4 Color Decks

I was reading an article on Texas Hold ’em for beginners and one of the mistakes it said beginners make is “using a 2 color deck”. That had me scratching my head at first but the article was talking about playing online. Apparently some online sites (back before the Feds shut them down) had the option of using the standard 2 color deck or using one that had a different color for each of the 4 suits. It seems really weird at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense.

The idea is to help you from mistaking a Spade for a Club or a Heart for a Diamond (or vers vica) and accidentally folding the winning hand, which I guess is inevitable if you play online for any amount of time. And while this is the first I had heard of them, they’ve actually been around a long time. They were made as far back as the 1800’s, and the US Playing Card Co (makers of the Hoyle, Bicycle, Bee, and numerous other card lines) makes a deck called Multicolor that has the “standard” four colors, which are blue Diamonds and green Clubs. Apparently in 1992 someone tried to introduce the 4 color deck to the poker world but the players thought it was too weird and it didn’t catch on.

But as with everything else in modern-day life, the internet changes everything. Now that millions of people play poker online and are getting used to the 4 color deck, I wonder if it will become used more in real life. I can totally see a situation where poker players start using the 4 color version in their real life games, card makers respond by producing them en mass, and eventually they catch on with the mainstream. Because really, why shouldn’t we use a 4 color deck? I can’t verify this but I’m guessing the reason decks were only 2 color in the first place was because of manufacturing cost. Typically anything you want to produce that can have a variety of colors is twice as expensive to make in any color other than black, so making a 4 color deck was probably pretty expensive when cards were first mass produced. Having 2 colors is enough to separate the suits out in your hand, so that’s what they went with.

OK, now I kind of want to pick up a Multicolor deck…anyone up for a game of Cassino where the only important 10 is the blue one? πŸ™‚

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “4 Color Decks

  1. It is really interesting that we’ve accepted just two colors all this time. I mean, why not just one color since there will be sharing? I can see 4-color catching on for all decks of playing cards and black/red decks will be in museums. We’ll be telling future generations that back in our day, there used to be just two colors. Horrors!

    • dantherpgman

      Oh yeah, I meant to say something about being an old(er) man and being all, β€œIn my day…!” πŸ™‚

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