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Legality concerns with using common card suits

4 replies [Last post]
markgrafn's picture
Joined: 03/01/2015

Hello all,

I've spent a few hours with little to no headway in researching legality in designing games using the classic card suits(hearts, diamonds, club and spades.) I have a poker themed game that I am internally play testing utilizing those classic suits and I want to know if I should create new suits (and ditch the poker theme) or continue using the poker theme most people are fluidly familiar with.


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Need more information

markgrafn wrote:
...I want to know if I should create new suits (and ditch the poker theme) or continue using the poker theme most people are fluidly familiar with.

I think you need to tell us more about your game and its setting. Like if your game takes place in the good old years of the Klondike, well then maybe gold nuggets, diamond gems, pickaxes and pans are more interesting for the game's setting...

Maybe if you designing a riskier poker where you push-your-luck then maybe you will want to keep the traditional suits because it's still a poker game - but perhaps you may want to put a fancy Ace of Spades (for example)... Same could go for the other Aces in the deck.

Again just some ideas - I have limited amount of knowledge about your game to tell you what I think would be best. Maybe with some more detail the other designers can give you more feedback (based on the theme and the setting of the game).

DifferentName's picture
Joined: 09/08/2013
French Suits

Those card suits are hundreds of years old. I'm sure they're fine to use. It looks like the french started using the 4 suits we know around 1480

Playing card suits were used in a clever way in a recent game called Doomtown. It's got a bunch of characters and items and stuff that are familiar in ccg's, but those people and items also have a suit and value, which are used to make poker hands in combat.

markgrafn's picture
Joined: 03/01/2015
I'm Familiar with Doomtown.

AEG happens to be one my favorite publishers thanks in most part Seiji Kanai. Sadly I don't have enough of his games but - wishlists!

"The best hand of poker you'll ever play."
With this play full tag line for this game I want keep to the traditional poker theme and suits with mechanics that parallel common poker games hence the legality concerns. Example: deuces wild. Same scoring method.

Maybe I'll write up the rules that are concerning me and some law savvy folk can contribute further.

Thanks for the replies!

Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
There are no legal

There are no legal considerations for using traditional playing cards or poker themes in a game. Both predate modern IP law.

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