I'm from Michigan, so this one's a given. I learned to play this when I worked as a projectionist at a movie theater. I remember a manager calling me into the office for a sit down talk. He shut the door, and there were two more managers already sitting at the desk looking at me. I was absolutely sweating bullets, when one of them held up a deck of cards and asked if I'd ever played euchre. "Well, we need a fourth, so it's time to learn." he said.
Like many card games, I love the aspect of working with a partner in euchre.
Although I haven't played much in the last few years, poker games were a regular occurrence at my place 5 or 6 years ago. I've never played for large amounts of money or anything like that, my most fun has always been spending a night sitting around a table with a $10 buy-in.
Texas Hold 'em has long been a favorite, same with Anaconda (which has been dubbed Bryan's Game by my buddy's group I played with a couple of times.)
Rummy is one of the first card games I ever played. I remember my dad teaching me when I was about 5 or 6, and learning about sets and runs and sandbagging. I don't play this one much anymore, but this will always be a sentimental favorite.
I've only gotten to play this a few times at my best friend's house with his grandparents. I really enjoyed it, though I needed a cheat sheet by my side and had to ask lots of questions. I'd love to play more of this one.
Well not quite - skip-bo is a commercial version of Spite and Malice.
I used to play a lot of Spite and Malice. A 2 player card game played with two decks. I remember one highly competitve game on the train from Norwich to London that reached it's climax just as the train arrived at Liverpool Street station - gmae play took 90 minutes because each of us was being so cautious and wouldn't help the other player out!
I love Canasta for its scalability. It plays well with 2, 3, 4 players (though very different with each of those numbers). I used to play it with my parents and brother back when I was about 10-11 years old. Oh, the joy of announcing a "natural canasta"!
I learned this beauty when I was 16, during a summer I spent with 2 pals in the mountainside. Every evening we would turn on some music and play a few rounds (with 3 players each round was 17 hands, so it always took us a while). A brilliant game - if you find Bridge too dry, you may just love this one!
We once played this with four generations of our family -- my wife's mother, us, our kids, and our grandkids. It appeals to all ages, and kids seem to do very well, once they learn the game, because reaction time has a lot to do with winning.
What I love about a deck of cards is that with that small little stack of 52 pieces of paper I can entertain myself for hours even if I'm alone. I learned so many variants of solitaire throughout my childhood, and was intrigued by all the possibilities.
Many times as a young boy I would sit down with my grandmother and we would each play a special game of solitaire that she taught me. Then I taught my other grandmother how it worked and she would often ask me to sit with her and remind her how it played or help her move some cards around.
Sid Sackson's classic book 'Gamut of Games' features several well thought-out card games, including Mate (6.73), Bowling Solitaire (6.66), and Card Baseball (6.95). It depends on your personal preferences, but I think just about anyone could find a card game in this book that they really like.
This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
If you like Euchre, it would be worth your time to check out 500. It has bowers just like Euchre, but adds a joker as well which is the highest card in the trump suit. It also adds more cards and bidding to the game as well which injects a little more complexity.
It's been forever since I've played and now that I'm thinking about it, I need to hook it up somehow!
In a class all by itself, I'd highly recommend Casino (sometimes spelled "Cassino").
Basically, in each hand you get only four cards with which to capture cards already on the table. On your turn you lay down a card, and hopefully capture one or more table-cards with it.
Of course, your opponent is also trying to capture cards, so if you can't capture, you want to make sure the card you lay down has little chance of helping your opponent.
This game is fairly easy to learn if someone is teaching you; unfortunately it's rather difficult to learn from reading the rules. So if you ever meet someone who knows the rules to this game, take the time to learn them!
Technically it takes 3 decks of cards rather than one, but I'm adding this anyhow. It's a wonderful little game that works best with 5 or 6 players. The illustrated cards in the game can easily be substituted with regular cards (12 Queens, 11 Jacks, 10 Tens on down to 1 Ace. Throw in 2 jokers and you're set!)
The Great Dalmuti wasn't very successful to my knowledge, so I take any chance I can to get the game some exposure.