The best playing cards for poker

The best playing cards for poker

Buy the best deck of playing cards for your poker home game with friends. The best brands of playing cards and the best playing cards.

The best poker playing cards are as classic as possible in terms of design and graphics, they are durable and pleasant to shuffle. When you go to online stores or where you read various articles you will probably see various fancy designs, themed editions or with black backgrounds but don’t be tempted to buy those for poker. For poker, you need some practical, simple and durable playing cards to enjoy your gaming experience.

The best poker playing cards will enhance your game experience. Even if you play poker with your friends once a month or if you are a regular player, please never choose a bad and cheap pack of playing cards. The most expensive playing cards are a maximum of $30-40, so there’s no point in skimping on a few bucks. Cheap playing cards break, bend and wipe off paint, and all this leads to a very bad gaming experience. You need to invest at least in a set of 2 packs of cards of the highest quality to fully enjoy the experience of playing poker.

If you play poker with a quality deck of cards, you will give you a much closer feeling to a WSOP tournament or a high-stakes cash game. And to always have a backup, buy another set of 2 packs of books and keep them in the closet, just in case you will need them in an emergency situation, whatever that may be.

The size of a poker card pack is one and only 2.5 ″ x 3.5 ″. Often you will also find also the bridge size 2.25 ″ x 3.5 ″ which has slightly narrower cards.

Cards readability comes in:

Standard or Regular Index – the size of the index is normal and is the most common in most decks of playing cards.Super or Jumbo Index – this type of index is very useful because it has increased readability for your hole cards and community cards or when you go all-in with another player at the opposite side of the table. Jumbo indexes are the most popular among poker players and also the most wanted.Peek or Dual Index – these indexes have additional graphics on the corners of the cards so as not to misread your hand and are said to be usually used by most advanced players who are playing long poker sessions. This index can be also used as an additional rush when you peel your cards. However, they are not very popular.

TOP 11 Best playing cards for poker

TOP 11 Best playing cards for pokerTOP 11 Best playing cards for poker

TOP 11 Best playing cards for poker by budget, value, quality, popularity and best overall. The TOP 11 Best playing cards for poker will help you choose the best deck of cards for an exceptional poker game.

We have selected the best decks of playing cards you can buy for your casual poker home game or even semi-pro poker game. The decks of playing cards below will meet all your technical needs to enjoy the long-term poker game. For decades I have been playing poker and I have tested many brands and types of playing cards, and these have finally remained the most suitable for the game of poker.

Best overall playing cards for poker: KEM Arrow poker playing cards

KEM Arrow poker playing cardsKEM Arrow poker playing cards

KEM Arrow are the best playing cards for poker because they are of very high quality. KEM are made in the US since 1930 and have been part of The United States Playing Card Company (USPC) product portfolio since 2004. They are made of cellulose acetate (a naturally sourced plastic aka bioplastic) and have very high durability. This material is strong but flexible at the same time and is very resistant to tears, cracks and scratches. Due to the fact that they have very high durability and are very high quality, they are the reasons why KEM playing cards are the most used in the most famous casinos and in the most prestigious poker tournaments in the world such as WSOP or WPT.

KEM playing cards are thin and perfectly slippery, so when placed in a package on the table, the top will not slip. Another interesting thing is that they are waterproof and can be washed or wiped with a damp cloth if they get dirty, stained or sticky after long use. The design on the back is unmistakable and every time you see Arrows, you will be guaranteed quality and an excellent poker game.

Of all the poker card brands, KEM has the highest price. I mean not overly expensive, as they are just a deck of playing cards, but compared to the most popular cards below, they are priced at double or even triple what you can find in the market. However, I always advocate for quality in favor of quantity, which is why it is highly recommended that you invest in your playing cards to have the most enjoyable experience possible as close as possible to one of the best high-stakes poker players.

The best quality-price ratio playing cards for poker: Copag 1546 poker playing cards

Copag 1546 poker playing cardsCopag 1546 poker playing cards

Copag playing cads have the best quality-price ratio and are very good value for money playing cards for poker. These are the best playing cards under $20 and the second best overall. Copag playing cards are made in São Paulo, Brazil for over 100 years and became popular in the US in the early 2000’s. They are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) being a very durable thermoplastic with an authentic feel of paper cards texture. Thanks to the very good value for money, Copag cards are the best alternative to Kem cards. They have very high durability and most customers buy a new pack of Copag playing cards just to diversify the design on the back. Copag is also the official WSOP playing cards provider.

Copag playing cards also have a very good technical ratio, meaning they are very flexible and have a thickness close to perfection. Copag’s 1546 Playing Cards are very durable and have a very long lasting quality. Moreover, they are waterproof and can be washed or wiped with a damp cloth if they need to be cleaned. The cards slide well and are good enough not to be annoying, so these playing cards may be the best for shuffle like butter. However, if you do not play poker on a table with a felt and you play on a regular table, there is a possibility that they will slip very easily on the glossy surface and fall off the table if the player is not careful to catch them.

Our pick: Da Vinci Ruote by Modiano poker playing cards

Da Vinci Ruote by Modiano poker playing cardsDa Vinci Ruote by Modiano poker playing cards

Da Vinci Ruote are good quality poker playing cards made in Italy by Modiano and are very affordable. In 2015 they were the official playing cards for the WSOP. These playing cards are a bit thicker and heavier than most popular and premium-quality playing cards. They are not very smooth and you can feel a small texture to the touch.

Da Vinci cards are made of 100% plastic and are waterproof. Da Vinci are durable and resistant to bending or folding. They shuffle smoothly and they have an excellent friction factor so they will slide perfectly on the felt. However, it seems that after several months of weekly use, the colors begin to fade.

Also a good alternative poker playing cards: Bullets poker playing cards

Bullets poker playing cardsBullets poker playing cards

Bullets are premium playing cards made in Germany and are very good playing cards for playing poker. The sleek design on the back of the cards is complemented by the two cool bullets in the middle that are the brand’s label. With these playing cards you will have the feeling of playing in Vegas because they are very high quality, made of plastic and are waterproof. They are a good alternative to Copag or Modiano playing cards.

Bullets playing cards have great flexibility and do not bend or tear. They have a perfect gloss to slide on the table, they shuffle very well and have a pleasant texture to the touch. Because they are made of plastic, you will be guaranteed that they are strong and durable. However, even if they are high quality, they will not last you a lifetime because there is a good chance that the paint will fade in a maximum of 1 year of intense use. They are available with standard index and jumbo.

Best budget playing cards for poker: Bicycle poker playing cards

Bicycle poker playing cardsBicycle poker playing cards

Bicycle are the most popular playing cards most likely due to their affordable price and these are the best budget playing cards for poker. These are the best playing cards under $10. Bicycle playing cards are also popular due to the fact that they have been manufactured since 1885 and is a brand with a long history in the US. The manufacturer is The United States Playing Card Company.

Bicycle playing cards are also sold worldwide and are available in a wide variety of designs. They are made of double-weave paper and have an air cushion finish, which is a professional finish and gives them a premium look. The name and design of the bicycle on the back of the playing cards is an iconic one, which was chosen to reflect the popularity of the bicycle at the end of the 19th century.

From my personal experience with Bicycle cards, I can say that the only advantage is the price, but you will definitely have to change the package quite quickly. Not long after playing with these cards, the print will fade from excessive wear and shuffle, and the corners and edges will bend. You never want to have marked playing cards at a poker game, even if they are due to wear and tear. These are the perfect cards for some casual poker games with the boys, so it’s a good idea to stock up on more packages. All in all, these are ok for a casual home game, not at all extraordinary playing cards.

Great alternative for Bicycle: Hoyle / Tally-HO / Bee / Aviator poker playing cards

Hoyle / Tally-HO / Bee / Aviator poker playing cardsHoyle / Tally-HO / Bee / Aviator poker playing cards

The United States Playing Card Company (USPC) makes several brands of playing cards and most are in the same price and quality range as Bicycle.

Hoyle playing cards are made from custom paper using a proprietary lamination process for durability. There is also an alternative made of 100% plastic that is much more durable and resistant to bending, scratching and creasing. They are available with regular index or jumbo. Caríle Hoyle is recognized by the distinctive design on the back, depicting the Greek god Poseidon on a clamshell holding a trident.

Tally-HO playing cards have a circle back design specific to this brand. They are made of cardboard with a high-quality linoid finish. They are only available with standard index.

Bee playing cards are recognized by the design with diamonds on the back and for the fact that they have borderless backs, ie the pattern with diamonds is present up to the edge of the cards. They are made of plastic coated paper with a cambric finish. Standard and jumbo index variants are available.

Aviator playing cards were originally introduced in 1927 to commemorate Charles Lindbergh’s Trans-Atlantic flight aboard the Spirit of St. Louis. With a classic back design, Aviator playing cards feature a bordered back and a smooth finish.

Best value poker playing cards: Maverick poker playing cards

Maverick poker playing cardsMaverick poker playing cards

Maverick playing cards have a very good price and are about the cheapest on the market. If you buy a set of 12 packs, the price of one pack is around $1. Maverick playing cards are produced since 1959 and there are inspired by the TV western, Maverick. These playing cards also belong to the USPC product portfolio, but being in a different price range, I mentioned them separately.

Maverick playing cards are all made of paper with a water-resistant plastic coating, but I would not risk putting them in water. These are so cheap so instead of washing them, you better change the package. They have a design without going out of the classic pattern and are available with standard or jumbo index. Remember that you get what you pay for!

Also great value poker playing cards: LotFancy poker playing cards

LotFancy poker playing cardsLotFancy poker playing cards

LotFancy playing cards are very cheap and are also in the “you get what you pay” category. You don’t have to have high expectations in terms of sustainability, you have to use them and enjoy the game of poker. LotFancy are plastic-coated decks of cards with a smooth feel and extra durability, made from paper. You can use them at least a few times without problems, but after intense use there is the possibility of peeling and hard to shuffle. They are available with standard index and jumbo.

Playing cards for poker should have classic graphics and back designs as clean as possible. Even if you are tempted to buy a pack of fancy, funny, edgy, themed or black playing cards, I recommend you do not. Even though they are beautiful, the unnecessary elements distract a lot from the poker game. If you have gathered with your friends at a poker game, then play poker not something else. Poker is a social and intelligent game, so it requires a little respect and a good run to be able to enjoy the game and be successful.

In conclusion, the best poker playing cards will remain Kem and Copag. You only play with the other brands if you can’t find Kem or Copag available or you don’t have enough money to spend on the best playing cards. But even so, don’t be too stingy and spend some extra money. You will be assured that your poker playing cards will last longer and you will enjoy playing the best quality poker.

Go All-in, but not go on Tilt!

Author: Charles Flores