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Published April 29, 2015 Updated April 05, 2022

Čierny Peter

Four themed ‘Čierny Peter’ card games by Obchodní Tiskărny.

Czechoslovakia Obchodní Tiskárny Karel Franta Ludék Maňásek Oldřich Jelínek Black-Peter Card Games Add to Collection

‘Čierny Peter’ is the name of a children’s card game for 3-6 people which is prevalent in many countries around the world. In other countries the game is known as ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Pekka-peli’. It is a variation of ‘Old Maid’, a pairs matching game played with a special deck of cards with various cartoon characters on them, often following themes such as music, children, occupations, sports, etc. Each pair has a matching picture symbol on the top left of the cards to easily identify them as a pair. At the end of the game only one player is left with a single card, ‘Čierny Peter’: that player is the loser.

Above: boxes from various ‘Čierny Peter’ sets based around different themes manufactured by Obchodní Tiskărny. Each one has 33 cards + rules in the box. All images courtesy Rex Pitts.

‘Čierny Peter’ Conductor by Karel Franta

‘Čierny Peter’ in Bandages

‘Čierny Peter’ on a bike by Oldřich Jelínek

‘Čierny Peter’ sooty face by Ludék Maňásek

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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