How playing cards is made
A standard deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards which have a rectangular shape, dimensions of about 2.5 x 3.5 in (6.35 x 9 cm), and rounded corners. The cards are made up of layers of paper and are often called pasteboards. The faces of these cards are typically decorated with two colors, red and black, and four suits including clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds. Each suit has thirteen cards consisting of three face cards (king, queen, jack) and number cards from one (ace) to ten. The face cards are doubleended, which means the same design is on both halves of the card. This eliminates the need to orient these cards in a hand as both ends will automatically be positioned correctly. In the upper left corner of most cards are index numbers and symbols, which make the card value clearly visible when held in a fan position. This is the position most often used during a card game. Two jokers are also typically included with a new pack of cards.
Playing cards can be made with paper or plastics. To make a card, layered paper is used. Layered paper is produced by putting a number of sheets of paper in a stack and gluing them together. This type of paper is stronger and more durable than standard paper. Higher quality cards may be made from polymeric plastic films and sheets. One material that is often used is a cellulose acetate polymer. This is a semisynthetic polymer that is made into a paper-like sheet by being cast from a solution. This produces a film, which can be stacked and laminated to produce an appropriately thick sheet. This material is much more durable than paper and cards that are made with it last considerably longer. Vinyl plastics are also used in the production of cards. Paper cards are typically of lower quality and wear out more quickly than plastic cards.
Printing plates are made for both the front and the back of the cards. Once a plate is made for each color represented on the card, they are coated, mounted on the printing press, and a batch