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Card Games: Other Objectives

This page is part of the pagat.com index of card and tile games classified by objective.

Although the great majority of traditional card games have objectives that involve the capture of cards, accumulating or shedding cards, collecting card combinations or comparing cards or hands, many other types of objective are possible: below are some examples. Inventors of new games often strive for novelty, and as a result the Invented and Commercial games pages of pagat.com include games with a wide variety of objectives.


It is in the nature of playing-cards that information on who holds what cards can be known to some players and hidden from others. In many games the gradual discovery of this information is one of the key means of achieving the main objective of the game. However there are some games in which the discovery of secret information is the main aim of the game, either by deduction or by guesswork or a by combination of these.

  • In Role Games such as Mafia, each player receives a card that determines their identity, and the aim of the game is to find out these identities by various means.
  • In Three card Monte the object is to locate one of three cards.
  • Robert Abbott's game Eleusis can be classified as a shedding game in that the aim is to get rid of cards, but the more important objective is to discover the secret rule, invenmted by the dealer, which specifies which cards can legally be played.

First past the post

Many card games have a scoring system in which the winner is the first player to reach some target score. One could say that the objective is to be first past the post, and if a pegboard is use for scoring, as for example in Cribbage, the race to the end of the track becomes more visible.

There are some games in which the board assumes a greater importance, and moving pieces around the board becomes the main focus of the game. The cards provide the means of movement, taking the place of the dice used in some other types of board game. These are listed on pagat.com as Race Games. There are also race games in which the cards are used as the pieces to be moved and in some cases to delineate the board.

Pattern Scoring

In some games the aim is to create certain patterns of cards or tiles in a layout. This kind of objective is often found in domino games, but there are also card games such as Table Top Cribbage and Poker Squares in which players try to make scoring combinations, for example in the rows or columns of a grid.


In many Solitaire (Patience) card games the objective is by a series of moves to arrange the cards in order, for example forming a stack of each suit in ascending or descending sequence. If the whole pack is sorted in this way the player has won (the patience / solitaire is said to have 'come out').


In some Solitaire card games there is a tableau of cards or stacks which can be combined if they match in some way, and the objective is to reduce the whole tableau to a single stack.

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