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Tips for picking out trading cards and card games

Some card games are designed for dueling friends using strategy, and other games are designed for creating a hilarious evening at parties. People also might like trading cards because they re fans of a certain show, video game or sport, and want to collect their favorite characters or players. Here are some ways to figure out what kind of hobby fits your interests and how to enjoy it even more.

What do you need to play trading card games?

Role-playing games combine strategy and adventure. Different cards add to your party, as well as the powers and physical prowess each member has. Some variations of trading card games give you an arsenal of monsters or heroes to pit against opposing players, offering tons of flexibility because everyone has their own strategy for winning.

What game to choose: Many trading card games are appropriate for kids age 4 and up, but they also appeal to teens and adults that are fans of the genre. If the majority of your friends play a certain game, then joining them makes it easier to get matches going. The difficulty rating of most trading card games is very similar, with slight differences in the order and types of cards that players use.

How to build a deck: To get the deck you want, start by checking out the cards you already have, and then work to boost them. When you're building a deck from scratch, get a starter pack first. Starter packs contain the instructions on how to play, which help a ton. They also come with basic monsters and heroes, power cards and effect cards.

Deck size: The more cards you have, the more flexible your deck can be. When playing though, it s good to keep the number of hand cards close to the minimum. That way, you get your special cards more frequently.

Theme packs: Also known as booster packs, theme packs typically focus on a certain type of card. If you re low on effects cards or need more monsters, theme packs help you build just one aspect of your collection. Monster cards are really fun to collect, too, especially when you find cards that feature foil decorations or holograms.

Expansion packs: Trading card games constantly expand with new characters, powers, levels and special effects. If you re into competitions, it s usually a good idea to focus on one expansion at a time instead of picking and choosing from tons of seasons. That s because each expansion has specific monsters and cards that boost the powers of those monsters. Of course, sometimes you want one specific card, and there s nothing wrong with going for it.

What rarity is: When searching for specific cards, the term rarity often comes up. It refers to how difficult it is to get that card when opening a random pack. Cards usually rank in order from common to uncommon, rare and ultra-rare. Ultra-rare cards take longer to find unless you get lucky and commons pop up in every pack. That means that sometimes it s easier to purchase an ultra-rare card directly, though it costs more in the short-term than opening some packs.

Great card games for parties

Card games are an awesome option for having fun as a family and entertaining guests. Compared to board games, they have more flexibility because they re easy to take on the road or to a friend's house. Finishing a card game typically takes far less time than many board games, so it keeps parties rolling and lets you transition to or from different activities like dinner or watching a movie.

Games for adults: Some card games for adults focus on conversation. Players take turns acting as judge, and cards bring up a topic or question. Players then have to guess what the judge would say, or convince them that their answer is the best. Because topics are crazy, the arguments given are too, with lots of opportunities for laughter.

Family games: Card games that focus on physical comedy, like asking players to mime actions or draw pictures, are fun for both kids and adults. Adult-oriented versions deal with more advanced topics or risqu situations, whereas family or kid-specific games are simpler and cater to all ages. There are also card versions of popular board games that take up less space for trips. Be sure to check the suggested age ranges for these games before purchasing to ensure you choose something appropriate for everyone who will be playing.

Imagination games: Storytelling games present a problem or theme. Then kids, friends and family have to come up with a solution or tie two or three topics together that don t seem to fit. The wacky ideas presented make everyone laugh and let kids exercise their creativity at the same time.