So I've recently discovered the wild world of high-end playing cards

AgentUnknown

Golden Member
Apr 10, 2003
1,527
5
81
For whatever reason, I've recently found myself reigniting an interest in card games. The other night my wife and I broke out a deck of standard Bicycles and started playing a bunch of two-player games and having some good old-fashioned analog fun. Afterward I started looking around online to get some ideas for other two-player card games that are fun to play, and I found myself going down a rabbit hole of high-end designer playing cards.

As someone who appreciates clean, interesting design across a variety of media, the discovery of all of these interesting takes on the established paradigm of the 52-card, four-suited deck of playing cards piqued my interest almost immediately. Since a deck of cards always follows the same template, it gives artists and designers just the right amount of restrictions to allow for each deck to establish a personality all its own through subtle tweaks to the pips, court cards, jokers, and card backs. As a matter of fact, playing cards are good examples of symmetrical and functional design in general, so they lend themselves particularly well to some of the clean, modern graphical design trends that are popular today.

Hell, now I've found myself shopping around online for some sweet-looking decks and watching countless deck reviews on YouTube to aid me in my decision-making. I've even started watching cartistry videos, which are really impressive.

People do magic tricks with them, or play card games. Crazy.

Have no clue what I'm talking about? Check out some of the examples below:

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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
I've been looking at those on Amazon for years. Never felt like spending the money, but theres tons of awesome cards available.
 

AgentUnknown

Golden Member
Apr 10, 2003
1,527
5
81
monarchs-hero_2x.jpg

Monarchs from Theory 11.

I don't have any cards. I just stumbled upon these on amazon. Wow. Some are expensive, these are only $10.
 

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
3,491
92
91
what are they made off?
and if made in china selling for greater than $50 per deck, count me out.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,404
7,588
126
I can appreciate those. Not my thing, but if I played cards, I could see dropping ≤ $20 for a decent set.

edit:
Thanks for the idea. I'm gonna get my daughter a nice deck for jul. Looking at amazon, even bicycle has some interesting sets.
 
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GagHalfrunt

Lifer
Apr 19, 2001
25,297
2,000
126
Jewelry for poker players. Remember high end poker chips? Everyone that had a nickle and dime Tuesday night game with the boys needed to have casino quality chips to show how serious they were about the game. Now the chips sit on shelves collecting dust and the Tuesday night nickle and dime game is played with actual nickles and dimes.
 

AgentUnknown

Golden Member
Apr 10, 2003
1,527
5
81
Some of these decks are $10. Not bad. None of those decks I posted are any more than $20. Very interesting.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
These are actually pretty cool, but I can't remember the last deck of cards I used for regular use that lasted more than a few months.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,404
7,588
126
I'd like to get the ellusionist bumble bee set for my daughter, but I can't tell where they're made. Since the country of origin has been studiously avoided in every picture and description, I can only assume it's China. Maybe I'll get the Monarch set

edit:
digging on ellusionist.com, it looks like they work with US Playing Card Company. That indicates they're American, but it's not guaranteed on this particular deck.
 
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AgentUnknown

Golden Member
Apr 10, 2003
1,527
5
81
I think the killer bees are made in USA. Most of these kickstarter decks are. I am glad that some of you are interested in these. Do you have a cell phone not made in china?
 

KingstonU

Golden Member
Dec 26, 2006
1,405
16
81
Hmmm nice thread idea for a unique spin on a common item. Would have be nice to have links to these items though.