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Host a Play More Cards party

Posted on February 18, 2014 in

It’s time to celebrate the second annual Play More Cards Day. To round up your friends for a day of cards and camaraderie. To refresh your shuffling skills, learn some new games, and make new memories.

If that sounds good to you, click here to download a .PDF of ideas for hosting your own card party, whether for a few buddies or a giant gathering. And make sure to shout out to us on Twitter with the hashtag #PlayMoreCards!

And if you’re in the Cincinnati area, make sure you drop by at our Play More Cards event at Japp’s Since 1879, the official bar of Club 808. Click here for details.

Say hello to three new decks

Posted on February 06, 2014 in

Bicycle® recently added the Warrior Horse, Brosmind, and Zombified decks to ShopBicycleCards.com.

Zombified
Graaaugh! Zombies are back in Bicycle®’s third zombie-themed deck. Billy Tackett, an award-winning artist known for his zombie art, illustrated the Zombified Deck.

Warrior Horse and Brosmind, previously available only in overseas markets, are now easily accessible for fans North America.

Warrior Horse
Warrior Horse celebrates people born in the year of the horse; these people are active and energetic, charming and cheerful, hard-working, self-possessed and sharp. The design is rooted in Chinese style and tradition, and was released in time to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Find yours here.

Brosmind
Brosmind is a design studio in Barcelona, Spain, founded by Juan and Alejandro Mingarro in 2006. Their bright illustrations draw inspiration from street art all over Spain—and now you can find their whimsical designs on every card in the Brosmind Deck. Grab yours here.

Play More Cards Day 2014 Approaches

Posted on January 17, 2014 in

Last year’s Play More Cards Day was a great success, and now it’s time for the second annual celebration! Stay tuned for more information on how you can host a party of your own on February 22, 2014.

The Bicycle® Brand adds Matt Kenseth NASCAR Deck

Posted on January 17, 2014 in

In addition to the current stock of four NASCAR Driver Decks, the Bicycle® Brand has added two Matt Kenseth Driver Decks to the collection. One features Kenseth himself, while the other features great shots of the #20 Dollar General/Husky Toyota Camry. Grab a deck of your very own here.












The Bicycle® Brand adds 8 new decks to ShopBicycleCards.com

Posted on August 12, 2013 in Latest News

Eight new decks are now available for perusal here, and available for purchase at ShopBicycleCards.com. From a variety of artists and covering a variety of topics, the new decks include:

  1. Bicycle® Pluma
  2. Bicycle® Table Talk
  3. Bicycle® Skull
  4. Bicycle® Street Art
  5. Bicycle® Red Plastic Cup
  6. Bicycle® Escape Map
  7. Bicycle® Madison
  8. Bicycle® Peacock

All decks feature original art on the card backs and tucks, and were printed in the USA at the United States Playing Card Company on premium stock with a quality finish.



Sideshow Freaks arrive at ShopBicycleCards.com

Posted on July 02, 2013 in

The Sideshow Freaks Deck is here to stay! This newest deck from Bicycle® Playing Cards features classic sideshow characters like the bearded lady, fire-breather, lobster boy, and more. With a red and yellow circus tent motif and a hand-illustrated back design, this deck is bound to be a staple of your gaming nights. Get yours here! 









Bicycle® Brand prints NASCAR decks, sponsors Landon Cassill

Posted on May 24, 2013 in Latest News

NASCAR is taking over at Bicycle® Brand Playing Cards! With four new sets of NASCAR decks at shopbicyclecards.com and our logo on the hood of Landon Cassill’s #33 Chevrolet for the next few weeks, we’ve got racing on the brain.

The four NASCAR drivers featured in the new deck releases are Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.. Each set comes with two decks: one deck for the driver, one deck for the corresponding car.

In addition, we’re in the midst of a three-race partnership with Landon Cassill and Circle Sport as the primary sponsor on the No. 33 Chevrolet. In tribute to the Memorial Day holiday, the No. 33 Chevrolet will proudly display the nation’s colors incorporated into the car’s paint scheme in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and at the FedEx 400 in Dover, Delaware. “To have the Bicycle Brand on the car at Charlotte, in the backyard of the majority of the NASCAR teams, is exciting,” said Cassill. “You always want to have a good run in front of the home crowd, and the red-white-and-blue scheme featuring NASCAR Playing Cards looks great.





February 23, get ready to Play More Cards.

Posted on January 22, 2013 in

The Bicycle®’s Brand’s official holiday, Play More Cards Day, celebrates its inaugural observance on February 23, 2013. Play More Cards Day is a holiday dedicated to bringing family and friends together for an evening of good times and playing cards. We help give fans the tools, inspiration, and card rules to celebrate. All you have to do is show up.

To visit the official Play More Cards Day page, click here. Look for the section on becoming a Bicycle® Brand Ambassador for the chance to win free stuff!




The Bicycle® How to Play App is here!

Posted on January 22, 2013 in

The Bicycle® Brand’s How to Play App is now available (and free) in the iTunes store for the iPhone and iPad and Google Play for Android 2.1 and up. It includes easy-to-follow rules for over 75 card games, and lets you search for games by number of players, the type of group playing, or simply by name. Whether you need a rules refresher or want a new game to play for your game night, How to Play is the app for you!

Available for iPhone, iOS 6
Available for iPad, iOS 6
Available for Android, 2.1 and up


Introducing Club 808

Posted on November 27, 2012 in

The Bicycle® Brand is proud to introduce Club 808, the exclusive membership club for the brand’s biggest fans. While Club 808 officially launches on January 1, anyone can sign up now for just $18.85.

As members of Club 808, fans will have access to one-of-a-kind decks, limited-edition gear and accessories, interviews with celebrity Bicycle® Brand fans, insightful articles about every angle of the playing card industry and tradition, and the ability to participate in high-stakes contests. It’s a fun and exclusive way to show off Bicycle® Brand loyalty and full of content fans won’t find anywhere else.

It’s also the perfect holiday gift for any playing card fan. To be one of the first to join, click here.


Fantasy Decks arrive at ShopBicycleCards.com

Posted on October 25, 2012 in

Didn’t think Bicycle® could do gothic fantasy? Think again. Bicycle® presents our newest decks: the Anne Stokes Collection Dark Hearts Deck and the Alchemy England Deck, featuring the fantasy art of Anne Stokes and Alchemy1977.

Anne Stokes and Alchemy1977 designed all 52 cards for their respective decks, meaning each card features unique design. The classic suit symbols are now jewels or intricate cogwork, while the court cards feature colorful characters and scenes. It’s a new experience in every shuffle. To check them out for yourself, click here for the Anne Stokes Collection Dark Hearts Deck or click here for the Alchemy 1977 England deck.

These decks feature original artwork on the front and back of each card. They were printed in the USA at the United States Playing Card Company and printed on premium stock with a quality finish.

Graaagh! Bicycle®’s new Zombie Deck shambles over to ShopBicycleCards.com.

Posted on September 11, 2012 in Latest News, New Products

Bicycle® is proud to present our newest, spookiest deck yet: the Zombie Deck, featuring a horde of colorful characters, a wealth of survival tips in case of zombie attack, and a new back design. It’s a totally unique look for the classic 56-card deck.

The Zombie Deck features original artwork on the front and back of the cards, including zombified face cards and jokers. These decks were reanimated in the USA at the United States Playing Card Company and printed on premium stock with a quality finish. Check out the product page here

Now Available!See details and order now exclusively at ShopBicycleCards.com.





Bicycle® Playing Cards Partners with Zazzle to Offer Premium Customized Playing Cards

Posted on August 02, 2012 in Latest News, New Products, Press Releases

Haven’t you always wanted to design your own playing cards? Bicycle® Playing Cards is excited to announce its partnership with Zazzle, one of the world’s leading platforms for customization and on-demand commerce. Thanks to this partnership, consumers can now personalize and design one-of-a-kind Bicycle® brand playing card decks.

VP of Marketing at The United States Playing Card Company Roy Gifford said, “Our partnership with Zazzle opens up an exciting way for Bicycle® brand card lovers to express themselves by creating a one-of-a-kind deck of cards. Plus, it gives aspiring designers a way to sell decks with designs and artwork they create.”

The partnership gives consumers a platform for creating unique card designs featuring Bicycle® brand premium quality cards and the iconic Bicycle® brand artwork on the faces. Zazzle’s easy-to-use tools and navigation make it easy to turn a simple photo into the backing of a 52-card deck (plus Jokers). The site also gives card enthusiasts and artists the opportunity to sell their own deck designs.

Want to get started making your own deck? Just visit bicyclepersonalizedcards.com.

Playing Cards with a Green Focus, Bicycle® Hemp Deck

Posted on August 01, 2012 in Latest News, New Products

Bicycle loves the sustainability, durability, and varied usage of hemp fibers—including its appearance as the art on our newest deck of playing cards. As a company whose principal output is a paper product, Bicycle knows a bit about fibers.

We also know that hemp fibers are an environmentally friendly crop used in textiles, body products, and even bio-fuel. Hemp fibers are stronger than cotton fibers, and can even block UV rays more efficiently than other fabrics.

Bicycle’s Hemp Deck features our classic air-cushion finish and a weathered burlap look. The deck contains original artwork on the Ace of Spades, Joker, back design, and tuck, with unique coloring on the court cards. Made in the USA at The United States Playing Card Company on quality stock with a premium finish.

Now Available!See details and order now exclusively at ShopBicycleCards.com.

 

Shiny & New, Bicycle® Silver Steampunk

Posted on July 16, 2012 in Latest News, New Products

True Steampunk aficionados know it’s okay to mix metals—which is why we added the Silver Steampunk deck to our collection.

You don’t need a monocle to see the shining contours of the intricately embossed tuck, or to appreciate the finer details of the illustrations on the backing and Ace of Spades. The entire deck is evocative of its namesake’s affinity toward gleaming cogs and intricate gears. Airship sold separately.

Silver Steampunk contains original artwork on the Ace of Spades, Joker, back design, and tuck. The tuck itself is embossed in polished, metallic contours. Made in the USA at The United States Playing Card Company on quality stock, with a premium finish.

Now Available!See details and order now exclusively at ShopBicycleCards.com.

New: Archangel Playing Cards!

Posted on July 02, 2012 in New Products

Inspired by mythology and illustrated by hand, Archangels represent a new level of elegance in playing card design.

The design was produced by theory11 and illustrated by Tom Lane in the United Kingdom. The design itself required six months of intricate, pen-and-ink illustration. The result: breathtaking.

The back design is the crown jewel of the Archangel deck. The closer you look, the more detail you will find. Archangels showcase a juxtaposition of good and evil, darkness and light, night and day, angels and demons.

Archangels contain original artwork on the Ace of Spades, Joker, back design, and box. On the box, debossed ridges provide a unique feel that accent majestic gold foil across each face. Made in the USA at The United States Playing Card Company on premium quality papers, stock, and finish. In stock now for fast shipping.

Now Available! See details and order now exclusively at ShopBicycleCards.com.

Crest and Seal Chips

Posted on June 28, 2012 in Articles

From the very beginning, we focused on producing the world’s finest playing cards, with premium quality and durability. From 1907 to 1947, we applied that same focus and dedication to something else: gambling chips.

Collectors call them ‘crest and seal’ chips, and they were made by The United States Playing Card Company from 1907 to about 1947. Often referred to as the “Cadillac” of casino chips, crest and seals are some of the most colorful and beautiful chips ever produced.

Crest & Seal chips appeared in game rooms across the United States, from mob-owned private rooms to legitimate casinos and country clubs. In addition to the many colors, the variety of inlays (the center section with the design or the name of the club) is truly staggering. When it comes to gaming, you can always bet on one thing: that USPC stands for quality, durability, and the world’s best.

Crest and Seal Chips

Special thanks to Rich Hanover at OldPokerChips.com for permission to include these images.

The Meaning of 808

Posted on June 21, 2012 in Articles

If you’ve ever looked at a modern Bicycle® Ace of Spades or Joker, you’ve probably seen the number “808” across the card face.

What does “808” mean? Many people don’t know the significance of that number, so we wanted to explain its origins in this article.

The United States Playing Card Company began as a printing company called Russell, Morgan & Company.

Russell and Morgan produced their very first deck of cards in a Cincinnati, Ohio factory back in 1881. The brand was called “Tigers” and the number assigned to these new decks was 101.

A short while later, the numbers 202 and 303 were used when the firm printed decks under the “Army” and “Navy” brands.

The “Congress” brand and a few others were produced and given similar numbers in sequential order. Eventually Russell and Morgan introduced the Bicycle® line and assigned it the number 808.

Over 125 years later, Bicycle® Cards became the most popular brand of playing cards in the world, and the number 808 continues to be used on the Ace and Jokers provided with each and every deck we manufacture. Want to find out more about our company history? Find the full story and complete details here.

The Solitaire Cipher

Posted on June 14, 2012 in Articles

Bruce Schneier is a security consultant and a leading expert on codes and ciphers.

In the late 1990’s, he created a powerful cipher code system using a deck of ordinary playing cards that he called the “solitaire encryption algorithm.” Although invented for a novel, Solitaire (called “Pontifex” in the book) is actually a very secure method of developing a cipher key.

By putting a deck of 52 cards (plus two Jokers) into any given starting order, a person could manipulate that order in a very specific manner to arrive at a unique “key.” That key could then be combined with a simple substitution alphabet (where A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc).

The result appears to a casual observer to be a random series of numbers. However, anyone that knows the original starting order can reproduce the key and use that key to reverse-engineer the message.

It’s complicated and somewhat time consuming to implement Solitaire, but when it’s done correctly, the cipher is considered very secure. Like most ciphers, Solitaire isn’t perfect, but most experts agree it would require sophisticated analysis to crack.

And you thought only magicians kept secrets with their playing cards!

The Turnover Puzzle

Posted on June 11, 2012 in Articles

Turnover Puzzle

Here’s a challenging logic puzzle that seems simple at first, but some people have trouble getting the right solution. Take a look at the photo above and consider this statement: Any card with an Ace on one side has a red back on the other side.

How many cards must you turn over to determine if this statement is accurate? Can you come up with the right answer?

Spoiler Alert! The Answer: If these are all normal cards, then you must turn over the Ace and the blue-backed card. You must turn over the Ace to make sure it has a red back, and you must turn over the blue-backed card to make sure it is not an Ace. You do not need to turn over the red-backed card, as it can be any value. The puzzle said all Aces have to have red backs, but it didn’t say all red-backed cards had to be Aces.

If you allow for non-standard playing cards to be used, then you must also turn over the King, just to make sure there isn’t an Ace on the other side! If there was, that would make the proposition false. Although we don’t normally encounter Kings with Aces on the other side in everyday life, there is nothing that excludes that possibility from a purely logical standpoint.

Share this puzzle with your friends by hitting the LIKE button above!

The First Playing Cards by USPC

Posted on June 01, 2012 in Articles

The United States Playing Card Company has manufactured the world’s finest playing cards since 1885, but where did it all begin? Which decks were first off the printing press?

Bicycle® Playing Cards are the most famous brand of playing cards in the world today. Although we know what year the first decks rolled off the presses, we don’t know which exact back design came first.

For years, experts and historians seemed to agree that the most likely candidate was the “Old Fan” back design. It was released in 1885 and remained in production for many years afterwards.

If that’s true, then the famous “Rider back” design, which has remained in production for over 120 years, was likely the second Bicycle® design. We know it was released in 1887. So where’s the controversy?

It’s possible that a little known back called the “Oak Leaf” design was printed sometime in 1885 along with the Old Fan back. At least one Oak Leaf deck has surfaced with the earliest known Ace of Spades, which would appear to date the deck to 1885, along with the Old Fan back.

The question is, did the Old Fan back design come first and Oak Leaf second, or is it the other way around? Or, is it possible that the Oak Leaf back with the original Ace is simply a fluke and wasn’t actually in production that early? We will likely never know the real answer. This mystery might never be solved!

 

The History of WSOP

Posted on May 24, 2012 in Articles

What is The World Series of Poker, and how did it all start?

The World Series of Poker began as an invitation-only tournament in 1970. Legendary Las Vegas casino owner Benny Binion brought a handful of the best poker players in the world to his famous Horseshoe casino to determine who was the number one player on the planet.

Although the first tournament was decided by a vote, beginning with the second contest in 1971, the champion has been determined by a winner-take-all no-limit hold ‘em tournament. Past winners include legends like Johnny Moss, “Amarillo Slim” Preston, and Stu “The Kid” Ungar.

The WSOP began with only 6 players in 1970, but by the mid 80’s, it saw upwards of 2,000 entrants. The series reached over 8,000 players in 2006 with the winner of the “Main Event” no-limit hold ‘em tournament taking home over $12,000,000. The winner also takes home the coveted WSOP Champion bracelet.

The 2012 WSOP begins on May 28th at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Will you be the next bracelet winner?

What is the best Full House?

Posted on May 16, 2012 in Articles

Although it’s not likely to come up in a game situation, here’s a great trivia question about high-ranking poker hands that is sure to stump even your most serious poker-playing friends.

In a classic game of five-card draw poker, what is the best possible full house?

The obvious answer would be “three Aces and two Kings,” but that’s not technically correct. The real answer depends on how you define the word “best.”

It’s true that there is no full house that can beat Aces over Kings. But, there are two other hand-rankings that can beat a full house: Four of a kind and straight flushes (including Royal Flushes).

If your full house consists of Aces over Kings, then there are 11 sets of four-of-a-kind that can beat you and 34 possible straight flushes that can beat you. That’s a total of 45 possible hands that your opponents could have.

However, if you instead chose Aces over Eights (or Sevens or Sixes), then you interrupt the necessary sequences for some of the straight flushes.

This strategy lowers the number of straight flushes you could be facing to only 27. That lowers the total number of possible hands your opponents could beat you with to only 38 hands.

If you could choose a full house, you’re better off taking Aces and Eights than you are choosing Aces and Kings. Strange but true!

Casino by Zeniz - Now Available!

Posted on May 11, 2012 in Articles

We are proud and excited today to announce the launch of Casino by Zeniz, a new social casino app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch! Within the app, you can play all sorts of casino games with your friends - free!

From Texas Hold’em Poker to slot machines, the Casino by Zeniz app has something for everyone! The app is available right now in the iTunes App Store. Within minutes, you can download the app and start playing your friends!

Please join us, spread the word, and let the games begin!

“A Real Cool Hand”

Posted on May 03, 2012 in Articles

Over the past few decades, countless television shows and movies have included cards made by The United States Playing Card Company.

One of our favorite films with a USPC cameo is Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman as an anti-establishment character assigned to a Florida prison road gang in the 1960’s. After losing, but enduring, in a fight with the leader of the prisoners (played by George Kennedy), Newman engages in a famous scene involving a card game.

While playing stud poker, Newman successfully bluffs out the other prisoners one at a time until he wins the pot. When his hand is revealed, the players see that Newman stayed in with “nothing.” The cards in use during the game? They were “Bee” ® (No. 67) cards made by The United States Playing Card Company.

The line that ends this classic scene? “Yeah, well, sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”

The Cardsharps

Posted on April 26, 2012 in Articles

The Cardsharps

An iconic painting from 1594 that shows two card cheats in action.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio created what is arguably the most copied painting ever to depict gambling and more specifically, playing cards. Completed around 1594 and now on permanent display at the Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas, The Cardsharps shows a young aristocrat being fleeced by two cheats.

The first cheat signals the strength of the honest player’s hand, while the other cheat removes cards from his waistband to beat his unwary opponent. As a painting, it’s a masterpiece, and as a method of cheating at cards – well, let’s just say it isn’t exactly obsolete. Our advice? Admire, but don’t imitate!

Introducing Zeniz

Posted on April 23, 2012 in Press Releases

The United States Playing Card Company and digi117 team up to introduce Zeniz, a groundbreaking mobile social casino company.

The United States Playing Card Company (“USPC”), a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH), today announced a partnership with mobile strategy agency digi117 to launch the Zeniz Social Casino (“Zeniz”), a mobile social gaming platform planned for iOS and Android release this spring.

Operating under a freemium model, with a new game planned for addition to the platform every two months, Zeniz’s social gaming network provides brands with a Main Stage where players can engage with mobile games through interactive, 3D graphics and video before entering the branded game rooms.

“Our product is more than just another poker app, it’s a virtual casino: one lobby with digital entertainment as well as many games,” said Marc Hill, President of USPC. “The platform is targeted to social gamers with high-end graphics optimized for mobile devices and tablets that bring together critical game attributes and branding opportunities that don’t exist in any other mobile game application.  Our platform introduces new technology and exciting new ways to play casino games in both single-play and social-play modes.”

USPC, the largest provider of playing cards in North America and owner of the Bicycle®, Bee®, and Aristocrat® playing card brands, is executing an aggressive digital strategy aimed at re-positioning USPC as a provider of entertainment targeted at a new generation of customers.

“We are excited to be partnered with USPC and feel lucky to be involved with a visionary like Marc helping to implement the USPC digital strategy,” said Vadim Chernega, President of digi117.  “After designing, developing and promoting over two hundred mobile applications with millions of downloads, we feel confident our experience will make this game a winner.  We have some of the most talented designers, and we have launched a new-to-the-world social gaming concept.”

“USPC has been providing games and entertainment for 125 years, but as entertainment becomes centered on digital, we know we have to offer our customers a new way to play,” said Hill. “Our vision is to leverage our heritage and develop a revenue-generating social gaming company to compete in the mobile application space.”

About Zeniz: Zeniz Gaming Network is owned by Jarden Corporation in partnership with digi117. For more information please visit www.zeniz.com

About The United States Playing Card Company: The United States Playing Card Company is the leader in the production and distribution of premier brands of playing cards, including BEE®, BICYCLE®, AVIATOR®, HOYLE®, KEM® and CONGRESS® playing cards. BICYCLE® has been the bestselling playing card brand in the world for more than 125 years. Founded in 1867, the company manufactures, markets and distributes traditional playing cards, card games, children’s card games, and card accessories. BEE®, BICYCLE®, AVIATOR® and HOYLE® are registered trademarks of The United States Playing Card Company. For more information, visit http://www.usplayingcard.com

About Jarden Corporation: Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of a diverse range of consumer products with a portfolio of over 100 trusted, quality brands sold globally. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, Aero®, Berkley®, Campingaz® and Coleman®, ExOfficio®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, K2®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Rawlings®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Volkl® and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bernardin®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®,  Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, Quickie®, Spontex® and Tigex®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden ranks #379 on the Fortune 500 and has over 23,000 employees worldwide. For in-depth information about Jarden, please visit http://www.jarden.com

About digi117: digi117 is a mobile marketing strategy agency that specializes in full-cycle client solutions that have the power to push brands into the mobile arena. digi specializes in guiding projects from idea to execution regardless of scope. digi117 is privately owned and located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. For more information please visit http://www.digi117.com

Media Contact: Rich Jones TriplePoint for Zeniz, 212-730-9744, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Beginning of Blackjack

Posted on April 18, 2012 in Articles


Blackjack is one of the most popular card games enjoyed by players around the world. But where did the game begin?

The modern game of Blackjack has its origins in various “comparing” card games dating back to the 16th century! Although directly tracing Blackjack’s history is impossible, many modern scholars believe that French games like vingt-et-un and quinze contributed several features.

Additionally, the Italian game of sette e mezzo and the (probably) Spanish game of trente-un almost certainly provided playing elements that would go on to be incorporated into modern Blackjack.

At any rate, the game was being played in American gaming houses in the early 1800’s but wasn’t called “blackjack” until the first part of the 20th century. The name comes from a special “bonus” of 10 to 1 that was paid if the player received a black Ace and a black Jack as his first two cards.

Although that particular bonus is no longer found in the modern game, a smaller bonus of 3:2 or 6:5 is still paid for any player that receives an Ace and any 10-valued card as his first two cards (assuming the dealer doesn’t also have a blackjack).

Today, Blackjack is the most popular banking card game in casinos, and it surpassed Craps as the number one table game back in the 1960’s. When was the last time you played a hand?

A Map Inside the Cards

Posted on April 11, 2012 in Articles

Map Inside Playing Cards
A special deck of cards with a map hidden INSIDE the layers of the paper! When was it made, and what was it used for?

During World War II, the United States Playing Card Company joined forces with American and British intelligence agencies to create a very special deck of cards. This deck was specifically created to help Allied prisoners of war escape from German POW camps.

This deck of cards became known as the “map deck.” It was made by hiding maps of top-secret escape routes between the two paper layers that make up all modern playing cards.

These decks, when soaked in water, could be peeled apart to reveal hidden maps that allowed escaping prisoners to find their way to safety.

Due to the nature of the war and the prosecution of war crimes thereafter, the map decks remained a closely guarded secret for many years after the war ended. The secrecy surrounding them was so high, that no one really knows how many were produced or how many have survived.

There is one on display at the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. and another one said to be in private hands. It’s possible that these are the ONLY two surviving examples. The card shown in the picture here is a limited edition reproduction made in April of 1990.

New! Wounded Warrior Playing Cards

Posted on April 04, 2012 in New Products

Wounded Warrior Playing Cards
We are proud to announce our partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project and these special edition playing cards. Now available!

Help support wounded soldiers with these special edition playing cards by Bicycle®. $0.15 per deck sold will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

These decks feature our patented Air-Cushion Finish, softly beveled edges, and sandwich construction for enhanced game play. Made in the USA to ensure the highest levels of quality.

See details, spread the word, and support a great cause.

How to Beat Four Aces

Posted on April 02, 2012 in Articles

What are the odds of beating Four Aces with a Royal Flush in a game of Poker?

In a recent article here on BicycleCards.com, we discussed the odds of a few incredible Poker scenarios. You can read that original article here.

In this post, we wanted to elaborate on the odds of one specific, remarkable situation occurring: beating four Aces with a Royal Flush. What are the chances?

It’s not possible to have both of those hands at once in traditional 5-card Draw or 7-card Stud poker (without using wild cards), but it is possible in Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha. It isn’t likely, but it is certainly possible!

In fact, it actually happened back in 2008 during the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. Television cameras caught all of the action, complete with a cameo from Ray Romano. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

Incidentally, the video quotes the odds as 1 in 2.7 billion. That’s not exactly correct. The 1 in 165 million hands figure we quoted in our original article is correct. It’s true that the odds of the hand occurring in the exact manner in the video are much higher and much closer to (although not precisely) 1 in 2.7 billion. However, there are other ways for these two hands to fall at the same time, so the real odds are much less than that.

In any event, if someone wrote that scenario into a movie script, the audience would never believe it. It’s one of those once in a lifetime moments that makes for a great story! Will it happen to you?

How to Make a Hypercard

Posted on March 27, 2012 in Articles

Hypercard
Last week, we posted a unique visual puzzle: an impossible object made from a single playing card. Here’s how to do it!

To make a hypercard, you need a pair of scissors and a single playing card. That’s it! No glue, no tape, and no adhesive! The hypercard in last week’s post was made from a double-backed Bicycle® Rider Back card.

Having a double-backed card isn’t necessary, but it makes the illusion more difficult to figure out. When learning how to make a hypercard, it’s easier to use a regular card. So grab any card and let’s get to it!

Hypercard TutorialBegin by making three cuts from the long sides to the center of the playing card. Two of these cuts come from one long side, and the third cut comes from the opposite long side (like in the picture above).

Once the cuts have been made, twist either end (it doesn’t matter which one) 180° until the opposite side of the card is facing you. Flatten the card and gently crease the folds until the tab sticks up in the middle of the card. And that’s it - you’ve made your first hypercard! It should look like the image below.

HypercardIf you want to make your hypercard even more deceptive, use a plain white piece of paper or a playing card with the same back design on both sides. Using a double backed playing card will make your hypercard look like this.

If your friends can’t pick up the card to examine it, they probably won’t have any idea how you made it. Let them try to figure it out! Have fun with it!

What is a Hypercard?

Posted on March 25, 2012 in Articles


What is a hypercard? An amazing, impossible object made from a single playing card! Can you figure out how it’s done?

The late Martin Gardner, in addition to being an amateur magician, wrote dozens of books on mathematical games, puzzles, and other discoveries. In the 1970’s, he popularized an amazing “impossible object” known as a hypercard.

You can create a hypercard by making a few simple cuts in an ordinary playing card. No glue, tape, or adhesive is required!

A complete hypercard is shown in this image. As you can see, the tab of the hypercard sticks up at a peculiar angle from the rest of the card. This is accomplished by a secret move that only takes a second to do!

Try to figure out how the hypercard “works” without experimenting first. If you figure it out, great! If not, check back on Tuesday and we’ll show you step by step how it’s done - only at BicycleCards.com!

New: Jacked Up! Card Games

Posted on March 20, 2012 in Press Releases

Jacked Up Card Games News Banner

The United States Playing Card Company, the makers of Bicycle® Playing Cards, is proud to announce the launch of Jacked Up! card games, a new interactive twist on traditional playing card games. Jacked Up! card games combine traditional playing cards with a digital application that changes the rules with every hand. In the digital application the “Joker,” known as Jack, interacts with players throughout the game to twist the rules.

Each Jacked Up! card game package includes a special deck of cards, a smart phone stand, and a free app download (available for iOS and Droid phones and tablets). Scan the special cards with the free Jacked Up! Smartphone app during game play, to have Jack reveal new rules that add excitement to each game. Versions of traditional strategy games like Hearts and popular leisure games like War and Solitaire will be available.

Our Cards + Your Smartphone = New Rules in Every Hand!

Roy Gifford, VP of Marketing at The United States Playing Card Company, says “The Jacked Up! interactive card game will not only bring excitement but will elevate the level of play for playing card and digital game consumers alike.” Jacked Up! Interactive Card Games will be available in stores and online at www.bicyclecards.com on April 26, 2012.

For additional information contact:
Karen Baer
Sr. Brand Manager
The United States Playing Card Company
859-815-7348
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.usplayingcard.com

About the United States Playing Card Company
The United States Playing Card Company is the leader in the production and distribution of premier brands of playing cards, including BEE®, BICYCLE®, AVIATOR®, HOYLE®, KEM® and CONGRESS® playing cards. BICYCLE® has been the bestselling playing card brand in the world for more than 125 years. Founded in 1867, the company manufactures, markets and distributes traditional playing cards, card games, children’s card games, and card accessories. BEE®, BICYCLE®, AVIATOR® and HOYLE® are registered trademarks of The United States Playing Card Company. For more information, visit http://www.usplayingcard.com

About Jarden Corporation
Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of a diverse range of consumer products with a portfolio of over 100 trusted, quality brands sold globally. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, Aero®, Berkley®, Campingaz® and Coleman®, ExOfficio®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, K2®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Rawlings®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Volkl® and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bernardin®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®, Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, Quickie®, Spontex® and Tigex®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden ranks #379 on the Fortune 500 and has over 23,000 employees worldwide. For in-depth information about Jarden, please visit http://www.jarden.com

The Story Behind Bulldog Squeezers

Posted on March 16, 2012 in Articles


In 1877, a historic deck of cards commonly referred to as “Bulldog Squeezers” was released. Here’s the inside story of how those cards got their name…

Most decks contain 52 cards, plus or minus a couple of Jokers. Most cards contain the suit indicator and the value indicator in the upper left and lower right corners. Sometimes you see suits and values in all four corners, but this is less common.

Prior to the mid 1860’s, you didn’t see anything at all in the corners of playing cards. There were no suits or values in the corners. If a player wanted to see his or her entire hand, the cards had to be widely spread or moved from the front of the hand to the back one at a time.

In about 1864, card manufacturers came up with a couple of ways to solve this problem. The only ones still popular today are the suit and value indicators that we’re all familiar with. When this innovation was first introduced, the decks that featured it were called “Squeezers.” This name came from the fact that players could now “squeeze” the cards into a small fan to see their entire hand.

A more modern method of looking at a poker hand came along once plastic playing cards were introduced. This method is also called squeezing out a hand, and it uses a strong buckling action to allow the player to look down into the curved portion of the cards and see every index.

The name is still around on one brand of USPCC cards, Bulldog Squeezers, which have been in production on and off since the late 1870’s. Now you know how they got their name! If you want to add a deck of these historic playing cards to your collection, we have a limited quantity in stock now!

Playing Poker with Dogs

Posted on March 12, 2012 in Articles

Dogs Playing Poker by Coolidge

It’s one of the most famous paintings ever created, and it hangs in living rooms and game rooms all around the world.

Cassius M. Coolidge’s “A Friend In Need” is a terrific example of turn of the century art with timeless appeal. Looking at the painting today, it’s difficult to determine that it was actually painted over 100 years ago! It looks like it could easily depict a scene from the 1950’s or 60’s. Only the playing cards themselves reveal the era.

Commissioned by Brown and Bigelow to do the series in 1903, Coolidge actually finished 16 “dog” paintings. Nine of them depict dogs playing cards and the others show the dogs playing pool. “Dogs Playing Poker” is the common name for the series, but that isn’t actually the title for any of the nine paintings about playing cards.

“A Friend In Need” (pictured above) is the most famous of the “Dogs Playing Poker” series, and it shows a bulldog helping his partner by passing an Ace of Clubs under the table. That Ace will give his partner a virtual lock hand of four Aces. Side note: that bulldog has remarkable dexterity in his paws!

Although other paintings in the series have sold for over a half-million dollars, no one knows where the original “A Friend In Need” is, or if it still exists. For now, it remains a mystery.

Memorizing a Deck in 21 Seconds

Posted on March 05, 2012 in Articles


Have you ever had trouble remembering a name? Or memorizing someone’s phone number? Those are fairly simple things. Imagine trying to memorize the random order of an ENTIRE deck of cards in under a minute!

That’s exactly what Simon Reinhard does. In fact, Simon is the current world-record holder for “Speed Cards.” That’s the name of the category in the World Memory Championships, held every year. The winner is the person who can memorize a single deck of cards the fastest.

The one-minute barrier was officially broken by Dominic O’Brien in the early 1990’s, and in 2007, Ben Pridmore finally broke the 30-second barrier.

Today, Simon Reinhard has the current record for memorizing a full deck in 21.19 seconds. That’s less than a half second per card!

Although the techniques used by these memory masters vary, Ben Pridmore’s method seems to be one of the most common. Pridmore composes a mental story of sorts, associating cards with tangible objects to remember and recall the order of the deck. Like this new article? Hit the LIKE button above to share it with your friends!

What Are The Odds: Red or Blue?

Posted on February 28, 2012 in Articles


This famous brainteaser has a counter-intuitive answer that might surprise you! Can you solve it?

Imagine you have THREE playing cards. One has a blue back on both sides. One has a red back on both sides. The third has a blue back on one side and a red back on the other.

Place all three cards into a hat and shake the hat to mix them up. Without looking, reach into the hat, pull out a single card, and look at only ONE side of it. You see a red back. Obviously it isn’t the blue/blue card, therefore it must be either the blue/red card or the red/red card. Here’s the question:

What are the chances that it’s the red/red card? Think carefully!

Most people guess that the answer is 1 in 2 (fifty-fifty). That’s incorrect! While it’s true that you have eliminated one card completely (the blue/blue card) and there are only two cards left to choose from, one of those cards is more likely to be the one selected than the other. The red/red card has two possible sides you could be looking at right now, and the blue/red card only has one side you could be looking at right now (remember, you’re looking at a red back).

The chances of you holding the red/red card are 2 in 3. Don’t believe me? Try the experiment yourself many times in a row. Since you probably don’t have double-sided playing cards, make up some cards out of regular slips of paper with “blue” and “red” sides marked on them. After going through the procedure, you’ll find that you’re holding a card with both sides the same roughly 2/3rds of the time.

Sometimes you’ll have the blue/blue card and sometimes you’ll have the red/red card. But only 1/3 of the time will you have the red/blue card (which is exactly what chance would have predicted in the first place). Learn more here. Like this new article? Hit the LIKE button above to share it with your friends!

Beating The Odds - Poker

Posted on February 23, 2012 in Articles

Ever wonder what the odds are in getting a royal flush in Poker? What about getting four Aces?

These questions are fairly easy to answer mathematically, but we must first be clear about which variant of poker is played. Let’s consider five-card draw poker, the version most popular amongst casual players until Hold ‘Em took the world by storm in 2003. Receiving a royal flush in the first five cards in draw poker happens only once in 649,740 hands on average.

Those are the chances of getting ANY royal flush. The chances of getting a specific royal flush are 1 in 2,598,960 hands. To offer a comparison, you’re FIVE times more likely to get struck by lightning!

In Hold ‘Em, each player potentially has seven cards (the two cards in your hand and the five community cards) with which to hit the elusive royal. The chances of getting a royal flush in Hold ‘Em are 1 in 30,940 hands. Incidentally, the chances of getting a royal flush in 7-Card Stud are the same as in Hold ‘Em. Here are a few more fun poker probabilities:

Chances of getting four Aces in 5-card Draw: 1 in 54,145 hands on average.
Chances of getting any four of a kind in Hold ‘Em: 1 in 4,165 hands on average.
Chances of getting pocket Aces in Hold ‘Em: once every 221 hands on average.
Chances of a royal flush beating four Aces in Hold ‘Em: about once every 165 million hands!

The Dead Man’s Hand

Posted on February 20, 2012 in Articles


In the late 19th century, “Wild Bill” was a sheriff, an exceptional marksman, and a living legend.

His reputation as a gunslinger continued well past his death on August 2nd, 1876, when he was killed while playing Poker at the Number Ten Saloon in South Dakota.

It’s been widely reported in popular culture that Wild Bill (real name: James Butler Hickok) was shot while holding four specific cards, which have become known as “the dead man’s hand.”

Most versions of the story claim that the dead man’s hand consists of the Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs, Eight of Spades, and Eight of Clubs. The identity of the fifth card varies.

Although it’s true Hickok was shot and killed on that day, conclusive evidence is sorely lacking to prove what exact cards Wild Bill was holding at the time of his death. To date, no contemporary accounts have been discovered that might reveal what the hand was, or if there even was a hand in progress at the time.

The term “dead man’s hand” has been used in Western lore since 1886, but that early citation wasn’t in reference to Bill’s hand. The story of Hickok’s final hand doesn’t actually appear in print until 1926. For those of you keeping score, that’s fifty years after the actual shooting occurred. This mystery will likely never be solved.

Faster than a Speeding Bullet

Posted on February 17, 2012 in Articles

Edgerton Bullet through Playing Card

Modern, high-end consumer cameras are capable of capturing 60 frames per second (fps), and the fastest camera in the world can take over a trillion frames per second.

However, the field of high-speed photography was still in its infancy in the early 1930’s. Professor “Doc” Edgerton was one of the early pioneers of strobe photography.

During his long and distinguished career as a professor at M.I.T., Dr. Edgerton produced dozens of wonderful photographs with a tremendous degree of artistic merit. This is all the more impressive when you consider that creating works of art wasn’t his goal per se; Dr. Edgerton’s goal was good science.

One of Edgerton’s most famous series of photographs depicts bullets passing through everyday objects. Apples, bananas, balloons, light bulbs, and playing cards were all shot (pardon the pun!) in Edgerton’s lab. In our slightly biased opinion, one of his best photographs is called Cutting the Card Quickly (1964).

The picture shows a bullet tearing through a King of Diamonds. The card in the photograph was a Racer Back No. 2, one of the Bicycle® brand playing card designs popular in the 1960’s. Photograph by Harold E. Edgerton. Courtesy of MIT Museum © 2010 MIT.

Cards and the Calendar

Posted on February 15, 2012 in Articles

A complete deck of playing cards contains four suits, two primary colors, and thirteen values ranging from the Ace to the King. Usually, it contains two Jokers.

Lurking within these colors, suits, and values is an astonishing, but entirely coincidental, relationship to our modern calendar. Some of the proposed “alignments” between cards and the calendar are:

- Two colors representing night and day.
- Four suits representing the four seasons.
- Twelve court cards representing the 12 months.
- Thirteen values representing the 13 lunar cycles in a year.
- 52 cards representing 52 weeks in a year.

Perhaps the most interesting coincidence is that if you add up all of the values in a deck, using the Aces as one, and the Jacks, Queens and Kings as eleven, twelve and thirteen respectively, you arrive at a total of 364. Adding the first Joker as another one gets you to 365 – the same number as there are days in a year – and adding the second Joker gets you to 366, so we even have leap years covered!

The modern deck of cards wasn’t designed with these relationships in mind. They’re merely a coincidence due to the numbers involved. It all adds up to a lot of fun!

Bicycle® at Toy Fair 2012!

Posted on February 13, 2012 in Latest News

Every year, over 1,100 toy manufacturers from 100 countries gather together in New York City. And they call it… Toy Fair!

Over 360,000 square feet of space, all filled with games and toys! Today was the first day of this year’s event, and Bicycle® was on the scene to be a part of the action.

At Toy Fair 2012, Bicycle® is unveiling many new products that we’ve been working on behind the scenes over the past several months. We’re very excited!

From new games to new playing cards, we’re happy to finally pull back the curtain to show our latest products for 2012. Watch this quick update on our YouTube Channel to check out the view from the ground floor.

The Beginning of Poker

Posted on February 08, 2012 in Articles

Where did the game begin? Experts disagree on the exact origins of poker.

Although it’s been called “America’s Game,” poker is believed by some historians to derive from the Persian game As Nas. There is no question that As Nas and an early form of poker share many similarities, but experts state that this is merely because both games share a common ancestor, and not necessarily because one was derived from the other.

This common ancestor could be any of several “vying” games from Europe, but the French game Poque and a slightly older German game called Pochen appear to be most obvious candidates. In any case, the game came to U.S. shores through a French colony in Louisiana sometime in the early 1800’s.

In the early to middle part of the 19th century, poker players adopted the standard 52-card pack (early versions used a 20-card deck), added straights and flushes to the list of hand rankings, and incorporated the “draw” aspect of the game. The addition of the draw added significantly to the complexity, and therefore the appeal, of the game. The rest, as they say, is history!

Restoring Carlo’s Card Collection

Posted on February 03, 2012 in Latest News


In December of 2011, a tropical typhoon named “Sendong” hit the Philippines. The cyclone began to push through the city of Cagayan De Oro early in the evening. Heavy rain fell, followed by major blackouts.

Later that night, the storm reached its peak and flash floods ravaged Cagayan De Oro. Nearly an entire month’s worth of rain fell in one day, resulting in extreme damage and perilous conditions.

As the storm settled, a young playing card collector named Carlo returned to his home to inspect the damage. All 74 decks in his prized collection were completely destroyed. He posted a video on YouTube of the damage.

Carlo is a big fan of Bicycle®. Wanting to help restore his collection, we teamed up with our partners and put together a package for Carlo. A collection of 74 decks is quite large. After much discussion, we concluded that we could not send him 74 decks of playing cards, the same number he lost. Instead, we sent 75 decks - completely restoring his original collection, and adding one more as the start of something new.

Over the past 125 years, USPC has remained an American institution not just because of support from across the USA, but from around the world. To Carlo - thank you.

New Card Games Now Available!

Posted on January 05, 2012 in New Products

For over 127 years, The United States Playing Card Company has been the leader in production and distribution of premiere playing cards and a creator of innovative games the whole family can enjoy.

Today, we are proud to welcome 2 new games into the Bicycle® family!

With Jumble™, use the lettered cards to play one of the games by yourself or with your friends - or make up a game on your own! Based on the popular Jumble Word Game found in many daily newspapers.

One2Ten™ has players try to correctly guess how other players rate a variety of items on a scale of 1 to 10 and be the first player to reach 10 points. It’s easy to learn and easy to play!

New Bicycle® Site Launched

Posted on July 15, 2011 in Latest News

For over 127 years, The United States Playing Card Company has been the leader in production and distribution of premier playing cards and a creator of innovative games the whole family can enjoy.

Today, we launch our brand new web presence. This site will be our central hub and your ticket to countless games and good times. Across these pages, you can learn how to play every game under the sun, and get the cards you need to get the party started. Be sure to check our newly launched YouTube channel, and stay tuned to our newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest news and releases!

Jacks and Jokers Apparel

Posted on July 03, 2011 in New Products

We are very excited about our new clothing line by Jacks and Jokers Apparel. This new line of high-end, designer apparel features elegant, timeless playing card art from over a century ago.

Released only a few months ago, the apparel has already appeared on the backs of Hollywood's greatest stars and in the world's most respected retail stores.

The artwork is instantly recognizable - fortified as distinctly American.

Jacks and Jokers created this new line of apparel in a manner truly respectful of the rich history and tradition of Bicycle® playing cards. Most importantly, we want to make you look good. Dress like you're ready to win! See details.

New Cardistry Video - Michael James

Posted on May 01, 2011 in Bicycle Videos

Late this evening, we released a new cardistry video by Michael James. The video was produced by theory11 and filmed in Texas this past week. Showcasing Bicycle® brand playing cards, Michael pushes the limits of what is possible with a single deck of cards.

You can watch the video now on the official Bicycle YouTube channel, or click here to watch it right now!

Strategic Alliance with theory11

Posted on April 29, 2011 in Press Releases

The United States Playing Card Company (USPC), makers of Bicycle® Playing Cards, is pleased to announce a partnership with theory11 to evolve the company’s playing card product line to appeal to a new generation of consumers. Under this strategic alliance, we will work with theory11 to create a line of playing cards as well as online content.

The goal of this strategic alliance is to combine theory11′s creativity with USPC’s unrivaled distribution power. Accordingly, under this alliance, we will work together to innovate in the areas of web development, playing card design, marketing, and brand enhancement. We are extremely excited to work with theory11 to propel our creative output into the hands of new playing card enthusiasts around the world.

In order to remain relevant in today’s world, it’s critical for us to continually evolve the playing card product line, and we believe that this strategic alliance will do just that.

About theory11: theory11 is internationally known as the most respected destination for magic training online. Composed of a team of the most influential minds in the conjuring arts, theory11 produces and publishes instructional magic trick videos and designs high-end, premium playing cards. Founded in 2007, theory11 has quickly risen to the top of the industry, showcasing its creativity, passion, and expertise in the field of magic, cardistry, and playing card design. For more information, visit http://www.theory11.com. 

About The United States Playing Card Company: The United States Playing Card Company is the leader in the production and distribution of premier brands of playing cards, including Bee®, Bicycle®, AVIATOR®, HOYLE®, KEM® and CONGRESS® playing cards. Bicycle® has been the best selling playing card brand in the world for more than 100 years. Founded in 1867, the company manufactures, markets and distributes playing cards, children’s card games, collectible tins, puzzles and card accessories and is part of the Branded Consumables segment of Jarden Corporation (JAH). BEE®, Bicycle® ®, AVIATOR®, HOYLE®, KEM® and CONGRESS® are registered trademarks of The United States Playing Card Company. For more information, visit http://www.bicyclecards.com