One of the scariest things about travelling, especially as a solo tourist, is meeting new people. If you decide to tour the world, you’ll need to have buddies to tag along with and explore new sites. But that first instance of meeting people in a hostel scenario can be slightly daunting. That’s where it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to smooth the process. Playing card games can be a great way to bond, as the activity is often something that many people can recognize and get on board with. That’s why you should think about carrying a deck of cards for ice breakers.
Blackjack is probably the most accessible card game in the world, and easily one of the most popular ones. It only takes a bit of getting used to for people who have never played before, meaning that it’s great for ice breakers. Nowadays, you’ll probably find that a lot of people already have a taste for blackjack thanks to its prevalence online. It’s one of the most prominent online casino games, and its popularity is highlighted by the sheer number of variations. For instance, along with the traditional form of the game, there are new versions like Quantum Blackjack and Blazing 7s Blackjack.
A video about how to play blackjack.
If you want to use blackjack as an ice breaker when travelling, you can set up a table in the community area of the hostel you’re in and invite people to come and join in. You could start off as the dealer, taking control of the proceedings. Of course, it’s probably a good idea to keep things friendly and play for fun. This would mean substituting the casino chips for matchsticks or something similar at hand. Players could take it in turns to act as the dealer, giving the others the chance to play the casino patrons. It won’t be long before the conversation starts flowing and everyone bonds over the shared experience of playing cards.
If you are going to play blackjack as an ice breaker, just make sure you’re clear on the rules beforehand. The last thing you want is to start bickering with your new friends about technicalities. American and European variants of the game differ slightly, so it’s best to make sure all players agree about how to play before you start dealing any cards. There’s always the option to have a quick look online if anyone’s unsure about what to do in any situation, however.
If you want to use poker as an ice breaker with fellow travellers, it’s going to take a bit more organization than a blackjack game. With blackjack, people can come and go between hands, and it doesn’t affect the proceedings. Poker, on the other hand, requires a bit more time investment from players. That’s because, if you’re playing for fun, you need to use a tournament format where everyone starts with the same amount of chips.
Poker may be one of the best card games out there to get to know people. A tournament usually takes at least a couple of hours, giving you the prime opportunity to sit down with people and get to know each other – that’s if the other players speak the same language as you. If they don’t, though, it’s not a big deal either. The great thing about poker and other global card games is that they act as a lingua franca. People who speak different languages and come from diverse cultures all refer to the hands and play the game in the same way. This means that you could find yourself surrounded by Italians, Chinese people, or Chileans, and you’d still be able to bond over the cards.
When you’re travelling in a foreign country it’s also useful to keep an eye out for any organized poker events that you could take part in. For instance, there are areas of Spain and France that have large expat populations, and community centres in these spots often host games to help people get to know one another. While it can be fun to play poker aggressively in an effort to beat everyone at the table, it may be best to play in a more reserved manner when you’re out making friends. Think about using it as the chance to meet people, rather than to win.
Another game that transcends language barriers and can act as the perfect ice breaker is gin rummy. This is a more intimate option than poker and blackjack, as it’s only played between two players. Therefore, it could be considered the best game to use if you want to form a close connection with someone who you meet on your travels. While you build sets and try to reach the magical 100 point threshold, you’ll have time to find out everything you want to know about your opponent.
A video about how to play gin rummy.
Thanks to the simple rules of gin rummy, it’s easy to teach to someone who may not have played it before. Never underestimate the power of simply pulling out a deck of cards and asking someone if they fancy a game. When you play with one other player, you’ll be forced to get close and look into each other’s eyes, which can help forge an unconscious rapport.
Along with providing an opportunity for conversation, playing the game can be a relaxing experience. Imagine jetting off to a cold country and snuggling up by a warm fire in a hostel with your new travel companion. These are those wonderful moments that may not make it into the photo album but stay with you as lifelong memories.
If you’re planning on going travelling and are worried about breaking the ice with fellow tourists, a deck of cards could be a powerful tool. Before you set off on your adventures, make sure you read up on the rules to these games and others. That way, you’ll have loads of options to play with your new friends.