A basic deck of cards will set you back a couple of dollars and yet can provide you with hours of fun. For 100% portable, black out proof fun, challenge your friends to a game of cards.
You've probably played a few games of Hearts on your computer, but it's much more fun with real live competitors. Hearts is a four player game. To begin, the deck is dealt evenly between all four players. The two of clubs leads.
In each round, players submit a card that is the same suit as the one that led. Whoever submits the highest number must take the cards. If the player does not have a card in that suit, they can play a card of any other suit. Each players cards are tallied at the end of the game, with each heart worth 1 point and the Queen of Spaces worth 13. The first player to reach 100 loses.
In a game of Liar, you need to lie and cheat to get ahead. The deck is divided evenly between all the players and any leftover cards are placed, face down, in the middle of the table. The aim of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.
Working clockwise, each player has a turn at placing some of their cards face down in the middle. The only rule is that the cards must be the same, e.g. a pair of sevens, three queens, etc. The player must also announce what he or she is discarding, but they do not necessarily have to tell the truth. If another playing suspects they are lying, they can call out 'Liar!' If the person discarding the cards is proven a liar, he or she must take all the cards from the middle. If not, the accuser must take the cards.