Q&A with Playing Card Collector Mike Quinn

Posted by Will Roya on

This month’s spotlight is on avid playing card collector Mike Quinn who has become a well-known member of the playing card community and has built up a respectable collection over the years. Read on to find out how Mike began collecting playing cards and what it really takes to become a prominent collector.

PlayingCardDecks: What made you begin collecting playing cards?

Mike Quinn: I started collecting playing cards about 5 years ago as a result of my association with magic, my grandson, and my son. We all loved playing cards and my first decks were from magic shops. I never did do much card magic, but I did love collecting the decks.

So, do you only collect playing cards?

No, I also collect coins, knives, magic props, puzzle boxes, card clips, and oddities. [However] I enjoy collecting playing cards the most.

As cards are your favorite item to collect, how many cards would you say are in your collection currently?

Last count was around 2,800 and still adding!

Playing Card Collector Mike Quinn

With that many cards, how do you keep your collection organized?

My collection is a complete disaster when it comes to organization. I started by keeping them all in totes. I grew tired of never really getting to see them, so I am starting to find ways to get them out and enjoy them. I have some that are framed, some in carat cases, and most are now stacked on shelves.

Do you ever open the decks, buy duplicates, or trade ever?

The short answer is yes to all of them. I open some to see just how beautiful they are. I do buy duplicates so I can open them or just have some extras of decks I really like. I would really enjoy trading or selling decks with fellow collectors so we can keep our collections up to date or finish a series.

What’s your favorite deck in your collection?

Wow! That is really difficult to say. I have so many favorites. I loved the David Blaine decks, Fontaine decks, anything [from] Midnight Playing Cards or Encarded, and Season’s Playing Cards.

What are your favorite types of decks to collect? Least?

My favorite types of decks are from the hand full of creators that really push the boundaries in cards by creating one of a kind decks with limited runs. My least favorite decks????? I am not sure I have any yet. I love playing cards of all types. They all have their place.

Are there any decks not in your collection that you would like to have?

Too many to count! I have so many decks I have yet to find, but then that is half the fun. You just have to take your time and stay the course. Eventually I will find them.

What does family and friends think of your collection/collecting?

I think my family thought it was a bit odd at first. Now they are all very supportive and even bring home their finds to add to it from time to time. My friends are amazed once they see it, but I think most people have no idea what it means to collect playing cards.

Aside from being an avid collector, you are also very active on KickStarter. Tell us your experience with being a KickStarter backer.

I became a backer in 2012. I have backed 565 projects to date. KickStarter has given designers a platform to make their dreams a reality. I have enjoyed being a part of it.

Do you belong to any other organization or get together with other enthusiasts?

I am a past president and a member of the IBM Ring 9 here in Atlanta. As well as a member of SAM assembly 30 in Atlanta. I belong to several card collector forums as well.

You attended the 52 Plus Joker Convention; tell us about your experience.

Last year was my first year to attend. It definitely exceeded my expectations. I was impressed by how many different collectors attended. I met some amazing people and made some friends that will definitely last a lifetime! I would like to give a shout out to the Erlanger Squad. Just a great group of fellow collectors as well as friends.

You are also active on social media. Tell us about your Instagram account.

Instagram was really kind of a chance happening for me. I signed up and really never used it. Then one fine day I decided it may be a good place to post some cards so I could keep up with what I had in my collection. I don’t know if it is just me, but I have a hard time keeping track of it all. I posted a few decks and surprisingly people liked them. Crazy right? Well that sparked the idea of me changing the name of my account to “a_deck_a_day”. Now my goal is to post a new deck every day. I have posted over 900 decks to date. I do some giveaways from time to time just to have some fun. I usually make the giveaways collection related. I enjoy seeing your first deck, your favorite deck, the deck you most want to add to your collection, and so on. This brings us together as a community and who doesn’t like to win a FREE DECK?

A deck a day - Free deck

What are your other online haunts?

I help moderate a few Facebook sites for the magic community and I just enjoy learning and finding new things when time permits.

Last question here: Do you have any tips for novice card collectors?

Have fun! Collect what you like. The longer you collect, the more you learn you just can’t have them all. Happy collecting!

Playing Card Decks Collection

Last update date: 06/28/19

9 comments


  • I just stumbled upon a deck of old playing cards that no matter what I do or where I go I can’t seem to find any information on. They come in a weird cardboard wrapped in gold covered in a soft material with what looks like two cards put on the front that are white and dark blue with a snake like thing on it yet the playing cards themselves are red deck and blue deck. Red is red and white with a small gold badge on the bottom left and the blue is the same way but on the 2 of hearts the logo “EM” on the back is missing and the 3 of hearts was doubled stamped it seemed. Please contact me to help me find more out on these cards.

    Austin on

  • I am a collector of playing cards from Poland.
    I have a lot of playing cards to exchange,
    mainly Eastern Europe and Poland
    (from the 1980s to the present day).
    I am looking for other collectors willing to exchange.
    If I would like to exchange
    please write to me at anszpo@wp.pl
    and I will send you scans of many interesting decks of cards.
    Best regards – Andrzej.

    Andrzej (szlemik , maszal) on

  • I have been a casual collector for 50 years and I have a couple thousand decks. All of them are opened and a joker has been removed. Some of the decks acquired at garage sales are incomplete. There is no particular theme to the collection. The goal was to purchase as many different decks as I could. Needless to say, the decks themselves take up a lot of space and no one in my family is interested in carrying on the collection.The joker collection is not for sale but I would like to sell the decks and need to know if anyone can put me in touch with someone who would like to purchase it. I really don’t have the time to sell each deck individually so someone who would like the whole collection would be ideal. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    Pat Gilliland on

  • Hi Mike. while searching in an attic in an early home, I discovered a playing card in the dust on the floor. It is “The Best Bower” card made by N.Y. Consolidated Card Company. On top of the logo sits an eagle and below a ribbon with New York. Are you familiar with this card as I can not seem to locate one like it. Is it considered rare. Thanks for your time on this. Jim

    James Good on

  • I have come across a very indebt collector of playing cards. His passing led me to this myriad of cards. Besides the boxes of unopened decks, he categorized them in 3" binders in card sheets. They are all labeled on the outside, & there are about 10-15 of these binders solid packed. I want to say this man had been collecting cards since the 40’s. Anyone interested? Thank you.

    Lisa Pisa on

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