The Art of Cards

Q&A with junior Grace Zhu on her passion for playing cards

Photo || Karolena Zhou
Junior Grace Zhu holds cards up to her face, contemplating her next move. Zhu said that she is very competitive: “I like to win.”

What card games do you primarily play? How did you get interested in playing cards?


With my family and church friends, we always play Capitalism. I also play ERS a lot with my church friends. I think when I first started playing cards, it was really to get close to my family. Since a lot of them knew how to play card games, they started to teach me, so we could have some family bonding moments.


What game is your favorite to play?

I definitely like playing Egyptian Rat Screw (ERS), when people slap on the cards. It gets pretty hectic and really loud, but I also really like playing Capitalism a lot too. I like the games that are more chaotic and have more action in them.


Why are you interested in playing cards?

My family has always played card games. It’s been years since we first started playing. I guess it’s like a family tradition at this point. Every time my brother comes back from college, we say: “Oh, we have to play some card games so we can be closer together.” And there are other family activities we do as well, such as watching movies, but I think playing card games really brings us closer together more than anything else.


Why are cards so impactful to you?

We’re competitive when we play card games. Occasionally, we will place monetary bets, like the winner gets $10 from the loser. (Also), card games are more interactive and lead to memorable moments that can’t happen through anything else. There are several card games out there; you can really play a variety of games. I also like board games, but I feel like card games bring an environment that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s playful, competitive, fun and enjoyable. They build up stronger relationships.

Siri Byrisetty


How have cards affected and strengthened your relationships?

Capitalism is basically a team game, two people versus two people. When you’re in that partnership, you work together. You have to work together to defeat the other team, so you have to partner up, and this teamwork really builds connections and understanding between people. And it doesn’t have to just be through teamwork; sometimes competing and having those playful moments makes a better relationship.


Are there any specific stories from playing cards that are memorable to you?

Once, my family was going on a road trip. The car ride was really boring, so we brought a deck of cards. I remember we had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time together. The different setting made it really memorable. I think that shows why cards are so much more special than something like board games; they’re mobile and can be played anywhere.