Played a game of Poker at a friends house and want to get a deck of your own? How much do playing cards cost anyway?
Cheap playing cards cost between $1 to $3. Standard casino grade cards cost between $3 to $10. Premium playing cards cost anywhere from $10 up to $150+.
$150?? For a deck of cards?! I know, I know. It’s a lot, but there are options in every price range and for every budget. I am going to break down the three categories and price ranges of playing cards as I see them.
How much does a deck of cards cost?
The cost of a deck of playing cards can vary widely based on the brand, quality, design, rarity and a host of other determining factors. Depending on what you will be using your playing cards for, you may be perfectly ok with cheap cards.
Cheap doesn’t always mean low quality either. There is a sweet spot between a dollar store pack of cards and the ultra premium decks that we will cover here shortly.
If you are into collecting rare playing cards, you will be paying much more than any new deck depending on rarity and condition, and even when buying new premium decks as an investment, there are a few things you want to consider.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what decks you like best and how much you are willing to spend. To help you figure that out, we’ll cover all the options and the price ranges you will typically see in each category.
Cheap Playing Card Prices
When I say cheap playing cards, I mean CHEAP! These are your dollar store, bargain bin, low quality playing cards. Like all things in life, there are exceptions to this rule. Not all low quality cards are cheap and some great playing cards aren’t very expensive.
For example, I have a deck of playing cards from a Disney World gift shop that cost over $10 and they are some of the worst quality playing cards I own. I have also bought decks of cards at the dollar store for $1 that are high quality every day cards.
It is hard to give recognizable brand names in this category as they will be marketed under different brand names all over the internet. One brand I had laying around was this Teskyer deck.
These cheap decks will typically range from $1 to $3 per deck, sometimes even cheaper if you buy them in bulk.
In my opinion, they just aren’t even worth it when you can play with high quality casino grade cards for just a couple dollars more.
They are good in a pinch or if you find them laying around, but I wouldn’t go out and buy a bunch on purpose. That brings us to the quality playing card category.
Quality Playing Card Prices
Quality playing cards are where the bulk of my decks land. This price range covers everything from your standard casino grade cards which are what you want for your home games and covers some of the special themed mass market decks.
Brands in this category are Bicycle, Bee, Tally Ho, and even Copag on the upper end of things.
These cards are instantly, noticeably nicer than a cheap set of playing cards. They are smooth handling and better in every way. You would think these would cost a lot, but they don’t!
Standard decks from Bee, Bicycle and Tally Ho (read no special theme) range from $3 to $5 per deck.
My favorite standard deck of casino grade cards are Bees which you can check out here.
Themed decks from Bicycle and Copags range from $6 to $10 per deck.
These decks are not only great handling and affordable, but they are also widely available in local stores near you. This is the sweet spot for someone just getting into playing cards but wants professional grade quality.
Premium Playing Card Prices
If you want to take your playing card collection to the next level and are tired of buying all the same decks you see at the store every day, that’s where premium playing cards come in.
This category is massive as magic and cardistry have created a boom of premium playing card manufacturers, designs and projects in this space.
You’ll find brands like theory11 and Art of Play in this category.
Not only do these have exceptional feel and handling, but they also come with incredible designs and artwork from the face and back design to the tuck boxes.
I’ll spend hours just scrolling through all the options on a site like RarePlayingCards. There are hundreds if not thousands of cool decks to buy and more coming out every day.
These decks can cost anywhere from $10 to $150+ per deck depending on manufacturer, how many decks were printed, etc.
A lot of these decks have already proven to be great investments as they are sometimes limited editions where a fixed number of decks were sold creating scarcity in the market.
If you are getting serious about collecting cards, there are a lot of options here that will hold and improve their value over time.
Vintage Playing Card Prices
Speaking of collecting playing cards, there are a lot of vintage, out of print decks of cards that will cost a lot of money just due to how rare or desirable they are in the card collecting world.
Not all old cards are expensive though. There are specific brands, print dates, casinos, etc that fetch the higher prices.
One of the more famous examples are original Jerrys Nuggets pictured below. These cards were sold in the gift shop of the Jerry’s Nugget casino in the 70s for fifty cents and developed a cult following thanks to their use and praise by card magicians like Dai Vernon. Now, you will find authentic, original decks selling for close to $1000 on eBay. Not a bad investment if you ask me.
This is just one example of many vintage playing cards that fetch a large price. It is hard to put an exact price range on this category as the market is always fluctuating, but one thing is for sure, this is the big leagues of playing card collecting. Tread lightly!
Do playing cards have value?
Absolutely! With the rise of cardistry and continued popularity of card magic, premium playing cards are as popular as ever.
You obviously aren’t going to be able to resell a standard deck of Bicycles you picked up at the drug store, but when you start buying in the premium playing card category, those decks can hold their value and even grow in value significantly over time.
How much does it cost to make your own playing cards?
Making your own playing cards is NOT cheaper than buying some at the store. Now that we got that out of the way early, there is nothing cooler than making your own custom deck, unique to you.
Depending on the method you use to make your own deck, the price will vary. We wrote an in-depth guide on how to make your own deck of cards if you are interested in what it takes and what it’ll cost.
Playing Cards for Every Budget!
So there you have it, there really is a deck of cards in every price range! If you really do only have a dollar to your name, there is no shame in buying the cheapest deck of cards you can get your hands on. They will work just fine to get your card game playing career started.
But you will soon find yourself longing for better handling cards, so at the bare minimum, I strongly urge you to buy a standard deck of Bicycles or my favorite Bees for a couple dollars more. You will instantly notice the difference.
Then when you really start itching to start a collection. First consider the themed Bicycle decks and then move on to theory11, Art of Play and the hundreds of other premium decks out there.
Be careful though! It is EXTREMELY addicting. You will be amazed at how many decks you end up collecting over time. Have fun!