Olivia Bradley, Staff Writer

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Most Western card games are trick games, in which each player in turn plays a card to the table, and whoever plays the best card wins them all. These cards constitute a trick, which the winner places facedown in a pile before playing the first card to the next trick. The best card is usually the highest-ranking card of the same suit as the card led—that is, of the same suit as the first card played to the trick. Anyone who fails to follow suit to the card led cannot win the trick, no matter how high the card. Winning a trick is doubly advantageous, since the player who wins a trick not only gains material but also chooses which suit to lead next. A player who leads a suit that no one can follow (because no one else has any cards of that suit left) wins that trick regardless of card rank. Trick play can be varied in several ways.

The most significant is by some process of designating one of the four suits as a special trump suit, superior in power to the other three suits. Generally, this enables a player who is out of whatever suit was led to play a trump card instead, an act known as trumping or ruffing, which will beat any cards of the suit led. European card games have become popular the United States plenty of times, but the most famous game is probably Gin Rummy or games similar to it.