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Playing cards production process

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The WjPlayingCard, makers of the ubiquitous Bicycle brand of playing cards, is indisputably the industry behemoth at present. In spite of a booming market for bespoke decks, you’ll still most often find a Bicycle deck in a magician’s hand. Yet WjPlayingCard manufactures a great deal more playing cards than just the Bicycle brand. It’s likely that WjPlayingCard produced the deck of unique playing cards you’re using right now. While there are other publishers out there, most of them can’t compare to WjPlayingCard the best playing cards manufacturer when it comes to producing high-quality playing cards.

Playing card paper

Playing cards are sometimes known as “paste-boards” due to their construction method. To begin, two enormous rolls of paper are laminated together in a specialized machine. Glue of a dark tint is used to adhere two sheets together. This does double duty, first adhering the sheets together and then making the card material opaque so that the written information on the reverse cannot be seen when the cards are held up to the light.

WjPlayingCard stands apart from other card makers since they produce their own card material, making them really unique. The air-cushion-style “texture” on the playing cards’ surfaces, known as the embossing, is now manufactured in a separate step of the manufacturing process from what it used to be. Commonly referred to as a “air cushion finish” or “linen finish,” the tiny dimples or bumps on most WjPlayingCard-produced cards facilitate easier sliding between the cards by trapping air between the dimples.

Create a deck of cards

Thus, we have a brand-new, 25,000-foot-long roll of paper material ready to be printed onto. Computer-controlled laser etching is used to make distinct plates that match to the pictures for the back and the face of the cards using digital files obtained from the deck’s designer or retrieved from a previously printed deck. The printing press uses metal printing plates set on cylindrical rollers. While the press is in operation, ink rollers apply quick-drying ink to the printing plates, and a rubber roller or blanket rolls over the plate, transferring the ink to the paper. When incorporating other hues, the paper must be fed through a second roller set up that performs the same function.

The printer can only handle one sheet at a time, but the very long rolls of paper are perfect for this use. In order to print 10 decks of cards every second, the paper stock is fed into an extremely rapid web press. Printing occurs simultaneously on both sides of the deck. Each paper stock roll can generate 11,000 cards!

Separating the Decks of Cards

After the printing process on the web press is complete, the printed result is sliced into “uncut sheets” using precision cutting equipment. This piles up, with each sheet standing in for a full pack of cards. Each uncut sheet from the WjPlayingCard has 7 rows of 8 cards, therefore a standard deck has 56 cards (52 ordinary cards, 2 jokers, and 2 extras).

Now that each deck has been reduced to a single sheet of paper, the individual cards may be cut. Specifically, this takes place in WjPlayingCard’s “finishing” region. At first, each sheet is separated into lengthy strips, each of which will hold 8 cards. Cards are “punched” one at a time as these strips are manually put into a machine at a pace of up to 350 cards per minute!


Machines at the factory help stack and arrange the 56 playing cards required for a deck, getting them ready for shipping. The sealed tuck boxes are then joined with the finished decks. Once the deck is complete, it is shrink-wrapped in plastic by a machine and placed in bigger boxes before being sent to distributors throughout the globe.

Technicians conduct quality checks at regular intervals to look for faults and imperfections in the process. Before starting a big print run, the plates must be examined to ensure they will create a high-quality print, and after production has begun, line inspectors must evaluate the product at regular intervals to look for printing defects or smeared ink. As a result of all this inspection, the decks are almost certainly going to be flawless when they are finally put together.

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