file 9. Buying New Playing Cards

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02 Jun 2021 03:28 #1
Last week I made a bit of an impulsive purchase. Well, it wasn't really impulsive really, but it had sort of been in the back of my mind for a while. I bought 13 decks of playing cards. I know, it's a lot. But I've been playing a lot of cards lately with my family and friends, and it was about time I got new ones. But there's a lot of explaining to do as well. I know this isn't a huge occurrence to make a post about, but I just wanted to write about it for some reason.

We have lots of decks of playing cards in the house. We keep them in the bathroom, like any normal family would. (The reason for that is because there was a little table with a drawer in it where we kept the cards, and it used to be in the dining room, but then we moved things around and it ended up in the bathroom, so the cards went with it.) But lots of the cards we already own (except for my own which I used before I bought these new ones) were novelty decks, picked up from various tourist destinations or featuring animals or landmarks, that sort of thing. Mostly not standard easy to read cards—instead they had pictures which is cool, but not very practical for playing high speed games with. So for my new cards, I wanted them to be as standard as possible because it's really nice to have consistency while playing, and also my eyes are pretty terrible so it helps to not have weird inconsistencies and stuff on the cards. While I do really appreciate novelty card decks, they're fun to use on occasion, but for regular play I really prefer standard symbols and fonts, and fairly standard colors.

Back in 2018, I bought five decks of Bicycle playing cards. They were dragon back cards, so they had cool dragon designs on the backs in different colors: red, gold, yellow, green, and blue. I still love those cards, but they're getting so worn, and the yellow deck was left out in the rain and so it's kind of in rough shape now, etc. The other thing about those cards was that on the yellow, green, and blue decks, the hearts and diamonds were yellow, green, and blue, according to the backs of the cards. This was cool and interesting, but it was rather inconvenient for actually playing games that involved the suits themselves, like double solitaire or variations of that, where you're combining multiple decks and you have to put all the cards up by suit. Say I'm playing with the blue deck and my mom has the red deck, I put up a blue ace of hearts, and she has the 2 but it's not as obvious that she can put it on top of my ace because they're different colors. I got used to the colors, but they weren't very useful in speed based games. Also, we were used to how old and pliable the cards had become, because they were the only cards we used regularly, being the only ones with standard fonts and designs.

But eventually I had had enough. I looked online for playing cards with as many differently colored backs as I could find. Part of it was that I wanted to find a lot just for the variety, and because I think it's pretty, but there were practical reasons as well. One of the games I love to play the most is called Nutsy (or "Nertz" if you want it to sound more boring), and it's an exciting and clever variation of speed solitaire with as many different players as you want. The largest number of players I've played it with is 8, and I wanted to have enough decks to be able to play with a huge number of people if the opportunity ever came up.

13 was the largest number of colors I could find of standard playing cards with standard fonts and designs. I found red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple, fuchsia (side note—I hate how "fuchsia" is spelled, it feels like the S should come before the C but nooooo), black, silver, gold, brown (coffee themed), and fire.

Also, another reason to buy so many decks was that the more I have, the longer they last, because if I rotate between them frequently, they aren't worn down so quickly. With the old dragon back playing cards, we used the red and gold all the time because they had standard red hearts and diamonds, and neglected the blue, yellow, and green. So the red and gold dragon decks are now pretty hideously dirty, and that's no fun and makes them kind of a pain to use. This way, with my new decks, almost all of them have red hearts and diamonds (the purple cards have slightly darker purplish hearts and diamonds, the fire ones have reddish orange, and the coffee themed ones have brown, but all of those colors are pretty close to red so it's not a big issue).

The brown coffee ones arrived today, and I played a few games of 52 Solitaire (a better variation on Klondike solitaire in which the setup is more extended, leaving you with 3 cards at the end and many more moves to make at the start, so there's a lot more strategy and planning involved). The "black" cards are dark brown and the "red" cards are a sort of chocolate brown, so it was kind of hard to tell them apart at first but I could adjust well enough. Maybe I could keep that deck for just myself because brown isn't a very popular color and my mom would probably not like how hard it is to tell the red cards from the black cards. Oh well, I'm sure we'll figure that out as we go. Currently I have 11 out of the 13 decks, with the final colors of red and blue arriving later this week.

Also the 3 of diamonds in the silver deck is curiously slightly warped, and yesterday I accidentally bent the 3 of spades in the green deck because we were playing Nutsy and we both had the 3 of spades and were trying to get it up as soon as possible, and our 3s of spades collided and mine bent. I felt really badly about that because in the three years of use of my dragon cards, none of them had been bent or damaged at all (except for the previously mentioned yellow deck in the rain but no one really used that one anyway), and one of my brand new decks gets a bent card in its first week—it just feels unjust. But who cares? So I decided maybe we'll just use the green and silver decks for slower games, and it's been working well so far. Plus the bent 3 will probably become unbent from being in the middle of the pack for long enough, so I am remaining hopeful.

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