How to Display Your Playing Card Collection
Throughout the history of playing cards, whether you perform card magic or cardistry or are just a huge playing card enthusiast, collecting playing cards has been a fun and exciting hobby that anyone can participate in. With so many stunning custom playing cards to choose from, there is a deck of playing cards to fit any personality or collection.
Now, if you’re going to spend time and money building a card collection, you’re also going to want to display them proudly—not just stuff them in a drawer or closet. But, since some playing cards can also be extremely rare and expensive, you’ll need to store them properly.
We’re here to help you find the best accessories and products for displaying, storing and protecting your most cherished rare playing cards.
Deck Stands and Card Displays
One of the easiest ways to display a deck of cards is with a single deck stand. These stands are usually constructed of wood or plastic and can be used to easily showcase your favorite deck of cards on anything from a desk to a bookshelf.
There are also dedicated playing card display frames that allow you to safely display a singular playing card. These are perfect for highlighting signature cards like the custom Ace of Spades that often come with collectable decks of cards.
Playing Card Cases
For your more valuable decks of cards, you might want to consider an option that helps you elegantly display your cards while also protecting them. For this, Carat Card Cases are one of the most popular options trusted by avid card collectors.
Playing card cases come in all sizes. You can get one for a single deck all the way up to a case that can hold 12 decks of cards. Carat even offers different designs like the Carat T-Shaped Display Case. This specially crafted case allows you to showcase 3 decks that create a special image when their tuck cases are put together (i.e. Chris Ramsay's Memento Mori Playing Cards).
When researching playing card cases, it’s important to find one that’s both sturdy and functional. A case that protects your cards, while also allowing you to clearly see and access them, is ideal.
If you’ve ever ordered a brick of playing cards, it probably arrived in a cardboard box. Most people will simply keep their decks in this box. While it was able to get your cards to you safely, this box is actually quite flimsy. After a while, it will begin to break down and put your decks in danger.
Those with robust playing card collections should consider a brick box. The Carat XCB Brick Display Case has thick cardboard walls designed to withstand wear and tear. When they’re full, you can even stack them on top of each other for convenient storage.
Unlike shipping boxes, the Carat XCB Display Case also has a viewing window that allows you to see which decks are inside. No more rummaging through multiple boxes and making a mess just to find a particular deck of cards.
Fun Fact: A set of 12 decks of cards is called a brick because, when packaged together, it looks like a brick that you would use to build a house. (Read more fun facts about playing cards).
Playing Card Cabinets
Those who are truly passionate about their card collecting may want to also consider a cabinet display case. A cabinet like the Wooden Playing Cards Cabinet Display from TCC Playing Card Company is one of the most elegant and beautiful ways to showcase your favorite playing cards.
A playing card cabinet typically has multiple rows of playing card slots. Each section allows you to lay a deck flat which, in addition to helping prevent warping and making your playing cards last longer, conveniently displays the top of each tuck box for easy identification at a glance.
Some Other Helpful Tips for Displaying and Protecting Playing Cards:
- Wrap individual cards in card sleeves. This is especially important when using a single card stand.
- If you don’t want to purchase a special playing card cabinet, CD/DVD shelves are a great alternative (and can probably be found for fairly cheap at a thrift store or Goodwill).
- Spice up any playing card collection by framing an uncut sheet of cards. While this might be a bit more expensive than a standard deck of cards, it’s sure to be a standout piece in any collection. (You may also want to consider playing cards that create special images when put together, like the Vincent van Gogh “The Starry Night” Playing Cards Puzzle).
- You can also add a little more life with some playing card-themed decorations. These can typically be found online or in casinos. Just be sure to avoid going overboard as this can quickly make any collection look tacky.
- Grab one of those trading card binders (like you may have used before for Pokémon or baseball cards) and fill it with one special playing card from each of your favorite decks (we suggest the Jokers). This allows you to easily catalog and show off your entire collection.
- Find creative ways to recycle old decks of cards such as lining the interior of your cabinet with extra cards, creating a collage of different playing card backs, or even gluing cards together to create a “house of cards”-style statue or figure.
If you're planning on cheating at something like poker, we'd probably advise not to use a deck of cards you you have displayed in your collection. In addition to potentially damaging them, it might also telegraph to your opponents that you're using special playing cards.