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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.

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353 Articles
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13: Some North American Cards

I deal with some of the US makers in more detail on other pages, but here is a brief introduction. • Sep 04, 2012

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26th Yankee Division

“26th Yankee Division Playing Cards” was designed by Alban B. Butler, Jr and printed by the Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, in 1933. • Mar 15, 2013

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35: More Design Copies

Here I want to take another widely copied design and see how individual variation by the copier can take the original design through a lot of changes. I shall take the three USPCC designs: US3 (wide), US3.1 (bridge) and US4 (wide). To the best of my knowledge these are no longer used in the US, exce... • Nov 17, 2013

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4 Seasons Playing Cards

4 Seasons Playing Cards • Jan 01, 1970

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4 Thrones Solitaire Game by Kurt Bieg

A fresh and minimal pack and iPhone app designed for solitaire games. • Dec 12, 2013

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40 Years of Fear Jaws Playing Cards

This special pack celebrates the 40th anniversary of the film Jaws. • Jun 24, 2015

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42: Andrew Dougherty

Andrew Dougherty was one of the biggest American card-makers in the 19th century. • Jun 30, 2014

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43: The United States Playing Card Co.

The United States Playing Card Co. (USPCC) represents an amalgamation of all the major American card-makers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries • Dec 22, 2014

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8-Bit Mafia and 8-Bit Werewolf by Michael Scott

This pack created by Michael Scott has been inspired by retro 8-bit pixel games from the 80s and 90s. • Sep 28, 2013

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A Look Back with Hope for the Future

“A Look Back with Hope for the Future” by Rod Starling • Dec 17, 2018

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About Emily Arkin

About Emily Arkin • Jan 01, 1970

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African Art

“African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994 • Aug 06, 2017

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Age of Dragons

Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017. • Jul 01, 2019

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Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018. • Sep 20, 2019

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American Bank Note Company

The American Bank Note Company was a long-established firm producing national currency, finely engraved stock certificates and other security printing, including postage stamps. They also entered the playing card market c.1908-1914. • Apr 28, 2013

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American Skat

These decks were produced in various grades for the German immigrant population and feature the German eagle and the German and American flags intertwined. There were two versions: one with German faces and one with American faces. • Mar 21, 2013

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Amos Whitney Inventory

Amos Whitney Factory Inventory. What it was like inside an 18th century playing card factory... • Jun 27, 2011

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Andrew Dougherty 1848-1930

Andrew Dougherty was born in Donegal in Northern Ireland in 1827. He started his playing card business in New York in 1848. • May 29, 2010

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Andrew Dougherty c.1850

The idiosyncratic courts used in this deck were used by several other U.S. manufacturers, including Crehore and Hart, and continued into the early 1900s in Faro decks. • Jan 31, 2013

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Angry Birds UNO

Angry Birds UNO manufactured in China, 2003. • Jan 11, 2012

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Anheuser-Busch

The Kings show American admirals and the Jacks have different officers at each end. The Queens are “Our Colonies”. • Mar 06, 2013

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Anheuser-Busch Army & Navy

This deck is commonly known as the “Anheuser-Busch Spanish-American War deck”, issued at the end of the war. • Mar 20, 2013

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Animal Rummy

Animal Rummy by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s. • Jan 10, 2019

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Animal Rummy

Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951. • Sep 25, 2020

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Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942. • Feb 11, 2021

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Anne Stokes Collection

Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010. • Jun 30, 2019

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AO MATU Playing Cards by Nastya KFKS

A custom deck with magnificent characters, illustrations and tropical design. Inspired by the nature of the Polynesian islands. Wild and truly unique. • Jun 09, 2015

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Apache cards by Tonto Naipero

Apache rawhide playing cards by ‘Tonto Naipero’, c.1871. • Jul 10, 2015

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Apache Playing Cards

Apache Indian Playing Cards made on rawhide, first recorded 1875. • Dec 02, 2014

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Army & Navy

Andrew Dougherty’s Army & Navy deck from the Civil War era, c.1865. • May 27, 2013

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Army & Navy No.303

Over the years eight different Aces of Spades were used with this brand and the Joker was also modified several times. • Mar 06, 2013

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Army No.303

The Joker is particularly persuasive, whilst the Ace of Spades has a battle scene involving artillery, with Navy ships in the distance and the statue of the goddess of Freedom in the middle. • Mar 04, 2013

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ARRCO

ARRCO Playing Card Co., Chicago, c.1935 - c.1970s. • Feb 01, 2015

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Atlantic Playing Card Co

Atlantic Playing Card Co., Inc. promoted Bridge Ensemble boxes and companion accessories. • Oct 25, 2015

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Authors

Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951. • Sep 24, 2020

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Avilude or Game of Birds

Avilude or Game of Birds published by West & Lee, Worcester, Mass, c.1880. • Jul 26, 2020

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Bag of Bones

Bag of Bones playing cards, from a series of four decks designed by John Littleboy, 2008. • Oct 28, 2010

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Baggy Clown Joker

Evolution of American Bank Note Co's “Baggy Clown” Joker. • Feb 08, 2018

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Bartlett Ackermann Transformation

Pictorial playing cards published by C. Bartlett, New York, 1833 • Oct 21, 2014

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Believe Playing Cards by Michael Muldoon/System 6 Magic

A deck of playing cards inspired by the Wayang Shadow Puppets of the Island of Java

• Sep 26, 2013

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Benadryl®

Benadryl ® family fun playing cards, c.2000. • Mar 02, 2018

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Bible Game

“Fireside Bible Game” (No.1124) published by The Fireside Game Co., Cincinnati, USA, 1899. • May 26, 2015

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Bicicleta num.810

The United States Playing Card Co. issued Spanish versions of their flagship brand. • Feb 03, 2013

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Bicycle 808 Bourbon

Bicycle 808 Bourbon themed deck by US Playing Card Company 2017. • Sep 24, 2019

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Bicycle Butterfly

Bicycle Butterfly playing cards from RSVP Magic with artwork by ‘Lotrék’ and printed by USPCC, 2012. • Apr 08, 2015

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Bicycle Civil War Deck

The Civil War Deck designed by Jackson Robinson, 2017. • Jul 08, 2019

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Bicycle Cybertech

Bicycle Cybertech playing cards inspired by cyberpunk genre, illustrated by Jamie Meza, 2019. • Sep 25, 2019

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Bicycle Emotions

Bicycle Emotions playing cards with custom emotions on the courts to help you bluff at cards, 2013. • Jul 07, 2019

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Bicycle Heritage

Bicycle Heritage playing cards by the United States Playing Card Company, 2012 • Sep 06, 2016

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Bicycle Knights

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018. • Nov 20, 2019

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Bicycle No.808

The famous Bicycle playing cards were first introduced by Russell & Morgan Printing Co in 1885 • Jun 07, 2010