10 Card Games to Play In Your Bunker Once Nuclear War Starts

It’s official, the end is nigh. Kim Jong-Un has finally decided he wants to start a nuclear war and the whole planet is just a short time away from becoming disintegrated by weapons of mass destruction. Maybe…

So grab your supplies, head to your bunker and read our list of 10 card games that will help see you through a nuclear winter. Don’t forget your trusty pack of cards!

An image of the detonation of a hydrogen bomb
Image Credit: blog.education.nationalgeographic.com


Seeing as it is most likely that North Korea will be the masters of our downfall and South Korea will almost certainly be the country that is first affected by the devastation, lets start with a traditional Korean card game.

Some cards from a 'hwatu' deck, used in Go-Stop
Image Credit: busan.for91days.com

Also known as Godori, this game is a firm favorite with Koreans that uses a deck of ‘hwatu’ cards. It is usually played between two or three players but the game can accommodate up to four players.

The aim of Godori is to reach a number of pre-agreed points. The game earns its name from the process involved in the game.

Players must shout “Go!” to increase the risk of money earned and lost. They must then shout “Stop!” to end the game and take the winnings on offer.

Texas Hold’em Poker

An image from the inside of a nuclear bunker
Image Credit: metro.co.uk

It’s an oldie but a goody. Texas Hold’em poker has been around for a very long time but it only really surged in popularity when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event after qualifying from an online satellite tournament.

The game is hugely popular on the online gambling platform but it has a committed following of live poker players too.

Two ‘hole’ cards are dealt face down to each player. Five community cards are then dealt across three rounds of play. These are called the flop, the turn, and the river.

The goal is to hold the best five card hand using the two hole cards and three of the community cards on display.


In-game action from a live blackjack card game
Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

The classic casino table game, also known as 21, is easy to play and simple to understand. Players simply have to beat the dealer in getting as close to the score of 21 using the cards they are dealt against the cards the dealer deals themselves.

Players can win in a number of ways. Firstly, they can hit a score of 21 points exactly from the cards they are dealt. Secondly, they can hit a score from the cards they are dealt that is closer to the score of 21 than the dealer without exceeding the total of 21.

Finally, players can force the dealer to draw extra cards in an attempt to get closer to 21 until they go bust be exceeding the total of 21.


An image from a game of Durak, a popular Russian card game
Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

This vintage Russian card game might initially scare people off. Usually, if a game is Russian it can either involve high stakes or complex game play. But look, just because Russian roulette involves guns it doesn’t mean every form of Russian gambling does.

Durak is also referred to in other countries as “fool” and “shit head”. That’s because players simply have to attempt to get rid of all the cards that they are dealt.

The last player remaining with any cards is called the durak, fool… or shit head.

Word of warning: only play this game with people that are not easily offended.


Not a lot of explanation needed for this one.

No doubt if you have ever played card games in your life then you have experienced a game of Snap. The rules are simple.

Players are dealt the cards. They must place one card each down on the central pile of discarded cards simultaneously. If two cards match then the first player to shout “snap!” wins all of the cards in that discarded pile.

One for the whole family to enjoy (whilst you wait to starve).


An in-game image of the format of the card game Patience
Image Credit: thespruce.com

Once again, if you have played card games during your life then you will undoubtedly be aware of the boredom breaker that is called Patience.

A more familiar name for the game is “Solitaire”. This is a single player game so it’s ideal if you’re either a lone survivor from a nuclear disaster, hate those that you’re stuck in the bunker with, or you’re just the last one awake at night.

If you love trying to sort cards into columns of patterns then you will love this.

Gin Rummy

A lot of card games have been around for centuries but Gin Rummy is a relatively new kid on the block having been invented in 1909 by Elwood T Baker and his son C Graham Baker.

The task of Gin Rummy is for players to reach a total number of points using the cards available before their opponent manages to do the same thing. This total of points is usually pre-determined at 100 points.

Dou Dizhu

An image of this popular Chinese card game
Image Credit: thoughtco.com

This Chinese card game has become popular in China over the years thanks to its game objective being inspired by the class struggle that took place during the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976.

A pack of cards are dealt to three players. Each player is dealt 17 cards with three remaining cards placed face down in the middle. Players must then compete for the landlord position.

The players that fail to earn the title of landlord must then play as peasants against the landlord.

The end objective is to be the first person to get rid of all their cards.


An image of the amount of cards used per player in Bridge
Image Credit: life.ca

Bridge is a game that famously takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master. Well, what better time to start learning how to master it than during a nuclear apocalypse?

It might be a game associated with pensioners but it is one of the most intriguing card games to play.

It is a trick-taking card game with four different phases. We could spend all day talking about the ins and outs of the rules. The best approach to take is sit down, read up on it, and get to grips with it by playing it first hand.


India might not have the most liberal attitude to gambling but it is the origin of this card game called 28.

Another trick-taking card game, this game offers a slightly different approach to other card games, with the Jack and 9 cards acting as the highest value cards in each suit as opposed to the typical picture cards.

32 cards from a standard pack of cards are used for play. Players must look to win tricks including high value cards.