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Poker playing cards

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playing cards

The poker playing cards used during the games are that of a deck of 52 cards without Joker. The use prefer “American” style cards with two crossed index against “French” style with four index. In addition to the style and design, the cards can be differentiated by their size, wide or narrow, and their manufacturing technique based on cardboard or plastic. Card handling at poker requires flexibility, endurance and visibility: they are most often sighted by players which press them on the mat by bending one of their angles and it is essential that they can not have any distinctive mark .


Two card formats are traditionally used in poker:

  • poker size (‘wide size’): 2″1/2 x 3″1/2 or 6.35 cm x 8.89 cm;
  • the bridge size (‘narrow size’): 2″1/4 x 3″1/2 or 5.72 cm x 8.89 cm.

Amateur games feature mostly poker cards, larger. The bridge format is more used in the casino, in major poker clubs and at major tournaments.

Some cards are indexed to the four corners (including COPAG) to facilitate the preview of the cards by the player. A majority, however, have two indexes diagonally. The “universal access” of the cards use with clover colors displayed in green and blue tile are increasingly used in virtual casino as much as in tournaments. For the player who has no problem of view, this type of game makes it easier to identify the colors, just like the larger type of index used to better identify strong hands.


The poker cards are made of cardboard or plastic, covered with a varnish which substance determines the touch of the card. It is highly recommended to use cards that you can not write or make any distinguishing mark.


The most famous producers for “cardboard” cards are:

  • The US Playing Card Company with brands Bicycle, and Bee, “poker” format
  • France cards with brands Ducale, Grimaud, and Heron, the “bridge” size
  • Kardwell with Tally-Ho,  “American” size

The thickness and the varnish of the cards produced by The US Playing Card Company makes them very popular for poker players due to their resistance, flexibility, resilience and mechanical properties. The cards used in casinos are also stamped with the ad hoc pattern on their back.


The most famous brands for plastic process are KEM, Gemaco-Franck Lee, and COPAG. Deemed to be the most resistant, their cellulose acetate composition and varnishes makes them particularly resistant to bending and the markings, at the expense of the quality of their grip.

Translated from Wikipedia

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