Playing Card Collection Guide For Beginners

Have you ever heard about the playing card collection? Do you want to pursue it as a hobby but don’t know where to start?

Well! You don’t have to panic because, in this article, we will answer some of the frequently asked questions by newbies about playing card collections.

This article will be very useful, so don’t skip any part. It is a complete guide for you! We will discuss everything, from where to begin, what approach you should take, etc. Now, without any further due, let’s get into this article!

What Types Of Decks Are Better To Collect?

Playing cards have many different uses; if you want to use playing cards for playing card games, doing Cardistry, or playing card magic, you will have distinct needs. In this question, we will concentrate more on what a collector will search for when choosing a deck.

Maybe the main thing you should consider is purchasing only those cards you like. Stamp collectors can’t have every stamp in the world, so they mostly concentrate on some things, such as:

Collecting stamps with a picture of flowers or a car or collecting stamps only from a specific country. Something like this is correct while playing cards collecting, and you’ll have to specify your field of interest somehow. 

Playing cards show the same type of diversity and creativity that you seek in the field of design and artwork and are effectively small pieces of art. They are, therefore, wonderful examples of creativity, beauty, and imagination and are often of significant historical interest. You can concentrate on many areas of special interest just like other hobbies. 

Now here we will look at some areas that different playing card collectors concentrate on:

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Playing Card Collection: Themes

Possible areas of concern include animals, comics, horses, railroads, cars, geography, wars, history, royalty, commemorations of events, pinups and other interests such as music.


Many playing cards collectors enjoy trying to collect the entire set of well-known brand-names playing cards, such as Virtuoso, Fontaines, Cherry Casino, Orbits, or the Organic series.


Famous creators that some collectors go in for include designers such as Alex Chin, Stockholm17, Giovanni Meroni, Jackson Robinson, Jody Eklund, Randy Butterfield, and Paul Carpenter.


Some publishers have various decks that collect data; prominent of them are Ellusionist, Theory11, and Art of Play.


Some playing card collectors only have a collection of cards originating in Germany, Europe, France, the US, or any other part of the world.

You can also concentrate on collecting a particular kind of Deck of playing cards. Let’s discuss some of the Deck types:


Presenting scenes from various landmarks and landscapes that capture a specific place.


Designed for promoting a company or a product such as Coca-Cola.


Reproducing historically important or rare decks from the past.


Where the pips are artistically and creatively merged into a larger picture.


Traditional style faces, specifically the court cards, instead of the cards with customized designs.


Other categories and themes cover, Fiction, Animals, Vintage, Military, Gilded, etc. 


Some people have a hobby of collecting a single card from a deck, concerning the unique card backs. Or they may have a binder loaded with all the Jokers with different artworks and from various decks. 

Some collectors pay special attention to collecting the Ace of Spades because of their complex design.

What Famous Playing Card Collection Should I Get To Know?

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Most people have a hobby of collecting what is typically called “hype decks”. Due to their reputation, these have efficiently become a brand on their own. 

Almost every new edition sells out quickly, and it doesn’t take long for previous releases to sell for high prices on the secondary market because the collectors try to collect all of them. 

Some of the most prominent brands in this category are Orbits, Fontaines, Organic Playing Cards, Cherry Casino, Jerry’s Nugget, and Virtuoso. 

Daniel Schneider’s Black Roses series of decks also have enthusiastic collectors, such as the NOC decks, the Gemini Casino decks, Golden Nugget decks, and Theory11’s Monarchs. 

Vanda’s Planet series is also very famous. Some people just try to collect anything created by their favourite and well-known cardistry brands, such as Anyone Playing Cards. 

Many playing card companies and websites conduct annual awards ceremonies recognizing the best decks created in the last year. For instance, the 52 Plus Joker’s diamond award for the Deck of the year was awarded to the American Playing Cards Collector Club and the Deck of the Year from Cardistry Con and the United Cardist.

A look at former awards winner and other nominations for each award category are like looking at a collection of greatest hits musicals. It is a great way to figure out what the industry truly values and to recognize some of the cards that are top of their design and excellence.

What Playing Card Designers Should I Get To Know?

Many individual designers have created a solid reputation with collectors of modern decks. To view the work of some well-known and the best designers, you should check out the designs of creators such as:

Lorenzo Gaggiotti (Stockholm17 Playing Cards), Jackson Robinson (Kings Wild Project), Jody Eklund (Black Ink Playing Cards), Paul Carpenter (Encarded Playing Cards), Lee McKenzie (Kings & Crooks), Giovanni Meroni (Thirdway Industries), Randy Butterfield (Midnight Playing Cards), Alex Chin (Seasons Playing Cards), etc.

What Card Manufacturers Should I Get To Know?

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All decks of playing cards are not made equal. Custom decks of playing cards have been used for centuries to promote tourism and have also been used as innovative products, and you won’t have to go far to get an inexpensive deck at a tourist attraction or your nearby store.

However, these custom decks are usually manufactured of thin card stock that won’t persist, and the cards will not shuffle or spread easily. Thankfully, some playing card manufacturers have developed a trustworthy reputation for making supreme quality playing cards. When you look at their names on a box, you can be sure that it will be a top-quality product.

A maker of a renowned bicycle brand, USPCC (The United States Playing Card Company), is the most famous name in this business. Since the 1800s, they have been working hard and are now the biggest manufacturers of custom playing cards.

They manufacture playing cards on a variety of cardstocks and finishes, but they mainly produce high-quality decks that look great and will be better than your average souvenir deck.

Cartamundi is Europe-based and has contributed to the custom playing cards market over the past few years. Their cards give a different look to the Deck manufactured by USPCC but also have premium quality.

Last year, Cartamundi incurred USPCC, so these well-known manufacturers are partners now, and there is a strong ground to believe that their strengths will be multiplied to manufacture even greater quality playing cards. 

Let’s come to the East. There are many publishers in Taiwan that print playing cards, some of them are Hanson Chien Playing Card Company, Legends Playing Card Company, and Expert Playing Card Company. They publish top-quality cards with a different look and feel.

Inland China is a great source of producing custom playing cards, but usually, the quality of cards printed here is not as good as cards made by Cartamundi, USPCC, and companies in Taiwan.

Companies such as WJPC lie in this category, but they excel because of doing small print runs. Collectors do not really care about the quality of playing cards created by China, but for magicians and cardists, it can make a huge difference.  


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This article has been adapted from part of an article that was written by BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame, and used with his permission. It was originally published on PlayingCardDecks.