You were given an overview of some distinct types of poker in the prior article. That doesn’t cover all the various kinds of playing card decks, so here is more that you should be familiar with to complete your knowledge.
Transformation playing cards began to emerge at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The renowned J.G. Cotta transformation decks were the first sets of transformation playing cards to be issued. This sparked a brief but intense interest in transformation decks.
Many beautiful decks were made in this vein between the end of the 19th and 20th centuries. The popularity of these playing cards has recently seen a revival in the age of online crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.
Some old transformation decks have been republished in high-quality replica versions. At the same time, brand-new transformation decks designed by the game’s original creators have been released into the market and met with a positive reaction.
The most important feature of transformation deck is the ability to imaginatively and artistically integrate individual dots into the background design of the cards.
For instance, pips on the Six of Clubs may be reinvented as tree leaves, while the pips on the Two of Hearts could become two swans; these images could be subsets of bigger compositions that take up most of the card faces.
A traditional transformation deck of playing cards keeps the pip symbols in their original positions and shapes. However, a semi-transformation deck provides the artist with more creative freedom since the pip symbols can be moved and reshaped in any way the artist sees fit.
It is not difficult to understand that the artist is forced to work within certain constraints while creating this kind of artwork; these constraints are inherent in the medium itself.
On the other hand, this opens the door to an incredible amount of creative potential because it poses the challenge of producing something that is both original and appealing while still adhering to the parameters of the genre.
It is precisely this creative potential that contributes to the genre’s widespread appeal and success.
Souvenir card decks
This is a deck of playing cards designed specifically to be sold as a memory or souvenir to tourists or other visitors is known as a souvenir deck. They often include images taken in various locations, portraying well-known landmarks, architecture, fauna, flora, or other aspects unique to the region.
In many cases, the backs of the cards will have either a picture or some writing that conveys some aspect of the general location. After that, each card will have a unique picture or image that takes up most of the space on the card in the region.
And, it is often reserved for the primary images of the court cards and pips. These primary images would ordinarily be seen on the card.
The presence of indices on the opposing corners of the card’s case that specify the suit and value of each card ensures that the deck may still be used for its intended purpose, namely, that of a game.
Because such a deck of playing cards effectively functions as a tiny picture book by recording essential photographs of a location, it is a perfect product for visitors to buy at a souvenir store because it captures key images of the location.
Souvenir decks are not required to be based on a specific nation or location; instead, they might be designed for a place of interest, such as a zoo or theme park, or even for a significant event.
They are produced largely for the visual graphics printed on the cards rather than for extensive usage in the games played using playing cards. As a consequence of this, they are often manufactured using thin card paper, which has poor performance when it comes to handling and shuffling.
However, they are fantastic for use as novelty things, and they accomplish the objective for which they were developed, which was to serve as a piece of memorabilia.
In addition, they serve a useful purpose in that they make it possible for you to engage in card games even when you are away from home on vacation, should you so want.
Advertising card decks
The potential for using playing cards as a medium for advertising was quickly recognized by the companies that make playing cards.
Playing cards, somewhat unlike souvenir trading cards, are an excellent medium for businesses to use to advertise their enterprise or the items they sell. The history of advertising decks dates back to the nineteenth century, with some stunning surviving examples.
Due to their primary use as promotional tools, advertising playing cards are often made on the cheap rather than high quality in terms of durability or aesthetics.
However, there are a lot of well-known companies that have devoted followers. Because of this, advertising decks that include these firms or goods automatically appeal to collectors who collect memorabilia linked with those companies or items.
For instance, a deck of playing cards that pays tribute to Coca-Cola will not only appeal to those who are passionate about playing cards, but it will also have a crossover appeal to anybody interested in collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia.
The popularity of decks that depict prominent beer and liquor labels may be attributed to the same factors.
As a consequence, you will come across playing cards promoting well-known brands of alcoholic beverages, such as Jack Daniels, as well as well-known brands of motorbikes and automobiles, such as Harley Davidson and Ford.
Tarot card decks
The playing cards used in tarot readings should be included in their own category since they are often misunderstood. To start, a Tarot deck is not like a regular deck of playing cards because it contains an additional 26 cards. This is the primary distinction between the two types of decks.
In addition to the standard 22 playing cards, there are additionally 22 more cards that are referred to as the Major Arcana. Each suit contains four court cards rather than three.
The addition of these trump cards was likely what led to the development of the Tarot deck in the first place; after all, the purpose of the Tarot deck was to make playing card games more difficult, and adding these additional cards was the easiest way to do so.
Some believe that Tarot cards originated in the occult and were tied to ancient secret organizations that spread esoteric information. Some people hold this perspective, but it is not universally held.
The origin of the Tarot deck is sometimes the topic of discussion. In some theories, Tarot decks were the foundation of the modern standard playing card deck.
However, with the release of Michael Dummett’s The Game of Tarot: From Ferrara to Salt Lake City (1980), there has been a growing agreement that Tarot decks were not employed for fortune-telling and the occult until the 18th century.
Before it was ever used for occult objectives, the “Major Arcana” was included in the standard deck of playing cards in the 15th century. At that time, it was used for trick-taking games and was always considered the strongest suit.
Tarot decks were utilized in this manner for centuries until cartomancers became enamored with them around the 18th century. This led to the Tarot decks developing a life of their own for fortune telling, as well as the artists shifting the focus of their work in a new direction.
Regardless of when or why it was decided, the number of cards in a Tarot deck is fixed. This is one of the primary ways it may be differentiated from a standard deck.
It often comes with very beautiful and visually appealing artwork, and the subject matter of the artwork frequently reflects occultic themes associated with fortune-telling.
It’s easy to understand why Tarot cards are so popular among collectors, given their unique design and aesthetic. This is true regardless of your thoughts on the cards’ origins, purpose, or historical importance.
Oracle card decks
Unlike regular decks like Tarot, there is no standard format or quantity of cards in an Oracle deck. For instance, the number of cards contained in Oracle cards’ deck might range from 12 to 100.
Other than the fact that the cards have a religious or spiritual meaning, there are no hard and fast rules regarding the composition of a deck of cards. In addition, there are no hard and fast rules about the number of cards or types of symbols that should be included in an oracle deck.
On the other hand, Oracle cards are only used for interpreting people’s destinies, in contrast to the Tarot deck, which may be used for other card games.
Cartomancy refers to divination via playing cards; the Tarot deck is now the most often utilized for this purpose. Even the most common deck of playing cards, which consists of 52 individual cards, may be used for divination and reading fortunes in certain situations.
Decks of regular playing cards have also been produced specifically for cartomancy. Some examples of these decks are the Ye Witches Fortune Cards (1896), the Kadar Fortune Playing Cards, and the Cartomancer Fortune deck.
People who are new to playing cards, or who only occasionally play poker, may only recognize the traditional Bicycle or Bee playing cards.
However, different types of poker are a colorful and amazingly vast world! They come in a wide variety of varieties and designs that can cater to more than just entertainment, magic, flower cutting, collecting, and more.
Therefore, this article will introduce you to 10 different playing card decks. Hopefully, you will be able to learn something after reading it, pique your interest in poker even more, and take the initiative to explore the endless fascination in the world of playing cards.
When card lovers discuss a “standard deck,” they usually have in mind a deck with a classic design. Over time, the court cards and the form and design of the pips and indices have both progressed toward being standardized.
Although the backs of the cards can be different, and both the ace of the spades and the jokers can be personalized, the majority of a standard deck will typically look the same.
With the possibility of a few minute differences, like the colors utilized for the court cards, the faces of the cards often appear precisely as you would anticipate seeing them in a standard deck designed in the Bicycle style.
Poker game players prefer reasonably conventional decks. It is acceptable for a deck of basic playing cards to come in a tuck box that has an elegant appearance and conveys an air of complexity and style as a result of embossing and foil accents.
However, the playing cards themselves must be able to fulfill their intended purpose and be easily identifiable in order to be used in games. In most cases, the ideal tool for the job is a regular deck of playing cards, the kind that comes with indexes and suits that are easily discernible.
Most performers believe that working with a normal deck is the best option since they do not want their audience distracted by intricate artwork or difficult-to-read pips and indices.
In addition, the sleight-of-hand abilities that they have acquired will frequently make stunts seem more difficult and miraculous if the deck of playing cards that they are using seems to be conventional in every regard.
This is because the sleight of hand skills allow them to manipulate the cards in a way that is invisible to the naked eye. We may thus anticipate that conventional decks will continue to be attractive for card games and card magic, despite the popularity achieved with personalized playing cards.
Many popular card games can be played using a conventional deck of playing cards; however, some standard decks have been modified to make them more suitable for play.
In most instances, this is little more than assigning point values to individual cards. A prime illustration of this would be the card game Canasta, which rose to prominence in the 1950s. Canasta card sets often include two decks, and the point totals on the point-scoring cards are written right to make the game more user-friendly.
Alternatively, in the card game Euchre, players don’t need almost a whole deck to take tricks. Usually, you’ll find enough cards for two games of Euchre in a standard deck, plus some extras that can be used for scoring.
Wizard is another highly popular trick-taking game. It is a regular deck with some modest adjustments to include specialized Wizard and Jester cards. These cards are what set Wizard apart from other trick-taking games.
On the other hand, the traditional card game Pinochle needs a specially constructed deck since it uses two copies of each card from 9 through Ace in each suit, resulting in 48 cards in the deck.
These are also available on their own, although given the unconventional make-up of the cards, they cannot be considered a regular deck of playing cards anymore.
Card flourishing has been in use for some time, and performers have been using it for a long time. Cardistry, on the other hand, has evolved an autonomous life alongside and apart from card magic over the last decade, and it is quickly establishing its credibility as an art form in its own right.
Cardistry is a card juggling style performed for an audience. It can be roughly characterized as the performance art of card juggling. Cardistry often includes an individual making visually attractive cuts, twirls, spins, and other moves with a deck of cards.
Cardistry is seeing explosive growth, particularly among younger people, due largely to the proliferation of social media platforms and the ease with which anyone can now upload and distribute films online.
Cardistry, on the other hand, has led to the development of a unique deck made specifically for the art. Because of the emphasis on appearance, a deck with vibrant colors and eye-catching patterns will provide the best results while cardistry is performed. Since that, decks tailored and built expressly for cardistry were eventually developed.
Due to the widespread popularity of cardistry, decks of playing cards that focus only on visual aesthetics rather than a practical utility for games and card magic quickly found a willing consumer base. Although some cardistry decks are designed to be multipurpose (for both games and magic), their main function is to be aesthetically pleasing.
Usually, a cardistry deck would need the absolute greatest level in terms of quality and performance. It will contain a design and pattern that appears amazing while the cards are being handled.
This is because cardistry relies heavily on visual illusion. There are also cardistry decks where both sides of every card are the same, eliminating the need for pips and indices.
There are decks designed specifically for magicians, just as cards designed specifically for gamers. Since USPCC provides a 56-card deck as a standard when printing, it means that there are two more cards in addition to the Jokers and the deck itself.
Card magicians utilize these cards for card magic, thus creating specific Gaff decks. Sometimes these may be a deck containing individual gaff cards meant to be used independently, such as a double backer or blank card.
Other times, though, they will be more sophisticated than that. A gaff deck can be completely made up of gaffed cards, also frequently referred to as “trick decks”. These decks allow you to do things you wouldn’t be able to accomplish with a standard deck.
Collectors who are serious about their profession will often be cautious to differentiate between the terms “antique” and “vintage.”
The term “antique” can refer to anything over a hundred years old. However, the word “vintage” is far more versatile. It can be used to refer to anything that is from a previous generation or historical period.
A deck considered to be vintage originates from a time period that has since passed. Playing cards are a product designed to be utilized rather than maintained; as a result, the vast majority of pre-World War II decks have been destroyed or are in very poor condition when they are discovered nowadays.
Since these decks are so rare and valuable, the marketplace for them commands prices much beyond what the normal card collector would spend.
On the other hand, only because a deck has a vintage aesthetic does not imply that it is of a certain age. Some beautiful and eye-catching decks give off the impression of being quite worn and outdated. However, they are composed of brand-new playing cards of very good quality.
This could be accomplished by utilizing a graphic design that gives the cards the appearance of being damaged on purpose or having an antique appearance. Sometimes, these are precise reproductions of well-known decks from the past.
On other occasions, however, the decks have been digitally manipulated to give the impression of having been used for a long time.
This was accomplished by using a creative license to produce an item that only gives the impression of having been used for a long time. In any instance, many of these contemporary decks are aptly referred to as “vintage decks.”
They have the appearance that they have been transported into the current day directly from an earlier era. However, they are still high-quality items that feel amazing and perform well.
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:
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?
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?
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.
Do you know how are playing cards made? Playing cards are instantly recognizable and are used for many card games of chance or skill.
Today’s pokers are made up of layered pasteboard, printed with the same image on the back and different images on the face. These cards are believed to have been developed during the twelfth century, based on divination practices, or as a game inspired by chess.
Nowadays, playing cards are produced with modern printing techniques: lithography or gravure. As technology progresses, it’s likely that the playing card manufacturing industry will adopt more digital methods, with the potential to significantly increase revenue.
History Of Playing Cards
The specific origin of playing cards is unknown, as they’ve existed for many centuries. The first written record of them comes from East Asia in the twelfth century.
They may have existed in China as early as the seventh century and may have been known in India around the same time, as early European poker cards feature Indian motifs that are associated with Hinduism.
Playing cards could have been developed in India as a derivative of chess, or in Egypt as a tool for fortune-telling and magic practices. They arrived in Europe, likely either Spain or Italy, from the Middle East in the thirteenth century, and then spread across the continent.
These early cards were quite similar to modern playing cards. Like our decks, they had 52 cards with four suits, though the suits were different: swords, coins, cups, and polo sticks. Each suit had cards numbered 1 through 10, along with a king, deputy king, and second deputy king for the face cards.
Once people in Europe began making their own cards, designs became less consistent, with many variations on suits and face cards. Then, in the late fifteenth century, European poker card games became more standardized, with the suits we recognize today—spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs—appearing in 1480s France.
Early decks of cards were hand-colored, making them very expensive to produce, and therefore they were predominantly owned by the wealthy. The cheaper versions that were produced likely would deteriorate quickly.
In fifteenth-century Germany, cards were produced with a new printing method that used wooden blocks as templates, and these new decks spread quickly throughout Europe. Copperplate engraving replaced hand-colored woodblock prints in the sixteenth century.
Playing cards came to the New World along with British, Dutch, and French settlers, and these early decks had the medieval motifs of the spade, club, diamond, and heart that we recognize today.
In the early seventeenth century, the development of color lithography revolutionized playing card production. Playing card manufacturing will continue to progress along with new developments in digital printing technology.
How Are Playing Cards Made?
Playing card design
A standard deck of playing cards is made up of 52 rectangular cards, about 2.5 x 3.5 in (63 x 88 mm), with rounded corners (R3.5). Cards are made of what’s called pasteboard: layers of paper adhered together.
Cardbacks in a deck are identical, with a specific pattern that indicates the manufacturer. Red and blue patterns are the most common, and the patterns are typically symmetrical so that the cards look the same from the back in either orientation. They may have a white border or the pattern may extend all the way to the edges of the cards.
Cardbacks can be printed with any color or design, and it’s possible to order custom decks of cards with a specific image, such as a logo or other design, and these are popular as promotional items.
Card faces have two colors, typically red and black, and four suits: hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. Each suit comprises 13 cards: three face cards, king, queen, and jack, plus cards numbered from 1 (ace) to 10. Face cards are double-ended, so they look the same in either orientation in a hand.
Most cards have their number and suit indicated in the upper left and bottom right corners, making them easy to read while held fanned out in a hand as they are commonly used in card games.
Most new decks of cards will also include two jokers, which are used in some games.
Classic parlor games like bridge, gin, and rummy may be the most common use of playing cards, but there is a huge variety of other games as well. Familiar gambling games like blackjack and poker use standard card decks, and there are lots of other games like spades, cribbage, and more.
Further, non-standard card decks are created for other card or board games. They may have suits and numbers like traditional cards, or they may have other information for the game, such as trivia, or specific symbols or text. Cards can also be used for teaching purposes.
Tarot cards are another traditional type of card deck. These are generally larger and heavier than standard playing cards, and they have 78 cards with different suits and images.
Magicians commonly use playing cards. Some magic tricks are done with unmodified cards, while others use trick cards. One style is marked cards, which have subtle markings on the back that let someone familiar with those marks identify the face cards. Other trick decks can have some cards that are slightly shortened or tapered, again to aid in identification.
There are also a variety of novelty card decks available that may have different shapes or sizes or are made of different materials.
Playing card materials
Playing cards can be made of paper or plastic. Paper cards are made out of layers of paper glued together to create the desired thickness and durability. Plastic polymers can be used to make more durable, higher-quality cards.
Cellulose acetate is a semisynthetic polymer that can be made into thin, paper-like sheets. These film sheets can be laminated in a stack similar to paper and made into long-lasting, durable cards.
Producing a deck of cards begins with printing the card faces and backs on the pasteboards, cutting the sheets into individual cards, and assembling and packaging the deck.
Printing the plates
Playing cards are typically printed with lithography. The first step is creating printing plates from the artwork that will be used for the cards, both front and back.
The images are divided into their individual colors, and a negative of each color is exposed on a flat light-sensitive plate. Once the plates are developed, the image portion is coated with an oily substance that attracts ink and repels water, while the non-image portion is coated with a substance that does the opposite.
The prepared plates are mounted onto the printing press cylinders. The plate passes under a roller that coats it with water, which only adheres to the non-image portions of the plate. The next roller applies ink, which only adheres to the image portions.
Next, a rubber roller picks up the ink from the printing plate and applies it to the pasteboard that will become a deck of playing cards. Repeat this process for each color.
Once the printing process is complete, a sheet will be printed front and back with the card images. At this point, it may be coated with a clear polymer that gives the cards a sheen and protects them from damage.
Cutting and stacking
Once the pasteboards have been printed, they’re ready to be cut. This is done with highly precise machines that are able to cut the cards identically. Then they’re organized into a stack as a complete deck.
The stack moves to the next phase of cutting, where the corners are rounded by going through two punching stations, one for each side of the deck.
Finally, the stack of cards is ready for packaging. Boxes are created through a similar printing process and then folded into shape. The cards are put into the boxes on an assembly line, and then the boxes are closed and sealed, with a sticker to show that the box is new. The boxes are then individually shrink-wrapped, and then packaged and shipped to their next destination.
Quality control is an important part of the process from the sourcing of the raw materials through the entire printing and packaging process.
Paper is evaluated to make sure that its appearance, size, consistency, and other characteristics meet the required standards and are consistent. Inks are tested for consistency in color, solubility and viscosity.
Test prints are made to ensure the plates will perform correctly before the actual printing, and random sheets are checked during production for any errors. Finally, before the cutting process, any defective sheets are removed.
Inspectors along the production line ensure that everything is running smoothly and that each deck meets quality standards.
The market for playing cards is mature and fairly stable. This encourages card creators and card manufacturers to come up with new designs for playing cards, whether that’s simply new artwork or entirely new materials or shapes for cards, in attempts to increase sales through novelty.
Furthermore, new printing methods that take advantage of computerization will help speed production and even allow for accurate printing directly from digital images, eliminating the need for printing plates. This will also make it easier and more affordable to create customized decks of cards.
Most of us are familiar with playing cards—we’ve probably played some card games or tried to learn a magic trick at some point. We all recognize the four suits, the red and black colors, and the stylized images of royalty on the face cards.
However, there’s more to a deck of cards than meets the eye. These simple seeming cards are carefully designed and engineered, and they have a long and storied history. Here are 10 hidden secrets in playing cards that will turn these everyday objects into a fascination.
Most people would probably say that playing cards have that distinctive “snap” because of their plastic coating, but that’s not actually the case. High-quality playing cards have that springy feeling because of the glue that holds layers of paper together to form the card.
This layered construction makes playing cards more durable, and the glue creates that springy quality that allows them to be easily shuffled and gently curved, perhaps to peek at your poker hand or do a fancy card trick, without being permanently bent.
But speaking of that plastic coating, did you know that it doesn’t actually cover the whole card? Playing cards are printed with all the cards on one large sheet, which is coated with a clear polymer before the individual cards are cut, so the edges expose the paper. That’s why you don’t want to let your cards get wet—those edges will absorb water just like ordinary paper.
What’s On The Playing Card Back?
You might think the back designs on playing cards aren’t as important as the faces, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. For those who use playing cards professionally, including casinos and magicians, the playing card back design is critical.
Casino operators are concerned with cheating, so they tend to favor more simple designs with perfect symmetry, making it easier to spot a marked card. Magicians, on the other hand, might prefer more complex designs that they can use to their advantage.
In any case, any creator of playing cards should consider the back image for their decks just as much as they do the fronts. After all, playing card front and back end up getting a lot of attention.
All About Edges
The edges of cards aren’t at a right angle to their flat surfaces—they’re actually cut at a slight angle. This also means that depending on the manufacturer, the cards have a slightly bigger front or back.
This may not seem like much, but the bevel actually affects how the cards feel to shuffle. The knife edge helps the cards weave together and slide back into position in the deck more easily. For those who do a lot of card shuffling and manipulation, like card trick aficionados, the direction of that bevel makes a difference, and decks designed for magic tricks will often feature a particular type of edge cut.
French Poker Origins
While playing cards can be tracked back to at least the twelfth century and have likely existed since much earlier, their exact origins are unknown. They likely originated in China, India, or the Middle East. By the fourteenth century they’d spread throughout Europe, and they varied in different countries, with different suits and designs. For example, french playing cards at this time had hearts, leaves, bells and acorns, while early Italian decks used cups, coins, swords, and cudgels.
The suits that we’re familiar with today, spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds originated in France. They stuck around because of their simple, geometric shapes that made them easy to read and to print. Those four symbols are now some of the most recognizable in the world.
Who is the “Suicide King”?
The traditional image of the King of Hearts shows him holding up a sword that appears to be going right into his head. This appearance led to the card being known as the “suicide king.” However, this is a misleading title.
The King of Hearts was based on art by Pierre Marechal in 1565 of King Charlemagne, who was depicted charging into battle with his sword up and ready to attack. But the space on a playing card is limited, and since it was common to align the crowns with the card borders, the sword ended up behind the king’s head, creating the impression that he was stabbing himself.
The One-Eyed King
The One-Eyed King
The next king we’ll talk about is the King of Diamonds, who’s often called Caesar. Unlike the other kings, Caesar is pictured in profile, and he’s not holding his weapon, which is an axe instead of a sword. Why is this king different?
One story about this king is that he’s actually a god: Odin, of Norse mythology. Odin sacrificed his eye in order to gain a higher level of wisdom and understanding. He also doesn’t need to hold his weapon like the other kings—his powers enable him to strike from afar.
The Imperial Orb
Now we’ll look at one more king: the King of Clubs. Originally he was supposed to be holding an orb in his non-sword hand, but this is hard to see in modern designs—the orb often looks like some kind of insignia on the king’s robes, if it’s present at all.
The International Playing Card Society explains that both French and English playing card decks used four famous kings on their face cards: Charles (King of Hearts), David (King of Spades), Caesar (King of Diamonds), and Alexander (King of Clubs). These names were originally included on the cards, though this practice faded over time.
All About the Joker Playing Card
While playing cards have a long history spanning many centuries and countries, the Joker’s history stands out, as it’s the only card with an American origin. Many people may think that the Joker is a derivation of the Fool from tarot, but this isn’t actually the case.
One of the most popular card games in America in the 1800s was Euchre, a trick-taking game. In one version of this game, a blank card was used as a top trump card, or the “bower.” Eventually decks were printed specifically with a new card, the Joker, to be used as the top trump card in Euchre.
The card has since been incorporated into a variety of other card games, where it often serves as a “wild card” that can represent any card, or has other unique rules. Some decks designed for specific games come with multiple Jokers to suit the rules of the game.
While today, Jokers have a wide variety of designs, the classic design keeps with the royalty theme by depicting a court jester. Modern standard decks usually include two Jokers, and they’re often colored to match the deck, with one red and one black.
Why the Ace of Spades Playing Card Stands Out?
If you’re familiar with playing cards you may have found yourself wondering why the Ace of Spades seems special. Of course, all the Aces are a bit unique, as in some games they’re considered high cards, topping even the King, in others they’re simply a one, and in yet others they can be either. However, while other suits depict the Ace with a single pip, the Ace of Spades has a large, ornate symbol.
This wasn’t always the case—in fact, considering the history of playing cards, it’s a fairly new tradition. As the International Playing Card Society explains, this is when England began taxing playing cards that were sold both in England and in America. The Ace of Spades would be stamped on its front to confirm that the tax on that deck was paid.
This policy lasted almost a hundred years, until 1862, when the law was changed. Printers were able to print their own designs on the aces, and so they quickly started using the Ace of Spades as a brand icon, as the Dawsons explain in The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards. Some companies had a variety of designs they used in different decks, but the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) stuck with their famous Lady Liberty design.
Cards of War
The association between cards and the military goes beyond the simple game of “War” that many of us played as children. A deck of playing cards is easy to carry, making it a common item carried by military personnel in the field to provide some entertainment for troops during downtimes.
Sometimes the cards themselves have played a part in wartime conflicts. During the Vietnam war, US troops used the Ace of Spades as psychological warfare. In fortune telling, the Ace of Spades was considered a symbol of death, and the Viet Cong was considered to be very superstitious, so the United States created decks made up of only the Ace of Spades, and troops scattered the cards throughout the Vietnam jungles, trying to scare their enemy.
In World War II, playing cards were used to smuggle maps to prisoners. When the cards got wet, the top layer could be peeled away, revealing a map that would help them escape safely.
More recently, in 2003 during the Iraq war, playing cards were used as a form of propaganda. The USPCC created cards with images of Iraqi leadership: Iraq’s 52 Most Wanted, and sent them to American troops.
In this article, we’re going to learn how to play basic poker. So if you’re ready, let’s start learning playing cards!
Basic Poker Rules: How To Play Basic Poker
First of all, it’s important to point out that there are several different poker games to play. The term “Poker” encompasses a whole family of different games which share some common elements.
All poker games use the standard deck of 52 playing cards, for instance. Some variations also include jokers, but most standard poker games do not.
In order to form a poker hand, you must always use five cards. Some poker games offer you more than five cards to build your hand. But no matter how many are available, your final hand must always feature five cards.
Poker Hand Rankings
Another key component of all types of poker games is the hand ranking system. No matter what the game, this hierarchy applies.
Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
Four of a Kind: Four of the same value plus any other card.
Full House: A combination of three of a kind plus one pair.
Flush: Five of the same suit in any order.
Straight: Five consecutive cards, such as 9-8-7-6-5, of different suits.
Three of a Kind: Three of the same value with two unpaired cards.
Two Pair: Two pairs and a random fifth card, such as 9-9-5-5-K.
One Pair: Any pair, with three unconnected cards, for example Q-Q-A-5-2.
High Card: Take the highest card in the hand if it doesn’t fit any other category.
An ace high straight flush is the best possible poker hand, known as a Royal Flush.
No Limit Texas Hold’em
When most beginners talk about poker, they are thinking of Texas Hold’em. This is one of the best adult card games as it’s extremely popular with gamblers and is frequently seen on television. A majority of the highest profile tournaments are No Limit Texas Hold’em events.
All players receive two cards each, called “hole cards”, which are face down and remain private at all times. As the hand progresses, five shared cards are placed face up on the table.
These “community cards” may be used by all players, giving a total of seven. Remember that a poker hand always consists of five cards, so two will remain unused.
Flop: The first three cards, all turned up at the same time.
Turn: A fourth card, revealed after the flop betting is complete.
River: The fifth and final card.
Among the poker basics you need to master are the betting rounds. In No Limit Hold’em as the name implies, there is no maximum bet. You can wager all of the chips in front of you if you wish.
When there is no bet in front of you, your options are as follows:
Check: Stay in the hand but decline to put money into the pot.
Bet: Make a wager and force others to pay if they wish to continue.
If you are faced with a bet, your options are:
Call: Continue in the hand by matching the bet in front of you.
Raise: Increase the amount required for opponents to continue by betting further.
Before the cards are dealt, the two players immediately to the dealer’s left are forced to pay a bet. These “blinds” are what ensures there’s always something worth playing for. These move around one seat every hand, to ensure all players pay their share.
The “Big Blind” is twice the size of the “Small Blind” and is what dictates the minimum raise size. For instance, if the Big Blind is $1 and you wish to raise, you must raise at least $1 for a total bet of $2.
It’s legal to raise to a total of $2.50, for instance. But it’s not allowed to make it $1.50 to play, as that’s a raise of just $0.50.
There are four betting rounds in Texas Hold’em, known as streets. The first round of betting takes place after you receive your initial two cards and before we see any community cards.
After the pre-flop betting has closed, the dealer reveals the three “flop” cards and a new round of betting occurs. Once finished, we see the “turn” card and bet again, before the final “river” card is dealt.
This round of betting is the last. If more than one player remains at the end, we reveal the hole cards and determine a winner.
Poker Games List
Here are just a handful of the many different poker games which exist:
Five Card Draw
Seven Card Stud
Omaha High/Low Split
Poker Tournaments and Associations
There are dozens of poker associations around the world, all of which offer various tournaments. Perhaps the most famous is the World Series of Poker, which hosts a collection of events every summer in Las Vegas, including the $10,000 Main Event.
The World Poker Tour is possibly the biggest rival to the WSOP. Though many regional associations also exist, such as the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
At a local level, most cities around the world have casinos and poker clubs with tournaments. Here you can hone your skills before progressing to the bigger events.
Buy From Best Playing Cards Printer
If you’re learning how to play poker, then a good deck of playing cards is absolutely essential.
As tempting as it might be to purchase a cheap pack of cards, it’s a false economy. The poor quality cardboard bends and tears after just a few uses, while a spillage can be terminal.
The best playing cards are made from polymers like cellulose acetate or PVC. They are extremely hard-wearing, difficult to mark and you can even wipe them clean. Care for them well and they can quite literally last for a lifetime.
WJPC is a professional playing card manufacturer and has manufactured many quality playing cards.They are not only highly durable, but also make fantastic gifts.
Also, they are suitable for all of the best family card games, but also drinking games and even magic card tricks.
Other Games To Play With a Deck of Cards
Hopefully, our guide on how to play basic poker has helped you to understand the game. But if not, don’t worry. There are many other enjoyable playing card games which might be more suitable for you.
Why not read up on the rules of some of the following instead?
Poker is a game that’s simple to learn, but that can take a lifetime to master. A perfect blend of risk, psychology and memory, it can be extremely good fun to play.
Hopefully, thanks to our guide to the basic poker rules, you’re now well on your way to getting started.
The popularity of poker cards as a pastime is very high and has penetrated into every household. The randomness and unpredictability of the combinations between different cards can make players feel very excited.
You may have more or less mastered the poker rules. However, do you know what is poker exactly?
History Of Playing Cards: Why Were Playing Cards Invented?
There are many different opinions about the origin of poker cards, but three main accepted ones are as follows:
Playing cards were probably first introduced to Europe by Venetian merchants.
The predecessor of playing cards is the leaf play in the Southern Song Dynasty of China.
India is more likely to be the origin of poker cards than China because the early European Tarot cards are somewhat related to Hindu mythology.
Although their origins vary, they all share a common feature, agreeing that playing cards were originally identified as “game coins” used as wagers in other gambling games, before slowly becoming a game in its own right.
What’s more, a link between poker and the games of chess or dice has also been suggested, but this is also speculative.
Suit: What’s In a Deck Of Cards？
The internationally used playing cards are divided into four suits: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. In different countries, the design of the four suits of poker card games varies:
France: Hearts, Tiles, Clovers, Pikes;
Germany: Hearts, Bells, Acorns, Leaves;
Switzerland: Roses, Bells, Acorns, Shields;
Italy/ Spain: Cups, Swords, Coins, Clubs.
There are also many arguments as to why these four patterns should be used as the poker suits. Two of the more concentrated statements are following:
They show the four main trades of the society at that time, in which the spade represents the spear and soldier; the club represents the trefoil and agriculture; the diamond represents the brick and tile used by craftsmen; and the heartrepresents the red heart and the priest.
They come from the drawings of the artifacts used in ancient European divination, in which the spade represents the olive leaf and peace; the club is a clover, meaning luck; the diamond is symbolizing wealth; and the heart symbolizes wisdom and love.
Number Of Poker Cards: Why Are There 52 Cards In a Deck?
The number of cards in the earliest card deck varies from place to place. Italy is 78 cards, Germany is 32 cards, Spain is 40 cards, France is 52 cards, etc.
Among them, the 52 cards represent the 52 weeks of the year, and the spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds represent the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Each pattern has 13 cards, shows a season of 13 weeks (about equal to three months). The number of ranks for each pattern (1-13) adds up to 91 points, and each season is also 91 days.
The K, Q and J have 12 cards, indicating both that there are 12 months in a year and that the sun passes through 12 constellations during the year.
The two jokers were invented by the Americans, where the Red Joker indicates the day and the Black Joker means the night. In addition, the playing cards have only red and black colors.
So far, the international common 54 playing cards are basically finalized. Some custom playing cards, will also add one or two “advertising cards” in a deck of cards.
Why are there jokers in a deck of poker cards?
The concept of these two cards was based on the trick card game Euchre, when some players changed the rules to require an card in addition to the 52 standard cards.
As a result, an “trump card” was created and used as an extra card, or even as a replacement for a lost card. Due to the popularity of the Euchre, American card manufacturers soon joined the trend and started producing this poker with extra cards.
It wasn’t long before the card became known as the “Jolly Joker” – because it could be played as a “wild card” in many games, which is very surprising and deceptive to play.
Rank: Deck Of Cards Symbols
The rank is also known as face value or points, and the order of poker cards is based on the number of points, except for aces and twos, which are slightly controversial. The number of rank 1-5 is called wheelcard, rank 3-10 is called spotter, and rank 1-10 is called whiteskin.
JQK, which are bigger than 10 points, are called Face Cards, Royal Cards or Court Cards. The origin of the latter two expressions goes back to the prototype of the 12 JQKs in four suits. Among them, K are four important kings, Q are four famous queens, and J are four legendary knight of great merit.
Who are the JQKs in poker cards?
The king of clubs is Alexander the Great, the most powerful military commander in European history, who established his dominance over all of Greece and then destroyed the Persian Empire. His clothes were always worn with jewels equipped with crosses, and his hair was curled outward.
The king of diamonds is Julius Caesar, the rightful uncrowned king of the Roman Empire. Since Julius Caesar is depicted in profile on the coins of the Roman Empire, he is the only profile portrait on the King’s Card.
His hair is curled inward, and he is the only one inside holding a battle axe instead of a sword – a symbol of power in Rome.
The king of hearts was Charlemagne, who controlled most of Europe. The emperor is described as a six-meter-tall giant whose hair curls inward and holds his sword behind his head.
He is the only king card without an upper row of beards, because the carpenter who first carved his portrait accidentally scraped off the beard on his upper lip. And all the later king of hearts are based on this painting as a specimen.
The king of spades is King David, who is described as the most righteous of all the ancient kings of Israel, and was an excellent warrior, musician and poet.
According to the Bible, Jesus was a descendant of David, and since David was good at playing the lyre, the king of spades often has a harp on it.
The queen of clubs is called Argine, which is not a real character. Her name originates from the European Scrabble game, which was recombined to become Argine.
Legend has it that the Lancaster royal family in England was symbolized by the red rose, and the York royal family was symbolized by the white rose.
After the Battle of the Roses, the two royal families reconciled and tied their roses together. So this queen is holding a rosebud in her hand.
The queen of diamonds is called Rachel, the second and favorite wife of Jacob (the ancestor of the Jews). She was originally a shepherdess, with a beautiful and lovely figure, holding a flower in her hand as well.
The queen of hearts was Judith, a beautiful widow of the ancient Hebrews. It was saying that when the Assyrian army invaded the Hebrew region, she seduced the Assyrian general Holofemes, killed him in his tent while he was drunk and asleep.
Then she cut off his head, causing the Assyrian army to flee in terror, thus saving Bethulia.
The queen of spades is Eleonor, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. Leopold married this German princess as a way to stop the German nobility’s attempts to gain independence from the Empire. She is the only one to hold a weapon.
The jack of clubs is Sir Lancelot Du Lac, the first warrior in King Arthur’s Round Table. His love affair with Queen Gwynevere led to a war between him and King Arthur. He was gentle, and quite brave, and helpful.
The jack of diamonds is Hector, the first warrior of Loti, known as “The Walls of Troy”. Finally, he fought with Achilles and died in the hands of his opponent.
The jack of hearts is La Hire, an attendant of Charles VII le Victorieux. Also, he was a French military commander in the Hundred Years’ War and Jeanne d’Arc’s right-hand man, who was very resourceful.
The jack of spades is a Czech nobleman, AEW von Wallenstein, who fought in many wars and won many victories in commanding Catholic armies against Protestants.
What Types Of Poker Are There?
There are a great amounts of poker cards, from the famous classics to the emerging variants, which vary in style, length and complexity of play.
Among them, texas holdem poker, madison deck, star wars playing cards, kem playing cards, harry potter playing cards and nintendo playing cards are arguably the six most popular types of playing cards.
To sum up, poker is the crystallization of human wisdom, but also the product of human recreation and entertainment. It relaxes the mind and body to a certain extent and makes people spiritually happy.
But on the other hand, it is the condensation of human greed and darkness and a symbol of gambling. And in modern times, more often than not, playing cards are used as a custom artwork, or advertising and marketing tool.
If you have your own creative ideas for playing cards, we can help you really make it happen!
Learning is one of the most common uses of flash cards. Whether it’s home education, school & institutional education for kids and students, or corporate training and other purposes for adults, you’ll see them.
It is suitable for various scenarios, for example: abc flash cards, alphabet flash cards, Spanish flashcards, boom learning cards, math flashcards, number flashcards, letter flashcards, sight words flash cards, etc.
As you can see, the flashcards are exactly the method for memorizing those fragmented and complicated tiny knowledge points. Firstly, it solves the problem of wasting energy by grouping all the knowledge points together and not differentiating the difficulty level; secondly, it helps you overcome the difficult points without realizing it by consolidating the wrong knowledge points until you remember them successfully.
Moreover, the quiz format of “draw and recognize” is actually giving ourselves a positive feedback incentive constantly. With more and more successful cards, we will gain a sense of achievement just like passing level after level when playing a game.
Here we will highlight why flashcards are so useful and how to make flashcards. You can choose from hand-made, online-made or even print-made methods to implement your flash card-making ideas. All of these methods are equally effective, so you just need to decide which medium you prefer.
The flashcards require you to use active recall. You must guess or recall the correct answer, not just look at your textbook, notes, or a video on the topic. Active recall tests memory and gives you the opportunity to “remember” the answer rather than relying on notes or other media to “provide” the answer. When your brain and memory are actively working, you can retain information longer than just passively encountering them.
Reading flashcards also involves metacognition – the awareness of your own thoughts and processes. This happens when you guess the answer and flip the card over to see if you are correct. When you look at the answers, you are self-assessing your skills; if you answer incorrectly, you will self-correct. This process can help you improve your own learning skills and master the topic more quickly.
In addition, flash cards involve a learning technique – spaced repetition. Constant interaction with the same subject matter makes it easier for your brain to recall information. Spaced repetition works best when flashcards are organized into groups of information and difficulty levels. In this practice, new or more difficult topics should be reviewed more frequently than easy topics, thus helping to reinforce spaced learning.
How To Make Flash Cards By Hand?
Handwritten flashcards may help improve recall more than printable flashcards. By writing the information with a pen, you can learn and process it more effectively, memorizing the spelling of words, rather than typing them into an electronic document.
Another benefit is that some people who are located in the role of teaching can easily bring them to class. Since many schools and institutions have bans or restrictions on electronic devices, you may not be able to use flashcards online in class.
Prepare the place and materials
To start any project, you need a suitable area and all materials and tools ready for you to concentrate on your work.
For materials, you can collect signature pens, markers, highlighters, and any other writing instruments you wish to use. Usually, the paper used for making flash cards by hand is an index card. It is a common type of cardstock that typically measures 76.2×127 mm (3×5 inches) and does not fold or tear easily.
In addition to making flash cards or other visual aids, an index card is also commonly used to record and store recipes, shopping lists, contact information, presentation notes, and more. If you don’t have an index card, you can also cut a plain sheet of white cardstock to the desired size.
Highlight the focus
1) Clarify the scenario
You need to be clear about the people and scenarios for which the flashcards will be used. If you are making it for yourself, then you need to consider your own learning behavior and habits before identifying important information in your notes and textbooks. If you are making it for others, such as young children, foreigners, beginners, etc., then you need to consider aspects such as their knowledge level and memory capacity.
2) Refine knowledge
Distill the knowledge down to its key components. It is a good idea to start with a mind map or framework in your notebook so that you can transfer them to flashcards in physical or digital form. A clear and well-defined note-taking system will help you create learning flashcards more smoothly.
3) Design the front flash card
Write down your key terms, concepts, or questions on the front of the flash card. Try to write these phrases or short sentences as large as possible to make them easier to read. Also, do not write any explanations or answers on the front side.
This is because the purpose of the flash card is to allow you to see a basic concept and then be able to identify relevant information about the topic. Therefore, please keep the front of the card as simple as possible.
Research has proven that associating words with visuals makes it easier to recall information. You can draw simple patterns to describe words or questions to help you remember complex topics.
4) Design the back flash card
Write down your key and short messages on the back of the flash card. Write in pencil or light ink so that this information does not bleed through to the other side of the card. If desired, you can also draw a diagram or pattern.
However, make sure your text is large, clear, and well-spaced. This is because crowded or smaller fonts can make it difficult to quickly identify important content and do not facilitate your quick recall.
Optimize and improve
1) Use bright colors
Using different colored markers or highlighters to identify key points can draw your attention further to the salient information. You are free to be creative, just make sure it doesn’t interfere with reading.
2) Keep things simple
Each card should contain only one key point and answer. This is more helpful for association and memorization and prevents the learning process from becoming overwhelming. If you need help remembering more complex topics, it is best to break them down into simpler subsections.
For example, if you want to remember the point on heart/vascular disease in medical terminology flashcards, you can’t write all the subcategories of blood clots, DVT, thrombophlebitis, etc. on the back. Instead, you should separate them all into individual cards and finally organize them into a card group using a card box or open-ended ring.
You can also use shorthand to save space. Sometimes, you may need to include a lot of information on a single flash card. In this case, consider using a form of shorthand that works for you. Often, people use “&” instead of “and” and “eg” instead of “for example “.
How To Make Flashcards Online?
1) Create a template
Open Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Adobe Acrobat, search for “flash card” in their template library, and choose the template you like. Of course, you can also download some templates for multiplication flash cards, abc flash cards, or alphabet flashcards from the Internet, or even design your own from scratch.
But please remember that your flashcards should be easy to read. If a certain decoration or color makes it difficult for you to use them, you should avoid using that template.
2) Fill in the information
Some templates will tell you where to put key terms, concepts, or questions, and where you should put the necessary information. Usually, we fill in the keywords or questions on the front of the card and write the corresponding answers or comments on the back. You can refer more to commercially available flashcards or flashcards made by study masters.
3) Paint the colors
Use colors to further organize your flashcards. The color should be easy to read but distinguish it from the other colors. For example, use black text as the primary information, and then use red, green, blue, etc. as supplementary information.
4) Add patterns
This will be the highlight of your flashcards – add pictures to the cards to make them more beautiful and memorable. The idea comes from a concept in cognitive psychology called the picture dominance effect: pictures and images are easier to remember than words. This effect has been confirmed in numerous experiments.
However, this does not mean that you can completely replace the text on the card with a picture. Because it turns out that a mixture of pictures and text works better than pictures alone. By adding descriptive sentences (or even individual terms) next to the patterns, you can improve your brain’s ability to recall what you’ve learned.
5) Print and cut
Once the design is complete, you can use your printer to print and cut out the flashcards to the right size. What’s more, you can organize them into a card group by punching a hole in their corner and stringing the cards on a ring. This way you can flip through them whenever and wherever you want.
Online Design Platforms
Currently, there are many online platforms or apps for making flashcards on the web, such as Canva, Quizlet, and Cram, all of which can help you start this project easier and faster. Most of their resources are free, and some are even customized by discipline, such as hiragana flash cards and pharmacology flash cards.
All you need to do is find the right template or theme and follow the platform’s step-by-step instructions to quickly generate a series of flashcards that you can then print out or save to your computer or phone!
How To Print Flashcards?
If you just need a deck of flashcards, then a home printer or print store can help you print them right away. But if you are considering mass production or even selling, then you will need a professional flashcard maker. You better choose a manufacturer who has a lot of experience in learning flashcards so that you will get more help on layout, color, production, etc.
Typically, making printable flashcards involves the following processes: Design Submission – Typesetting – Printing on Press – Surface Treatment –Cutting and Drying – Subassembly – Packaging. If you want to learn more about how to print flash cards, please click on “Process“.
How To Use Flashcards?
Say it out loud
The more senses you involve in the learning process, the more likely you are to remember the information longer. Try speaking out the answers while reading them as an active learning method.
Mix the order
Make sure to study your flashcards in as many different orders as possible. This is because if you keep using the same order over and over again, you may only remember the answers to the order rather than the keywords. You can shuffle the cards after each use to build up the neural pathways that support memory recall.
Practice achieves perfection. A set of flashcards or note cards won’t help you much if you don’t use them regularly. Whether you’re studying for an advanced exam in high school or college, or your child is in kindergarten or elementary school, studying regularly is critical to success. Plan flashcard study sessions at least once a week and review concepts before exams for best results.
Image and observe sometimes
Some letters, numbers, and words that are simple for us are a whole new world for young children. If you are making flash cards for preschoolers, don’t identify them for the sake of identification. It is more important for them to develop imagination and observation. This requires teaching people to spend more time with them playing card games, communicating, and interacting more.
In fact, the answers for how to make flashcards are not complex. They can be summarized in 3 points: the first is to categorize the cards into word studies, extracts of key points, questions to think about, and so on. The second is that the knowledge recorded on each card should be as homogeneous and structured as possible. The third is to make learning more interesting through visual elements such as colors, patterns, and even icons!
In the world of sports there are big name teams and big name athletes. Practically everyone has heard of superstars like Roger Federer, LeBron James, and Tiger Woods, or championship winning teams which have created a lasting legacy like football’s New England Patriots and baseball’s New York Yankees. But there are often hard-working athletes achieving great success under the shadow of these giants.
Much the same is true in the world of playing cards. Most readers will be familiar with big name printers like the United States Playing Card Company, and their European counterpart and owner, Cartamundi. But there are many smaller and lesser known manufacturers who are achieving high levels of success in the shadow of these industry giants, and whose names any creator or collector should also know about.
Examples of such smaller but successful players in the industry include Experts Playing Cards, Legends Playing Cards, and other playing card manufacturers based in Taiwan and China. Especially for creators and designers looking to produce their own deck of playing cards, many printing card companies like these are alternative manufacturers you should be aware of, given that they also can produce high quality products.
In this article I’d like to take a look at another of these lesser known companies, Shenzhen Wangjing Printing Company (WJPC), which has been making an increasing contribution to the playing card industry in recent years.
Shenzhen Wangjing Printing Company (WJPC)
I personally first became aware of WJPC a few years ago when one of my favourite creators, Elephant Playing Cards, switched to using WJPC for the manufacture of some of their decks. When another respected creator, Guru Playing Cards, also used WJPC to print one of their projects, I was forced to sit up and take careful notice. Since then WJPC has produced numerous projects for other designers as well, and it was time to find out more about them.
WJPC is based in Shenzhen City, which is located in Guangdong Province, China. It has been around since 2006, which is when it was founded by entrepreneur Jack Yang. Jack’s vision for producing quality playing cards began with a chance meeting with professional poker players, and he quickly began making this a reality after establishing the company.
By 2009 the company had expanded beyond playing cards to tarot and oracle cards, flash cards, and game cards. Around this time they were also producing accessories like their own packaging and printing their own instructional booklets, and had begun doing business with overseas customers.
In order to meet the growing demand and to increase the quality of their output, they added a six-colour Heidelberg printer to their factory equipment in 2012. Expansion continued in 2019, with a new manufacturing plant established under the name Dongguan Wangjing Poker Company, which was fully equipped with a wide range of modern equipment. You’ll also find some of their products under the name Acelion, which represents their own high-end brand.
WJPC’s current facilities have around 18,000 square meters of floor space, and is staffed by a team of over 300 skilled workers. So we’re not talking about a rinky-dinky backyard operation here, but a significantly sized manufacturing business. In terms of equipment, they now have two Heidelberg printers, as well as automatic varnishing, die-cut and packaging machines, and some of the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
They now consider themselves to be a professional manufacturer of numerous types of cards. So while custom poker-sized playing cards represent part of the product range that they cater to, they have expertise in a wider range of other printed products, including cards used for games, flash cards, advertising cards used for promotions, and more. Many creators of custom tarot decks have turned to WJPC for producing their products too, due to the specialized requirements of their projects for foils and other features that achieve a luxury look.
Aside from a solid customer base in China itself, WJPC now serves a global audience, with customers located around the world, including a significant number in North America. According to figures I found on their website, their annual sales top US$20 million, and 80% of their total revenue is generated by export products. See this promo video to get an idea of their factory and equipment.
I personally have several WJPC decks that I’ve used and play-tested, so I had some idea of what kind of quality to expect. But since the company offers free samples to creators planning to use their services, I got in touch with them, told them I was writing an article about them, and that I was interested to see some samples of the kind of work they can do, besides a vanilla deck of playing cards. So let’s pull out a few decks from my own collection, and from the sample cards they sent me, and get some impressions of what they can do.
Bharata V2 Playing Cards (2018)
The Bharata V2 Playing Cards were produced by Guru Playing Cards in 2018, in a limited print run of around 500 decks. It was a successor to the first edition produced in 2017, which was a luxury gilded version geared more to collectors, whereas V2 was intended more for actual use in card games, while still remaining beautiful.
Bharata is the original name of India, and this deck was conceived as a tribute to the childhood stories of kings and queens that have become part of the art forms and history of Indian culture. The tuck case immediately introduces this cultural heritage with vibrant and colourful patterns set on a black background, with the border and lettering in silver foil, and embossed surfaces, while the inside has full interior printing with a silver foil pattern.
The faces are nicely customized throughout, but the court cards have a special charm, with a lush oval border, and enchanting characters depicted as part of the Indian royalty. The artwork here is by top Indian illustrator Ishan Trivedi, these illustrations are based on Indian folk art forms such as Kishangarh and miniature paintings. The Jokers continue this style, and feature two beautifully costumed characters with a full one-way design.
Plump pips on the number cards help make good use of the entire card space, and match the overall feel of the deck. The exquisite and colourful design of the card backs is particularly delightful, and includes patterned flowers and swan-like figures.
The cards have an embossed linen style “air cushion” finish. Out of the box they fanned and spread evenly and smoothly, and even after extensive usage in card games the cards still spread reasonably okay, without the severe clumping I’ve seen from lower quality playing cards. The super smooth edges give the impression of a laser cut, and while faros aren’t impossible, they aren’t easy and there doesn’t seem to be a single direction that favours them. However I did learn from the creator that he didn’t specify a traditional or modern cut when placing this order, so this is likely not WJPC’s fault.
The cards are quite stiff and hold their shape well, and while the quality doesn’t match that of industry leaders like USPCC, it is higher than a deck produced by companies like MPC or NPCC. Reviews from others who have the Bharata V2 deck were also positive, with many people pleasantly surprised at how well the deck handled, especially in comparison to low expectations from those who had been somewhat disappointed with some previous WJPC produced decks.
Zoo 52 Playing Cards (2019)
This pair of decks offer a homage to those with an affection for dogs and cats, and should delight anyone who enjoys an amusing and loving tribute, with extra charm provided by some novel tuck boxes.
The immediate appeal of both decks lies in the cute tuck box for each. These have cardboard ears that fold up, to complete the look of the friendly cat and dog on the front of the box. It is also textured with a tactile feel that gives the impression of canvas, or the kind of card-stock on which an artist might do watercolor painting.
The card backs both have a one-way design with a clever mosaic-style collage created entirely of cats and dogs respectively. But it’s the court cards that are the real center piece of both decks, with charming hand-painted images in water-colour, depicting scenes with our beloved furry friends. In contrast, the number cards are rather ordinary, and I’d have liked to have seen some more customization there. Even so it’s still a charming deck that will especially appeal to cat lovers and dog lovers.
Like the Bharata V2 deck, the card-stock used for this is WJPC’s 310gsm German black core paper, with an air cushion style embossing pattern (which they refer to as “linen air texture), and their “butter varnishing” finish. This seems to be their most commonly used and most durable stock, and the best option for creators.
WJPC already seemed to be upping their game at this point. Elephant Playing Cards had used WJPC for some previous projects too, including their Cyberpunk and their Elephant decks, and there were some quality issues in both cases. Those problems seemed to have been ironed out with the arrival of the Zoo52 project, and I have no complaints about the look and feel of the cards. While they seem to be more clumpy than the Bharata V2 deck after extensive usage, they do faro much better, and overall they hold up well, and seem to be of decent quality.
The Photography Deck (2020)
The Photography Deck: Camera Cheat Sheet Playing Cards was a hugely successful project that was crowdfunded with the help of Kickstarter. It generated more than $360,000 in funding, which at the time was the fifth top playing card Kickstarter project of all time. Even now it still ranks in the ten top projects of all-time (based on funds raised), but has the added distinction among the select few playing card projects with over 10,000 backers.
This deck was created by the brand Travel9to5, which specializes in travel, film, and photography, and the man behind it is creator and adventurer Eric Bohring. He had the clever idea of incorporating tips and tricks for photography on all the cards. This element gave this deck an appeal that went far beyond your average custom deck, since it had a strong crossover appeal with photography enthusiasts. It received a lot of positive press in photography websites and blogs, and people love how the deck effectively doubles as a camera reference sheet with rules and techniques about photography.
A few different versions of the deck were offered, and beside the main deck there was also a limited edition with green card backs, plus a blue-backed waterproof PVC deck. The standard version had black card backs which incorporate two cameras on tripods, as well as various iconography familiar from the world of photography.
Each suit cleverly focuses on a different aspect of photography: camera basics (Spades), composition (Hearts), technical (Clubs), and shooting styles (Diamonds). And it’s not just the court cards that get the luxury treatment, but each and every card in the deck is filled with information and graphics about the principles and techniques of photography. It really is a photographer’s dream come true, especially for amateurs looking to sharpen their skills.
All the things you’d expect are included, from important concepts like negative space, leading lines, rule of thirds, as well as technical details such as exposure, aperture, shutter speed, focal length, depth of field, and much more. I’ve dabbled in photography in the past, so I really appreciated the content, as well as the way in which it had been implemented and designed.
Photography websites seemed to be unanimous in their applause for the brilliance of the concept, and also spoke very highly of how the cards felt and looked. Like the two previous decks, these also use WJPC’s 310gsm German black core paper with their “butter varnishing” finish, and overall have an embossed feel and satisfactory handling that you’d expect as a bare minimum for quality playing cards.
Compared with the above two decks, this one comes the closest to the looks and handling that I’d expect from a USPCC printed deck. The cards do everything right: they have the right stiffness, spring nicely, hold their shape, faro well, and generally handle pleasantly. After moderate use there’s still some clumping, but less than the earlier decks, and less than what you typically get from the Taiwan printed decks of manufacturers like EPCC and LPCC.
WJPC 15th Anniversary Fluorescent Playing Cards (2021)
To commemorate the company’s 15th anniversary in 2021, the company released a special deck of playing cards that employed fluorescent or UV light sensitive ink. I was fortunate to see these WJPC 15th Anniversary Fluorescent Playing Cards in person.
The tuck box has embossing and silver foil, with a logo on one side, and a circular pattern on the reverse side that matches the design of the card backs. Concentric circles in different colours with coloured tips in opposite corners immediately give a cardistry vibe. Before even pulling the cards out of the box I knew that this would be a deck well suited for card flourishing.
The card faces largely have a traditional design, which is chiefly noticeable with the court cards. But there are two main changes that have been made to make this deck excel when put through its paces in the hands of an experienced cardist.
Firstly, the colours have been reduced to a binary colour scheme, with a dark blue paired alongside an aqua blue. Secondly, there’s a triangle of colour in the middle of the long edge of the cards, which accentuates the beauty of fans and spreads. I’m not sure why the creator opted not to make this a symmetrical two-way feature, unless the goal was to make it a one-way deck for card magic, but when it comes to visual aesthetics it means the deck looks best in fans and spreads when the cards are all facing the same way.
But it gets better. This deck uses what the company describes as “fluorescent ink” on both sides of the cards, which card enthusiasts commonly refer to as UV ink. Strictly speaking it isn’t the ink that is UV, but it is reactive to UV light, so to be technically correct it should be described as UV blacklight reactive ink. The idea is that this ink is completely invisible, unless it is viewed with a special UV blacklight source. My copy of the deck even came along with a mini UV torch, so that I could enjoy this feature.
And sure enough, once you view the deck with the benefit of a UV flashlight, it really “shines”. Not only do the colours of the card backs really come to life, but on the faces of the cards a star pattern emerged out of nowhere and began to beam. This video will give you some idea of what it looks like, but quite honestly in the hands of a true cardist it looks even more amazing, especially when you start to do flourishes like a Cascade.
This particular deck is advertised as using card-stock that is 300gsm German black core paper, so the cards are slightly thinner than the decks with 310gsm paper covered above. The difference in looks, feel, or handling is barely noticeable, however. I can best compare it to the difference between crushed stock and non-crushed stock: the 300gsm stock feels a little softer and more pleasant, whereas the 310gsm stock feels a little stiffer and perhaps more durable. Both perform quite satisfactorily in my opinion.
Love is a Smoke Playing Cards (2021)
Another example of a more exotic deck that showcases the special features that WJPC is capable of is Love is a Smoke Playing Cards, which features artwork created by Giordano Loddo. Giordano Loddo is a digital art director and UI designer who lives in Italy, and whose graphic design work and illustrations can be seen over on Behance.
The deck was produced in a limited release of just 500 by Velata Playing Cards. The man behind the Velata brand is Riccardo Conturbia, former founder of Passione Playing Cards.
The tuck box design introduces us to an image that will recur throughout the deck, chiefly on the card backs. It features a stark design with pursed lips, from which smoke is emerging, with a single green eye depicted in the center of the smoke. The tuck box adds a heart and the phrase “Love is a Smoke” to this image.
Judging by the fact that all of the court card characters have a cigarette in hand, it appears to be a homage of some kind to smoking. (Kids, this doesn’t mean that smoking is a good idea.) It’s a fully custom deck, and the court cards especially don’t disappoint, with bright colours, and a garish style that brings you back to the smoke filled days of the 1960s and 1970s.
But let’s get to the design of the card backs, because these see the use of holographic foil, which gives the smoke and the borders an eye-catching iridescent look when held up to the light. The central eye proves to be a nice focal point for spins and twirls, and the cards really do look glamorous when used for card flourishing, courtesy of the creative and shiny holographic back design.
But that’s not all. The edges of the deck also have holographic foil! I’m not sure if this has been applied through a traditional gilding process, or in some other way. But it sure looks absolutely exquisite, and complements the card backs beautifully. While this does immediately make faroing more difficult, this is obviously a deck that is intended to be enjoyed for its luxury looks first of all, rather than be put through the paces of extreme card flourishing. So I haven’t given this deck heavy usage, because it’s designed to be enjoyed slowly and carefully rather than for cardistry.
Even so it seems to handle reasonably well, and the cards fan and spread smoothly and pleasantly out of the box. Like the 15th anniversary deck, the cards use 300gsm paper stock, so they are slightly more flexible than the 310gsm decks, and they spring rather nicely.
Tarot and Oracle Cards
While WJPC has a lot of experience with playing cards, and that’s also where the company’s roots lie, they have now expanded to cater for the production of a whole range of other closely related printed products and accessories. These include tarot and oracle cards, educational flash cards, and playing cards for board games and card games. In addition, they also produce a wide range of custom boxes for decks of cards and games, as well as print instructional booklets to accompany custom decks and games.
But it’s especially with some of their tarot and oracle decks that they have the opportunity to showcase some of their best work and highest technological achievements. Tarot decks and oracle decks typically don’t have the exacting requirements of playing cards that are used intensively for cardistry or card magic. As a result, it is possible to focus more on extra features and luxury touches, without needing to worry that these won’t be able to withstand the intense workout that a cardist or magician typically puts a worker deck through.
Standard tarot cards are 70mm x 120mm (2.75″ x 4.75″) in size, which is longer and narrower than poker-sized playing cards, but this different sized canvas presents tarot artists with different opportunities in design. Around a dozen different card stocks can be used, ranging from 270gsm to 400gsm, as well as PVC plastic. But it’s especially the printing and finishing options that really give opportunity to add luxury and bling. These include holographic printing, various levels of gloss, gold or silver gilded edging, gold foil stamping, and more. And to complete the presentation, customers can select from various packaging options produced in-house by WJPC.
The number of different options can be somewhat dizzying, but the results speak for themselves. The cards I sampled included The Runic Odyssey (New Edition) by Hievaya, which is a stunning oracle deck, with relatively thick stock with a smooth feel (described by the creator as “velvet lamination”), and a matte black look. Both sides of the cards use lavish gold foil for the letters and artwork, and it looks absolutely exquisite. The edges of the cards are finished with matte teal. Someone needs to get the artist who produced this to make a custom deck of poker-sized playing cards with a similar look and feel! This particular project comes with other extras like a 262 page guidebook, a hinged neck box, a faux suede pouch, and a certificate of authenticity, all of which were produced by WJPC as well.
Hievaya’s Runic Odyssey (Original Edition) is also rather lovely, and features a similar style and design on beige cards. While it doesn’t have quite the same impact as the gold on black, the gold foil still is a visual delight. It looks particularly amazing on the cards which depict the different lunar phases, because this gives the gold foil an opportunity to shine – literally.
The edges of this deck are gilded with gold, and because of the extra thickness of the cards, the gilding can be more easily admired when examining an individual card than a single card from a poker-sized deck, and I suspect it will be longer lasting too. And it’s not just the ordinary smooth gold foil most of us are familiar with from a gilded deck, but has a sprinkled effect which looks even more impressive.
Several sample cards from other tarot decks also impressed me with their luxury looks. Because these kinds of decks can employ thicker cards, adding touches like gold foil on the front and backs is very effective, especially when these technical possibilities are taken advantage of by a skilled and creative designer. Some of the cards used holographic foils, and when applied the faces of the cards and to the edges, the results looked genuinely amazing.
I would love to see more custom playing cards that utilize these kinds of options, and perhaps there are designers of custom poker-sized decks that can even learn a thing or two from the amazing cards that some tarot designers are putting out nowadays. There’s no doubt in my mind that these are high end playing cards that are visually stunning.
Main Stock & Finish Options
As mentioned earlier, WJPC caters to a much wider market than merely poker-sized cards, and the clients they print for produce tarot decks, flash cards, card games, and more. All of these markets have different requirements, in terms of playing card size and the type of card-stock. Even things like durability and handling can become less important depending on how the cards will be used.
But since most of my readers are interested in poker-sized decks, I’m primarily interested in how suitable WJPC playing cards are for card games, card magic, card flourishing, and for collecting; and my focus will be on how their cards live up to the specific needs of those communities.
WJPC offers a fairly wide range of card stocks for custom poker-sized decks: A-grade blue core (270, 280, or 300 gsm) paper and imported black core paper (Imported from Germany – 300, 310, or 330gsm, France – 300gsm, Italy – 280, or 290, or 305gsm). The range of options seems a little dizzying at first. So which should you use?
In the world of playing cards, you’ll often find mention of “black core paper”. Since playing cards are typically made from layers of paper, this is a reference to the central layer of adhesive which binds the two outer layers together. This needs to be opaque, so that you can’t see straight through the cards and discern the printing on the other side.
For quality playing cards, you typically want to avoid gray core and blue core paper, which may be fine for other uses, but are significantly inferior to black core paper. Black core paper is often sourced from countries like Germany, and not only does it ensure that the cards are opaque, but also has a good stiffness and durability, so that the cards will stay in shape after shuffling, and not remain permanently bent after light handling.
The WJPC-printed poker-sized decks in my own collection nearly all use German black core paper, with the 300 or 310 gsm thickness. This is fairly comparable to the thickness and handling performance we’ve come to expect from manufacturers like USPCC. The 310gsm stock doesn’t feel as thin and flexible as USPCC’s thin-crush stock, but is a reasonable equivalent in thickness and feel to a standard Bicycle deck.
Comparing the 310gsm stock to a standard Bicycle deck and the 300gsm stock to crushed stock will give you some idea of how the two compare in terms of handling. Unlike some cheaper playing cards I’ve seen, the cards hold their shape quite well even after heavy shuffling and handling, so there’s a healthy balance between stiffness and flexibility. I’m told that for cardistry style decks, the 305gsm Italian black core paper is a good choice, but I haven’t personally had the chance to try a deck with that card-stock.
Experienced handlers are also fussy about the embossing pattern and finish used on their playing cards. All the custom poker-sized decks from WJPC that I’ve used have a standard air-cushion style finish for ideal handling.
WJPC also offers several options for the actual finish (or varnish) that is applied to the cards afterwards. Applying a finish to playing cards is standard practice in the playing card world today, and along with the embossing pattern in the paper stock, it ensures good handling and durability. The “butter finish” is what WJPC typically uses for most of their cards, and it is available either as a glossy varnish for ordinary playing cards, or as a semi-matte varnish for higher end playing cards like those used for casino games, cardistry, and card magic.
So how does it hold up? In terms of durability, the cards seem to hold up quite well. One difference one quickly notices is that some WJPC cards won’t spread or fan evenly over the long term, and the deck will look quite clumpy, although this seems to be less of an issue with their more recent decks. That could make them less suitable for cardistry, however, and even some card magic.
But that is typical of playing cards in the second tier of playing card manufacturers, other than those printed by the big two (USPCC and Cartamundi), so it is hard to fault them for that. There were apparently some issues with the finish and printing of the Elephant and Cyberpunk decks that WJPC printed several years ago, but that seems to be from their earlier days, and I haven’t come across reports of similar problems with any recent projects.
I also found that in the case of a deck with borderless backs, after heavy usage the ink on the borders did start to eventually wear slightly, even somewhat making its way onto the faces of the cards. This wasn’t a problem at all for decks with standard white borders, and it also depends on the ink colour (in this instance, the culprit was red, which is apparently more prone to this issue).
It’s not a big issue, but might be a reason to stay away from a borderless design, although this will really only be a concern for decks that are going to see heavy usage for cardistry or card magic. For the rest the colours and printing looks consistent, and stands up well.
Cut: Cut is also important to serious playing card connoisseurs, because it has an impact on the ability to do faro shuffles. WJPC uses integrated slitter cutting machines to do this job. So unlike the inferior quality decks that some printers manufacture and cut with lasers, and are thus impossible to faro shuffle, WJPC playing cards faro shuffle reasonably well, although perhaps not quite to the same standard as what you might be used to from a USPCC printed deck.
MOQ: I have also asked the WJPC about the minimum order quantity (MOQ), and was told that while 200 decks is officially the smallest batch that they typically print, it is recommended to order at least 500 decks. In reality the total cost for 500 decks isn’t much more than it is for 200 decks, since a significant amount of the cost is a result of set-up costs and processing, rather than materials. But the sales team will typically work with customers to try to find the most competitive option.
Several well known creators have made use of WJPC as their printer for fulfilling their playing card projects. So rather than just limit myself to my personal impressions from handling several decks in my own collection, and seeing some additional sample cards from other decks, I decided to approach these creators to see what I could learn about their experiences with WJPC, and what they would recommend.
The creators I consulted primarily have a target audience for casual users in the mass market, rather than cardists or magicians, who have far more exacting standards and requirements for playing cards. They acknowledged that experienced handlers in cardistry and sleight of hand card magic have the expertise to observe miniscule differences in quality and handling, that primarily are noticeable when executing complex flourishing moves or difficult sleight of hand manoeuvrers.
But aside from that particular subset of consumers, there was real satisfaction with the quality of the playing cards, both in terms of looks, feel, and handling. According to these creators, WJPC playing cards exceed the quality of the “average” deck of playing cards that most people are familiar with, and a laymen typically considers the performance to be very good, especially if they’ve not previously had experience with embossed “air cushion” style card stock that shuffles smoothly, and is as durable as these decks tend to be. Feedback from their customers has been consistently positive about the quality in that respect.
One creator had some less than satisfactory experiences when WJPC decks were first entering the crowdfunding marketplace, and there were some instances where the printing wasn’t up to snuff, and where the finish was poor. In one case, WJPC reprinted an entire production run free of charge in order to rectify this, and in another instance a different creator reported that WJPC patiently listened to his concerns about one aspect of a print run, and also redid things with WJPC footing the bill.
But these issues were only the case for one or two early decks, and since that time these creators have only had positive experiences, expressed complete satisfaction with the product, and indicated their intention to keep using WJPC for mass production going forwards. One creator also mentioned a concern he’d experienced with the tuck box sometimes being 1-2mm too wide on the short side of the deck, which can cause cards to wear or the box to become damaged during shipping.
They also had very positive things to say about WJPC’s customer service, as one creator put it: “Their client relation process is fantastic – it is super easy to produce with them. They are quick, accurate and respectful in all communications – super important and surprisingly rare!” In comparison, the response times this same creator had with USPCC and Cartamundi was very disappointing. My own experience in communicating with one of WJPC’s representatives has been similar.
Even though I’m not one of their customers, I have bombarded them with questions about different things, and have always received prompt, polite, patient, helpful responses, and even transparent and openness about the potential drawbacks of particular printing options.
The creators I consulted also spoke highly of WJPC’s comprehensive and wide range of products and options, and stated how helpful their staff were in suggesting different production methods, inks, etc, while showing a flexibility and willingness to make revisions on the fly. The cost was also a factor: “Their prices are very competitive“. Particularly when producing in high volume the savings can be significant.
One creator also noted an advantage about their location: “They are in mainland China, which means they are located near logistic support making importing to warehouses simpler.” I’m not a creator and have no experience in most of these areas, so I simply pass on these observations from creators without further comment, except to observe that the reports are consistently positive.
People in the card industry have also spoken quite highly about the quality and handling. There was some frustration about inconsistency of the quality of early projects, but real satisfaction with more recent ones. Here are some comments from experienced collectors:
● “I did not expect them to handle as well as they did and I was pleasantly surprised.” (on Bharata V2 – source).” ● “A great addition to the WJPC line-up … it’s handling is far superior to other Guru decks … On the WJPC side, it sets an excellent balance between sturdiness and playability, slipperiness and resilience.” (on Bharata V2 – source) ● “This WJPC deck basically handles very closely to a USPCC deck, the only visible difference being the coating that looks (not feels) glossed.” (on Circuit – source) ● “I was pleasantly surprised with the handling of the cards. I was really leery about them being printed in China but they actually feel a lot like USPCC.” (on Zoo52 – source) ● “The cards handle better than I expected.” (on Zoo52 – source) ● “The recently printed WJPC decks that I have look great and handle great.” (on Cernunnos and Montenzi No.7 Winter – source)
Overall, I’ve been quite impressed with WJPC’s contributions to the playing card industry. There seem to have been some initial teething issues with some of the initial crowdfunding projects they were involved with (e.g. the Cyberpunk deck and Elephant deck from Elephant Playing Cards). But that was mainly pre-2018, when results were inconsistent, and in recent years reports I’ve seen have been much more positive. Judging by my own experience with some of their decks, they seem to be stepping up their game, and have figured out what kind of quality and standards people in the playing card industry expect.
It’s not that difficult to satisfy consumers who have minimal experience with playing cards. For the average person, a WJPC deck will instantly be a step up in quality, and have looks, feel, and handling that easily exceeds what you’d find in a cheap corner store deck. These look and perform quite well, and I’d even consider them a grade higher than the cards you typically get from popular printer MPC. They don’t quite match the levels of top tier playing cards printed by USPCC, but the average person won’t notice that either.
The quality differences will mostly be obvious to experienced cardists and magicians, who rely on consistent fans and spreads even after significant usage, and are skilled at more technically difficult moves like faro shuffles, where small differences in cut can have a big impact.
But the average person will never need or even notice those small differences in quality, and so for the typical collector or card gamer, any differences will go unnoticed for the most part. While a WJPC deck may not satisfy the very high demands and standards required for experienced card flourishers or card magicians, they’ll do just fine for everyone else, and offer pleasing results.
But where WJPC really shines is in areas where touches of luxury or detail are needed, such as UV inks, metallic foils, and holographic foils. Designers of custom tarot cards have shown real creativity in this area, because many tarot decks are created with the goal of achieving a supreme look of luxury and beauty. If the tarot cards I’ve seen are any indication, WJPC has the goods to get this done.
The requirements of a tarot deck are admittedly slightly different than a poker deck. As a result, the usual requirements many of us expect in a deck of custom playing cards, such as embossed card stock, fall to the background. When these qualities become irrelevant, and all the focus can be on artistic design, and luxury touches like foils and special inks, the tarot cards WJPC has produced are absolutely spectacular.
Perhaps designers of custom playing cards can learn a thing or two from the creativity and innovation that their fellow artists in the world of tarot are doing with the help of printers like WJPC. The custom playing cards we’ve seen produced by WJPC are already good, and with artists willing to experiment with the special features that WJPC offers, they can only get better.
Where to get them? You’ll find a selected range of WJPC produced decks on PlayingCardDecks.com here.
Other manufacturers. For similar coverage of other playing card manufacturers, see: USPCC, Cartamundi, LPCC/EPCC, TWPCC, HCPC, NPCC, MPC, Shuffled Ink, USGS, Piatnik
About the original writer:
A well-known and highly respected reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, cardistry, and card collecting, and has reviewed several hundred boardgames and hundreds of different decks of playing cards.
He is considered an authority on playing cards and has written extensively about their design, history, and function, and has many contacts within the playing card and board game industries. In his spare time he also volunteers with local youth to teach them the art of cardistry and card magic.
WJPC has been one of the leading custom playing card manufacturers and tarot card suppliers since 2006.
No.958, Fumin Middle Road, Dalang Town, Dongguan, Guangdong, China