Standard Deck of Cards

Poker uses a "standard 52 card deck", which to most poker players is self-explanatory. However since poker is most popular in America, the assumption is that we are using an Anglo-American deck of cards. There are other forms of decks which are fairly standard outside of America though. If you want to be perfectly clear on what kind of deck is used to play texas holdem, you would say that it uses a standard 52 card, french-suited, two-color deck with no jokers.

It would seem that saying "52 cards" and "no jokers" is redundant. However, not all decks are equal when it comes to quantity. For example, a common Italian deck of playing cards is 40 cards and the usual Hungarian deck is 32 cards. The playing suits of Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs originated in France. They represented the various classes as reflected by the rank of suits. There are many other types of four-suited decks which would be basically interchangeable with the French suits. A good example of this would be certain German decks, which use hearts, bells, leaves, and acorns. Another would be Spanish decks which use coins, cups, swords, and batons. The French-suited deck is the standard in all poker games.

Jokers are never used in holdem. They do rarely get some action in other casino poker games, however they are mostly confined to home game poker variants.

Two-color decks are the standard in casino poker. Lately many online poker rooms have opted to give players the option of using a four-color deck. In the game of bridge and in the German game of skat, four-color decks are also used. The idea is to eliminate any confusion that could be made between different suits of the same color. Mike Caro introduced the four-color deck to the poker world in 1992 at the World Poker Finals at the Foxwoods Casino. The "standard" four-color deck has black spades, red hearts, blue diamonds, and green clubs. The four-color deck used in skat has green spades, yellow/orange diamonds, red hearts, and black clubs.

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