by BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame
The end-of-year holiday period is just around the corner. And for many of us, holidays means gift-giving and gift-getting. As they say, it is better to give than to receive. But we all know that receiving gifts is great too, especially if it involves playing cards! In fact, playing cards make great gifts, especially some of the custom decks that are on the market today. After all, there's a time in everyone's life where a deck gets pulled out for a game of cards, so some high quality playing cards are almost certain to be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone. Add some customized artwork on the cards, and an attractive tuck box, and you have the perfect gift, especially if it's a deck that's been carefully selected to suit the tastes and style of the person that you're buying for. Particularly for those whose experience with playing cards is limited to a cheap corner shop deck that looks boring and handles poorly, a modern custom deck can be quite a treat.
It's always good to plan ahead, and to think about the kinds of playing cards that would make good gifts for others. But we also have to think about the kinds of gifts that others will be buying for us, because we really don't want Uncle Bob, cousin Mary, or work colleague Jim getting us yet another unwanted pair of socks, toiletry set, ugly t-shirt, or the movie we've already seen a dozen times. So let's be smart about this: a well-timed and careful whisper in the right person's ear can help get things moving so that a lovely deck of custom playing cards ends up heading our way these holidays.
We're in this together, and at the suggestion of the good folks over at PlayingCardDecks.com I have done some hard work for you by putting together this 2018 Ultimate Playing Card Holiday Gift Guide. It's not a comprehensive list, nor is it intended to say that these decks are necessarily the "best" or the only ones out there - so please don't go screaming about decks that aren't on this list. I haven't seen every single deck that's come out in the last year or two, and obviously these are my own choices based on my own personal experience - you might suggest others that are equally as good. But it will give you some great ideas for playing cards you can pick up as gifts. It's also the kind of thing you can post on your social media, or email to your family and friends, as a small hint of what they might want to consider getting for you. After all, you know that they do want to get you something that you like, so this is really about showing them love and making their job easier in finding you the perfect gift, right?!
So whether you're a keen playing card enthusiast already, or whether you don't know the first thing about playing cards but someone in your life sent you a link to this list as a not-so-subtle hint, I'm here to help you out. Go ahead and use this Gift Guide however you want, and share the link to this page with your family and friends. I'm confident there's something on here for almost everyone - whether it's the cardist or the magician, the collector or the gamer, the expert or the complete newcomer. There's even bound to be something for Uncle Bob who gave you that nasty pair of socks last year. I've especially focused on playing cards that were released in 2018, but haven't limited myself to that entirely, because I want to give you lots of choices.
For the Card Gamer
Once in a while, what you're looking for in a deck of playing cards is pure class. Whether it's for playing a game of poker or for a game of traditional cards, it's nice to have a deck that looks classy and sophisticated from the moment that its tuck box makes its first appearance. And when the cards do emerge from the box, the feeling of refinement is only confirmed by the classic beauty and style within. If you are looking for something sophisticated and elegant that is also very functional, with clearly recognizable indices and suits, the decks in this category are for you. These decks are practical, while at the same time making a stylish statement.
- Visa Playing Cards (2017) - These lovely decks (available in several colors) have a luxurious look from the tuck box onwards, and the metallic gold and silver used for the card backs and court cards makes them look super stylish and elegant.
- Cobra Playing Cards (2018) - The tuck case immediately impresses with blind embossing and gold foil, with serpents decorating both the box and the fronts and backs of the cards, and a graphic design that is just all round classy. Courtesy of Cartamundi's B9 Cardistry Finish, the cards are supremely soft and inviting, while still having a standard look that ensures they are very practical.
- Hudson Playing Cards (2018) - This recent release is a tribute to the Hudson Playing Cards that were produced alongside the Hudson River until the factory wound up operations in 1871. While the card faces are fairly standard, the card backs are very stylish, and the tuck box - as to be expected from Theory11 - is super classy, with extensive use of foil accents and embossing.
For the Cardist
Card flourishing has a long history in the magic industry, but in recent years the art cardistry has developed an independent existence, and is gaining legitimacy as an art-form in its own right. For best results, cardistry benefits from a deck of cards that is colorful and has striking patterns, which will enhance the visual aesthetics of card flourishing. These cards need not necessarily be very functional for playing games or card magic - although often they can serve a dual purpose of being used for this as well. But of primary importance in card flourishing is the visual appeal, and having a design and pattern that looks great when the cards are being handled.
- Virtuoso FW17 Playing Cards (2017) - When it comes to cardistry, it's hard to look past one of the dominant forces in this growing art-form: The Virts. Based in Singapore, they were the first produce a deck entirely optimized for cardistry, and their Fall/Winter deck is the latest version of their popular and smooth performing series.
- School of Cardistry v4 Playing Cards (2018) - Any mention of cardistry is hardly going to be complete without the lively presence of Jaspas Deck, the bubbly personality behind the New Deck Order and the School of Cardistry. This is the fourth edition of their deck, which continues their exploration of what they describe as a new standard for cardistry: non-standard faces that are all identical! Optimized entirely for cardistry, this hypnotic design and energetic purple and orange colors of this deck won't go unnoticed.
- NOC Summer v2 Playing Cards (2018) - The NOC decks have been popular with cardists for half a dozen years already, since their minimalist design is ideal for the simplicity and elegance of card flourishing. For the summer of 2018, these snappy decks were released in three great new colors: blue, orange, and a limited edition pink.
For the Card Collector
There are people who collect decks out of sheer love for their variety and novelty - you may even be one of these people! The decks featured in this category are creative decks that have extra touches that make them particularly appealing to the card collector, such as an individually numbered tuck seal. They often have lavish tuck boxes, other intriguing features that generate interest, and have been produced by well-known designers with a solid reputation of creativity and success.
- Top Aces of WWI Playing Cards (2018) - One of the latest decks from popular designer Jody Eklund, noted for his attention to detail and history, comes a deck that is a tribute to the flying dare-devils of the first world war. As always, Jody's artwork is exquisite, and each court card features a notable historical figure from the era. In this Signature Edition each deck comes in an elegant tuck box that is individually numbered.
- House of the Rising Spade Playing Cards (2018) - Stockholm17 is a designer from Sweden with a large following, and this deck represents his latest effort to hit the market. A limited edition two deck set, it consists of two different decks: Cartomancer, which is a tribute to the tarot deck; and Faro, which features cards without indices and a one-way design, just like the vintage decks of the 1800s.
- Planets: Saturn Playing Cards (2018) - This is the sixth and newest addition that makes up the popular Planets series, representing all the planets in our solar system. The collector will be in love once he sees the luxurious tuck box, which is arguably the best yet, and features gold holographic foil, white foil, interior foiling, and embossing.
For the Connoisseur
At times we might be looking for something stylish and classy that we can use for anything involving playing cards, whether it is card magic or card games. The important thing is that we want to show class and style. Certainly the custom playing card industry has produced some very original and stylish decks, bursting with character and energy, while still having somewhat of a traditional or more serious look. Here are some examples of such classy decks that are on offer.
- Green Wheel Playing Cards (2018) - Green and brown are the dominant colors in this elegant deck, which has a lush split-pip design. The bicycle theme and look is inherited from its popular predecessors, the Red Wheel Playing Cards and Blue Wheel Playing Cards, which both have an elegant use of metallic inks, and which I also highly recommend.
- Aphelion Luxury Playing Cards (2018) - Created by Italian team Parama Playing Cards, this deck has a box that makes an instant statement of style with its gold foil and embossing, while the metallic gold inks of the court cards ensure that any standard deck placed alongside it looks very ordinary.
- Makers Blacksmith Playing Cards (2017) - From publishing house Art of Play comes one of the finest tuck boxes you'll see, with elegant gold and silver foil in intricate lines stamped all over a jet black box. Oh, and the cards are great too - highly detailed characters inhabit the court cards, with a simple black and red color scheme emphasizing the customized artwork!
For the Magician
Magicians definitely have their secrets. Admittedly, most magicians prefer to work with a standard deck, and have developed such skills with sleight of hand that you can hand them an ordinary deck of quality playing cards and they can work miracles with it. But once in a while, there's a need to perform miracles of an extraordinary nature, and they're looking for something with that added extra that gives them the means to accomplish the impossible. Here are some specialized decks that will be ideal for anyone interested in serious card magic.
- Mechanic Optricks Red Playing Cards (2018) - This brand new release features card backs with hypnotic flip-book animation. Yes, really! But the real draw-card lies in the innovative gaffs that are included, especially the Optibox Gaff (makes your tuck box look empty even when there's a full deck inside), and the Anamorphic Gaff (creates an optical illusion that a card is being seen right through the deck!).
- Marked Maiden Back Playing Cards (2017) - Don't tell anyone, because it is top secret, but yes, marked decks are really a thing - but only for card magic, not for cheating! This looks like an ordinary Bicycle deck, but the markings are very easy to read, so you don't have to strain to figure them out or decipher them, and many consider it the best modern marked deck for exactly that reason.
- Bicycle Magic Playing Cards (2018) - This deck isn't so much a deck to be used for card magic, as it is a tribute to the art of magic itself. The card backs and faces include mischievous imps, along with various items long associated with magic, like wands, top hats, gloves, and dice, while the court cards feature delightful images depicting different magic acts. The art style/colors have a distinctly vintage feel, making this an ideal collector's piece for a magician to appreciate.
For the Lady
Let's face it, no matter what people say, as a generalization it's true that men and women are different. I don't want to start stereotyping here, but it's no secret that most females do have different tastes than guys. So is there a deck that might be more suitable for the lady in your life? Or maybe you are that lady and are looking for something with softer colors or a more feminine look. Actually, these decks aren't strictly "girlie" decks, and guys might like them just as much! Regardless of whether you're male or female, if you're looking for something pretty in pink, you'll find something here for you.
- Sakura Spring Playing Cards (2018) - This unique all-pink deck is dedicated to the Japanese cherry blossom. It is entirely done in different shades of pink, with a simplified look that is a true exercise of harmony and beauty.
- Hanami Playing Cards (2018) - Another wonderful deck that captures the elegance of cherry blossoms, the Hanami deck features a palette of soft colors and a captivating design that will especially be appreciated and enjoyed by cardists.
- Madison Rounders Pink Playing Cards (2018) - Daniel Madison's highly popular series of Madison Rounders finally arrives in a color that everyone has wanted to see: pink! Thin crush stock ensures that it handles as smoothly and softly as it looks.
For the Children
Children especially like decks that are colorful, and that are lively and fun. Here we have some more light-hearted decks that are sure to amuse kids and adults alike. If you're looking for something playful, and that is designed to keep the inner child happy, then these are decks for you.
- Rainbow Unicorn Fun Time Playing Cards (2018) - This deck first started as a joke, but has gone on to become a legend in the card playing world, and has even appeared on TV. When noted cardist De'vo is involved, you know that it's going to be special, and this quality deck offers a whole lot more than rainbows and unicorns, and is fun for all ages!
- Chicken Playing Cards (2018) - I've been amazed by how popular this deck has proven with children and teenagers, who find the playful feathered friends pictured on this deck irresistible. A whimsical deck with extensive customization, the highlight has to be the delightful court cards, which feature our fowled friends in all manner of exalted poses.
- Sharks Are Wild Playing Cards (2017) - Aimed at preschoolers, this deck isn't just a collection of playing cards, but is also an award winning game, designed to help youngsters learn sequencing (i.e. counting forwards and backwards). It has colorful cards where various sea creatures replace the usual pips.
For the Artist
Even if you're not an artist, you can still enjoy something that is artistic. A deck of playing cards is the perfect canvas for showcasing some colorful and artistic designs, whether they have been created by famous artists, or by artists who have just used playing cards as their chosen medium to create something colorful and beautiful.
- Mondrian Broadway Playing Cards (2018) - These playing cards pay tribute to famous Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, and the card back design is based on his 1943 work "Broadway Boogie Woogie", which expresses his fascination with New York. colorful and playful, it is ideally suited to card flourishing.
- Untitled Playing Cards (2018) - Along with the sequel Untitled V2 `Reflections' Playing Cards (2018), this vibrant deck was created by noted photographer Adam Borderline. It is a tribute to abstract art, as well as to the creativity and fluid motion that are essential to cardistry.
- Masterpieces Playing Cards (2017) - More than a deck of cards, this is a miniature gallery of individual works of art. Created by Bocopo Playing Cards, it was a collaboration that involved 8 artists, 348 hours of work, and 58 illustrations. Each face card has a unique and fresh design that is its own work of art, and tells a different story.
For the Animal Lover
Do you love animals? Or do you have an animal lover in your life? How about a deck featuring dogs, or cats, or else some great artwork of animals from around the world? These beautiful decks are sure to please anyone who appreciates our four legged friends, whether they are family pets or the kinds of animals you'd normally only see at the zoo.
- GAIA Playing Cards (2017) - With stunning and realistic artwork by talented young artist Ben Sinclair, these playing cards feature delightful hand-drawn pictures that showcases animals in different ecological habitats and biological communities. Amazing art, and a beautiful deck that is also available in a Moonlight Edition that offers a nocturnal perspective.
- The Dog Playing Cards - Friends of canines will love this deck, which features a close-up of a dog on every single card, not just the court cards. And each single card pictures a different dog, making this deck a real treat to look through!
- Sweet Cat Playing Cards - Created to help support abandoned cats, this is a deck that friends of felines will appreciate and enjoy. Much like the Dog deck, it features a gorgeous photo of a different furry friend on each and every card.
Novelty Card Decks
I'm a real sucker for decks that look highly unusual, and have a great amount of novelty. Admittedly, not many of these are the kinds of decks that would quickly make it to the table for a card game, although many of them are certainly functional and playable. But the prime appeal of these kinds of playing cards is to the collector who appreciates the unusual elements that decks like these bring to the table. Here are some prime examples.
- Music Box Playing Cards (2017) - Novelty doesn't come much bigger than this: the Music Box deck doesn't just have the luxuries of gold foil, a custom numbered gold key, and a cherry wood look. This deck's real claim to fame is that it plays music! It has a unique tuck box design that plays 30 seconds of "Claire de Lune" when opened, and has the genuine sound of an old fashioned music box with a metal comb flicking over metal teeth.
- Burger Playing Cards (2017) - Part of the Deliciousness series from Flaminko Playing Cards, this deck celebrates the almighty burger. The design suggests two halves of a bun, complete with sesame seeds, which have a tactile feel courtesy of UV spot printing on the box. Each suit has been individually customized to depict foods that you'll find on an actual hamburger bun, including the patty, lettuce, tomato, and cheese!
- $100 Bill Gold Foil Playing Cards - Looking for high bling at a low price? The tuck box and all the cards in this deck are entirely made out of gold or silver foil, depending on which deck you choose. The card backs feature the image of a US $100 bill, and the shiny surface of gold or silver catches the light, and is sure to make an immediate impression of luxury. Yet all this shiny-ness can be yours for under $8!
In-House Card Decks
Not only does PlayingCardDecks sell playing cards, but over the last couple of years the man at the helm of operations, Will Roya, has also used his expertise and experience in the magic industry and the playing card industry to produce a number of high quality custom decks. Here are several great decks that have been produced under the PlayingCardDecks banner in 2018.
- Ancient Warriors Playing Cards (2018) - This is great as a limited edition and matching two-deck set, one in a red/gold color scheme, and the other in black/silver, with metallic inks. Each suit represents a different culture of ancient warriors (Crusaders, Japanese, Zulus, Aztecs), with gorgeous detail, and aspects of each civilization are also reflected on the Aces and pips.
- Strigiformes Owl Playing Cards (2018) - One of my favorite decks from 2018, this deck is full of owls. It has just the right color combinations to give a true nocturnal feel, and the artwork is incredible, especially on the court cards. Every card has highly customized pips, along with intricate and ornate details, and a terrific graphic design.
- Royal Vortex Playing Cards (2018) - Looking for bling? Look no further! This deck was created in honor of PlayingCardDecks' first anniversary. To celebrate, it has a gold and black color scheme on the card backs with an enormous amount of gold foil. The card backs are also designed to give the impression of a hypnotic and eye-catching optical illusion.
Licensed Card Decks
It's amazing how many different decks have been created that are based on your favorite characters from TV shows, films, comics, books and more. You can check out the entire range of licensed decks, but here are some of my favorites.
- Bruce Lee Playing Cards (2018) - This is the second and completely revised edition of a deck that is a beautiful homage to a popular martial artist. The vivid black and yellow will appeal to cardists, and one notable feature of this updated deck is that each card features a different philosophical Bruce Lee quote in easy-to-read white capitals!
- Saturday Night Live Playing Cards (2017) - It's a famous TV Show, and now it's a deck of cards! All the customization in this deck is inspired by the show. And because it's a Theory11 deck, you can count on a spectacular tuck box, with lots of foil accents and embossing!
- Princess Bride Playing Cards (2014) - This deck is a wonderful tribute to the classic comedy film of the same name. The court cards all feature characters from the film, such as Westley, Princess Buttercup, Inigo Montoya, Vizzini, and the giant Fezzik, and include memorable lines from the film like "Prepare to Die!" and "Inconceivable!" The number cards are also absolutely exquisite, and the entire deck is heavily customized, really captures some of the magic of the film.
Vintage Card Decks
Some of the most eye-catching decks are the ones which look the oldest - even though they are made of high quality playing cards that are brand new. Whether it's a result of a vintage or a deliberately distressed look, or whether they are a modern replica of a classic deck from the past, these decks look like they have arrived into the present straight from the past, and yet look and feel fantastic. You'll find more by checking out the full range of vintage decks.
- 1883 Murphy Varnish Playing Cards - This is a high quality replica of a 19th century deck originally created to promote Murphy Varnish. It is a famous transformation deck, which means that each card features clever artwork that incorporates the pips as part of a larger picture, which in this case is both entertaining and ingenious!
- 1889 Texan Playing Cards - Want an authentic look straight that's more than a hundred years old? The Texan deck was first printed in 1889, and USPCC has brought it back into circulation, using a yellowed tinting on the cards to give it an authentic antique look, and with court designs that are typical of that period.
- Vintage Classic Playing Cards (2017) - This deck is brand new, but looks much older than it really is, courtesy of the faux-aged look and yellowed tones. A black triangle on the edges of the cards creates beautiful fans and spreads that card flourishers will love, while each card has a unique dirty, weathered, and worn out look that will instantly grab attention.
Cardistry Card Decks
Yes, I know we already have a For the Cardist category earlier in this list. But you didn't really think I could get away with having only three cardistry decks in this list, did you? Plus you might just need a cardistry deck for yourself as well as for the cardist in your life! There are lots to choose from, but here are some of the favorites that came out this year and have made it into my own collection.
- Off the Wall Playing Cards (2018) - This unconventional deck comes from Art of Play, and has a surf-skate theme that opts for a deliberately styled casual look, yet with a bold choice of energetic and vivid colors include a vibrant blue, orange, and yellow, along with some black. The stylish and borderless card backs are loud and dashing, but isn't that exactly what cardistry is often all about?
- Superfly Spitfire Playing Cards (2018) - Inspired by modern streetwear, fashion, and culture, this deck is the third in the Superfly series from Toomas Pintson. It has eye-catching colors with a vibrant teal-green, yellow, and black, plus a unique card back design that reminds me of a fingerprint, and of course the distinctive "Superfly" branding on the cards themselves. I love the fact that each card has one pip that picks up the finger-print style design of the card backs.
- Casual V2 Playing Cards (2018) - One of the more elegant and sophisticated cardistry decks I've ever seen, the luxurious look and feel of the tuck box already impresses. The card backs have a clean geometrical design consisting of triangles and parallelograms, and use complementing tones of brown, mint green, and gold. The gold uses pantone/metallic inks for a truly elegant look, and also returns in heavy doses on the court cards. Thin crush stock completes the perfect cardistry package.
Gilded Card Decks
Occasionally what you're looking for is something absurdly expensive and over-the-top. Something with lots of bling. Bring on the gold foil, the embossing, the iridescence, the UV spot printing, the exotic tuck case, and whatever other luxury you can think of! And especially: gilded edges. Here's a few examples of such gilded luxury.
- Unicorn Rainbow Gilded Playing Cards (2018) - This exclusive deck was created for the Magic Live! 2018 event, and is a limited edition with a tuck box that has embossed glitter, and an iridescent foil. But the best is inside the box: the cards have metallic gilded edges for a stunning and shiny iridescent/rainbow look. Unicorns don't get better than this!
- Ombre Edged Playing Cards (2017) - Unlike most gilded decks, the Ombre Edged deck doesn't feature gold or silver edges, but the gilding uses red and blue to match the card backs and courts. These colors are carefully blended together with a gradient look that makes this deck like no other, and the tuck box is cleverly designed to show off the gilding even when the deck is inside the box.
- Spirit II Gilded Playing Cards (2018) - These stunning decks have all the bells and whistles collectors love: embossed tuck boxes with foil accents, individually numbered seals, and fully customized artwork on every card, which is inspired by the mystical stained glass windows of ancient cathedrals. Gilded edges in gold and silver just add to the feel of luxury.
Super-Luxury Card Decks
What happens if you take luxury to the next level? Sometimes you're looking for a gift for the person who has everything - well it can seem like that anyway! Fortunately, playing cards can come to the rescue, because there are some incredibly unique gifts available that even that wealthy collector doesn't own yet! If you are prepared to drop some serious cash for something truly special, then decks like these will fit the bill nicely. Be warned, because these don't come cheap - but whoever is the recipient of a gift like this is bound to feel eternally indebted to you given how special these look and feel!
- Carbon Wolf Carbon Fiber Playing Cards (2016) - The Carbon Wolf deck doesn't come cheap, but its owner is certain to be the only person in the neighborhood with playing cards made from real 3k twill carbon fiber!
- Copper Unicorn Playing Cards (2018) - Like the Carbon Wolf, this impressive deck is made of an entirely non-conventional material. It features all metal cards that are made out of real copper, with the designs beautifully etched into each card.
- Helius Sun Playing Cards and Luna Moon Playing Cards (2018) - The deluxe versions of these decks have some of the most amazing tuck boxes, because they are self-expanding in a unique and creative way like no deck you've ever seen before. As you'd expect, there's full customization with the cards themselves too, but the real appeal of these celestial decks are those amazing boxes!
Standard Card Decks
While most of us love customization, there are times where we don't want much in the way of customization, but are looking for something more ordinary, with a standard and traditional look. Decks like these will fit the bill perfectly! All of these selections are available in both red and blue backed cards.
- Honeybee Elite Playing Cards (2018) - This is a new edition of the popular Honeybee series from Penguin Magic. It has a honeycomb style borderless back design, the super-soft thin-crush stock from USPCC which handles smoothly, and has been receiving raves from card handlers world-wide.
- Arrco Playing Cards (2018) - The Arrco decks are an iconic and practical deck, with a signature back design and superb handling that made them popular with everyone who used them in the late 20th century. Now this classic and beloved deck is back in print, with the air-cushion quality and handling from Bicycle.
- Copag 310 Playing Cards (2018) - Cartamundi has been making a real splash with their new B9 True Linen finish card stock. It's slightly thicker than a normal Bicycle deck, but is amazingly soft, and handles fantastic straight out of the box. These decks have been receiving rave reviews, and with good reason! As an added bonus, you can also get popular gaff decks (e.g. Svengali deck, Stripper deck, Gaff deck) with the same Copag card-stock and designs.
Cheap Card Decks (under $5)
Fortunately you don't have to spend a huge amount of money to get a top quality deck of playing cards. To keep things in balance after some of the more exotic decks available, it's good to know that there's a solid range of low-cost decks that are under $5, and yet are high quality playing cards. Here's a few fine examples of great decks from this budget price range, that offer something cheap without sacrificing quality. These make the ideal stuffing stocker, and there's a whole lot more available - see a complete list in the under $5 range.
- Stargazer Playing Cards (2017) - For this price, this deck can't be beat. Not only do you get a tuck box with shiny silver accents, but the cards have a stunning borderless design that creates amazing fans and spreads. The cards have an inky black background, while the artwork features bursts of light touched with purple and pink, inspired by a classical design transported to a colorful starry night sky.
- House Blend Playing Cards (2018) - Need some more caffeine in your life? The House Blend is a play on the classic Bicycle rider-back deck, with alternate coffee-inspired art on the card backs. The tuck box has novelty embossing reminiscent of a coffee filter, while the courts cards and pips have adjusted colors in shades of brown to fit the coffee theme.
- Wild West Playing Cards (2017) - At a bargain price, you can travel back in time to the Wild West, where all the familiar names are represented among the court cards, including famous names like Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Jessie James, Belle Starr, and more. This is a fully custom deck with a real wild west feel.
Best-selling Card Decks
If a deck is very popular, it's often a strong indication of quality. After all, there must be something special about it that draws people in, whatever that magnetic quality might be. These decks have proven to be best-sellers in the past year, and it shouldn't be difficult to see why!
- Cherry Casino (Tahoe Blue) Playing Cards (2018) - The popular Cherry Casino series has a retro casino feel, and this versatile and practical deck has an immediate touch of style and class courtesy of the bold metallic ink that is used for the signature "tahoe blue" color on the tuck case. Inspired by the clear colors of Lake Tahoe, this inviting pearlescent blue is also found on the card backs in a metallic ink, while the card faces are standard enough to make them ideal for card games or card magic. Also don't miss the newest addition to the family, Cherry Casino (Reno Red) Playing Cards.
- Memento Mori Blue Playing Cards (2018) - Created with the involvement of popular magician and YouTuber Chris Ramsay, this best-selling deck has an elegant tuck box with a wrap-around design featuring the shape of Ramsay's own skull. The card backs return to this design, which gives interesting possibilities for card flourishing, and the courts are designed in a similar style. The blue version of this deck was released in 2018 and is like the original, but has a more subdued and cooler color palette.
- Monarchs Blue Playing Cards (2012) - One of the all time most popular decks from Theory11, and even featured in the film Now You See It, this best-selling deck has a stylish navy blue tuck box laced with royal gold foil that exudes class and sophistication. The card backs and faces have a classy design that is not too complicated or distracting, and gold metallic ink emphasizes the regal feel of the court cards.
Playing Card Accessories
Most people who enjoy card magic or collecting playing cards will know that there's also a wide range of accessories available for playing cards, like card clips, card cases, and more. Here are some great options you might want to consider picking up:
- Carat Case - A carat case is the ideal way to store, show-off, and protect your favorite deck, all at the same time. Made out of acrylic, they are available in a range of sizes, and can be used to house a single deck, or up to as many as half a dozen. The lid is secured with magnets, and the bottom is protected with rubber pads, to ensure that even opening and keeping your carat case in place remains classy.
- Card Clip - This relatively inexpensive card clip is best used to help keep your cards in optimal condition, and to straighten out a deck with bent or warped cards. Made out of aluminium alloy, it also comes with stylish good looks.
- Wooden Box - How about a wooden box to hold your decks of cards? There's a small selection of different boxes available, most of which are handmade by craftsmen in Poland, and include intricate details and carvings, for a truly custom look.
Other Card Related Gift Ideas
Really not sure what to get? Want to let that special someone make their own decision about what deck to choose? Or can't trust your family or friends to make the right choice for you? Here are a couple of special gift ideas that might help out.
- Gift Card - Consider getting a PlayingCardDecks.com Gift Card, which is available in amounts of $25, $50, $100, and $200.
- Pip Box Club - Or get yourself or give away a Pip Box Club Subscription, which offers a selection of decks and extras shipped right to you on a monthly basis, with more value packed into each box than the cost of the subscription itself.
Happy shopping, and happy holidays!
Want to learn more about playing cards and PlayingCardDecks.com?
- Online Store: playingcarddecks.com
About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known and highly respected reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, cardistry, and card collecting, and has reviewed several hundred boardgames and hundreds of different decks of playing cards. You can see a complete list of his game reviews here, and his playing card reviews here. He is considered an authority on playing cards and has written extensively about their design, history, and function, and has many contacts within the playing card and board game industries. You can view his previous articles about playing cards here. In his spare time he also volunteers with local youth to teach them the art of cardistry and card magic.