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Published December 18, 2015 Updated January 02, 2023

Delta Playing Cards

Delta playing cards are a modern art concept deck invented by Professor M. R. Ali, an artist operating under the company name of “Artology International”.

1988 Iraq United Kingdom Professor Manzoom R. Ali Art & Design Cubism Innovation Poetry Add to Collection

Delta playing cards are a modern art concept deck invented by Professor Manzoom R. Ali, an anti-war campaigner, poet and artist operating under the company name of “Artology International”. Professor Ali, who has published several literary works, is originally from Iraq but currently resides in UK. The deck was created around 1988, and printed in Germany. According to the information card accompanying the pack, the cards are one of three games produced by the company: “The design of these playing cards has been inspired by Sir Isaac Newton’s concept of the Delta and by the work of Picasso on Cubism.”

Instead of depicting human figures, the courts of all four suits have the same primary design, while each suit has a different deltoid design in the center of the card. Each ace has a single image based upon the traditional English suit index but modified in Professor Ali’s own Deltaism style. The deck was produced in an olive-green and in a burgundy based colour background.

Delta playing cards, invented by Professor M. R. Ali of “Artology International”, c.1988 Delta playing cards, invented by Professor M. R. Ali of “Artology International”, c.1988

Above: Delta playing cards, invented by Professor Manzoom R. Ali of “Artology International”, c.1988. In addition to poetry writing, Professor Ali is also the inventor of the Deltar, a musical instrument, as well as starting an art movement called Deltaism. Cards courtesy Jukka Kettunen. Research by Matt Probert.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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