Rarest Playing Cards in the World and Their Jaw-Dropping Value
What if you had a winning hand without knowing it? Regardless of the actual outcome of the game. Chances are, you would be interested, if not a little confused.
The gambling industry is, without a doubt, one of the most lucrative in the world and for obvious reasons. Though it is likely that you are not aware of one of the reasons why.
It is prevalent all around the world, even in some countries whose authorities have deemed it necessary to impose strict gambling regulations.
Unbeknown to many, under the Playing Cards Act in Thailand, individuals are prohibited from owning more than 120 playing cards and even then, they are required to have a special license to do so courtesy of the Excise Department, which places heavy scrutiny on its laws. Despite this, it is still home to the Playing Cards Factory, which produces in excess of 400,000 decks of playing cards on a monthly basis.
While most gamblers around the world are just that; they gamble relentlessly, often frequently visiting brick-and-mortar casinos, some even planning annual holidays to key resorts to combine this, there are also people with major card collections who are avid enthusiasts.
This particularly applies to playing cards, with many having considerably high valuations and purchase prices, while some are also extremely rare and often fetch a lot more than their reserve at auction.
Each deck also has a difficulty level associated with them (out of five), which is based on how hard these are to find. Holding a mesmerizing deck of cards like the ones we discuss below is a thrill second to none, at least according to us at Casinoreviews. Read on to find out about some of the rarest playing cards in the world, then check your cupboards - you never know, it could be that you own one without even realising!
This deck of playing cards is typically valued at $100 and has a difficulty rating of three. This deck is the first of six of Uusi’s deck of playing cards, which were printed by the United States Playing Card company.
As such, they have an interesting history behind them and are highly sought-after by collectors around the world. Each card in the deck features hand-drawn, intricate illustrations by Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits - two of the most well-renowned artists of our time - and are distinctive by the use of various shades of blue, decoratively depicting numerous characters.
Particularly hard to find, these are limited to just 2,500 decks and were printed with air cushion, intricately finished on a bicycle grade card stock.
Boasting a market price of $200 and a difficulty level of three, this card deck has catapulted in demand since 2013 when Zach Mueller raised an initial $10,000 via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo in just 18 hours. Within a month, this total had doubled, and avid collectors have been eagle-eyed ever since, with prices continuing to soar.
Arguably one of the most beautiful playing card decks ever crafted, these were the brainchild of Paul Carpenter and are the first deck belonging to the Encarded Signature Series. As a result, you will find that it features a rather unique side opening, with the box manufactured using thick matte black paper, adding somewhat elegance to it. Each card has a variation of a central, circular medallion motif without a border encompassing holographic silver foil. It is perhaps understandable why these have a difficulty rating of four.
The branding behind this is particularly clever, having been produced by Theory 11, especially for the Rarebit Restaurant and Lounge in Charleston, South Carolina, any customer who visits the establishment can get a free pack of these if they spend $100 or more. The cards are intricately designed with green foil trim, encompassing a black matte finish and have a difficulty level of four.
A design that is inspired by the Bicycle Centurion deck from the Theory 11 manufacturer, the White Centurion issue was produced by Chris Kenner. As a result of there being only 1,100 decks in circulation, this has significantly ramped up interest and price, has a difficulty level of five and costs in the region of $325.
Unbranded Blank Reserve Note
With a market value of $250 and a difficulty level of five, these playing cards were produced, or at least commissioned as part of the Federal 52 Part II following up to the original Federal 52 campaign. There were two duplicates of each deck (branded and unbranded), so-called ‘The White Reserve Note’, ‘The Silver Certificate’ and ‘The Black Reserve Note’. Due to its ties with the US government, these are extremely hard to source, with only 1,000 decks ever being produced. Easily to identify, the cards are black and white in color, with a decoratively embossed black and red casing.
These are definitely worth a mention - manufactured by Kings and Crooks, this was a majorly successful Kickstarter campaign, with the design getting considerable attention for its bold branding. Boasting a difficulty level of five and costing in excess of $100 per card deck, they were designed by Lee McKenzie, who has made somewhat of a name for himself among aficionados.
We simply had to mention these, especially considering how beautiful they look - it is clear a considerable amount of time and effort has gone into the manufacturing of these. The case itself would not be out of place on the dining table at Buckingham Palace, a highly decorative gold and black accented tuck case, with each card containing Venexiana faces printed in gold ink.
These are essentially considered to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of cards by collectors, with only 212 decks ever being produced. As such, the level five difficulty rating is understandable, while the $425 market value could very easily sky-rocket, either at auction or in just a few years' time.
Microsoft & David Blaine Collaboration Deck
Anything with the name of the famous magician on it, is bound to stir up attention among the most ardent of collectors, regardless of the particular industry. These are understood to be some of the hardest decks to find in the world. Having been commissioned by Microsoft in partnership with David Blaine. As a result, they carry a difficulty level of five and a starting price at auction of $425. As an interesting side note, they were said to have been given to Microsoft interns as presents when the magician performed at a company function.
Rising Market Value of Rare and In-Demand Cards
Like with anything, the higher the demand for something, combined with how rare it is, the chances are that this will be reflected in the market value, which, more often than not, can significantly exceed expectations.
With the gambling industry currently being one of the most popular in the world and these cards not only becoming harder to source but also gathering more interest, do not be surprised to see the value of these increase in perpetuity over the next few years. Definitely, those that have a big hook and that have only been produced in small quantities.
What Should I Do in Case I Own Some Expensive Decks?
The best piece of advice would probably be to keep this information to yourself or at least get them insured! However, if you do the latter, pay attention to the market price for these so that you know whether or not to increase your premiums. It could also be worth investing in a safe to make sure that the cards are secure.
However, if you feel like you may want to sell them, it could be worth approaching a respected auctioneer and finding out how the market may respond right now. Of course, these often take a commission in the region of between 15 and 20 percent.
Where Can I Find Rare Playing Cards?
Undoubtedly a question that many collectors ask themselves, or even just gambling enthusiasts; of course, there is no right answer. Like with any in-demand collectors’ items, it is always worth scanning auction lists or even checking in industry magazines to see if there are any adverts that detail rare playing cards.
Certainly, if you think that you do find some that are advertised, make sure that they have a certificate of verification from an industry-recognized expert because, like with any highly profitable item, there are sure to be some very good forgeries in existence.
Often it is nearly impossible to tell, apart from an expert eye or someone who knows how to check. It could be that the ink is different or the material is a slightly different weight than the originals.
While you may have to pay for this service, it is certainly worth it as it could well end up saving hundreds of dollars.
All that is left to do now is check your garage or attic, and, you never know, it could be that you have some hidden away.