How are casino cards designed?
November 14, 2006 6:05 AM   Subscribe

I know somebody who has the opportunity to design casino-worthy playing cards. What does a playing card need?

For whatever it's worth, the client is going to have their own trademarking on the cards, as part of a promotional campaign. The goal isn't to clone a casino's deck, but to design a deck that could be used in a hypothetical casino. The client will be providing design requirements, so this curiosity, not business research.

There are obvious design traditions. Presumed goals include inhibiting cheating by players and impling trustworthiness of the house. For example, casino decks have rotationally-symmetrical backs, presumably to make telegraphing and marking a little harder.

Are there commercial or regulatory standards for casino card designs, or does each casino have its own design requirements? If the latter, what design requirements are common to all/nearly all casinos?
posted by ardgedee to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Search on "hoyle". The size is dictated by standard.
posted by Goofyy at 7:32 AM on November 14, 2006

go ask on

sorry for brevity, home sick.
posted by mecran01 at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2006

There are obvious design traditions.

There are unobvious ones, too. For instance, the spade and heart jacks are always drawn in profile. The Wikipedia article is a decent starting point, but there's a lot to know before you just dive in and start designing.

Most blackjack tables have small mirrors set in so the dealer can see his hole card without picking it up off the table; this depends on the small rank/suit indicator being confined to a small part of the corner of the card.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2006

Oh hi, ardgedee. Didn't realize it was you.

Casino playing cards I've seen are extremely similar and conservative. The sizes are regulated (bridge and poker; most cards seem to be bridge-sized in Vegas), but the arc of the corner does vary from card to card. The actual faces of the cards tend to be quite legible and recognizable; the backs are usually a very simple repeating pattern with possibly a straightforward logo in the center, and I gather that's so they'd be hard to mark.

Here's a fluff page advertising Adobe products with quotes from some of the card manufacturers, such as Bee and US Playing Card.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2006

"The Cross of Cards"
posted by sneakyalien at 7:45 PM on November 14, 2006

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