When you walk into your local game store you will usually see a lot of card games. Between all the different boxes, booster packs and all the different images, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when picking up your first card game.
There are 2 major forms of card games. The first is "collectible", these are games where you will have new sets coming out regularly, cards are bought in the forms of booster packs which contain random cards of predetermined rarity, or starters which are fixed decks of cards that you can easily learn the game’s mechanics from and build your collection upon. The second form of card games is “living” card games, these usually come in a starter box which will contain multiple fixed decks of cards and expansions which contain new decks to play or you can custom build your own deck from the cards contained in the fixed decks.
Once you have decided on the form of card game you would like to play, you can now figure out which one of those games to invest into. Things you should consider when picking a game are, in my opinion, as follows.
What kind of genres do you like? For instance, if you like fantasy you would probably prefer a game like Magic: The Gathering, where you take on the role of a spell slinging mage.
How many resources do you want to manage? What I mean by this is that some games require you to manage 2 decks, or a dice pool, or other types of resource tokens.
This may sound obvious but, how many people do you know that play the game? Games are more fun when you can find people to play with.
How competitive do you want you to be? By this I don’t mean "do you want to win?", but I am talking about whether you want to participate in tournaments and play for prizes in established events.
Regardless of what you are looking for in a card game, there is one out there for you. What you need to do is go over the criteria above, which aren’t rules but should be considered more as guidelines. These tips should help you choose the right one that is most suitable for you. Ask your local game store lots of questions or maybe they will have decks that you can borrow and learn the game with, or they can even demo a game for you. There are tons of videos and articles like this out there, I have personally played over 20 different card games, and the thing you should always remember is that at the end of the day, it’s a game and it should be fun.
--Saul, "Better Call"--