Top 12: Playing Cards of 2018

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Top 12: Playing Cards of 2018

This is a record year for playing cards! We have a record number of decks released and delivered this year. To celebrate, we've compiled 12 of our favorite decks for 2018 right here. A very challenging list to put together due to the number of decks in the market. We realized that the benchmark is increasing each year with designers and producers putting out stunning decks, trying new innovation and design styles. So, if you think we've missed your favorite deck, let us know in the comment section below. :)

Note that the selection expressed in this top 12 are solely those of the author and the list is in no particular order.


Luna Decks by Bocopo Playing Cards Co. (BPCC) and Kevin Yu of Riffle Shuffle is an eye-catching deck with a revolutionary fanned deluxe tuck case. The deck has been inspired by the historical significance of the moon and sun in both Western and Chinese culture.


Alain Benoit's Cartomancer Playing Cards won 52 Plus Joker's 'Deck of the Year' award for a very unique deck that fully incorporates themes of cartomancy into the deck design. Each card tells a story with an original illustration made with vintage engravings and prints. The whole deck paints the landscape of our lives in a beautifully nostalgic style. The result is a thought-provoking synergy between significance and design.

Illusion d'Optique

Seeing is not necessarily believing! Illusion d’Optique is the most jaw-dropping collection of optical illusion playing cards ever assembled. From Art of Play, the deck features 54 eye-popping original designs created by a master of visual perception, Gianni Sarcone. Watch closely as colors change, shapes transform and static, printed ink seems to come alive. The deck is housed in a wild, rainbow-sheen holographic tuck-case.


This is an Uusi exclusive commission for Baha Mar Casino, "Junkanoo" is a playing card deck that pays homage to the storied, folk festival of the same name held every year in the Bahamas by the local island residents. The deck is fully custom with original artwork by Uusi and reflect the beauty and creative abundance of this local community and truly embody the Baha Mar catchphrase, Life Spectacular. The deck is packaged in a gorgeous tuck box, with gold foil details and embossed.


The Hana luxury playing cards is an original set of decks designed by Steve Minty. These gorgeous decks are inspired by the unique elegance of traditional Japanese culture. Elements from aspects of textile, art, and social structures are incorporated into this deck along with Steve's design sensibilities to make these different from what that has done before.


Lotrek Oath's stunning Damask Playing Cards is printed with two inks plus 4+1 foils on the face cards, 2 foils on the back, printed on a striking paper stock! Incredible! The deck features a floral design pattern throughout, from the borderless card backs to the Ace of Spades and the beautiful borders of the face cards.

El Recuerdo

Created with the spirit of freedom in mind, El Recuerdo Playing Cards by Sviatoslav Pashchuk are dedicated to Mexico’s heroic struggle for independence. The decks beautifully combine the modern attributes of Mexico with the history and traditions of the Incas and the Maya. The idea is to make El Recuerdo decks more graphics, similar to the old money used in Mexico in the 17th century. The face cards have a large number of symbols. Each suit has a unique armament of that time, the ancient Incas symbol, which symbolizes the suit, Mexico most recognizable plant, an integral part of the national cuisine. The center of each card contains Maya golden calendar and a decorative plate.

NPCCD 2018

To celebrate the 2018 National Playing Card Collection DayAlex Chin has released the Official NPCCD Deck, a truly remarkable deck featuring the world’s first light filter that literally changes the design of the deck based on the filter of the tuck box. The chess-themed deck is fully custom and meticulously designed. The back design incorporates a mobius strip that reveals a sphere of 2 heads. The beautiful tuck box features gold and silver intaglio engraving onto astral pearl stock that exudes a feeling of luxury. Each box contains 2 large die-cut windows featuring either a red or blue “worldview” that shows the deck inside.


Luxurious and unique in design. VIEWS Playing Cards are an illusion-themed deck of cards designed by Yves Krähenbühl and produced by Nick Earl of Got Magic?. The cards are fully custom and designed from the ground up. The back design features the motion-like bending VIEWS dots with a mint undertone to create the illusion. The face cards have custom pips, and the modern clean-looking courts have Pantone metallic inks. The eye-catching tuck case is crafted out of a synthetic soft-touch paper by Clove St Press. It is surrounded by the mind-bending illusion card back design, hot-stamped in white and mint foil.

RIPNDIP Fontaine

Sold out in 10 minutes! Zach Mueller's highly anticipated Fontaine collaboration deck is the best collaboration deck yet. RIPNDIP is a Los Angeles based clothing brand that has a very specific voice and it often focuses on eccentric designs that aren't afraid to stray from the norm. This is clearly reflected on the FULLY custom RIPNDIP Fontaines. The tuck features RIPNDIP's iconic white cat, Lord Nermal. In fact, Lord Nermal is featured prominently throughout the deck. From the card back patterns, Aces to the pips, courts, and jokers.

Deck the Halls

Initially released as part of Kings Wild Shorts, the Deck the Halls: White Christmas Edition Playing Cards are designed to look like a sweater. The courts, face cards, Ace of Spades and card backs features embroidery artwork with three color thread. Definitely a unique deck for the holiday season and will surely put a smile on someone's face.

House of the Rising Spades

House of the Rising Spades Playing Cards are richly detailed and features Lorenzo Gaggioti's incredible artwork. The exquisite decks begin on the outside with a stunning tuck case and finished with breathtaking face cards inside. There's just so much to like about this deck!

Honorable mention: Delirium Lost Decks by Thirdway Industries, COBRA by JP Games Ltd, Untitled v1 by Adam Borderline, Maduro by Kings Wild Project, Maidens by J&T Playing Cards, Ragnorak by Design Imperator, Tigers by Kings Wild Project, Off the Wall by Art of Play, Orbit V5 by Orbit Brown, Red Cherry Casino by Pure Imagination Projects, Planets by Vanda, Papercuts by Art of Play,  ULTRA by Toomas Pintson, Odissea by Thirdway Industries and Alice in Wonderland by Playing Card Decks.

The selection expressed in this top12 are solely those of the author. 

Top 12: Playing Cards of 2018 Reviewed by Ivan on 12/26/2018 Rating: 5

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