The standard deck in use today consists of fifty-two cards. It has thirteen ranks of each of the four French suits. Westerners used rectangular layers of paper or thin cardboard to make playing cards. They paste them together to form a flat, semi-rigid material. They have the same shape and size so that players can hold them in one hand with ease. The front or face of the card has distinguishable marks while the back or reverse has a blank or a pattern of design. Cards in the second half of the 20th century started to have a plastic coating to resist wear.


There are only two basic types of playing cards available in the market today.

  • Plastic-coated or vinyl

You can buy these mass-produced cards almost anywhere. These are less expensive than real plastic cards, but they are of lower quality. You can mark the cards with ease by indenting the corner with a fingernail. They also crease, bend, and tear easier. These cards are great for occasional use but will not withstand frequent use.

  • 100% plastic

These are the type of cards used in casinos. 100% plastic cards have a professional quality and are ideal for any card game at home. They are way more expensive than plastic-coated or vinyl cards, but they are also more durable. They are also easier to clean and difficult to mark. They slide well across the poker table, making it the most natural type of card to deal. Dealers find it more comfortable to use this in manual shuffling. This type of card also works well with automated-shuffling machines.


The face of playing cards has five conventional designs.

  • Standard index size

This one is the most common size found on all types of cards, and most players prefer this size.

  • Super or jumbo index size

The print is more extensive and ideal for players who find it challenging to look at the smaller, standard size.


  • Magnum index size

The colossal size print occupies most of the face of the card. Players can see them with ease. It is not suitable for professional Poker games where it is vital to conceal the value of their hole cards.

  • Peek or dual index cards

They have standard size print on the face with additional beautiful print pips on the corners of each card. Players sometimes prefer to keep their hole cards on the table and peel up the edges to peek at its value. These players prefer this type of card.

The backside design can range from simple patterns to intricate ones. There are those with custom graphics or photographs.

Even online card games, such as Judi Poker, use different types of cards. The design does not matter as long as it has the fifty-two standard cards.