The Top 100 Card Games - As Voted for by BGGers
Tony Ackroyd
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This list collates the results of the Card Games Tournament I have been running.

The first round had 76 games that I included, plus another 30 games that were added by other users, a total of 106 card games.

I have combined the results of all the rounds by weighting the rounds on the basis of number of thumbsup and then worked out an overall score for each game over the course of the whole competition. Where appropriate I've added in comments that were added to the game entries as the tournament went on - unfortunately these are uncredited.
I've also added a comment for each game from someone who rates the game highly, I tried to pick the most informative comment for each game!

I think it is worth producing this summary as the definitive card games geeklist (for now).

The original rounds can be seen here:

Round 1 (106 Entrants):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/20998

Round 2 (The Top 40):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21101

Round 3 (The Top 20):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21255

Round 4 (The Top 10):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21474

Round 5 (Semi Final, The Top 6):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21781

Round 6 (The Final):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21936

My list is the top 100, but I've allowed public additions to the list in case you think something has been unfairly missed.

Also see: Best Games By Category - Polls
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76. Board Game: I Go! [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3173]
Board Game: I Go!
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Wildcard in Round 1: 22 Votes

dcjackso: Yet another brilliant Colovini game. Great for 2-4P; has that "let's play one more time" quality, which is indicative of a well-made card game. English rules work fine; ignore the "German rules only!" militants (my copy didn't even come with these so-called "German rules" and I don't read German very well anyway). Outstanding. Colovini is a frickin' star. Update: best with 2 players; more tactical with less luck involved. Both the thin cards and the simple game mechanics really stand the test of time. I've already bought a friend a copy, and a replacement copy for myself, for years down the road when this sucker goes out of print.
Update: upgrading this to a '9', as we are nearing 100 plays. Both gameplay and the physical state of the cards are holding up nicely. We almost always play 2P; 3P is okay once in awhile, and 4P is a frustration tolerance exercise.
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77. Board Game: Was sticht? [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2684]
Board Game: Was sticht?
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Knocked out of Round 1 with 21 Votes

Glamorous Mucus: The first time or two I played this brain-mashing devil of a game, I was at a total loss. It just seemed way too difficult. Once I stopped trying to memorize what was in each of the other players' hands, the game started clicking. It's a fascinating game that requires careful concentration, but it usually feels a little too long; I prefer playing to four chits rather than five. Also, the tiebreaker numbers on the different chits are not properly balanced, especially with three players (but that's a very minor complaint).
 
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78. Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:19315] [Average Rating:5.49 Unranked]
Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot
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Wildcard in Round 1: 20 Votes

"The game offers so many possibilities and so many people just, flip, draw, play, and don't get the spirit of the game."

Midian2000: Charming, simple, colorful, and easy to learn (at least from someone else). Yeah, the earlier editions had some hazy rules, but the "epsilon" edition irons out a LOT of the wrinkles and makes for some great play! I'm really looking forward to future expansions. You should see the inventor's MASSIVE games he runs here in San Diego. With as much fun as those guys seem to be having, it MUST be illegal, right? Look, those you you scared off by the rules and the "random" end to the game need to give this another chance. It may be a bunny eat bunny world out there, but killing a few bunnies with friends may be just what the doctor ordered...
 
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79. Board Game: Girl Genius: The Works [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:5510]
Board Game: Girl Genius: The Works
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Wildcard in Round 1: 18 Votes

Cassady99: Very cool! A "family friendly" version of the XXXenophile game engine. This is a great game and has high replay value. It also offers some insights into the plotline of the Girl Genius comic series.
 
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80. Board Game: Groo: The Game [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:3938]
Board Game: Groo: The Game
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Wildcard in Round 1: 17 Votes

Ced1106: Fun unique "beer and pretzels" game. Captures the comic book surprisingly well. Production / economics mechanics are interesting and I haven't seen them in any other "b&p" game I've played. A few building cards are quite broken, I've only played with the expansion set, and I'm not sure how non-Groo fans would like the game.
 
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81. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:8383] [Average Rating:5.68 Unranked]
Board Game: Fluxx
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Wildcard in Round 1: 17 Votes

cypar7: People who don't like the randomness of this game often need to take life a little less seriously. It isn't about winning or losing so much as having a good laugh and being with friends. I think of this game as an excuse to sit around with people I like or want to like. The published cards are amusing and writing your own cards lets you personalize the game. The idea of changing the rules as you go along is extremely clever. It's a great ice-breaker and a good game to play while you decide what else you're going to play later.
 
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82. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Murders in the Rue Morgue [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:2742]
Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Murders in the Rue Morgue
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Wildcard in Round 1: 16 Votes

Swandive78: Another excellent rummy-derived card game. This is a very good game for two to four players (particularly if you're not playing partners with four). Possibly the easiest to play in the Mystery Rummy series, so it's a pretty good introductory game.
 
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83. Board Game: Shadowfist [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:3365] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Board Game: Shadowfist
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Wildcard in Round 1: 15 Votes

"C'mon it's got freakin' flying MONKEYS with guns and explosives! What's not to like?"

Bankler: Not the most elegant CCG, Shadowfist earns its ranking by sheer fun. A great theme, nicely managed (rares are mainly cards you want one or two each, commons are powerful). I play many different games, but I've played around 150 hours of 'Fist each year for the last 4 years.
 
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84. Board Game: Die Fugger [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3612]
Board Game: Die Fugger
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Destroyed in Round 1 by Modern Art 146-14.
Against weaker opposition it may have scored more, so could deserve to be higher up the list.

dtolman: A very clever game. The gameboard is created by laying out cards. Players compete to control commodity prices by putting out commodity cards. Play too many cards and the value may collapse. Don't play the right cards and you'll miss out on making money. You also get the opportunity to place a "bet" in the opening rounds - let me take a big jump in the standings.
 
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85. Board Game: What the Heck? [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2152]
Board Game: What the Heck?
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Wildcard in Round 1: 14 Votes

BeyondMonopoly: Raj is the game that lies at the core of so many other games. each player has a set of that is the same as all other players, and you have to use them more efficiently, outguessing your opponents on every turn.
Raj can be seen in games like Niagara, For Sale, Caribbean, etc., but here it is boiled down to its most pure, fast-playing, essence.
Great fun, and the lack of extraneous accoutrements keeps it fast, replayable, and throughly enjoyable.
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86. Board Game: Space Beans [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:3736]
Board Game: Space Beans
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Wildcard in Round 1: 13 Votes

zefquaavius: Excellently speedy game. The fact that you're handed your next turn's hand almost as soon as you're done with your turn gives you the little time you need to plan your next turn. Keeping track of the opposite directions is quite simple if you simply make your play, then gently smack the remainder of your hand down to the right, while looking to the player on your left.
 
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87. Board Game: Relationship Tightrope [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3825]
Board Game: Relationship Tightrope
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Wildcard in Round 1: 13 Votes

Mad Hab: The best trick-taking game I know, but with two 'winners' on each hand instead of one. Very rich, yet very simple and fast (45 minutes), the game forces players to create strategies (sometimes, very aggressive ones) depending on their starting hands. The randomness of the 'prize' cards can spoil everything, but, unless you're on the last turn, there is always a way to recover...
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88. Board Game: Spite & Malice [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:7712]
Board Game: Spite & Malice
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Wildcard in Round 1: 12 Votes

atholbrose: A great two-deck standard-card game. It's really fun to say things like "This is where the malice comes in", or to turn over card after card you can lay on the foundations... and if things aren't going your way, the game doesn't really last long enough to get too discomfited.
 
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89. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1386]
Board Game: SET
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Wildcard in Round 1: 12 Votes

pathagobi: Very intelligent game based on pattern recognition. Object is to find "sets" of 3 based on having Shape, Color, Number, and Shading in common in either all three cards OR none of the cards. Newbies may find it a challenge at first but then set-discovery becomes easier with multiple plays.
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90. Board Game: Rook [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2270]
Board Game: Rook
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Wildcard in Round 1: 11 Votes

Seppo21: Rook is easily in the top 5 of the games I've played the most and probably makes a pretty good case for number 1. We played through decks of this pretty regularly when I was in college. I think part of the fun of this game was the guys I played with, as I have rarely played as much with others. At any rate, I have a general phobia of bidding in cards games, as I am often too conservative for my own good. However, with such relatively small hands, choosing trump becomes very important. Add a partner that must be taken into account and you have an interesting problem. Throw in the highly mobile Rook of the tournament rules, and things get interesting fast. I also enjoy the fact that playing to set someone is so much fun. Oh I wish I could play this more often.
 
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91. Board Game: Doppelkopf [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:2022]
Board Game: Doppelkopf
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Wildcard in Round 1: 10 Votes

Beyak: I played this game once a week for many weeks, many years ago. I recall that it was quite fun. We used a deck from Germany with the Damen and Buba which gave it lots of flavor. You could use a regular pinochle deck though.
The game was facinating in that one may not know who their partner is until sometime during play. The two players with the queens of clubs were partners. Anyway, lots of good memories with this one.
 
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92. Board Game: Aquarius [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3996]
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Wildcard in Round 1: 10 Votes

Radynski: Simple and fun to play. Its tough to be strategic in this game, since so much relies on chance. But that's part of what makes it so good and fun. No competition, just a fun time.
 
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93. Board Game: Plague & Pestilence [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5055]
Board Game: Plague & Pestilence
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Wildcard entry into Round 1: Scored 9

Pattonre: Personally, I love this card game. The theme is rather "dark" but the game mechanics are easy to understand, not too comlpex and make the game a whole lotta fun. After more playing I have upgraded this one to an 8! Really fun with more players.
 
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94. Board Game: Mus [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:2257]
Board Game: Mus
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Round 1: Scored 9

Traditional Spanish game

kuskurro: Brilliant and best traditional card game. You can make whatever you want out of it: a bluffing paradise, a maths deathmatch, a push your luck race... It has it´s own really nice slang. Few games combine logic, social skills, luck and attitude elements like this one. And you can choose any of this points, stick to it, and win.
 
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95. Board Game: Victory & Honor [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:5766]
Board Game: Victory & Honor
Tony Ackroyd
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Wildcard entry into Round 1: Scored 7

2ndPlace: Very fun partnership game that must be played with 4 players. The rules that come with the game leave a lot to be desired. Due to that it took many readings and a complete read of everything on the Geek web page for this game to figure it out. Worth it and our group now plays it quite a bit.
 
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96. Board Game: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3636]
Board Game: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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Wildcard entry into Round 1: Scored 7
aka Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Scott Tepper: This is a very elegant trick taking game. The cards are well-balanced, and the game play is unusual and fun. The downsides are that this game is really only for exactly 4 people, and the artwork is pretty bad. The gameplay is quick, requires strategy and is fun. There are very few games out there that have the cost value that this one has.
 
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97. Board Game: Cheat [Average Rating:5.11 Overall Rank:19135]
Board Game: Cheat
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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Wildcard entry into Round 1: Scored 7

"What better game is there for screaming at your friends and causing inevitable fights to ensue?"

kentishmaid: Great game. Best played with two (or more!) packs of cards and the rule that you can play as many cards as you like. Played this endlessly at school and uni. I didn't win very often, though, because I'm rubbish at lying.
 
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98. Board Game: Cosmic Eidex [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3288]
Board Game: Cosmic Eidex
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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Came in late as a Wildcard entry and scored 6.
Maybe should be higher up the list

Christine Biancheria: What an inventive and interesting trick game for 3. Seems best without the special player powers and just playing by the rules, which are already enough to try to handle. An incredible and highly replayable game.
 
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99. Board Game: Kupferkessel Co. [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1943]
Board Game: Kupferkessel Co.
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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Came in late as a Wildcard entry and scored 4.
Maybe should be higher up the list.

pakaleive: It is one of my favourite light games. I can play it, play and once more play. But after so many plays in one evening I forget what I took to my "Kupferkessel". But that makes the game fun!
I think there is some magic in it; actually you are in some magic shop gathering strange ingredients...
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100. Board Game: Barbu [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:7352]
Board Game: Barbu
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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Came as a Wildcard entry and scored 4.

thnikkamman: My favorite game I never get to play. Its best to play for cash(nickels or dimes for points) or an unadded points so as to prevent kingmaking at the end of the game. The choice of the game and 28 different hands comprising the game helps you get over luck inherent to cards. You have a slowly dwindling choice of contracts that best match your hand. More of a hand evaluation contest, than a play the card properly game(though card play is still important). Doubling and redoubling will will provide for more points than the card play. A must play if you enjoy trick games, and don't mind the extensive bookkeeping. I am thinking about taking three hostages just so I'll have people to play against. I don't mind the length because the downtime is minimal. 7 different contracts to learn how to play well, and the overall game to learn. Lots to learn in a fun fun way. Its lack of an official rulebook will continue to stunt its growth however.
Its intellectually engaging, but relaxing and social at the same time.
In my opinion, the finest trick taking extravaganza.
 
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