I'm not a card shark by any means, but playing cards has been a huge part of my life. My Grandfather loved to play cards. When you went to visit Grandpa, you would spend hours playing War. If you were old enough, that turned into Rummy 500 (and in our family, the value of the cards is face value - so you have to practice math whenever you figure out your score. No 5 points for each number card with us!). Whenever I get together with ANY part of my mother's family, we whip out a deck of cards, deal out a hand of Rummy, and talk about Grandpa. It never fails.
When my Grandmother died at the end of last year, we went to visit my Grandfather's grave. It was open (because they were being buried together) and my cousin yells - 'Cece! Do you have a deck of cards in your car? We should throw them down to Grandpa!' It made us all laugh in an otherwise sad time - mostly because Grandpa would really appreciate a new deck (we put one in is coffin 24 years ago, and I'm sure he is sick of playing with that same deck).
Funny that a game can bring a family so close together. I guess it's less about the actual game, and more about the memories and the fun we have when we get together as a family. It's our 'thing' and I love it. We are currently re-doing our whole living room, and I've convinced Aaron to put in a 'game area' with a special card table - I can't tell you how excited I am about that!