Most of the games on this site can be played using a standard, 52-card, international deck, but a few games require specialized decks.
TaroBear’s Lair is a great source for traditional European decks, including Tarot cards designed to be used for playing games, as they were originally intended.
Five (or more) Suited Decks
A few of the more modern games described here require decks that either have more than four suits and/or cards that are not in a standard deck. For these games, I highly recommend getting a copy of The Badger Deck. The base Badger Deck only includes the four French suits, but there are six additional suits, such as the Coin Suit, that can be purchased individually. The Badger Deck is hands down the nicest custom deck out there, though the paper and printing quality of DriveThru Cards is not nearly as good as a US Playing Cards product, but it’s still perfectly adequate.
Besides the Badger Deck, there are a few other options:
- Sticheln has 6 suits with cards numbered 0-14.
- Sluff Off! has 5 suits with cards numbered 1-15. (Note: I think the card quality of the Eagle-Gryphon Games version is quite poor.)
- Rage has 6 suits with cards numbered 0-15.
- Voodoo Prince has 5 suits with cards numbered 0-15.
- The Blue Sea Deck includes the 4 traditional suits plus 2 additional suits.
- The Proxy Suits Deck has 6 suits with cards numbered 0-15.
- K6T has 6 suits with cards numbered 0-12 plus 6 face cards and an ace.
- The Singularity Deck has 6 suits with cards numbered 0-12 plus 5 face cards.
As mentioned numerous times, Pagat is the definitive card game resource on the Internet. The only reason you should be here right now is if you’re looking for streamlined, opinionated rules.
David Parlett’s The Penguin Book of Card Games is the definitive card game resource in print. Everyone should own a copy. Most card game books have a narrow focus on games played in Great Britain and America 100 years ago, but the Penguin Book concisely describes games from around the world. It truly is one of a kind.
David Parlett, in addition to having written the best book on card games, has also designed numerous fun and unique card games. He gives the rules for all of these games on his personal website.