What Board and Card Games Are Featured in Different Sci-Fi Universes?

Scified2023-10-09 09:32:09https://www.scified.com/articles/what-board-card-games-are-featured-different-sci-fi-universes-35.jpg

The writers of science fiction movies and TV shows need to consider every aspect of life in the future. As well as the clothes and the technology, some of them have even spent some time thinking about what board games and card games their characters play.

Poker and 3D Chess in Star Trek

Poker remains a hugely popular card game in the Star Trek universe, with characters frequently playing it or talking about it. This had the advantage for the crew of introducing a familiar game with existing rules rather than having to invent something new. Whether other casino classics like roulette and baccarat are still played across the galaxy isn’t shown, but modern versions let us see how they’ve adapted to new technology.

Playing in a live casino looks futuristic and it actually seems more modern in some ways than the old-style poker games organized by Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation. If we look at the example of roulette games for real money, it’s easy to see how this game evolved in recent times, with live-streaming and versions like Lightning Roulette and Spread Betting Roulette adding new features.

Tri-Dimensional Chess is another fascinating game that we’ve seen played by Star Trek crew members. Based on traditional chess but with the different squares split over various levels. No official rules were ever mentioned and the fact that the layout differed from one episode to another suggests that it was a mere prop rather than a playable game. 3D chess exists in real life and you can even try it online.

Sabacc in Star Wars

Sabacc is a card game that’s played by many civilizations and races across the Star Wars universe. There are numerous variants to this game but almost always with the clear goal of trying to reach a total of 23 and no higher. This initially makes it sound a lot like blackjack, but then we discover that a Sabacc deck has 76 cards with 16 special cards in it.

This card game is described as requiring skill and good luck to win, with as many as eight players taking part in each hand played and some variants using dice. Sabacc was first mentioned by Hans Solo in a version of the script for The Empire Strikes Back and appeared in various books and fan fiction after that.

The most memorable appearance of this game came in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Written as Han Solo’s origin story, it lets us see how the main character wins the Millennium Falcon by beating Lando Calrissian in this card game. It’s now possible to play Sabacc online or to buy physical Sabacc decks.

Triad Cards in Battlestar Galactica

The Triad cards used in Battlestar Galactica proved to be another massively successful sci-fi game. Played with a deck of hexagonal cards, it’s similar to poker but seemingly with a stronger focus on the colors and suits than the numbers. Originally called Pyramid, it proved so popular that you can now find these cards in various presentations.

All of these games have captured the imagination of fans and it’s easy to see why sci-fi creators add them in, as they provide another intriguing element and point of interest to any show or movie.

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