Casino & Poker

The Best Fictional Card Games On TV

Blackadder III- “Cards”

In Blackadder III’s ‘Amy and Amiability’, Prince George finds himself in a bit of a financial bind after his friends introduce him to an exciting new game called “Cards”. According to the Prince Regent, the aim of the game is to give away all your money as quickly as possible to win. He turns out to be incredibly good at “Cards”, unlike Blackadder who professes his incompetence. He always ends up with more money than when he starts.

League of Gentlemen- Go Johnny Go Go Go Go

So many made-up card games are mentioned in this gem of a scene from the worst village in all of Britain, Royston Vaisey… but only one has the rules explained. The staff at the local hospital morgue are taking a break around the mortuary slab with a round of this complicated game. As long as you know how to play “hoover” and “8-men down” you’ll be fine. If not, the rules are very simple, as they so well explain.

Friends- Cups

There’s nothing like a made-up game to trick your friends into losing money. It seems to be quite the trope in comedy. Only in Friends, Chandler is trying to trick Joey into winning cash to get him out of debt without hurting his pride. Any hand he deals his hard-up friend, he finds a way to make out he’s winning with a new rule. The plan backfires though because Joey tries to teach this new “game” to Ross and loses his money all over again.

The Big Bang Theory- Mystic Warlords of Ka’a

From the minds that brought you pastimes such as Secret Agent Laser Obstacle Chess and Research Lab the Board Game, there had to be one made-up card game appear in its 10 season run. Magic the Gathering has nothing on this fictional trading card game, Mystic Warlords of Ka’a (remember to pronounce that glottal stop or the fans get real mad!) TV’s most popular nerds try to teach the girl-next-door all its wonders with little success. Check out Sheldon’s awesome memory skills predicting the outcome of the game, much like any card counting genius.

Star Trek- “Fizzbin” and “Tongo”

This clip might look like the crew of the USS Enterprise beamed down into an old-timey gambling den, but in true Original Series fashion it’s actually an alien planet imitating Earth. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are held captive by the wannabe gangsters in a room with a makeshift card table piled high with money. To distract them, Kirk teaches them a card game with complicated rules and arbitrary conditions like the second card being turned up but ‘only on a Tuesday’. There’s no use trying to follow along, because the table is flipped over and the aliens knocked out with a Vulcan death grip.

Deep Space Nine came up with another fictional card game but, unlike the original series, it was not made up on the spot by a character. It appears to be an odd mixture of roulette and poker, with a large spinning wheel and gambling on the value of card hands. Unlike every other entry on this list, you can play this card game in real life. Tongo has ascended from the fictional universe and it enjoyed by many Trekkies all around the world.