Uncut Sheets. The Unsung Heroes of the Playing Card World.

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Imagine, if you will, the scene. You’re in a playing card making factory. Perhaps not unlike that of the United States Playing Card Company (but for the purposes of copyright etc. somewhere totally different…) You are watching the presses print sheets upon sheets of playing cards, that are then taken from the presses to be brought to the cutters. They are then cut into the playing cards and stacked, neatly, to then be packed into tuck boxes and sealed in cellophane, to then be sent out to the retailers or Kickstarter creators, to then be distributed amongst the purchasers……. It’s all very exciting isn’t it…?

The Bicycle presses at United States Playing Card Company (Photo (c) USPCC)

The Bicycle presses at United States Playing Card Company (Photo (c) USPCC)

But then you think. Oh, actually, I’d quite like a deck of those cards. So you say to the printer “I say my good man. Could I possibly trouble you for a packet of those smashing cards?” And he says “Why, yes, of course, no problem. Just let me go and cut them and stack them and pack them for you.” So away he goes and he comes back a few minutes later with your little deck of cards and he says “That’ll be $5.99 please.” So you pay him (because if you didn’t that would be stealing) and you are very happy in your wee world of playing card collecting-ness because you’ve just procured a deck of cards that was packaged especially for you.

Inspecting an uncut sheet (Photo (c) USPCC)

Inspecting an uncut sheet (Photo (c) USPCC)

Then, a thought occurs to you. And you say “I’m awfully sorry to be a further burden to you my good fellow, but could I possibly have a deck for my dear friend Jyl, because she does so love a good deck of playing cards..?” And he says with a cheeky point of his finger and a crafty wink “For Jyl… anything”. And he proceeds to take an uncut sheet off the presses to go and cut it into cards to be packed. But you are running short of time, so you say “Actually, if you don’t mind, I’ll take it like it is. Don’t bother yourself to cut it up. How much is that please?” And he says “No problem…. $27.99….” WHAAAAATTTTTTTT?????

Prism: Night Uncut Sheet by Elephant Playing Cards

Prism: Night Uncut Sheet by Elephant Playing Cards

Ok, regroup. Compose yourself. What has happened is actually quite normal in The World Of Playing Cards. Because, although you have actually saved the printer time and energy by not having the sheet cut and packed for you, you have in fact created a very (and I mean VERY) limited edition piece of wall art that many collectors would pay waaay more than $27.99 for.

'Heretic' Uncut Sheet by Stockholm17

‘Heretic’ Uncut Sheet by Stockholm17  (notice the printers’ marks around the edges of the sheet. You can ask your framer to conceal these, if that is your personal preference.)

Why?? Well, it’s simple. Playing cards are made to be played with. Uncut sheets… well….aren’t…. They’re made to be framed. Put on the wall. And viewed as art. With this in mind, most uncut sheets are Limited Editions.  So uncut sheets are RARE. This makes the ‘art’ rare… which then makes it valuable…. see where I’m going with this…? If you buy an uncut sheet as part of a Kickstarter campaign, then you KNOW for a FACT that there are probably less than 100 of these babies produced. In the World. Ever. That makes them rare. That makes them valuable. We’ve been here, right…? This isn’t a poster or a print of an original. It IS an original, it’s one of THE originals. Because you see, it isn’t printed on just regular paper. It’s printed on actual, quality playing card stock, front AND back. It started it’s life with all intents and purposes of becoming an actual deck of cards.

Olympus Playing Cards Uncut Sheet by Tom Anderle

Olympus Playing Cards Uncut Sheet by Tom Anderle being funded on Kickstarter NOW – Click here for more info.

Here’s something else. An uncut sheet can also act as an educational tool. Like the Chord Cards deck by LoAd K. Each card represents a different guitar chord, with the strings and finger placements clearly marked. The card is slid in between the neck and the strings and you can see where to put your fingers for each chord. Which is great for learners. But the uncut sheet can be put on the wall for reference once you’ve got the hang of the chords using the deck.

Chord Cards Playing Cards Uncut Sheet

‘Chord Cards’ Uncut Sheet by LoAd K

And here is an uncut sheet of a deck called US Presidents by Collectable Playing Cards. The deck features all 44 Presidents with 4 popular First Ladies as Queens. The cards aren’t in chronological order, but it still goes to serve as an educational aid. This uncut sheet is available from Collectable Playing Cards for $24.95.

Novel writing software without the learning curve.
Bicycle 'US Presidents' Uncut Sheet by Collectable Playing Cards

Bicycle ‘US Presidents’ Uncut Sheet by Collectable Playing Cards

And what kid’s bedroom wouldn’t benefit from something like this on the wall? The Rainbow Illusion deck by Landry Sanders is bright and colourful, and would probably help to get your kids interested in sitting round playing card games with the family instead of being glued to the TV or games console. I love this uncut sheet…

Rainbow Illusion Uncut Sheet

Rainbow Illusion Uncut Sheet

Looking at it this way, you can see that an uncut sheet can be so much more than just a good investment or an instructional poster. It’s a first class piece of art that you literally can’t pick up at any Walmart for the same price. It’s a talking point for sure, whether your guests are ‘into’ playing cards or not, your uncut sheet will definitely be an attention grabber.

So, next time you see a Kickstarter campaign that you like with uncut sheets available, why not take the plunge? Just go for it. You might think that it’s a lot of money to pay for a deck of cards, but remember…. it’s not a deck of cards… it’s a Limited Edition piece of art that, at the most, maybe another 99 people IN THE WORLD possess. There are even times when maybe only another 20 or 30 people have pledged for the uncut sheet. Then that’s even more rare. And even more valuable. So just have a wee think about all this before you dismiss or ‘diss’ the uncut sheet next time……

Have a look at the following uncut sheets and see if you can’t imagine them framed and up on your wall…… Some of the sheets in this post are available to buy, some are on current Kickstarter campaigns, and some are from campaigns that have already ended but the decks and sheets are still in the production stages. 

'Fuego' Uncut Sheet by Cellar Window

‘Fuego’ Uncut Sheet by Cellar Window


Leonardo Uncut sheet

‘Leonardo’ Uncut sheet by Dent-de-Lion du Midi


'Bicycle Karnival Inferno' Uncut Sheet by Big Blind Media.

‘Bicycle Karnival Inferno’ Uncut Sheet by Big Blind Media.


Hallucinatory Playing Cards - Uncut Sheet

Hallucinatory Playing Cards – Uncut Sheet by Newt’s Playing Cards


The Lumberjacks 2nd Edition Uncut Sheet

The Lumberjacks 2nd Edition Uncut Sheet by Vadim Smolenskiy


Creepy Clown Uncut

Bicycle ‘Killer Clowns’ Uncut sheet by USPCC available from Collectable Playing Cards for $19.95

Any comments or questions are, as always, very welcome. Just use the box below and I’ll get right back to you. And don’t forget… if you like this post please share it on your social media by clicking on any of the buttons below. Till next time ;)

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19 thoughts on “Uncut Sheets. The Unsung Heroes of the Playing Card World.

  1. Brok


    I’ve came across your site a few times now through searches and I have to say it’s awesome.

    These are some awesome uncut sheets of playing cards.

    I play guitar and I really liked the ones with chords on them.

    I was wondering how does one go about getting a sheet of uncut cards?

    I’ve honestly never heard or seen them before.


    1. Jyl Post author

      Hello again Brok :) It depends on which uncut sheet you want. Some are already for sale on various websites, some (if they are current Kickstarter projects) are only available through the campaign. You have to remember, that they aren’t something that’s in constant, general production – they’re a very (VERY) limited edition piece of art. So if you see one you like – grab it while you can!!! :)

  2. David

    Very entertaining blog on uncut playing cards. I never knew you could buy uncut cards until now.

    There is such a large selection of cards there seems to be something for everyone. I think my favorite would be the president cards.

    Do you happen to know how long they have been making uncut playing cards, and what some of the oldest ones are worth these days?

    1. Jyl Post author

      That’s a really good question David. The thing is that playing cards have been printed in sheet form for many many years, but as the ultimate goal was to produce a pack of cards, they were generally always cut. There are some examples of old uncut sheets out there. But as with anything else, value is dependent on what someone is prepared to pay for them. I haven’t seen any ‘for sale’ on the likes of ebay etc. so I honestly couldn’t tell you what the going rate is. Interesting question though. Something to keep an eye out for :)

  3. Sylvia

    Hi there,

    This was an awesome read of your article, very educational too. I had no clue about card deck art wall, but now makes a bit more sense to me.

    I loved to playing cards in the past (well, you know the typical card deck most of us have), but never really gat the hang of it how they are made.

    I have just one question, is it possible to get created your own card deck, you know with perhaps an individualized theme and if so how would I do that and what would be the costs of that?

    Thanks again for all the information.


    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks for the comments and the question Sylvia. Ok so it depends on how many decks you want to have made. For example, if you own a shop and you want to stock a whole lo,t then there are manufacturers you can go to to get a bulk quantity printed. But if you want one or two decks just for yourself, or to commemorate a family celebration for example, you can get personalised playing cards made at:

      http://cardcreator.personalisedplayingcards.com/ They’ll print just the one deck if that’s what you want.

      You can either get a pack with standard faces and you provide the artwork/photo for the backs, or you can have the fronts and backs completely personalised. It would be worth looking into. Imagine having your very own deck of playing cards….?? :)

  4. Jim

    Dude, this is awesome.
    I’d never have thought as sheets of playing cards but after looking at some of these I totally want one for my man cave. It’d be pretty awesome for poker nights lol.
    Tbh, I didn’t know you could actually get uncut sheets of playing cards. This is just way cool.
    Thanks for something cool to think on for my personal wall lol!

    1. Jyl Post author

      No problem Jim. I know from other posts that I’ve done that the uncut sheet is something not a lot of people are aware of, so I had to write a post to highlight them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an uncut that I didn’t like, even if I haven’t been fussed on the actual deck. Let me know what you decide to get for your man cave :)

  5. Christina

    Wow, just wow. That’s all I have to say. The cards are so beautiful, your post as truly peaked my curiosity. I never knew the cards were just a sheet to be cut. It was always assumed that they were already cut then the pictures were printed on. (A mini newspaper press would be used for such a delicate task).

    I would agree on having an uncut sheet for art in my house. Especially for educational purposes.
    Thank you so much for sharing. I learned something new :)
    Do you by chance have any uncut sheets that you own?


    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Christina. Yes, I do have a few and I’ve also backed some recently on Kickstarter so I should be getting those in the next few months. Looks like every wall in my house will have at least one uncut on it!! :D And I have to admit, years ago, I did think that each card was individually printed… how time consuming would that have been?? :D

  6. Jonathan D

    This is amazing, I did not know people were collecting playing cards and had no idea that uncut sheets was something you could get as a collector. I have to say that one or two of these framed on the walls of my billiard room will be amazing and the price is so reasonable. Great article.

    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Jonathan, thanks for the comment. They do look fantastic don’t they? And you’re right, the price is really good considering it’s limited edition artwork. Let me know if you do decide to get one for your billiard room :)

  7. Yves Johnson

    Wow this is a nice article & website!! You give me a whole different perspective & way of looking at something. Instead of just looking at a deck of card as just a “deck of cards” with designs, you make me look at it like an art piece, in which they really are.

    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Yves, it’s good to see that I’m doing a good job – it’s important to me that people see past the ‘just a deck of cards’ thing and appreciate each deck for their designs. :)

  8. Debra

    I absolutely loved reading your article on the uncut sheets of playing cards; quiet lively and entertaining. The images as a collective are amazingly stunning piece of artwork and I certainly can imagine them framed on a wall.

    So this bring to mind a few questions. I have had a large framed painting/print in our living room since before I married my husband and just last month we decide to start thinking of what sort of replacement print we would like to see in it’s place.

    So wondering after seeing some of the layouts your images provided, Does the printer decide in what order the cards are printed on the sheets or can you the buyer make that request?
    Second question, is there any other place other than Kickstarter that sells the sheets like that?
    Thanks in advance,

    1. Jyl Post author

      Good questions Debra. Quite a lot of uncut sheets are set up in the sequence that they would appear in the deck. For example, when you open a deck of Bicycle cards you’ll have the 2 Jokers, then from the Ace to the King of Spades, Ace to King of Diamonds, King to Ace of Clubs and then King to Ace of Hearts, followed by any gaff or double backed cards. So the uncut sheet would simply be in that order. However, on Kickstarter, you often get designers rearranging the order of the cards to make the uncut look more appealing (as in the Prism: Night uncut). I’ve known designers to do a poll with their backers to choose a layout too. You wouldn’t be able to choose a completely one-off, personalised layout though. Personally, whatever way they come is fine by me – I just think they’re amazing.

      When you’re dealing with uncut sheets you have to remember that they are really only done at the time the decks are being printed and as such the designer will request a certain number from the printer. Some websites do sell a small quantity of uncuts, and you can probably get them on the likes of Amazon Let me know if you do get one :)

  9. Levi Kaus

    I hadn’t realized the massive history of playing cards. I was kind of a magic, yugioh, and pokemon enthusiast when i was a kid. I’ve grown out of all that now but i still play every once in a while with my nephew. It can still be fun lol. What kind of card games do you play? I used to recall a card game called jelly but I can’t for the life of me remember how to play it. It was fun though.

  10. Maura

    When I read this post, I literally stopped breathing and gasped a few times. The Leonardo cards? What a thing to have! I had absolutely no idea that there were so many variations of playing cards or that people were on Kickstarter to fund playing cards. I may have to look at that Leonardo deck further…

    Great post, great information, great pictures… I have not enough good things to say about this!

    1. Jyl Post author

      Maura, they are absolutely stunning aren’t they? I pledged for a few decks and and an uncut sheet so I can’t wait to get them. If you want to see more images just click on this link: Leonardo Playing Cards Though, you should probably have someone onhand who can perform CPR…… This will knock your socks off .


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