Though the average player will never give it a thought, the deck of cards we all know actually has a rich symbology behind it. Both spades and clubs represent weapons, for instance, while the king of hearts is known as the “suicide king” due to always being depicted as stabbing himself in the head.
These traditions run deep, but you can now also strike out in your own direction.
Are you a fan of Star Wars? With no more than a laser printer capable of handling fairly stiff cardboard, you can create your own deck featuring Chewbacca, R2D2 and all the rest of the franchise’s iconic characters.
You can equally well use family pictures (perhaps with your mother-in-law as the queen of spades) or go with classic cars, use a special occasion as the theme, decorate each card with a product line from your company, or whatever – there’s certainly no shortage of ideas out there.
Alternatively, you can just let a bunch of toddlers loose with marker pens or crayons – pretty much any writing implement will work.
On the downside, these cards are not plastic-coated and therefore not all that durable, at least when compared with high-quality, pre-printed playing cards. Take care when shuffling.
You’ll also have to improvise a box or container of some kind.
Still, we can hardly complain about this considering that each reasonably-priced set consists of 216 cards, or four decks of 52 plus 8 extra for jokers.
This also gives you the freedom to make up an entirely new game – how, I wonder, did Uno, Pokemon and so many other modern classics get their start?