will find an abundance of online Cribbage games as well, where single matches and tournaments are played for fun or real money every day.
Cribbage Rules – Learn how to play Cribbage by Canadian Doubles Cribbage rules.
Cribbage Strategy – While experience is the foremost way to master Cribbage, these helpful tips will increase your skills along the way.
Cribbage History – Discover the ancestral origins of Cribbage, who invented the game, and what led him to do so in the early 1600’s.
DIY Cribbage – Learn how to build your own cribbage board, from simple concepts to elaborate designs.
Euchre is an insatiably entertaining, trick-catching card game. Designed for team-play with 4 participants, it’s popular in most regions of Canada, where local, provincial, and national tournaments take place on a regular basis. More recently, Canadian Euchre rules tournaments have become widely available in the online gaming space. Players can compete in single matches and tournament online, just for fun or for real money.
Euchre Rules – Learn how to play Euchre by Canadian rules.
Euchre Strategy – Increase your skills with some strategic advice on how to win Euchre.
Euchre History – Dating back to the 18th century, learn where Euchre originated, how it spread from Europe to Canada, and how it led to the rise of the ‘Joker‘.
Crazy Euchre Variations – A massive compilation of 170+ crazy ways to play Euchre!
No family gaming collection is complete without this classic dice game. What makes Farkle so fun is that it’s a risk management game. You can always keep rolling in hopes of a bigger score, but if your score doesn’t improve on the next roll, it’s all over!
Farkle Rules – More complicated than Yahtzee, and far more challenging, learn how to play Farkle with 2+ players.
Farkle Odds – Is it worth taking another roll? Develop better risk management skills by learning the probabilities of Farkle.
Farkle Strategy – Knowing when to hold em and roll em is the key to winning this ultimate dice game.
Forty-Fives (One Hundred Twenty)
Auction Forty-Fives (aka One Hundred Twenty) is a bidding version of the original Forty-Fives card game. It’s played all over Canada, but is especially popular among Nova Scotia’s Irish communities. All you need is a deck of cards and 4 or 6 players to partner up.
Forty-Fives Rules – Learn how to play this simple by fun trick catching game.
Forty-Fives Variants – Learn alternate variations of Auction Forty-Fives played in Canada.
Forty-Fives Strategies – Your partner is depending on you – don’t let them down!
Hearts is one of the world’s most well known card games. Even if you didn’t grow up playing it, you’ve surely heard of it. An immensely fun card game, Hearts rules are exactly opposite of most trick-catching games. The object is not to catch as many tricks as you can, but as few.
Hearts Rules – Learn how to play this favorite card game.
Heart Strategy – you know how to play Heart, but do you know how to win?
Hearts History – all about Learn the ancestral history of Hearts.
Hearts Variations – How many ways can there be to play this game? You’ll be surprised…
It’s not just a fun Spanish greeting! Hola is a popular Ukranian-Canadian card game played throughout western Canada. It can be played by 2 players head to head, or 4 players with partners using a single deck of cards, or add a second deck to play with 6 players, split into three teams of two.
Hola Rules – Learn how to play Hola with 1 or 2 decks.
Hola Variants – Learn more ways to play Hola in Canada.
Hola Strategy – Improve your game to win more often.
Kaiser is a popular Canadian trick-catching card game that’s enjoyed by countless players. In some communities, it’s known as Three-Spot or Les Rois. Wherever you play, or whatever you call it, it’s a fun way team up for a night of card gaming with friends or family.
Kaiser Rules – Grab a partner and shuffle up! Let’s learn to play Kaiser.
Kaiser Variants – Learn more unique ways to mix up your games.
Kaiser Strategy – Tips and tricks for beginner Kaiser players.
Kaiser History – The origins of Kaiser are shrouded in mystery… but who doesn’t love a good mystery?
King Pedro is a rather unique card game played in many countries all over the world—and known by about as many names. Here in Canada, we know it as “King Pedro”, although it can be played by two common sets of rules; the standard Canadian King Pedro game, and the Ukrainian-Canadian version.
Canadian King Pedro Rules – Learn the traditional Canadian rules of King Pedro.
Ukrainian King Pedro Rules – Learn the Ukrainian rules of King Pedro, popular in Ukrainian-Canadian communities of Canada.
More King Pedro Rules – Want more? Check out these variant rules of King Pedro,
King Pedro Strategy – Tips to become the King of King Pedro!
Literature (Canadian Fish)
Literature is, in essence, a fancy name for an adult version of the popular children’s card game, Go Fish; hence the common nickname, Canadian Fish. It’s also known by a few other names, such as Happy Families, Russian Fish, or simply Fish.
Literature Rules – Learn how to play Literature with partnerships of 3 on 3, or 4 on 4.
Literature Variants – There’s more than one way to bind a book!
Literature Strategy – A good skill set goes a long way at the Literature table!
Literature History – Follow along as we attempt to trace the roots of Literature back to their origins…
Mille originated right here and Montreal, Canada, spreading to Toronto in the 1990s and soon becoming one of the most popular 2-player Rummy Games this side of the 49th parallel. Bring your A-game and a few coins, because this is one card game that’s almost always played for money.
Mille Rules – Learn how to play Mille Rummy.
Mille Strategy – It’s not just how you play, but how well you play!
Mille for Money – Never go into a game empty handed. Learn the betting structure for Mille Rummy.
Mitaine (aka Mittens or Mitts) is a vastly popular French-Canadian card game. The object is to collect Mittens (pairs of equal cards), Gloves (trios of equal cards), and Socks (groups of four equal cards).
Mitaine Rules – The unofficial guide to Canadian Mitaine!
Mitaine Variants – Being tat there are no “official” rules to this game, you’ll find a plethora of common variations.
Mitaine Strategy – Learn how to “accessorize” your game with these tips, strategies and other considerations.
Qwixx is a dice game similar to Yahtzee, but reliant upon combining pairs of dice rather than large combinations. The object is to use the 6 dice provided to eliminate as many numbers (2-12) from the color-coded score card as possible. Sounds simple enough, but the rules of elimination complicate matters enough to make it a decently challenging, strategy-driven game.
Qwixx Rules – Learn how to play Qwixx with 2-5 players.
Qwixx Score Cards – Need more score cards? These printable Qwixx pads will do the trick.
Qwixx Scoring App – Who needs score cards? This convenient program does the hard work for you.
Rummy 500 is a very well known card game that’s extremely popular throughout Canada, the US, and beyond. Part of the Melding Family of card games, players strive to play (a.k.a. meld, or lay off) cards from their hand for points, receiving negative points for unmelded cards. The target is, of course, 500.
Rummy 500 Rules – Learn how to play the classic card game of melding sets and runs.
Rummy 500 Extended Rules – A multitude of fun extensions and rule variations for Rummy 500.
Rummy 500 History – Learn the centuries old history Rummy, dating back to ancient Chinese gaming culture.
Rummy 500 Strategy – A simple game to learn, but not so easy to master; learn the skillful subtleties of Rummy 500.
Scat (a.k.a. 31, or Blitz) is a fantastic draw-based game for up to 9 players. Enormously popular across most of Canada, Scat is a turn-based, draw-and-discard game, the object of which is to combine same-suit card values to achieve a hand total nearest to 31. (Not to be confused with Skat.)
Scat Rules – Grab a standard deck of cards and learn how to play Canadian Scat.
Scat Variations – Scat can be played by a lot of variant rules. Learn all the slight deviations from the standard rules of play here.
Scat Strategy – These tips and tricks will help you gain a better understanding of how to win Scat.
Learn the traditional rules of Skat, a card game derived from Germany and popular throughout Canada. Dating back to Germany circa 1810, this fun trick-catching card game is designed for 3 players and serves up unique card ranking and scoring mechanics.
Skat Rules – Learn the standardized rules of Skat most often played in Canada.
Skat Strategy – A beginners guide to winning at Skat.
Skat Clubs – Learn how to find and join your local Canadian Skat club
Skat Tournaments – US and Canadian tournament schedule for hard-core Skat enthusiasts.
Two Hundred (200)
Two Hundred (200), or in French, Deux Cents, is a 4 player trick-catching game card game believed to have originated right here in Canada. Especially popular in New Brunswick, similar variations are played in Quebec and further east, known by variant names like Dix, Bidder 10, Le Rough, Le Ruff, La Bloutte or La Fouine.
200 Rules – Learn how to play Two Hundred – all you need is a single deck of cards and two pairs of partners.
200 Strategy – Effective ways to bring down your opponents in Two Hundred.
Yahtzee is North America’s favorite dice rolling game. The object is score the most points by rolling a variety of dice patterns and/or number groups, like straights, full house, and of course the perfect 5-matching-dice Yahtzee. It’s loads of fun for unlimited players of almost any age.
Yahtzee Rules – Learn how easy it is to play by the classic rules of Yahtzee.
Yahtzee Variations – Learn how to utilize the Yahtzee Bonus Joker and other fun variations of the rules.
Yahtzee Strategy – Tips and tricks to winning at Yahtzee.
Yahtzee Science – Learn the fascinating science behind the game of Yahtzee.
Yukon isn’t what you would call an enormously popular card game, nor is it your run of the mill trick-catching game. Popularized in specific regions of the country during the Klondike Gold Rush, those who know it will attest to its high entertainment value.
Yukon Variations – Additional ways to play Yukon.
Yukon Strategy – Tips and strategies to win Yukon with a Partner.
Yukon History – One of Canada’s more fascinating but largely speculative card game histories.
About Card Gaming in Canada
Like most nationalities, Canadians love to play skill-based card games, board games, dice games and more. We may be in the digital age, but this doesn’t mean PC and video games are the only option. Traditional card games, board games, dice games and others are still enjoyed just as much as they were in generations past. (Note: To read the following game reviews in French, please visit our “Jeux” and DBC francophone section.)
In any case, the section below is devoted to all of the games you know and love, and a whole lot more. We cover dozens of popular card games all across Canada, including regional favorites and lesser known varieties. And they can all be accessed from home or pretty much anywhere else in the world.
Games Potentially Introduced By The Colonists To Canada
While it’s important to note that the exact card games introduced to Canada by French colonists might not be fully documented or agreed upon by historians, here are some games that are suspected to have been brought over by the colonists.
- Belote: Belote is a 32-card, trick-taking, Ace-Ten game popular in France and other French-speaking regions.
- Brelan: Brelan is an early version of poker that originated in France. It involves three cards of the same rank and was likely played by French colonists in Canada.
- Écarté: Écarté is an old French card game that involves two players and is played with a subset of the standard deck of cards.
And many other games such as: Bézique, Piquet, Nain Jaune, and Le Poque, some of which are still popular today in Canada.
Competitive Canadian Card Games
You may have grown up playing these games around the kitchen table with family and friends, but did you know you can compete with real players, from all over the world, for real money? It could be low-stakes, betting amounts equivalent to the change you find beneath your sofa cushions. Or, if you trust in your skills and have the means to afford it, you can compete in high-stakes games and tournaments worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Just about any game you can imagine is available at iGaming websites. Choosing a reputable website is crucial, but don’t worry. We’ll cover that, too. Our purpose is to connect you with the real games that you love, so you can play against other players with similar interests.
Canadian Card Games for Fun & Relaxation
Throughout history, every game was devised for the sole purpose of entertainment. Having action on a game might elevate the thrill, but there’s no need to risk your hard earned cash. Canada’s favorite card games and board games can always be played for the sheer enjoyment of it all.
In fact, more people choose to play free card games online than the real-money variety. It’s a great way to spend an evening, a lunch break, or the work-day commute (so long as you’re not the one driving, of course).
Playing card games for fun is also a great way to advance your skillsets. A lot of players use this risk-free forum to practice advanced strategies. Our website has plenty of those, as well. Once you think you’ve got what it takes to compete against an experienced crowd, you can switch to real money card games any time.
Best Games for Betting on Game Night
For every group of game night gatherers that enjoys the experience for fun, there are just as many – perhaps more – who prefer to make things a bit more interesting. There’s nothing wrong with putting a little action on the table, especially if it’s a small, friendly wager.
Through trial and error, I can assure you, some games are more suitable for betting than others. Case in point, I’ve found (and documented why) Coup is a terrible betting game!
Of course, you can put a couple bucks on the outcome of any game, but if you’re looking for something more interesting and entertaining for all involved, check out these pages, in which I’ve detailed cheap and easy ways to bet on card games.
This is sectional is constantly under construction as I continue experimenting with more games and ways to wager on them. Check back for frequent updates!
Advance Your Card Gaming Education
Over the countless months, I’m happy to report we’ve become the foremost authority on Canadian card games. Our goal is to cover every game played north of the 49th parallel, and more; not just current games, but those popularized throughout history. We’re already the most comprehensive data base for Canadian card gaming on the internet, and we’ve no intention of slowing our pace.
With that said, please use the links below and to the left to advance your education in card gaming. We provide everything you need to know about each game on this website, including history and origins, complete game rules (with variations where possible), winning strategies, and much more.
This website is updated no less than twice a week, so our game variety and content is constantly increasing. If you don’t find the game you’re looking for on our list, check back soon or leave us a message in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!