Depending on personal preference, and depending on which card game you intend to play, you may want to choose bridge cards over regular ones.
But, are bridge cards completely different than poker ones?
No. In fact, most people wouldn’t even notice the difference. But they are not the same, mainly because of their dimensions.
Bridge size vs poker size
Bridge cards are narrower. Poker size playing cards measure 64 by 89 mm, while bridge size cards measure 57 by 89 mm. Technically, this is the only real difference.
At first glance, this difference may seem insignificant. And frankly, for most players it is.
But if you play regularly, or are into magic, or would like to buy the perfect deck of playing cards, whether that’s for a friend, or yourself — consider the following four points…
Bridge vs poker cards: differences
Alright, so as we’ve seen, this is the main and only real difference between poker cards and bridge cards.
And there are a few reasons you may want to buy a deck that’s narrower.
First of all, what card games are you going to play?
In games like bridge or big two, each player is dealt thirteen cards. So you want the cards to be as narrow as possible, so you can hold and rearrange them easily.
Similarly, if you like to play solitaire games with a big layout (four rows or columns or more), bridge cards are probably better as they don’t take up as much space.
If you are practicing magic tricks and flourishes, and you have small hands, then bridge cards can make it a lot easier.
Although you’re supposed to perform all moves with a poker sized deck, some one-handed cuts as well as a few other tricks are basically impossible if you have small hands.
So to recap: because of their narrow size, bridge cards are usually easier to hold, shuffle, and manipulate.
Being a bit smaller, bridge playing cards weigh a bit less as well.
This is another advantage if you’re performing magic tricks or complex flourishes — the deck is easier to hold, cut, and spin.
It may also be easier to deal the cards, for instance when playing poker.
Personally, I prefer to pitch cards that are heavy and wide (e.g. 100 percent plastic cards, regular size), they are a bit more stable hence less likely to be exposed during the deal.
Keep in mind, most people wouldn’t even be able to notice the weight difference — it’s subtle.
However, if you use playing cards a lot, eventually you’ll feel it, and some cards will feel “the right size”, or “the right weight”, while others will feel weird.
Poker size is the regular size. Which means bridge cards are relatively rare.
Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, up to you.
If you want to buy a deck of cards that looks different than the other ones (in terms of size, at least), then go with bridge cards.
Typically, because the cards are narrower than regular decks, some design elements will be different too.
For example, you may notice that some of the suits (spades, hearts, clubs, or diamonds) are a bit narrower as well.
Or, you may notice that the picture cards (the kings, queens, and jacks) look different compared to those of poker size decks.
Because poker size cards are standard, some companies or stores may charge you a little extra when you purchase bridge cards.
Now, this won’t be a huge difference. Even if you’re buying a lot of decks.
Just be aware that it is completely normal to pay a bit more (or less, in some cases) when you buy narrower cards.
For instance, regular Bicycle cards tend to be cheaper than Bicycle bridge cards.
I checked the prices on a few different online stores, both in the US and in the UK. You can have a look at them in the table below, to get an idea (all prices refer to a single Bicycle deck, not discounted).
Can you play poker with bridge cards?
Yes, of course. Personally, I would always prefer to play with regular size cards, but to each their own.
And for the record, bridge size cards are used by the WSOP (World Series of Poker) as well.
Just make sure you’re using plastic cards — they are easier to bend, have stiffer edges, and are overall more durable. Plastic cards are the clear winner here.
But in terms of size, just get the ones you like the most.
Are bridge cards the same as normal cards?
As we’ve seen, they’re basically the same. 52 cards plus the jokers. Four suits. Nothing unusual.
It’s not like you need to use bridge size cards for certain games, and poker size cards for others.
It simply comes down to personal preference and, as explained, whether you find it easier to hold, shuffle, and deal narrower cards.
If you’re setting up a home game and you’re not sure which size you should pick, don’t worry — nobody’s going to complain if you pick the “wrong” one.
Are there any other playing card sizes?
Yes, but they’re quite rare.
For instance, German, Spanish, and Italian cards (which are usually less in number — 40 cards or less per deck) can be found in different sizes and in some cases they’re narrower than poker and bridge cards.
Or, they may have the same width but be a little bit shorter. This makes it even easier to shuffle and hold the deck, especially considering it’s thinner as well.
But in terms of traditional decks of 52 cards, bridge and poker size are pretty much the only two sizes available.
Unless you want to buy the incredibly cute “mini” playing cards, which measure 41 by 63 mm.
Or jumbo ones (twice or three times the size of a regular poker deck). And you’ll have to have a few finger workouts to shuffle those.
Which size do you prefer?
I love poker playing cards. They’re the real deal (no pun intended). Bridge cards feel a little bit too small for me.
So personally, I’ll always go with the regular size. They’re easier to find as well.
That said, the quality of a deck of cards depends on other factors, including the material, finish, design, durability, and print.
An excellent deck of playing cards doesn’t automatically become better or worse depending on the size itself.
So… which one do you prefer? Bridge or poker size? Click the button and let me know 👇