Playing Cards

Types of Playing Cards

  • Paper cards

    Normal cards (which are mainly made of paper or plastic-coated paper) are good enough for home games. The upside to using normal cards is that they are cheap and easy to find. The downside is that they typically won't last you many nights, and they will need to be replaced with a new deck quite often. Many home games deal with 2 different decks so that the game can get played faster - as one person deals, the other person shuffles the second deck so that deck will be ready to be dealt on the next hand. If you are using 2 decks then make sure the backgrounds of the cards are different colors.

  • Plastic cards

    Playing cards that are 100% plastic will often last up to 20-100 times longer than paper or plastic-coated playing cards. Plastic cards are washable, crimp resistant, fade resistant, waterproof and very durable.

    • Kem cards

      Kem plastic cards are the highest-quality, longest-lasting playing cards in the world. Kem Cards are made entirely of cellulose acetate, the most durable plastic used today in playing card production. They typically cost about $25 for a 2-deck pack but they are worth it in the long-term if you play home poker games often. The best place to buy them is online (EBay, Amazon, or Kem's website) because they aren't easy to find offline. They have many advantages over paper or vinyl playing cards:

      • Security: Kem cards are virtually impossible to mark so it is harder to cheat with them.
      • Kem cards are scuff-resistant so it is like dealing with a fresh deck all the time.
      • Kem cards last longer than any other playing cards.
      • Kem cards are washable.
      • They are the cheapest cards to buy when taking into consideration the long-term cost of cards.
      • Kem cards are usually customized with different designs.


  • Material - The most common material used to make playing cards is plastic-coated paper, which is used to make "regular" playing cards. Some cheaper cards are made out of pure paper. These ones wear out even quicker than regular playing cards. Kem cards are made out of a special plastic that lasts longer.

  • Size - The most common sizes for playing cards are poker size, which are 2.5 inches (64 mm) 3.5 inches (89 mm), and bridge size, which are 2.25 inches (57 mm) 3.5 inches (89 mm). Bridge cards are narrower, and thus more suitable for games such as bridge in which a large number of cards must be held concealed in a player's hand.

  • Design - If you are just buying regular cards, the most popular designs are the classic "Bicycle" and "Bee" styles. Kem cards usually come in a few limited designs. You can always order custom-designed cards.

  • Larger writing - Some playing cards come with larger writing, which makes it easier to read the card values.


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Playing Cards

HPG ADMIN on March 1, 2013