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The Best Playing Cards for Game Night in 2022

  1. KEM Classic Playing Cards
  2. Las Vegas Style Playing Cards
  3. Copag Poker Playing Cards
  4. INFINITE RULE Handcrafted Playing Card
  5. Bicycle Black Ghost Playing Cards
  6. Buyer's Guide

Poker night. There may be no greater American mainstay of repose than getting your buddies together for a little friendly rivalry, oftentimes with a small financial component. You know, to make the game "more interesting." You've bought the frothy refreshments and even got a new tablecloth for the kitchen table, but what kind of cards are you using? You know, those little flat things that are actually used to play the game? The deck is all too often overlooked when it comes to planning an evening of cards. But you're probably thinking to yourself, playing cards are all the same, it doesn't matter much... and you'd be dead wrong in that assessment.

Most cards come in two basic types: paper card-stock coated in plastic or vinyl, and cards made entirely of plastic stock. You'll also want to consider index size and pip placement because nothing makes it tougher to keep the other guys from seeing your hand than a large font broadcasting that you indeed have a royal flush. So when you're ready to buy in on some decks for poker night, one of the four following picks is likely to be a sure bet. Each one was chosen following specific criteria like the durability of the material. Most cards are made of heavy plastics and cardstocks now so that they remain resilient as the oils from fingertips can break down the material of a playing card over long periods.

Each of these sets also has top notch feel to them and a smoothness that makes them easy to play with, whether it's in a game or when pulling off a magic trick. The visual aesthetics of these cards are also unique and suitable for gameplay, preventing anyone from cheating on that all-important last hand; most important, of course, is the ability to see the pip and value of the card you're playing because it's crucial to know when to hold and fold. Lastly, each of these sets offers eye-catching color and a unique design.

Our Top Four Playing Card Sets

KEM Classic Playing Cards - Best Playing Card Overall

So maybe you're one of those players who's a bit more serious about their game. You need a card that can hold up to hours upon hours of shuffling, dealing, folding and throwing down on the table in victory when your hand beats all others. Well, KEM may be the brand you're looking for. These decks cost ten times more than some of the other names on our list, but what you get with KEM is a playing card that will stand the test of time. They're made of 100 percent cellulose acetate, one of the strongest plastics used in the construction of playing cards in today's market. In fact, these cards are also the preferred brand for the World Series of Poker. This distinction has made KEM the industry leader in plastic playing card manufacturing.

These cards won't scuff or tear and you can rely on them to hold firm even as you bend and curl to check out what you're holding. They're even washable, just in case the game gets particularly down and dirty. KEM offers a wide variety of back designs and colors for every taste, be it traditional or modern and they've got the different sizes associated with games like pinochle. You're going to spend more on these cards but if you take good care of them, you won't need to buy another deck for quite a while.

Las Vegas Style Playing Cards - Neat Finishing

The Las Vegas Style Playing Cards cards offer a great deal and have been used by professional dealers at renowned Las Vegas casinos and are excellent for card tricks, craps, canasta, and other games. They are collected from many well-known gaming facilities across Las Vegas, Nevada. The finish on all casino-grade playing cards is a flat matte. They are stiff, durable, and non-glossy and are made in line with the rigors of Nevada Gaming Control Board rules. You may bend and curl to examine what you're holding without worrying about damaging or tearing these cards. If you need a deck of cards for a Las Vegas-themed wedding, a rummy game, a poker night, or a casino night? These are the real deal, casino-issued decks.

Copag Poker Playing Cards - Runner Up

Featuring a wide range of pip and back designs from the traditional to the post-modern to the downright ugly in some cases, Copag has a long line of playing card decks to suit every taste in both poker and bridge varieties. Their Texas Hold 'Em deck has a retro, old Las Vegas aesthetic while some of their bridge decks have everything from images of their company's native Brazil to abstract art on their back designs.

Copag's card are made of 100 percent PVC plastic, which makes them durable enough to withstand countless games. They're tear-resistant and can handle all the repeated bending that comes with players peaking at their hands to decide how to wager. This also means they can't be creased or marked either, so you can be sure you're playing a fair game with Copag's cards. Shuffle these cards and you'll just feel the quality in your hands, and the slight raised texture on the back of each one makes them easy to deal around the table.

INFINITE RULE Handcrafted Playing Card - Honorable Mention

It's time to show off your best hand with INFINITE RULE Luxury Playing Cards! To take your card game to the next level, Oakland Supply has created a customized hand-drawn deck of cards for you. Play with a piece of art that is genuinely one-of-a-kind. Andy Sundblad, an accomplished illustrator, diligently hand-drew the magnificent original artwork over several months to make the most beautiful deck of cards in existence. Play better hands and show off your card tricks with the most gorgeous and creative deck. Any poker, bridge, or cribbage player, as well as anyone who enjoys card games like magic tricks and caricatures, would appreciate this present.

Bicycle Black Ghost Playing Cards - Also Consider

The first time you learned how to play go fish or were introduced to the game of solitaire, it's likely you were holding Bicycle cards in your hands. They are, by-far, the most popular playing card intended for the mainstream consumer. These are inexpensive cards that are great for a friendly game, but they're also the card of choice for some of the best magicians and cardistry experts out there, with names like Ricky Jay and David Blaine employing them in their acts.

Combine the tried and true reliable of Bicycle with the design team of Ebullient and you have a set of cards that feature a smooth which are easy touch by way of Bicycle's air-cushion finish. This allows each card to absorb bounce while providing a sure snap on the card for presentation in tricks. This also helps in the service of card games; as the dealer slides cards to each player at the table, there's less likelihood the card will bounce face up and ruin that card for the player's use in the game. The design on each card is what really makes this set stand out, featuring sharp black and white contrast.

Buyer's Guide

Hosting a poker game means you need to have everything perfect and in order. Our buying guide will ensure that you know the ins and outs of game night so that you can be the perfect host.

What Things Should I Look for in a Good-Quality Playing Card?


Professional sets always come in a pair because there is always a chance of losing or damaging the cards. Players recommend that you have at least 3 complete decks available on the spot so that tournaments can be played easily. Additionally, if your guests are ‘way too much into poker’, they will ask for changes in deck and setup. Therefore, it is an excellent option to have more rather than less.


Typically, playing cards are made of either plastic coated material or 100% plastic. The material you pick depends on the setting and type of game you are playing. Plastic coated cards are available almost everywhere, and they are a top choice for people wanting to play in any home-based setting. On the other hand, plastic cards are a bit expensive and typically used in professional setups.


2.5 to 3.5 inches per card is the standard size you are looking for. However, there are many different sizes available in the market that you can purchase depending on the usage intention and game settings.

Face Design

The face design of poker cards has remained pretty much standard over the years. You can see the standard suit, denomination, and court cards available in the market. However, with changes in trends, there has been a change in the graphics and positions of pips. You can find cards with the standard white background or ones with customized colors and various patterns. This diversity in variety allows you to choose one that matches your personality and choice.

Card Back Design

Despite being a component with no influence on the quality of the game, enthusiastic players are significantly touchy about how the back of their playing cards looks. The backside design comes in various pre-printed simple patterns to customized graphics and even photographs to depict who the deck belongs to. If you are playing a game featuring multiple decks, it is mandatory to pick different designs so that there is no bluff in the game quality and no confusion when making changes in decks. Additionally, the back design also prevents you from mixing the cards up with someone else's.

What is the Difference in Card Material?

Playing cards available in the market are either made from paper coated in plastic or pure plastic. Although both serve the same purpose, there is a difference in their properties.

Paper Coated Plastic Playing Cards

Available almost in every other shop, paper-coated plastic cards are a simple product that can be found in every home and every kid’s toy room. Less expensive than paper cards, they also come in vinyl coating and are perfect for home games. Since they are available in different designs, you can mark them and manage your decks easily. Besides all this, plastic-coated cards are less durable and tend to bend and tear without added force. Their quality quickly deteriorates as they are not able to withstand frequent use.

100% Plastic Playing Cards

A more professional option, usually picked by real players in big games, these cards are used in casinos but can be a perfect addition to your poker night collection at home. Since they are 100% plastic, it is simple to clean and leave them looking brand new for the next game. Plastic cards are much more durable and last for a long time even if you use them roughly. However, these cards are more expensive than your standard vinyl or plastic coated variants and usually skip novice to infrequent players. You can find 100% plastic cards in different colors and shapes along with customized designs as well.

What are the Designs of Playing Cards?

Playing cards have 5 designs that you will see in the market: standard, jumbo, magnum, and peek. The design you pick depends on personal choice and requirements.

Standard Playing Card Design

This is the most common size you can find printed on your regular cards. Ideal for a variety of players, you can find them anywhere without much effort. They can be a top choice during home-based settings because it’s much simpler to hide the label.

Jumbo Playing Card Design

If you are struggling with vision, jumbo-sized playing cards are the right pick for you. The card is generally of a standard size, but the fonts and design are much larger, so you can see what’s written effortlessly.

Magnum Index Playing Card Design

This is a huge print that covers the majority of the card's face. While this size is ideal for quickly taking a glimpse of board cards, it is more difficult to use them in a professional environment where the players are trying to hide the value of their cards.

Peek Playing Card Designs

Peek cards have a regular print and size on the front, but they come with additional pips on every corner of your card. These are suitable for people who want to maintain utmost privacy when drawing cards from the table so that no one can see what you just chose. They can be used in a professional setup, given that the body is made of all-plastic for a convenient auto-shuffle.

Some Buyers Also Ask

Playing cards are a top choice for weekend entertainment among many houses and professional setups. You need to go through size, quality, material, and design options before buying the best playing cards in 2021. Here are a few questions that may pop up in your mind when you are deciding which one to pick.

Q: What does a deck of playing cards represent?

The deck of a playing card consists of spades that represent the military, hearts that represent the church, clubs that represent agriculture, and diamonds that represent the business class.

Q: What are the suits in each deck of playing cards?

There are 4 suits of playing cards in each deck: spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds.

Q: How many playing cards does a deck contain?

There are 4 suits of each playing deck, and these suits contain 13 cards, including 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Joker, Queen, King, and Ace.

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