Do you want to play a card game? Yes, please...

It is competition in its purest form. You're trying to beat an opponent whom is trying to do the same to you. I play card games. I play card games to keep my mind sharp...and nothing feels better than outplaying an opponent.

I love to play Poker, Hearts, Magic: The Gathering, and Hearthstone. Hearthstone has recently consumed me. It swarmed my addictive heart, pumping blood through me. I can shake if I don't play. There are days where I must play Hearthstone to satiate a need for competition, a need to win.

My favorite card game was poker. I even played professionally for a year. Poker can be stressful. Anything with money on the line seems to make people make irrational decisions. You can exploit that in poker and give yourself a competitive advantage. I have come to believe that some people shouldn't play poker. They overextend themselves and are not in a well off position to be playing any game at those stakes. But, in the short run, they do have a chance. We'll discuss later. This isn't a shocking revelation, but it is a tough for someone to come to grips with taking money off a player in a situation when you are a compassionate person. But, it should be illegal to let a sucker keep his money. If you can't spot the sucker within the first twenty minutes at a table, you are the sucker.

Magic and Hearthstone are trading card games or collectible card games. Each player gets the same amount of health and the goal is to reduce your opponent's health to zero through a series of cards. These cards can be spells, creatures that deal damage, sorceries, artifacts, etc. The strategies and synergies you create between cards are endless.

There are some differences between the two. Magic has been around since 1993 and has more than 10,000 playable cards. Hearthstone is a baby, a little over a year old and has under a 1,000 cards. I feel that Hearthstone is the simpler game, and most certainly has the easier platform for Internet play. Magic is the perfect game to gather and play live.

There is a central them among all of these games, a woman in their lives called Lady Luck. She's beautiful when she's on your side, but nothing short of a witch if she isn't. I use to think that luck was more present in Magic, but there is an aspect of luck in each game. It is beautiful that anyone can win at any given time - it makes it hurt when you lose, and yet feel elated when you win. Nothing taught us this more than when Chris Moneymaker (yes that is his actual last name) won the 2003 World Series of Poker main event.

Anybody can benefit from playing these card games. They have taught me strategy, patience, and to keep my emotions in check. Playing card games has forced me to dissect a situation and think quickly. I learned how to be a winner and a loser.

I've read articles where a person has credited Magic or Hearthstone for keeping them out of trouble and off the street. That's powerful! I like to exercise my mind and stay sharp for anything life has to throw at me, but for'll see me at the able, ready to play.

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