3 Best Card Games That Have Become Sports

Card Games

There are only three card games recognized as sports in the world: duplicate bridge, poker, and kyogi karuta. Unlike card games at Avalon78 Canada, such as blackjack or baccarat, winning in these games is achieved by skill, not luck.

Duplicate Bridge

A type of bridge where participants play at multiple tables. Opponents are divided into two teams: West and East versus North and South. The goal of the game is to score more points than the opposing team together with a partner.

Players take turns making bids: they announce a trump card, name the number of tricks they promise to collect. If the participant fulfills the bid, he is scored points for the formed contract. In response to the bid, the opponents can make a counter bid – promise to rip off the opponent’s contract. The prices are doubled.

The first one to put a card on the table is the one to the left of the opponent who made the bid. The rest of the players respond with the highest card in suit or trump. The participant who answered with the highest card takes the cards. The entire team scores points for the bribe.

Participants are dealt cards from the pre-made giveaway boxes. Sets of box sheets lie in places corresponding to the positions of the players at the table.

Tournaments and championships in this discipline are held by the International Bridge Federation. The organization monitors compliance with the rules and anti-doping requirements.


This game has several varieties: Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and Draw. All types are recognized as a sport, but most tournaments are held in Hold’em and Omaha. 

Players get their hands on cards and decide whether to enter the hand or skip the game. Participants go around the circle, taking and raising bets. The main goal is to make the best combination and take the pot collected by the bets.

Despite the luck factor, participants require skill and the ability to read their opponents’ emotions in order to win. Competitors decide when to fold and keep their chips, and when to stay in the hand and continue to fight for the pot.

A poker player can bluff – play with weak cards – if he thinks his opponents will believe in the strength of his hand and leave the game. Participants with ready strong combinations don’t “scare” opponents with high stakes, but play calmly. So a large number of opponents stay in the deal and continue to increase the pot by bets.

Poker is not an Olympic sport, but for the correct organization of tournaments the International Federation was formed, with branches in 53 countries.

Competitive Karuta


A sport variation of the Japanese card game karuta. Competitive Karuta uses one hundred cards with Ogura Hyakunin Isshu verse endings written on them. It is a challenging game that requires knowledge of the poems, good memory, and reaction speed.

There are three players in Competitive Karuta: two players and the reciter of the poems. The deck is shuffled on the table with the shirt up. Participants draw 25 cards and lay them out in front of them with the picture up. For the next 15 minutes, competitors memorize the designation and location of all 50 sheets lying on the table.

The reader reads the first part of a randomly chosen poem. The players look for the continuation card of themselves and their opponent. The one who finds the desired sheet first quickly touches the card – grabs it – and puts it next to him. If the player took someone else’s leaf, he gives his opponent any of his cards. The participant whose territory has no sheets left wins.

Competitive Karuta has a penalty card system. If a player touches someone else’s sheet with the wrong continuation of the poem, the opponent gives him any card.

The game is won by the most attentive and fastest participant, there is no luck factor. But Competitive Karuta is little known outside of Japan, so it can not be included in the list of Olympic sports. In other countries, there is little or no competition for the game.

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