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Playing cards with indicators along one edge

Minimalists want indicators along as few corners as possible (if any… grumble grumble).

Lefties want indicators in opposite corners so they can fan the cards in the opposite direction.

Solution: put info along one edge as opposed to in all four corners.

Playing card with indicators on the left edge

Any of the four edges work; I prefer one of the long edges since that way the “redundant” indicator can be upside down which looks less weirdly repetitive semantically.

If there’s a picture on the card, rather than making it mirrored (like the royals in traditional playing card designs) it’s fine to make it so that it’s upside down for players who are holding the cards “inverted”. In other words, if the art is on the “right” side and the indicator edge is on the “left” side, the picture will be upside down for lefties, and vice versa if it’s the other way. Tarot fans know that inverted cards can still be cool and useful, and it’d get upside down for the opponent anyway (another advantage of choosing a long edge for this).

Russ wrote in with:

To me, this loses a big advantage of traditional playing cards (unlike many “modern game” cards with text on them), namely that the traditional cards’ rotational symmetry means no need to worry about orienting them all the same way.

So this might be a good fit for “modern games”; I just used a traditional card to illustrate.

kesecha wrote in with:

The visual is nice, but the design is impractical for e.g. Rummy (Rummycub), where cards are laying on the table and players are changing positions of the cards. Additionally to moving a card, the card has to be rotated, optionally.

From my experience with games like Magic, that’s been totally fine. But again ABT—always be testing.

I just find the repeated indicators along the top edge confusing confusing, whereas repeated indicators along a diagonal don’t seem to add that much accessibility (for reverse-direction-spreaders); it does add convenience but we’ve seen in “modern” games that they work just fine with many people never even noticing the inconvenience.

I’ve never ever seen cards with this idea. I figured I’d put it out there so that other designers could add it to their toolbox in case it happens to be appropriate for a particular game. And honestly I’d love traditional card games with this style; ran it by a friend who loves traditional cards but he hated it—he loves having it in all four corners. I’m like, sure, but you’re already OK with, even love, the four corner style. I’ve always hated that and it’s something that’s getting in between me and the trad-style card games I love (like Slam and [Color Gin].