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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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USA

354 Articles

The manufacture of playing cards in America only began during the second half of the 18th century, and not before 1776 by some estimates.

U. S. A.

The manufacture of playing cards in America only began during the second half of the 18th century, and not before 1776 by some estimates.

U. S. A.

Notched Construction Cards

Two Notched Construction Card Sets by Shackman & Co, N.Y. 1970s.

Notched Construction Cards

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.

IBM Linux One

Spyscape

Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.

Spyscape

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.

Lion Coffee

Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.

Fortune Telling

Vargas Girls

‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.

Vargas Girls

Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.

Anma US Armed Forces

Curator

The Curator Deck with designs by Emmanuel José with suit symbols cleverly transformed into artistic designs.

Curator

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989

Sherlock Holmes

Warren Paper Products

Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.

Warren Paper Products

Christmas Playing Cards

Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.

Christmas Playing Cards

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.

Hamm’s Beer

Victory

“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.

Victory

Maya Deck

The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.

Maya Deck

Caleb Bartlett

Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.

Caleb Bartlett

Snap

Snap card game illustrated with animals, by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Snap

Roundup

Roundup card game by Whitman Publishing, 1951.

Roundup

Old Maid

Old Maid card game by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Old Maid

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Crazy Eights

Animal Rummy

Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Animal Rummy

Authors

Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Authors

Whitman 8 Game Box

Whitman 8 Card Games boxed set, 1951.

Whitman 8 Game Box

Paddington

Paddington card game published in UK by Whitman.

Paddington

Avilude or Game of Birds

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

Avilude or Game of Birds

Whitman card games

In the 1970s Whitman Publishing Co. ordered a series of popular games from Hong Kong for the UK market.

Whitman card games

Timothy Curtis Art

Timothy Curtis Art custom Bicycle playing cards, 2018.

Timothy Curtis Art

Hanky-Panky

Hanky-Panky poker card game, California, c.1975.

Hanky-Panky

RCI Playing Cards

RCI Playing Cards, a 20th century playing-card maker of Minneapolis, 1969-1985.

RCI Playing Cards

Bicycle Steampunk

Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.

Bicycle Steampunk

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair No.41 Playing Cards by the United States Playing Card Co, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.

Vanity Fair

Bicycle Knights

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.

Bicycle Knights

Squared Faro #366

Squared Faro #366 by Russell & Morgan Co. first issued in 1887.

Squared Faro #366

Is Card Collecting an Investment?

“Is Card Collecting an Investment?” - an article by Rod Starling.

Is Card Collecting an Investment?

Friendly Felines

‘Friendly Felines’ playing cards designed by Azured Ox, 2017.

Friendly Felines

Bicycle Cybertech

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

Bicycle Cybertech

Bicycle 808 Bourbon

Bicycle 808 Bourbon themed deck by US Playing Card Company 2017.

Bicycle 808 Bourbon

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.

Alice in Wonderland

National Geographic Nature

National Geographic Nature playing cards, 2006.

National Geographic Nature

Fungi Mycological Playing Cards

Mystic Mushrooms Playing Cards, 2018.

Fungi Mycological Playing Cards

Klutz Card Deck

Klutz Card Deck with comic courts.

Klutz Card Deck

TDC Inc.

“TDC Inc.: a 20th Century American Playing Card Maker” by Michael Cooper.

TDC Inc.

Bicycle Civil War Deck

The Civil War Deck designed by Jackson Robinson, 2017.

Bicycle Civil War Deck

Bicycle Emotions

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

Bicycle Emotions

Age of Dragons

Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017.

Age of Dragons

Anne Stokes Collection

Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010.

Anne Stokes Collection

Hesslers Rider Back Playing Cards

Hesslers Rider Back Playing Cards with two different coloured backs, 2019.

Hesslers Rider Back Playing Cards

Caesars Palace

‘Aristocrat’ Casino Cards with special courts for Caesars Palace by USPCC 2006.

Caesars Palace

Old Maid

Old Maid card game by Built-Rite toys, Warren Paper Products, Co., c.1960.

Old Maid

Zoo Fun

Zoo Fun card game no.445 by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.

Zoo Fun

Highway Travel

Highway Travel card game by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.

Highway Travel

Pocket Size Bowling

Pocket Size Bowling card game by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.

Pocket Size Bowling