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Card Games: Combination Games

This page is part of the index of card games classified by objective. Combination games are those in which the objective is to combine cards in various ways. The most usual methods of combination are either to add the values of the cards together to form particular totals, or to form cards into matching sets.

Combination by addition

These may be cards whose values add up to particular totals, as in adding games. Addition of card values is also used in some banking games, in the various games of 31 in the commerce, draw and discard and showdown groups, and in vying games such as 7-27 and the last stage of Mus. The unusual combat game Cuttle also has an objective of making a total of at least 21.

Formation of matching sets

In some games, cards are combined into matching sets. The most usual combinations are a collection of cards of equal rank, or a sequence of cards of consecutive ranks in the same suit. Rummy games are built around the objective of forming matching sets of these types, though in many rummy games the combinations are not an end in themselves but a means of eliminating cards from your hand. This makes basic rummy games into shedding games. Only in the meld scoring forms of rummy including 500 Rum, canasta and their relatives is the main aim of the game to form combinations that score points.

Combinations of cards held in hand are also a scoring feature in some trick-taking games - notably Piquet and the games of the marriage and jass groups, and some fishing games, where the aim is to capture particular sets of cards.

Forming sets of equal cards is the objective in quartet games and card passing games, and in the commerce game kemps.

Vying games all depend on forming card combinations of various sorts and betting on who has the best one. Many banking games are also based making card combinations that beat the dealer or win for some other reason.

In partition games, you divide your hand into several combinations, with the aim of beating the corresponding combinations made by the other players.