There is always that debate about whether something is considered something else. When we want to categorize things, we tend to have pitfalls which are unavoidable. People will disagree about what goes into which category and will then make a situation more problematic than it was.

Whether we are talking about video games or sports, declaring something clearly in one category can have people up in arms about that topic.

Today’s topic is card games and whether card games can be considered board games. Card games are difficult to put into a single category, so let us examine everything thoroughly and see whether we can put card games into a single category or not.

What Kind of Card Games?

Card games are problematic because when we say card games, we are not talking about poker, patience games and the like. We are obviously talking about the modern card games, something like Magic: The Gathering and similar games.

Card games are typically divided into collectible games like Pokemon, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, sometimes board games like Catan, miniatures for games like Necromunda, card and dice games for a game like Zombie Dice and so on and so forth.

These are all card games, but some board games are definitely not card games, games like chess.

Card games are typically considered card games if they come with all the cards in the box. Collectible card games are another thing entirely, in a category of their own.

Board Gamers Consider Card Games Board Games

Most board gamers agree that card games are board games and that certain games like Dominion are classified like board games in their mind, stating that they would be surprised if someone were to call them to play a card game of Dominion. 

Card games can be board games, if they don’t belong in the traditional 52-deck card system. If they have their own unique cards and are played by more than a single player, then they can easily fall under the board game category. 

Some card games don’t really need a board and some board games don’t need a board but only a pair of dice. Should they be called dice games? What about a game such as Risk where you have to read your assignments from a card? Or Monopoly which also employs cards?

All of them are board games, especially if it makes it easier for you to categorize the games in your head.

The Definitions Are Loose and Inconsistent

Dictionary definitions are very bad in this case, where they opt to lock games within a certain category, for card games that they consist of playing cards and for board games that there are objects used on a board.

If we look at modern board games or card games, they all employ a plethora of things, sometimes a board, often some cards and frequently a pair of dice or some sort of die. Most modern board and card games would not fall under any of the two categories.

Tabletop games don’t do them justice either. Bridge and poker are played at a table, but so is arm wrestling.

All in all, card games that don’t use the standard 52 deck can be considered board games, but in reality the definition doesn’t matter as long as you have fun and enjoy the game/s.