When a deck is available, it's probably the easiest way to start up a quick game of cards with a group of friends. But while many of us have a smartphone on hand 24/7, few of us have a deck of cards in our pockets as well. Which is why this app that creates a virtual deck and a virtual card table on an iPad is so wonderful.
Simply called The Card Table, the app's name reflects its minimal features and options, but don't for a second think that means it's not incredibly useful. Start the app on a bunch of iPhones and an iPad all on the same wireless network (or using Bluetooth) and it becomes a virtual deck of cards letting you play whatever game you want.
You can send cards to the table, flick them to other players, and even let the software do all the shuffling and dealing. If a real deck of cards is available it's probably still the simpler way to go, but there are plenty of situations—like anytime you find yourself with a group of friends who are bored—where this app could really save the day. And unlike that deck of cards you tried to swipe from the casino, the app is completely free. [iTunes App Store via Brigham Young University]