How to Care for your Playing Cards

How to Care for your Playing Cards - Joker and the Thief

Right, so you’ve just gone ahead and you’ve bought your brand new decks of luxury playing card from Joker and the Thief. You have great taste, we must say. But you may be wondering, “These are so nice, how, oh how, do I look after them.” Fortunately for you, we’re going to tell you. Let’s run through some techniques on how to best care for your cards.

Check for water on surfaces

Deck of playing cards on surface with water

Seeing as our cards are made of paper stock, you could imagine that they’re not overly fond of being exposed to water. Our cards are not waterproof. If you happen to get droplets of water on your cards, as long as you wipe them down with a cloth immediately, the card should remain undamaged. Avoid water in general. A little trick we like to do when putting down a deck on the table, is to get into the habit of brushing your pinky along the surface before setting the cards down. It looks natural and is a slick way of checking for puddles. 

Washing your Hands 

This is one a lot of people forget. Wash your hands! Our mits have so many natural oils. Not to mention grit and food residue. All of these things start to mess with the finish and your cards will clump up and won’t glide like they are supposed to. Washing your hands is a surefire way to increase durability and longevity. 

Rotate your daily carry

Three decks of Joker and the Thief Playing Cards

Ok, we know what this sounds like. Yes… of course you should buy more cards. But it’s a very basic idea that works. Have around 6 decks on hand and use each one sporadically, interchanging as you see fit. All you’re doing really is spreading the wear and tear out across multiple decks so that over time each will end up lasting longer. This is commonly referred to as “Rotating Your Daily Carry”, and is something cardists do ALL the time. 

Use Discount Code ROTATE at checkout for 15% off 6 deck or more. Try it out!

Humid v Dry Environments

Wood and paper products behave very differently based on the climate. In very humid environments, it is common for paper to become warped and damp. We recommend using a card clip when your decks are not being used to prevent significant warping. You can also store your cards in a cool and dry environment. Having lived in a humid climate for years, storing cards in a plastic box with silica gel packets helps keep them fresh and in good condition. 

Dry environments have the opposite effect. Do not leave your cards out in the sun or on the kitchen bench without placing them back into their tuck box, you will get the “click” which is when the paper becomes so stiff that the cards stay bent one way and make a clicking sound when bent the other way. However, we prefer this problem to those of humid environments because it is easily rectified by using your cards and using pressure flourishes to work them back in. 

What to do when you drop your cards

Playing cards scattered across the floor


You dropped some cards. What an amateur! Just kidding, it happens to the best of us. If you drop your cards on a dirty surface, such as gravel or dust, the best way to preserve the quality of your cards is to wipe each one. You can do this with a rag, or on your trousers. It’s up to you. We don’t want dust or dirt between each card. Once you have done this, give the cards a spring (LINK HERE) to blow away any extra dust you may have missed! 

If the corners of the cards get crimped, gently bend them back to shape. If the corners are dinged place the card on a flat dry surface, use your nail to apply pressure on the corner and reshape the corner back to what it is supposed to be like. Playing cards are malleable, so you can bring them back to new-ish condition, even if they appear to be slightly damaged. 

Dinged corners on playing cards

If someone says “You’re good at 52 pick-up”, resist the urge to fight them. That is all. 

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