Playing cards have been a popular pastime for centuries. However, most people do not know that over the past few decades, the design of these cards has diversified. Nowadays, there is a wide array of options when picking a deck. As such, it is important to take a look at what is out there instead of just picking the first deck of cards you come across at the store or online.
The Playing Card Industry Emerges
Since card games became mainstream, the cards have been printed on paper. Initially, this was just heavy paper stock with rounded corners to avoid damage. The United States Playing Card Company is one of the biggest playing card printers in the world and produces decks on various types of cardstock for individual card creators ，they have some of the big brands like Bicycle Playing Cards.
Manufacturers began applying plastic coatings around the turn of the 20th century in order to lengthen the life of the cards. However, even with plastic coatings, these cards still have various cons due to their porous nature. A small drink spill will completely ruin a deck of cards. Skin oil from players also gradually leaches into the cards as time goes by, making them sticky and hard to deal. Not only that, paper cards are particularly easy to bend and tear.
To solve these shortcomings, manufacturers started to sell cards printed on plastic. These are plastic all over, with no cardstock core. This makes them non-porous and washable. If you spill a drink on a deck of plastic cards, you can simply clean them with a towel. The biggest downside with plastic cards is that they tend to cost significantly more than their paper counterparts. However, the extra cost can be justified by their long lifespan.
Playing cards often come in two sizes: bridge size and poker size. The latter is around 63mm wide while the former is just 56mm wide. However, both sizes have a length of 88mm.
The best width depends on the game you intend to play. The bridge-sized cards are often best for games where players hold a lot of cards like hearts and bridge. But more often than not, the ideal deck of cards depends on personal preferences. Some find it easier to shuffle and deal bridge-sized cards while others prefer the poker sized ones.
Another factor to consider when choosing a deck of cards is the index. These come in two major sizes; the standard and the jumbo index. Indices are labels that make it easier for people to identify cards when they are held in a fan. The jumbo is ideal for games where you have to look at cards from a distance, and the standard is perfect where you have to hold a lot of cards.
These are the different options available when it comes to picking cards. You can experiment with different materials, index and size options to know which works best for you. Of course, the design on both the faces and backs of the cards should also be considered as the art of playing cards is what makes them most enjoyable.