Skip to product information
Sold out

Escape Map Bicycle Playing Cards

$4.99 USD
View full details

Escape Map Bicycle Playing Cards

$4.99 USD

Escape Map Bicycle Playing Cards

During World War II, the United States Playing Card Company joined forces with American and British intelligence agencies to create a very special deck of cards. This deck was specifically created to help Allied prisoners of war escape from German POW camps.

This deck of cards became known as the "map deck." It was made by hiding maps of top-secret escape routes between the two paper layers that make up all modern playing cards.

These decks, when soaked in water, could be peeled apart to reveal hidden maps that allowed escaping prisoners to find their way to safety.

Due to the nature of the war and the prosecution of war crimes thereafter, the map decks remained a closely guarded secret for many years after the war ended. The secrecy surrounding them was so high, that no one really knows how many were produced or how many have survived.

There is one on display at the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. and another one said to be in private hands. It's possible that these are the ONLY two surviving examples. The card shown in the picture here is a limited edition reproduction made in April of 1990.

Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
Great Deck!!

Love this deck of cards. Being a history buff, this is just a nostalgic way of remembering remembering the extent POWs went through to escape.

Fantastic deck!

This deck is really well designed and executed. The artwork is striking, and suitable for framing—my daughter did the map as a puzzle, and loved learning the story behind the deck. Some cards might be a bit crowded for use in gameplay or tricks, but I’m sure someone with good card skills could work out a routine that ends with the cards displayed as the map. A must have.

Interesting deck

Interesting take on a deck. Cards laid out form a map. Would look great in an uncut sheet to display the map.

Great concept, great re-creation!

This is a fantastic re-creation of the old map decks and, for the price, is absolutely one which shouldn't be too hard to justify the purchase. The cards feel good, as to be expected from Bicycle. This said, the cards are definitely not a "get them out and play a quick game" kind of deck. While the card stock is good and the handling is fine, the visible map makes the cards harder to read. This doesn't detract from the review, however, as this was a specific intent set out to achieve. From the perspective of what this deck is meant to be, it nails it right on! The deck comes with a legend on how to arrange the cards to form the whole picture, so it would be possible to lay these out and mount them if desired to actually create the whole map image for display purposes.

Elizabeth Nissen

This cards are a wonderful homage to the soldiers and POWs of WWII and a great educational tool. They are however impractical to play with as many of the cards are quite difficult to read (I think). Definitely worthy to be in any collection

Recently viewed products