Five Ways to Tell You Have Too Many Decks

It IS possible. Isn’t it?

Five Ways to Tell You Have Too Many Decks

There’s nothing quite like opening a fresh deck of playing cards. Or setting aside a few unopened decks just in case. Or lots of unopened decks just in case. Or having so many unopened decks that you’re starting a collection. A collection that begins in a spare drawer, then slowly finds its way onto your desk, then begins building along the kitchen table—wait. Do you have too many decks? Is that even possible? Read this list to find out if you’re in the clear, or part of the problem. You may have too many decks if. . .

1. You have nowhere to put them. When your collection gets so vast that it outgrows your display cases, Drawer-O-Cards, glass cabinets, or secret underground vault, it’s time to either downsize or re-organize. Either give away a few decks, or take the time—this weekend, even—to upgrade your display method so that you can actually give your cards some TLC. Otherwise, they’re just sitting around, unplayed and undisplayed. At that point, they’re just clutter, and. . .

2. You don’t use them. Maybe they’re all sitting out, waiting to be put in a display case. Maybe you only have four or five decks. . . but three have sat unopened for ages. If you’re into using your cards rather than displaying them, and you have unopened decks gathering dust, you have too many.

3. You forget which ones you have. If they’re on display in a prominent location or sealed in the underground vault you visit every day, it’s unlikely you’ll forget about your decks. But if you have so many that, when you occasionally rummage through, you think, Oh! I forgot I had this guy. Whoa. Congratulations, you have too many decks.

4. You have like eight kinds of the same one. Five, six, seven, eight or more of the same kind of deck is a lot of decks. What are they doing, besides gathering dust? Are you going to make an art installation with the extra cards? Carefully paper maché them into an elaborate King of Clubs crown you can wear on poker nights? If they aren’t already being used, there are too many. It’s time to downsize.

5. Kidding! There’s no such thing. Seriously. Who has too many decks? “Too many” is so limiting. So restrictive. Who cares how many decks you have, as long as they’re neatly displayed or put away? You’re carefully curating a collection, not gathering useless paper scraps. Sheesh.

In all honesty, if you’d like to downsize your deck collection, there are plenty of ways to go about it. Start by giving them to friends and family; many non-card-enthusiasts may never see a design that isn’t the Standard rider back. If your stash continues to overflow, consider giving decks to local shelters or thrift stores. Finally, if you’d like to sell some of your vintage sets, eBay is still a great option.

How do you display your collection, and what do you do with the overflow? Tell us in the Comments section.

@OfficialBicycleCards on Instagram


  • Devon MacDonald
    June 5, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I think I have around 50 different decks 10 uv500 and a few performance finish and about 2 bricks of red and blue and jumbo index

  • an unopened deck of cards? Well yes I do have a couple, but I have duplicates that ARE opened. The black back Bicycle decks should be a standard everywhere!

    I used to think I was a card hoarding nut, then I realized I have more comic books, novels, movies… Besides, you can’t shuffle movies or books when your hands need something to do!

  • I’m kind of new to collecting decks, although I already have over 50 of them. Not more than a few duplicates, but plenty of cool ones. I even have a vintage Camel cigarettes deck from 1991 that I got recently. It’s true that there’s no such thing as too many decks, even if people I know say that I have too many.

  • I agree with number 5 – there is no such thing. My collection is currently over 9300 different decks and takes up one full bedroom and part of our den in our house. I collect all types – old and new, common and rare, I don’t discriminate – whatever I can find that I don’t already have. There’s a reason my husband got me business cards stating “The Crazy Card Lady”. If I happen to get duplicate decks, I sell them to other collectors on Ebay at reasonable prices. My favorite deck? All of them – I can’t pick just one. My husband likes the old Railroad decks and anything with a lot of history.

    • I can sympathise with "The Crazy Card Lady", I only have 2700 different decks, but already its hard to move in the house. They are in cardboard crates, in draws and on shelves in three rooms! My wife is going bananas! In my defence, I catalogue and document the decks for a free online museum, and provide free consultancy to other collectors, the public and even museums. I’m possibly weird, I am not interested in the backs, I study the evolution of the faces. It will come as no surprise then that one of my pet hates is the copying of premium company designs by anonymous budget manufacturers.

    • Any of them reversed back

  • Hello all, I have played with cards all my life. Bought and played with 1000’s of decks, and have never open a bad package till tonight. Has anyone else ever had a deck CUT wrong and have three different patterns on the back side? Just curious how rare this is.

  • So… I have 3 decks I can still kinda use. I envy the people with a couple hundred decks. WHY DO YOU NEED 20 DECKS OF GOLDEN METALUXE!!!?!?!?!

  • Well, I have about a 1000 decks & a very good idea what I have but the Bicycle Steel deck is my favorite.

  • My wife tells me I have too many cards! THAT’S how I know I have too many decks. Rats! Pitiful as this will sound, I have only 3 decks in a “collection” so far. My first one is the “Favole” deck. I love this one. When I first saw the picture on the tuck box I thought it was a type of clown, perhaps from Europe. Clearly I was wrong, but not disappointed. The art-work is exquisite. My other 2 decks are of bizarre, horror-movie types of clowns. I like clowns…of any type.

    Then, I have roughly 30 decks of regular, Bicycle, poker, Rider-Back red cards and of blue cards for my magic. My magic is just as a hobbyist, however I’d like to say that Bicycle cards are terrific. I have experimented with 3 other brands of cards (hardly exhaustive, I know) and Bicycle cards are superior, especially with regard to the finish on the cards.
    Cam Dix
    Toronto, Canada

  • Bicycle what countries can we find your cards in Asia?

  • My cousin has too many decks…. I joined here to get some new decks, cause I don’t even have 1 lol

  • I’m relatively new at collecting. I have about 200 decks, most different. Kickstarter kickstarted my collection, and I buy Bicycle almost exclusively. Currently, they sit organized by category, or designer in small boxes. I keep a separate box of opened decks that I bring with me on poker night, or to pass out to family members when I visit, or give to kids at a camp I help counsel.

    • Thought I’d update my comment. I’m now at about 250, and slowly adding new ones. Still primarily Bicycle branded decks, but branching out into some vintage decks now and then. I now have a 3-drawer plastic cabinet that holds almost 100 decks, and a few hard-shell boxes I picked up at work that I use to organize them. Much easier to see them, rather than have them hiding in boxes.

  • I’ve been collecting card decks since the early 1970s. I used to keep an accurate count of how many decks I have, but I lost track many years ago. I’d estimate the total now is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 decks. Some are of historical significance and have monetary value. Others are simply fun, attractive, or interesting. I don’t believe you can ever have too many. Although I do wish I could put them out on display. Storage space is not really the problem. Display space for a thousand decks is a problem.

    • Some of the shelves intended for spice jars are good for displaying decks of cards. They are just the right size! Pick them up cheap from car boot sales, but make sure you have a deck in your pocket to check the size first!

  • Hi bicyclecards, any plans to continue the limited edition series? Thanks! 🙂

    August 25, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    More than 600 different decks at the moment… and it never ends 🙂
    Most of them you can see on my webpage:
    Germanys biggest private card collectors page.

  • Packs of cards are generally cheaper than packs cigarettes. I chose to be addicted to buying playing cards. Besides cardistry is skill and smoking isn’t.

  • I have two, custom made, wall-mounted display cases holding 50 decks each. I got started down the card collecting path 15 years ago. Now I have so many I have to rotate them in and out of the display case. 🙂 I suppose there are greater addictions.

  • Every time I get a new deck I take a picture and I add it to my Facebook Page. I am very thrilled with every deck I get and I just love showing them off. Also I take one of the Jokers and add it too a big binder I have of all the Jokers. It’s a quick and easy way to show off my decks, Since I have so many!

Show More Comments

Add Comment

Join/login to comment