A playing card deck is simply a pack of specially cut card stock, usually thick paper, card-sized cardboard, thick plastic-coated card, fine cotton-paper mix, or thick plastic. The sides and corners of a card have a smooth finish on one side to make dispensing easy. There are many styles of playing cards, from solitaire games for two people, all the way up to multi-player games at an online casino. Playing cards help to set the mood for a game of poker or blackjack online, or any other card game.
In the early part of the 19th century playing cards were created by stock, a card maker based in Chicago. Bostock's cards were printed on heavy, rough card stocks using a process called lithography, also called printing on paper. By using this process stock was able to create cards that had prominent die-cut designs. The die-cut designs became the norm for most American cards for many years.
In the early days of playing cards most decks were composed of jokers, seven of clubs, two of hearts, one of diamonds, and one of spades. As time passed and new themes started to enter the market playing cards became more complicated, with the addition of jokers, tridents, and pentacles. In recent years there has been a resurgence in interest in old card decks. Today's decks are usually made of wood with some metal embellishments, although some are simply made of high quality plastic.
Old cards are generally very well preserved because they are attractive and can be used as starter decks for new card games online such as solitaire and bingo. Card playing decks are often displayed because they are so beautiful. When you go to a casino these days you will see many sets displayed prominently. Many people who collect playing cards collect these older decks not only for their beauty but also for their history. The older decks are generally more detailed and complete than the new decks being produced today.
Although the standard decks are still being produced cards from the older days are becoming rarer. Currently surviving decks of this era number about fifty. Of these, about forty-five were constructed by hand. These are mostly replica cards but there are also a few original decks still around. If you collect cards of this era then your odds of finding a complete and authentic set are greater because it is difficult to find a set that is complete today.
Most popular in recent times are the "American" four suits design, which were introduced in the 1930's. These suits consist of clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. These suits bring to mind the classic card playing decks that we all know and love. The American sets tend to be more popular in the European community.