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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Compucards Review

Playing cards with binary numbers for the computer generation by Sam Pitroda, 1983.

Playing cards with binary numbers for the computer generation

This set of playing cards is aimed especially at the growing population of computer users. The cards are different from traditional cards. The cards use binary values (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc) opposed to the standard decimal values (Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc). The Queens, Kings, and the Jokers are replaced with Computer, Programmer and Bug cards. The suit signs have been kept as the standard (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades) but with a slight difference. In each suit there is two of each card, there is a ?+? card and a ?*? card. For example the order of the hearts suit goes: +1 of hearts, *1 of hearts, +2 of hearts, *2 of hears, +4 of hearts, all the way up to +128P of hearts and the *128P of hearts (the P representing the Programmer or King card). In each suit there is 16 cards (two of each) with the four suits the pack has 64 cards in total. The pack comes with a small booklet with some history information about the Compucards Company and also explaining how to play standard games such as Poker, Rummy and Blackjack using the Binary cards. Playing the blackjack game using the Compucards is the easiest to learn. Instead of using the standard ?Get to 21 points to win? you have to get to 256 points to win, with using the additional rule that you can use the multiply (*) to increase you point value. The back of the card has a border of binary 1?s and 0?s with Compucards written from corner to corner. There is two Software Bug cards (Joker) and two instruction cards with the booklet. Overall the pack is nice to see but tricky to play games with. Manufactured by Carta Mundi for Compucards UK. Packs available from Jim Cook.
 

Reviewed by Adam Wintle

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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

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Adam has been involved in developing the site.

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Compucards Review

Compucards Review

Playing cards with binary numbers for the computer generation by Sam Pitroda, 1983.