5 Cool Card Games Popular Among Chicagoans

There are hundreds of different games you can play with an ordinary deck of cards. They include simple to complicated but are all intended for one thing and that is to be entertaining. In the gambling world, card games make up a good portion of the table games at any land-based or online casino. These are the types of card games that require some skill and strategy to be successful at playing. With this in mind, let’s look closer at five different card games that are not only fun and exciting to play, but are also very popular with card players in the Chicago area.

Seven Card Stud

You have very likely heard of this card game. Seven Card Stud is one of the popular variations of stud poker, and a variant of poker. The way to play this game is quite different from standard poker games. It begins when all players put in their Ante. Then players are dealt two cards. One is face up and the other, the hole card, is face down. Players look at their cards and the player with the lowest ranked card that is face-up is required to make a small bet. It is called a “bring-in” and betting moves to the left of the first bettor. During this process, players must either call, raise, or fold their hands. The cycle keeps going around the table with more cards dealt. This ends after players receive their seventh face-down card. The next move is the “showdown” where players show their hands and the player with the best 5-card hand out of the seven dealt cards is the winner.

Pai Gow Poker

This version of poker has a long history that dates back centuries to ancient China. Pai Gow is also known as Double Hand Poker and is also quite different from traditional poker. The entire 52 card deck, including the joker, is used and players play against the house. The object of this game is to beat the dealer with both a high five-card and lo two-card hand in what ends up being a seven-card hand. If the player beats the banker with both the five and two-card hands, the player wins the bet. Pai Gow does require a fair deal of skill but when mastered, it can produce large wins worth massive payouts.


Of all the card games you can play, Blackjack, or 21 as it is also called, is the most popular of them all. When someone thinks about casino gambling, Blackjack is often the game they picture. Blackjack requires a dealer who deals out two cards to each player, and then two for him or herself. All cards are face value, except face cards which are all considered to have the value of 10. Aces are either 1 or 11, depending on how they get played. The goal of Blackjack is to score as close to 21 with your cards without going over. If you do, you “bust” and lose the bet. However, you must also beat the dealer’s card total to win the bet. Blackjack takes a great deal of strategy and there are countless books available that teach various methods of playing with a focus on strategy for winning.

Mississippi Stud

Here is another variation of poker that uses a 52 card deck. There are a lot of differences between Mississippi Stud and other poker games. For example, the deck gets shuffled between each game, and the player’s hands do not go against the house or other players. Instead, a player compares a hand to a paytable. The game begins with players placing their bets into an ante. Each player receives five cards which are face-down. Three of the cards are community cards and the other two cards stay with the player. These two cards get flipped face-up. To see the community cards, the player makes additional street bets. After each bet, one community card gets revealed. The player can choose several different bets for each community card ranging from 1x, 2x, or 3x the ante or fold. At the 3rd or 4th street bet, the player can opt to make 3x ante bets on all the remaining street bets during the game by selecting the “max bet all.’ Mississippi Stud provides players with something called a 3 Card Bonus side bet. It pays out on the three community cards but the side bet must be made before cards are dealt. After all the cards are face-up, the five-card hand is compared to the paytable and payouts correspond with that.

Texas Hold ‘Em

This is one of the most popular variations of poker. Texas Hold ‘Em is also the game version that has become the standard for countless major poker tournaments. Texas Hold ‘Em requires a great deal of skill where players must know odds, understand what cards will make the best winning combinations, and have the know-how to place correct bets that will win big. This is also the version of poker that is most popular at online casinos and poker rooms. It does not require players to be high rollers to play but is a strategy-filled game that pays out extremely well to the smart players.

Final Thoughts

Card games are fun. With hundreds of variations available, many of which are family games, and as many are meant as adult betting games, there is no shortage of entertainment to come from an average deck of cards. What makes a deck of cards so valuable is that not only can you play poker and use it as a means to bet and win money, but there are so many different ways to play just that card game without getting into other games. However, in the Chicago area, there are some favorite card games. They are listed above. If the list includes a game or two you have never played before, maybe now is the time for you to explore these variations. You may find them to be a lot of fun!





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