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The Bad & The Ugly of Playing Card Games: 17 Disadvantages / Downsides

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

The most significant advantage of playing cards is undoubtedly the entertainment factor. Some people make playing cards a lifelong hobby while others find it boring and never play more than just a few games in their lifetime. 

Playing card games has been in our culture for a long time, and studies suggest that they can help you learn mathematics, memory skills, and strategic thinking. Just because it has many advantages, it doesn’t mean that there are no downsides attached to playing card games. In fact, many people believe that card games are quite frankly a waste of time. That said, every game has its pros and cons. 

Before you get engrossed in card games or introduce your kids to them, consider the downsides and what could go wrong. Below are 17 of the lesser-known disadvantages of playing card games

17 disadvantages and downsides of card games:

1. Playing cards can lead to gambling.

Card games may be harmless if you play once in a while, but if you find yourself playing incessantly every day, you may have a problem. This is one of the biggest criticisms aimed at card games: they tend to inspire gambling addiction. 

Gambling addiction is a serious mental problem and should be treated as such. If you don’t want your children or family members to realize their potential gambling addiction, avoid spending too much time with a deck of cards!

2. Game addiction. 

You may think that gambling and game addiction are the same things, but they’re not. What if you are merely addicted to playing the game without any money involved? This isn’t gambling, but it is game addiction. 

Playing cards isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s not healthy if you can’t walk away from the game and keep going back for more regardless of other commitments!

3. Can be boring to play.

Some people find playing cards quite boring. Have you ever gone to a games night and encountered people who aren’t keen to play card games? It’s just not everyone’s cup of tea. Games can be a personal thing, and as it turns out, card games don’t appeal to everyone.

4. Playing cards can be time-consuming.

Sometimes playing cards is a waste of precious time. You could spend hours playing cards when you should be spending time with and genuinely connecting with your partner, family, or children.  

5. The opportunity to scheme and cheat exists.

The urge to win can lead to the planning of different schemes to defeat your opponent. When you become obsessed with winning, this can spark negative thought patterns and scheming that often leads to cheating. This is most often seen when there is money involved in card games. Some people also just cheat for the fun of it. Either way, card games don’t promote positive behavior! 

6. Card games can be mind-numbing.

Card games have a significant effect on your mind, and when you are doing the same thing over and over and are so engrossed in the process, it can become quite mind-numbing. 

Many card players become so engrossed in the game that they go into “autopilot” and are entirely unaware of what is happening around them. Many people see this as a negative behavior that stems from card playing.  

7. Card games can develop bad habits.

The majority of people don’t know when to stop playing cards. In the beginning, it seems like a good hobby, but it grows into far more than that. For some people, playing cards become a lifestyle, and it can rob people of their personal relationships. 

8. There is a limit on the number of players.

Do card games come with limits? In most instances, you cannot play popular card games by yourself, and because of the provided decks, there’s a limit to how many people can play. If you’re a big group of people, some people may feel left out when they’re unable to join in the game. 

9. Some card games encourage violence.

Some people are over-sensitive and start fights when a card game doesn’t go their way. If they’re unable to win against another player, it can lead to irritability and frustration. With each passing round, this irritation can grow, and eventually, violence can (and often does) ensue.

10. Card games can lead to increased stress.

Surprisingly playing cards can be calming and stressful simultaneously, especially if you are touchy about losing. If you’re a sore loser, you may dwell on your loss all day which won’t just take its toll on your productivity but negatively impact on body and mind, aka stress!  

11. Only playing cards all the time can lead to obesity.

Playing cards is not going to provide you with a workout of any kind. If you want to play a game that gets you moving, opt for sports-related games such as soccer, basketball, or similar. If all you ever do is play cards all day, the chances are that you won’t burn enough calories and will start packing on the pounds. Better be careful if you’re a card addict!

12. Card games are competitive.

Playing cards can build an undue sense of competition when the losing player is unable to control their feelings. If you have a competitive nature, the chances are that you are going to argue and challenge your way through a game again and again. You might even become enraged with others when they win, which won’t bode well for your friendships and relationships. 

13. You don’t always win (it’s true), and that can be downright frustrating.

While there is a lot of skill and strategy involved in most card games, often, a win comes down to luck. Sometimes you’re just on a losing streak, and you have to accept it. For lovers of card games, this can be difficult. In fact, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. 

14. Playing cards can be a waste of money.

Some people use cards for gambling – which can lead to the loss of large amounts of money. If you play cards for money on a regular basis, there’s a high chance that you often lose. Even if it’s only small amounts of money at a time, it all adds up and can have a profound negative impact on your finances. If you don’t want to waste money, choose to play games that people don’t like to place bets on!

15. Some card games can fuel inner frustration.

If you are struggling to create effective gameplay strategies and the other players seem to be steaming ahead, the chances are that frustration is going to start boiling within you. If you are a serious card player, you have probably become quite familiar with that feeling. If you’re easily upset or annoyed, maybe cards aren’t the game for you.

16. Playing cards may trigger health problems.

You can derive several health benefits from playing cards, but it can trigger negative health problems too. Playing cards can lead to depression and anxiety. If you become addicted to playing cards, you may experience additional health problems such as sleeplessness and gambling! 

17. Some card games can cause family rifts.

Have you ever had a family games night with your parents and siblings that ends on an all-out war? Yup, games have a way of stirring up those inner family rifts and then tearing the family apart (even if it’s just for one night). 

If you’re looking for new and interesting ways to spend time together with your family without it ending in rifts and fights, you better choose the game carefully.  

Last Word

As you read the list of downsides of playing card games, how does it make you feel? While these downsides don’t negate all the positives, it does make it evident how playing cards can negatively impact your life.

It’s fairly obvious that these disadvantages deserve careful consideration. While you don’t have to stop playing cards just because you know the downsides, it’s a good idea to be aware of the risks to be fully prepared. Happy card playing (or not)!

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.