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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.

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker. Chatting about the history of playing cards, uses of cards and collecting.

This is an interesting interview which currently doesn't have many views on YouTube, so I thought I'd share it. Playing card experts Tom and Judy Dawson chat about the history of playing cards, uses of cards and collecting. For more information about the 52 Plus Joker club visit their site.

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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

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Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting reserch.

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A. Camoin & Cie

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Patience Cards and their Boxes by Tony Hall.

Collecting Playing Cards with Jan Walls

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I collected playing cards when I was in primary school, by Jan Walls.

69: My Collection

69: My Collection

This is an archive list of my collection. I hope it will be of use and interest to others.

Is Card Collecting an Investment?

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Chinese Jokers

Chinese Jokers

Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.

A Look Back with Hope for the Future

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56: Number cards and Chinese Crackers

56: Number cards and Chinese Crackers

A brief look at the number cards used in standard English packs.

51: Some modern variation

51: Some modern variation

A brief survey of some of the current variation in the standard English pattern.

49: De La Rue in detail

49: De La Rue in detail

A detailed presentation of the variants of De La Rue's standard cards.

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker. Chatting about the history of playing cards, uses of cards and collecting.

Cribbage Board Collection

Cribbage Board Collection

A collection of antique and vintage Cribbage Boards by Tony Hall

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

Dating is a particularly tricky but very interesting problem to tackle and there are many pitfalls.

39: Mixed Packs

39: Mixed Packs

A number of mixed packs appear for sale from time to time, but it's important to sort out what is meant by the term mixed. It is an issue that is not as straightforward as it might seem.

Interview with Alan Kriegel, creator of Gestalt playing cards

Interview with Alan Kriegel, creator of Gestalt playing cards

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26: Playing Cards: Rarity, Value, Dating, Sellers and eBay

26: Playing Cards: Rarity, Value, Dating, Sellers and eBay

Notions like rarity and monetary value are slippery customers and need careful handling. And there are still plenty of misleading descriptions on eBay - as well as looney prices!

15: Perforated Cards, Metal Finish and Other Oddities

15: Perforated Cards, Metal Finish and Other Oddities

There are some unusual designs in playing cards, even the shape of the card.

11: Some Cards From Sylvia Mann’s Collection

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A fascinating collection that was the basis of a lot of research that we still benefit from today.

2: Over 75 Years of Collecting Playing Cards

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This is a personal account of some of my experiences collecting playing cards.

The Joker Card

The Joker Card

The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who, when modifying the rules sometime during the 1860s, decided that an extra trump card was required.

Standard and Non-standard Playing Cards

Standard and Non-standard Playing Cards

Standard playing cards are based upon traditional designs and are used for card games.