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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.

Cartas Blancas Self-improvement playing cards

Cartas Blancas Self-help playing cards

Cartas Blancas Self-improvement playing cards

Cartas Blancas self-help cards are based on the idea that positive thoughts are the key to achieving whatever is desired or cherished in life. Each card contains 2 positive phrases which the enquirer then relates directly to his/her situation, without the need for any one else's interpretation. The design of the cards is clear and simple, and an informal typeface has been used.

CartasBlancas

Cartas Blancas contain 54 cards plus instruction leaflet inside a sturdy box, and are available in Spanish or English versions and can be ordered from CartasBlancas.com, Email: info@cartasblancas.com   Price: 15 Euros + shipping.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

Recommended

Cartomancy and Divination Cards

Cartomancy and Divination Cards

Playing cards are used for fortune-telling, predicting the future or even as a psychological adjunct to folk medicine and therapy.

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.

Happy Guides

Happy Guides

Happy Guides by James Brown & Son (Glasgow) Ltd. around 1910/1915.

Capilettor

Capilettor

Capilettor cartoon playing cards published by VASS, Leinfelden, 1978.

El Oráculo de la Bruja

El Oráculo de la Bruja

“El Oráculo de la Bruja” fortune-telling cards, 2003.

Hearts of London

Hearts of London

Hearts of London for British Heart Foundation 2009.

Georgian Fortune Telling Cards

Georgian Fortune Telling Cards

Georgian Fortune Telling Cards, c.1800.

Le Grand Tarot Belline

Le Grand Tarot Belline

“Le Grand Tarot Belline” after drawings by Edmond Billaudot (1829-1881).

Mos Burger

Mos Burger

Advertising deck for Mos Burger, one of the largest hamburger chains in Japan, 2015.

Merry Andrews Happy Families

Merry Andrews Happy Families

Merry Andrews - the very Happy Families, published by Scott & Turner Ltd, 1936.

Four Days of Walking Event

Four Days of Walking Event

Dutch playing cards promoting the annual International Four Days of Walking Event held in Holland, 2016

Food Exchange

Food Exchange

“Food Exchange“ playing cards designed by Ralph Dobson for the British Diabetic Association, 1973.

The Playing Card Oracles

The Playing Card Oracles

The Picture Book of Ana Cortez is an original work of art designed to facilitate Divination.

Tarjetas de la Felicidad

Tarjetas de la Felicidad

“Tarjetas de la Felicidad” containing positive mental affirmations by Lauro Trevisan, Buenos Aires (Argentina) c.2001

Army Health Promotion

Army Health Promotion

Health Promotion playing cards issued by the British Army with cartoons about army life and information on where to get health advice.

Play it Safe

Play it Safe

“Play it Safe” health & safety playing cards.

Playing Card Oracles - Alchemy Edition

Playing Card Oracles - Alchemy Edition

Playing Card Oracles - Alchemy Edition - by Charles J. Freeman and Ana Cortez

Art Deco Gypsy Oracle

Art Deco Gypsy Oracle

Art Deco fortune telling deck published by Piatnik, 1936.

Grand Jeu Lenormand

Grand Jeu Lenormand

A pack of 54 playing-cards for fortune-telling each card containing a number of zodiacal, classical and modern images with a miniature card of the conventional type at top left and a letter of the alphabet at top right.

Cartomancia Astrología Quirologia Tests

Cartomancia Astrología Quirologia Tests

A set of rather unusual and non-standard cartomancy cards from Argentina with religious connotations and imaginative artwork

Oracle - Mystifying Playing Cards by Chris Ovdiyenko

Oracle - Mystifying Playing Cards by Chris Ovdiyenko

A pack inspired by subjects such as spirituality, the occult, ouija boards, spirit photography and generally all things spooky.

The Fortune Teller's Deck

The Fortune Teller's Deck

The Fortune Teller’s Deck was published in 1995 in conjunction with a book written by Jane Lyle. The deck was designed by Neil Breeden and the court cards incorporate traditional symbolism.

Ye Witches

Ye Witches

Ye Witches Fortune Telling Cards published by the United States Playing Card Co., 1896. 52 cards + Joker + extra card in box.

Kellogg’s Complete Breakfast Game

Kellogg’s Complete Breakfast Game

Kellogg’s Complete Breakfast card game, ©1997.

Wahrsage-Karten

Wahrsage-Karten

In this version an explanatory verse is printed at the top of each card.

Capacitación

Capacitación

Health & Safety playing cards designed as a teaching aid to improve safety standards in the workplace

Fortune Telling Deck, c.1818

Fortune Telling Deck, c.1818

Fortune Telling Deck by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig c.1818.

Livre du Destin

Livre du Destin

Livre du Destin / The Book of Fate, c.1900, entire deck (32 cards)

Dengue

Dengue

Dengue prevention playing cards. Juego de 40 Naipes. Material para la prevención del Dengue, Ministerio de Salud de la Nación (Argentina).

Fondation Charcot Stichting

Fondation Charcot Stichting

Multi-artist promotion deck for Le Fondation Charcot, a Multiple Sclerosis charity in Belgium, c.1990.

Geistliche Karten

Geistliche Karten

Geistliche Karten, Augsburg, 1718. Each card carries a text in Gothic typeface giving advice regarding what to do and think each day. Not quite oracle or divination cards, they are more like 'a motto for the day' collection. The method of using the cards is not known.

Survival Playing Cards

Survival Playing Cards

Survival Playing Cards for outdoor emergencies by Environs Inc. 1974.

Naipes Cristianos

Naipes Cristianos

“Naipes Cristianos” catechetical playing cards with quotations from the four gospels, 2002.

Asociart promotional playing cards, Argentina, 2000

Asociart promotional playing cards, Argentina, 2000

Asociart Insurance promotional playing cards, Argentina, 2000.

Cartas Blancas Self-improvement playing cards

Cartas Blancas Self-improvement playing cards

Cartas Blancas Self-help playing cards

Self-Nurturing Solitaire

Self-Nurturing Solitaire

Self-Nurturing Solitaire is a deck of cards designed to improve Self-Esteem.