Playing Card Glossary

Guides on terminology, manufacturing, templates, processes and more.

Playing Card Glossary

Unread postby MagikFingerz » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:18 pm  

Term Meaning
Court cards The Kings, Queens and Jacks. The "royal family" of cards.
Faro Weaving two halves of the deck together, interlacing the cards.
Finish The type of coating used on the cards.
Gaff A card made in a non-standard way specifically to be used in magic effects.
Index/Indices The letters or numbers in the corner of the cards designating their value.
Inverted In playing cards, this is used to describe a back design that is reversed in colours from another back design.
Number/numbered cards See "Spot cards".
One-way backs The top and bottom halves of the back design are not mirrored against each other. Obvious one-way backs are cards with a photo on the backs. Subtle one-way backs are mostly mirrored with a small difference, these are often used by magicians by making sure a selected card is placed the opposite way of the rest of the cards.
Pips The suit symbols on the cards. Can be more specifically described as center pips and corner pips.
Reveal A way of revealing a selected card as part of a magic effect, often included in custom decks by putting the name or picture of a random card on the box or one of the jokers.
Second hand Used to describe decks that have been opened and possibly used, and their condition should therefore also be described.
Seconds Used to describe decks that are factory seconds, these are decks that didn't pass the quality control and may therefore have minor imperfections.
Spot cards The cards from 2 to 10. May sometimes include the Aces. Also called number/numbered cards.
Stock The paper used in the deck printing process. The stock usually varys in thickness.
Traditionally Cut Means that the cards are cut faces to backs, and therefore the cards faro front to back (most cards can faro both ways after breaking in regardless of the cutting method, but that depends on the stock and/or finish).
Tuck box the box that playing cards usually come in, made from cardboard with a flap that opens and closes at one end.
Two-way backs The top and bottom halves of the back design are identical, mirrored against each other.
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