Casino Deck of Cards FAQ

A casino couldn’t survive without millions of decks of cards. They are manufactured to a higher standard than regular decks and they produce some fascinating facts. Here are some of your common questions answered.

How Long Does a Casino Use a Deck of Cards?

How many times are casino cards used in their lifetime? If a pack is used in a single deck game, they may last up to eight to twelve hours. If they are in a multi hand game, it may be a little longer. There is a high turnover of hands and decks will not have a long shelf life.

How Many Decks of Cards Do Casinos Use in a Day?

The answer depends on whether there are imperfections or if cards are damaged in any way during their use. What we do know is that the United States Playing Card Company, the biggest of all card producers, sells over 20 million decks to casinos every year.

Why Are There Holes in Casino Cards?

When a deck of cards is no longer fit for use or it is to be taken out of service, holes will be punched in each card. This effectively cancels the deck and ensures that it cannot be used later on. It’s a simple system that casinos employ to prevent cheating.


Why Do Casino Cards Have Cut Corners?

Trimming cards – cutting the corners off – has the same effect as punching holes. This cancels the deck and ensures that they cannot reappear at the casino in the future. Trimming will take place when the cards reach their time limit or have become damaged in any way.

What Do Casinos do with Old Cards?

This depends on the casino: Some will destroy them while others will donate decks or sell them in their gift shops. Cards from some casinos in Nevada will send them to a local prison where the inmates will cancel them and potentially use them for games.

Where Can I Buy Used Casino Cards?

Check in the casino gift shop and ask at the desk: Alternatively, if you cannot find a deck onsite or you are not travelling to a casino, it may be possible to buy cards online. Have a look on eBay or other websites that sell or auction collectable items.

How Much Do Used Casino Cards Cost?

Used casino cards are not very expensive to buy. They are collectable but not easy to use in a game so you may be able to pay between a few cents to prices in the region of $8 USD. Unopened decks are more expensive and if these would cost a few dollars more.

Since When Did Casinos Cancel Cards?

It’s unclear as to when this practise began. We are aware that casino poker chips have been replaced regularly since the 1980s so this could be a clue. However, cards wear out more quickly than plastic chips so card cancelling may have started much earlier.

card decks

What Are The Techniques for Marking Used Casino Cards?

There are many techniques that can be used: Punch holes and trimming cancel cards while casinos will use other processes. A black ink marker is common in Nevada while other states and locations around the world may employ shading, tinting or some other form of cutting out.

What Is A Riffle Test?

A riffle test is a process used to determine if cards are marked. An experienced member of the team will riffle through and any marked cards will stand out because they will either move around or any markings will make them stand out through reflected light.

Closing Thoughts

All of these techniques are there to ensure fair play. Anyone looking to play at a casino should be reassured that cards are changed regularly while processes are in place to uncover marked decks.