Best Card Games for Android Android Central 2020

For some, card games are the ultimate way to relax. Killing time on your morning commute or unwinding at the end of your day playing cards can now all happen on your phone, which is fantastic. You can play solo games, connect with friends or random online opponents over classic card games, or dive into fantasy card games of every kind. Here are some of our favorites now available for Android.

Enjoy your card waterfall: Microsoft Solitaire Collection

Staff Pick

Microsoft single-handedly made Solitare a household name by including it with every version of Windows since 1990. You now keep yourself distracted on the go with the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, which includes the iconic Klondike version along with Free Cell, Spider, Tri Peaks, and Pyramid. It's a free game supported with ads with the option to pay a monthly or yearly subscription (ew) to remove them. There are daily challenges available and you can link your Xbox Live account to earn achievements and compete against your friends and family.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

Play against the CPU: Gin Rummy (AI Factory Limited)

This game lets you play Gin Rummy on the go against 15 different levels of CPU opponents. This is one of those classic card games I fondly remember from my childhood. However, I want to shine a broader light on the app developer, AI Factory Limited, which offers 14 well-designed mobile versions of classic card and board games. You can choose to play ad-supported versions of Euchre, Solitaire, Hearts, and Spades or pay $2 for an ad-free experience. It also offers Sudoku, Backgammon, Chess, and Go among others.

$2 at Google Play Store

Strategic Sequences: Wild Jack: Card Gobang

This is my current favorite card game that I can play at any time on my phone. This is a game for two or three players where your goal is to make two lines of five chips on the board by playing cards that correspond to the spots on the board. It sounds lame to explain it in text, but it's a ton of fun to play. You may know this game as the 80s card-board game Sequence, and this is a great mobile version of the strategic game. You can play against AI and online opponents.

Free at Google Play Store

Pass the snacks!: Cribbage with Grandpas

Cribbage with Grandpas is a charming indie game that's great for seasoned cribbage players along with people who are new to the game. For the unfamiliar, cribbage is a card game where you aim to play card combinations that add up to 15 or 31 and is notable for the board and pegs used to keep score. If you've never played before, Cribbage with Grandpas is a great way to learn as you count your own points and can play against forgiving computer opponents. On top of just having a really clean and colorful design, Cribbage with Grandpas introduced gaming's first build-a-Grandpa feature.

$3 at Google Play Store

Pick up four!: Uno!

Uno! was a game night staple in my household growing up, as I'm sure was the case for millions of families. It follows Crazy Eights rules where your goal is to get rid of all your cards by playing the same color or suit as the last card played. This mobile version of Uno! manages to offer the best execution of the core gameplay with many ways to connect and play with friends in the Fun Room, where you can play with custom house rules. Unfortunately, it also includes dumb leveling mechanics, in-game currencies and microtransactions.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

A great surprise: Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a game created by Matthew Inman, the brilliant artist behind The Oatmeal. The goal of the game is to force your opponents to draw cards until they pull an Exploding Kitten card. If they are unable to play a Defuse card to eliminate the threat, they blow up and are eliminated from the game. The mobile version of the game is a fantastic version with great artwork on each card and some amazing animations. You can play with 2-5 friends or strangers in online play. Best of all, there are no distracting ads.

$2 at Google Play Store

Fill in the blank: Evil Apples: You Against Humanity

This is an unofficial mobile version of Cards Against Humanity that lets you play online anytime against friends or random strangers. There are over 5,000 answer cards and 1,300 question cards so each game should be uniquely hilarious. You can connect and play with friends over SMS, Twitter, or Facebook or join random Blitz Mode games against strangers for a quick fix. To top it all off, there are wild cards that let you add your own custom text. There are in-app purchases for unlocking expansion decks but you can also purchase them with the in-app currency that you earn by winning games. Nice!

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

It pays to be sneaky: Card Thief

Stealth is the name of the game in Card Thief. You play a thief who must sneak their way through a deck of cards collecting treasure while avoiding detection. You can use equipment cards to assist you in your thieving ways, too, but don't get too cocky or you'll run out of sneak points and get caught. Each game takes only a couple of minutes to complete and the game features daily challenges and deep strategies. There's a bit of steep learning curve involved here but it's a rewarding game for fans of strategy card games.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

The cards will seal your fate: Reigns: Her Majesty

Reigns is a single-player card-based game where you play as a monarch and make decisions that affect four aspects of the kingdom: the church, the people, the army, and the royal wealth. Your goal is to keep all four in balance — if any meter fills to the max or is entirely depleted your reign is over and a new reign begins! Her Majesty is a sequel that plays nearly identically to the original game, except this time around you're playing as Queens instead of Kings, and there are completely new characters to interact with and multiple branching storylines to discover.

$3 at Google Play Store

Heroes of Warcraft: Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a massively popular card battling game set in the World of Warcraft universe that more or less ushered in the free-to-play online digital collectible card game genre. It's been going strong since 2014 and there have been many expansion packs released — so it might feel a bit overwhelming for new players. This is a game where you're going to get more value out of it by spending a bit of money to build out your deck, but you can start for free and play through the tutorial levels to see if it's a good fit for you.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

An epic journey awaits...: Ascension

Ascension is a deck-building game that was designed by a small team of Magic: The Gathering tournament champions, and the game is available as a physical card game and in this digital version you can play on your phone. The gameplay is centered around spending Runes to acquire more powerful cards to help you defeat monsters and earn Honor Points. As with Magic: The Gathering, this game is highly addictive and you'll end up spending money in-game if you decide to pick it up. There's a growing list of expansions available that each cost expansion around $3.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

The last Fus Ro Dah!: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

If you're more a fan of The Elder Scrolls than World of Warcraft, then check out The Elder Scrolls: Legends. It's Bethesda's take on the collectible card game and features great graphics and lore from the Elder Scrolls series, a good mix of single-player content, and competitive PvP that lets you climb the competitive ladder. The sad news is that Bethesda has reportedly paused all development of future expansions for the game, but will continue to support the game for the foreseeable future. That might give you pause when it comes time to drop money in this game, but it's also free to play so check it out while you still can.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

Shuffle up and deal!

These are the best card-based games you can play on your phone. You might be wondering why there's a lack of casino-style games on our list, and the simple answer is that so many of those games are designed to hook you in and get you spending for fake in-app currency, so I can't recommend them in good conscience. They're also super easy to find and a dime a dozen in the Google Play Store if you're still interested.

My top pick is the Microsoft Solitaire Collection mostly because it includes the supremely satisfying waterfall card effect when you win the game, although I'm not a fan of the subscription model Microsoft is trying to push to remove ads.

I'm also a huge fan of both Exploding Kittens and Cribbage with Grandpas which are both awesome casual card games that will always have a spot on my phone. They're both affordable for well-made mobile games that won't bog you down with ads or offers to spend on in-app purchases.