Son Of Sun Tzu blog

Son Of Sun Tzu blog

They keep saying my audience will find me…

16 May 2022

When is a card deck a card deck?

Mainly as a result of discussions at the CardStock meetups, along with Nick Kellet’s release of the Deckible platform, and a couple of projects I’m working on, I got to wondering what makes a card deck recognisable as a typical deck of cards, rather than something else?


What makes a card deck a card deck?

Is this what you see?

In no particular order…

  • Cards are two dimensional
  • Viewable areas are single or double sided only
  • All cards within a deck are the same shape
  • All cards within a deck have the same finish
  • All cards are flat
  • All cards are solid
  • Cards are intended to be handled
  • Cards are opaque
  • Cards are of sufficient size to be handled comfortably by humans
  • Detail on the cards can be read unaided
  • The cards’ shape is symmetrical
  • Cards are divided into suits
  • Each card is individual, and are not duplicated within the deck ( arguably, what about Uno? )
  • Cards are made of paper or a paper-like material
  • Cards have the same style of design throughout a deck
  • Decks contain approximately fifty cards
  • Corners are rounded, mostly
  • The back is usually different to the front
  • They can be shuffled
  • They can be dealt
  • Cards are interacted with through visual and tactile stimuli only

What did I miss?

Should I start a list of notable exceptions?