5 apps that can help you enjoy card games without putting any money on the line

Word has it that playing cards have been around since the 9th century. It’s possibly the most convenient yet fun form of gaming that ever existed, and it works pretty much anywhere and everywhere. While some of those games, like Lapalingo, have been associated with gambling, there are actually plenty of other appealing and more immersive card games you can play without placing bets — and all the better because they can now be played on your smartphone, with virtually anyone.

Evil Apples

This game is all about humor. Ranked #1 in Word & Card Games in the U.S., Evil Apples is inspired by the party game Cards Against Humanity. Each round, one player gets to ask a question from a black card, and players pit against each other with the funniest answer on their white cards. The player with the black card then chooses the funniest answer. Players can play with strangers or share their game through SMS, Twitter or Facebook for friends to join. This free app even has an in-game chat.

Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens claims to be the most funded game in Kickstarter history. Quirky and fun, the game is now available as an app and can be played with 2-5 players — with local players or strangers. Described as the “highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette,” this simple game features adorable illustrations by The Oatmeal. This game costs $1.99 on the Apple App Store.

Clash Royale

For those who enjoy higher stakes and a more competitive atmosphere, Supercell’s sequel to the top grossing mobile game Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, is a digital card game that combines two of the most popular genres in gaming: collectible card games and real-time multiplayer online battle arena. This game allows players to duel, form a clan to share cards and build a battle community. When players win battles, they are awarded the opponent’s trophies, moving them up the global rank. Clash Royale is free to download and play.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

This fast-paced strategy card game released by Blizzard is massively popular. For a virtual collectible card game, its core rules are easy to understand. Players build a deck, collect cards, and battle each other in casual, ranked, and arena games, or practice against AIs in the game’s adventure mode. Each card represents playable heroes and spells. Like other Blizzard games, the animations are top notch. Hearthstone is free to download on PC, Mac, phones, and tablets.

The Elder Scrolls®: Legends™ – Heroes of Skyrim

This highly anticipated strategy card game is based on the world of The Elder Scrolls, a series of action role-playing fantasy games developed by Bethesda Game Studios. It features fan-favorite characters from Skyrim, with many game modes available. Players can play alone and earn new cards, create their own card decks, battle AI or play against online opponents. This game is free to download and play.

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