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Which Card Games Exercise Your Brain?

A humble deck of cards gives you access to a plethora of games that you can play solo or with friends. Add to the mix the many card game that are not based on a traditional deck, and you have options for every type of game play.
9-1 Card games
Credit: Pixabay

In addition to fun, card games can help exercise your brain. Read on to learn how.

Is the Brain a Muscle?

Many of us have heard over and over that the brain is a muscle and should be “exercised” to keep it in shape. However, the brain is actually an organ. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need exercising. The heart is an organ, and we know the benefits of getting the heart pumping through exercise.

So, How Does One Exercise a Brain?

The brain is exercised by using it in positive ways. This is why card games are ideal for brain exercise. Card games of all sorts force your brain to think, calculate, estimate and most of all – have fun!

According to Clinical Neurological Sciences, card games influence brain health by helping to delay cognitive decline. The games are typically social, which helps ease the damage done by isolation. A pack of cards, or a game like Uno, are inexpensive and also great for those with disabilities. Therefore, card games are accessible. Math typically comes into play, from the number of cards you can have in your hand to matching pairs. This further exercises the brain and helps with decision making.

Fun Card Games to Play

Card games are fun for all ages. No matter what you choose to play you’ll be exercising your brain. Here are some games to get you started.

A standard deck gives you access to many options such as:

  • Euchre: a game of tricks played with friends
  • 99: a math-based game that requires fast counting
  • Crazy Eights: a race to get rid of all the cards in your hand
  • War: Unlike crazy eights, in war the goal is to get all the cards

Some classic card games that don’t use a standard deck are:

  • Uno: a game where collecting points in the goal
  • SkipBo: a family fun game where you race to play a stack of cards
  • Phase 10: an excellent brain workout as each round runs in phases

Step out of your comfort zone with some of the more complicated card games:

  • Dominion: not for the faint of heart (or wallet) this is a game that involves a lot of cards, a playing board, and multiple strategies. If you have a free afternoon and a bunch of competitive friends, Dominion is a fun game to play.
  • Bears vs. Babies and Exploding Kittens: From the warped minds at The Oatmeal (click this link with caution) comes two card games unlike any other. These are not for the faint of heart as both the gameplay and the illustrations are about cartoon-like weirdness and mild violence. However, if you were a fan on The Far Side, Joking Hazard or similar offbeat comics, and you poses a slightly warped sense of humor, you would probably love Bears vs. Babies and Exploding Kittens.

Whether you choose something traditional like crazy eights, something for the family like SkipBo or something weird and wacky like Bears vs. Babies, there are enough card games out there to keep your mind active, exercised and entertained for hours. Which one will you try?

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Airdrie Denture Centre for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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