Best Ways of Storing Playing Cards

Many of you have probably found yourself in a similar situation before...You’re about to sit down for family card game night or perform your favorite card magic trick and find out that your deck of cards is either damaged or missing cards. This can put a serious damper on any fun evening.

Thankfully, it’s actually pretty easy to avoid this unfortunate situation by making just a few simple changes to how you store your playing cards.

playing card tuck case

Use the Tuck Case

One of the easiest ways to protect your cards is to store them in the tuck case. A lot of people will wrap rubber bands around their deck of cards and shove it in a drawer or, even worse, leave it on the table. Beyond placing uneven pressure on the deck of cards, rubber bands offer no protection.

As they are made of paper, playing cards will act like a sponge if left out of their card case. They will soak up all the moisture in the room and begin to bend and warp, eventually becoming completely unusable.

If you’ve lost or ruined your card box. Don’t worry! You can always use something like a bar soap container. As long as the playing cards aren’t exposed directly to air and moisture, they should last longer.

As an added bonus, making an effort to put your playing cards in the case after every card game or card trick helps prevent losing cards—ensuring you have a complete deck of 52 cards every time.

playing card clip for protecting a deck of cards

Use a Card Clip

If you want to take things a step further, you can also place your deck of cards in a card clip prior to storing them. These specially designed accessories, like our own Vanishing Inc. Card Clip or a Porper Card Clip, can help your playing cards maintain their shape and protect the card box (which, in many custom decks of cards, is just as beautiful as the playing cards themselves).

A hot and humid body of water in florida that's terrible for playing cards

Avoid Heat & Humidity

Heat and humidity are also two of the worst enemies for playing cards. Avoiding heat is typically quite easy. Simply store your cards somewhere cool, dark and away from direct sunlight. The latter has the added benefit of preventing your cards from becoming faded or bleached by the sun.

Humidity, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier to overcome—especially for those who live in areas like Florida. Assuming most people don’t own a humidor or have a way of controlling the humidity of their home, the best thing you can do is try to store your cards in the coolest and driest part of your home. This is typically a drawer or storage box located somewhere other than the bathroom and kitchen. Keeping your playing cards in an area that uses a dehumidifier can also help.

Playing cards also don’t like intense cold. For most people, storing your playing cards above freezing temperature (32°F / 0°) should be a fairly easy task. However, if you live in a colder climate, you may want to avoid storing your cards in a basement or garage.

playing cards storage box from carat that can hold up to 12 decks of cards

Use a Storage Box

Wooden boxes like those found at most hobby shops, trading card boxes, or any other type of DIY playing card storage boxes are great options for storing playing cards—especially those which get regular use like a Bicycle Deck.

However, avid card collectors with a variety of expensive and rare playing cards may want to consider plastic playing card storage boxes. The ones made by Carat Card Cases, for example, allow you to show off your favorite decks of cards while also protecting them from the elements.

Store Playing Cards Flat or Upright

How to physically position your decks in storage is a topic of much discussion. While some storage cases are built to hold decks upright, it’s probably a good idea to store your playing cards flat when possible. The thinking behind this is that gravity will help press the cards against each other in a natural way.

Storing them upright, or at an angle, could make them prone to potentially losing their shape after a long time. This is also why, if you do store your cards upright, you should never stack decks on top and bottom of each other.

Remember, They’re Just Playing Cards

With the massive surge in popularity for custom playing cards, 1,000s of different decks of playing cards now available. As some decks cost $30 to $50, or even more, it can sometimes be easy to forget that they are essentially just pretty pieces of paper.

Besides the truly expensive and rare collectable decks of cards, most playing cards are designed to be used. If you’re a magician, cardist, or even just an avid poker player, you’re going to go through a lot of decks of cards. And people have been worried about how to store them thoughout the history of playing cards.

While doing everything you can to properly store them and make them last longer will ultimately save you a bit of money and frustration, you also must remember that they are just playing cards. It’s a lot more fun to showcase and use them instead of spending all your time worrying about protecting them.