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lee asher playing card collector and magician

Who Innovates Playing Cards ?

Hi. My name is Lee Asher and I'm a playing card fanatic. Are you shocked to hear that I own thousands of decks? There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not thinking about cards. It's fair to say that it consumes a good part of my life. And I'm cool with that!

Perhaps you feel the same way about playing cards? I also appreciate learning about the history of playing cards. Seems boring, but the truth is, it's fascinating. The more I learn about the old, the more I begin to understand the new.

With that said, I want to share a thought with you as you read this wonderful webpage. Think about why you do what you do with playing cards. Sure it's fun. And yeah, it feels real good and looks exciting when done right. But what if I told you what you were doing with your cards is akin to field researching?

What if I told you that perhaps you play a much larger role in the playing card ecosystem?

Over the past two centuries, playing cards went through innovative transformations. These changes still affect us today. And by understanding this, we gain insight into the world of playing cards.

For instance, there was a time where playing cards had no indices. You had to spread your cards much wider when playing your game. Cheaters could take advantage of seeing your exposed hand. So in 1864, we see pips placed in the upper left and lower right corners of the cards. That way, you don't have to spread the cards so wide when looking at your cards.

Another example of innovation is the size of the playing card. Most modern cards are 3.5 inches tall. Yet, Poker sized cards are 2.5 inches wide, while Bridge sized cards are 2.25 inches wide. There's a smart reason for the size difference. In the game of Bridge, you hold up to twelve cards in your hand. Whereas in Poker, you hold up to five. It makes sense that you need smaller cards because you're holding more in Bridge. Vice versa, you need larger cards for Poker because you're holding less.

But what do the size of a card and index innovation have in common? Take a moment and think about it. If you said they are both results of game-play, you're correct. The majority of playing card innovation comes from playing with them, in game-fashion. Poker's popularity has stayed strong due to the World Series events. But we've seen a large decline in game-play like Bridge, Whist, Cribbage and a variety of others.

So what does this mean for playing card innovation?

Glad you asked! Fewer card games being played means a major slow down in card innovation coming from the game-playing community. But innovation never stops. So, where will it come from now?

Remember I said that perhaps you play a greater part in the playing card ecosystem? I believe you do, and here's how. If innovation isn't coming from game-players then...

Playing card innovation will come from the cardistry community. Crazy, right?

I'm sure you weren't prepared to hear me say that! But think about it, no other group of card users push the product to its limits the way cardists do.

Again, keep in mind while reading, it's up to you and the rest of the cardistry community to propel us all forward.

You can move us an inch. You can move us a lightyear. As long as we're moving!

I'm sorry for putting the pressure on you, but have no fear. There isn't a smarter, more inventive bunch than the cardistry community. Without a doubt, you got this.

Face it. This role IS your destiny!

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