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Generic deck of 60 cards

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Joined: 09/17/2010

I had a random thought/curiosity that's not very original, but wanted to post it here in hopes someone might send me a good reference. Or just humor me with feedback.

The general thought is the merits of a deck consisting of 60 cards such that the deck could be divided evenly by 2,3,4,5 or 6.

What I mean by that is consider a standard deck of playing cards. There's 4 suites of 13 denominations. The deck could also be divided by color (ie: red or black). I suppose one could also say the deck could be divided by face cards and non-face cards, but it's not an even division. So a standard deck of 52 cards can evenly be divided 2 or 4 ways.

So I had this thought, wouldn't a deck of 60 cards be much more flexible? By which it could be divided evenly into 3, 4 or 5 unique groups. Without being theme specific, I was thinking of how one might design such a deck.

Consider this: Take 3 standard decks of cards and remove the A,2,3,4,5 from each deck. For cards coming from deck #1, put a circle around the denomination, for cards coming from deck #2, put a square around the denomination, and for cards coming from deck #3, put a triangle around the denomination. Now combine the cards. You should have a deck of 60 cards that can be divided as such:

30 red / 30 black
20 circles / 20 squares / 20 triangles
15 hearts / 15 diamonds / 15 spades / 15 clubs
12 A's / 12 1's / 12 2's / 12 3's / 12 4's / 12 5's

They could even be subdivided such that you have:

6 red A's / 6 red 1's / ...
10 red circles / 10 red squares / ...

OK, big deal huh? I know that's not very exciting. But now I'm thinking how this might add a new dimension to games involving a trump suite. Instead of thinking of the 4 basic trump suites, one could say "circles" are trump, thereby possibly changing the dynamics for that round. When circles are trump, the other suites immediately become squares and triangles and each suite now has 20 cards instead of 15. Likewise, if 2's were trump, then there would be 5 unique suites of 12 cards each for that hand.

My thoughts weren't for a particular kind of card game, but rather the generic appeal such a deck might have. A single deck of cards/tiles that could be used for 3 suited, 4 suited, or 5 suited games and the ability to mix match (ie: cross suite playing) and still have a balanced deck.

Joined: 12/01/2010
Sounds really good. A

Sounds really good. A Generic deck in pricipal has a lot of merit - though I think in practice has a few huge hurdles - one being that there are a billion games already made for a standard poker deck, and the other being that most decks are more easily printed out in multiples of 9 cards (for cost reasons). Neither of these are necessarily insurmountable though...

Joined: 09/17/2010
The novelty goes beyond a

The novelty goes beyond a card deck. It was the number 60 that I liked. Seems a while back when I was playing with various weighted dice mechanics, 10, 12, 15, and 20 were common values. I was thinking that a card deck with 60 cards might merge well with some dice mechanics. Thereby the option of using dice to further introduce a balanced random chance into a card game. I don't know. Just toying with the idea.


For example: Take a 12 sided die and mark the sides as:

{1,2,3,4,5, heart,diamond,spade,club, circle,square,triangle}

Rolling that single die could randomly decide a suite to be:

number (implies 5 suites of 12 cards)
symbol (implies 4 suites of 15 cards)
shape (implies 3 suites of 20 cards)

Joined: 09/17/2010
Yamahako wrote:Sounds really

Yamahako wrote:
Sounds really good. A Generic deck in pricipal has a lot of merit - though I think in practice has a few huge hurdles - one being that there are a billion games already made for a standard poker deck, and the other being that most decks are more easily printed out in multiples of 9 cards (for cost reasons). Neither of these are necessarily insurmountable though...

As for the huge hurtle, I don't have a particular game in mind. I've been thinking more in the generic abstract. Create a hypothetical deck where each card/tile belongs to three different groups. When you think of it, a standard deck of 52 cards has each card belonging to two groups. One being a symbol (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) and the other being a value. All I'm saying is add 8 more cards and introduce another grouping symbol. As for games, I figure some could just be an adaption of most classic card games, but with a twist. Such a deck might lend itself to new generic games.

I have no direction to this train of thought. It's so trivial, I'm sure it's nothing new. I just liked the idea of a generic card/tile set that could be used for multiple purposes. And as I pointed out, it seems to mess well with dice mechanics and might be a segway into dice+card games.

Joined: 02/26/2011

I have mentioned before that I enjoy many of Looney Labs games. This includes the many games playable with the Looney Pyramid sets.

Well, originally they were sold as an Icehouse set containing 5-each of 4-colors of 3-sizes of pieces. (60 pieces) This led me to create what I had called IceCards.

IceCards was a deck of 60 cards where each card had a number of properties. There were 4 colors (suits) [Red, Yellow, Green, Blue], each with a value ranging from 1 to 15. The cards valued 1-5 were represented by the 5 small pieces of the color in each of five different orientations [North, South, East, West, & Upright]. Then there were the 5 Medium, and then 5 Larges.

I had originally thought to make it similar to a Tarot decks Minor Arcana, but didn't end up going that far with it.
I unfortunately never came up with a very good way to use them in a game using the IceHouse pieces (Looney Pyramids).

But I do like your though about having a variety of Trump suits.

Joined: 09/17/2010
I was trying to be generic

I was trying to be generic about the creation of a 60 card deck using 3 groups of basic symbols. The first group containing 5 members, the second group with 4 members, and the third group with 3 members (ie: 5x4x3 = 60).

I gave an example of games involving a trump suite to describe how such a deck might introduce a new twist. Calling suite not only depicts the symbol but also how the cards will be grouped. As stated, normal playing cards are grouped 4x13. A 60 card deck would allow 4x15, as well as 3x20 and 5x12. The different groupings might change one's strategy since the probabilities would be different for all three groups.

My wife posed the question about cards of equal value. Say hearts was trump and someone laid a 4-circle-heart and someone else laid a 4-square-heart. Which card would have a higher value? My answer to that is the deck does not impose such determination. It's completely up to the rules of the game. One could say the first 4 played has the higher value, or the last 4 played wins. Once could also say that circles have a higher value than squares in a tie. Or, in this particular game, one could introduce the concept of primary trump and alternate trump.

Which brings me to my next thought. What would be appropriate for a generic deck? Should one grouping even contain the concept of denomination (ie: 1,2,3,4,5)? Or should all three groups have a ranking order as well as a ranking order between the groups. I suppose my answer to that is it depends on the deck being created. My fascination has been focused on 60. A large enough number for variety, yet small enough to mentally manage. And a number that appears to provide the most unique possibilities for grouping. As for how the cards relate to each other, that would be defined by the particular game.

Here's another example of creating a deck of 60 cards. This time with a theme. Just like a standard deck has four suites, let's say there's 4 factions (north, south, east, and west). Within each faction, there's 5 classes of people (ie: merchant, farmer, cleric, ...), and for each class, there's 3 resources (water, food, money). Maybe this is a bad example, but the idea was to remove the concept of value within each grouping. In doing so, it's easier to create more scenarios. A 12 sided die is rolled, North wind prevails (ie: trump). Next time the die is rolled, merchants are preferred, or water becomes the valued resource. Again, no particular game in mind, just a generalized example of how cards can be grouped.

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