Active adult communities often provide a full spectrum of amenities to promote healthy, active living. This includes physical activities, like golf and tennis, as well as social pursuits, such as book clubs and travel groups. No matter the size of the community, there is one amenity that is nearly always available: a card room.
Whether a community’s card room includes several tables or just one, it’s a good bet that the room will see regular use. Active adult communities often offer scheduled card games and social groups that are dedicated to a particular game. With so many popular card games to play, there may even be a different game scheduled every night of the week.
Bridge, which is more formally known as contract bridge, is easily one of the most popular card games found at active adult communities. This classic card game is played by four people divided into two competing partnerships. A larger group can play on multiple four-person tables. Duplicate bridge is often played at active adult communities. In duplicate bridge, each table starts with the same arrangement of cards.
The rules of bridge are complex and the game itself involves a combination of skill and chance. Through a process of bidding, partners attempt to earn as many points as possible. There are variations when it comes to scoring and game play, but in the end, high score wins the game.
Like bridge, poker is a very popular card game at active adult communities. This card game can be played with different numbers of players and in several different styles. Texas Hold ‘Em is one variation of poker with its own rules that has gained interest in recent years and will often hold its own place on a community’s social calendar.
Though there are many different poker games, each is based on forming specific poker hands. Each poker hand is ranked in a standard order, and a hand of the highest rank wins. In descending rank, these poker hands are: straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and highest cards.
Canasta is also frequently played in community card rooms across the country. This rummy-style card game became widely popular in the 1950s and continues to draw new players. Like bridge, canasta is often played in groups of four divided into two partnerships. However, variations can be played with anywhere from two to six players. The object of canasta is to create seven-card melds (combinations) of the same rank. Scores are calculated at the end of each hand based on the melds played. There are many rules defining acceptable melds, scoring, and game play, and these rules can vary depending on the type of canasta being played.
Though bridge, poker, and canasta are some of the most popular games, they are by no means the only card games played at active adult communities. Each community offers its own schedule of card games, but many include games such as pinochle, euchre, whist, and cribbage. In nearly any active adult community, you are likely to find a well-used card room and some resident card sharps who are always up for a game.