The online playing cards store from R. Somerville (Playing Cards)

How to find what you are looking for...

Peter Rabbit Playing Cards - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

R. Somerville (Playing Cards) currently has around 2,500 different packs in stock, and we now have almost all of these listed on our website (playingcardsales.com). This may seem a little daunting at first, but hopefully we'll be able to offer you some clues about how to find your way to a part of the website which has the sort of thing you are looking for.

Our stock is divided up into different categories to make it easier to find your way around. There are three broad areas which our searchable catalogues follow. These are the General Section, the Tarot and Fortune telling Section and the Standard Regional Pattern Section. (See below in "Locating packs to buy" for more details about search functions on the site.)

Hungaria Playing Cards - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

The General Section includes all suited packs with non-standard faces (see illustrations above and down the left-hand side of this page) and game packs like the Winnie the Pooh pack (Tigger is also lurking somewhere on the right hand side of this page) which don't have suits.
Fans of different sized playing cards - click to enlargeThe panel on the left shows the differences between various sorts of packs or decks as they are known to those on the west side of the Atlantic. The top fan is what we would describe as a pack with "standard" faces. It has standard "courts" (i.e. King, Queen and Jack) and standard "pip" cards (i.e. 2 - 10). Though originally derived from French designs, this is what is described as a "standard English pattern" in common playing-card parlance and hence many of our descriptions.

The second fan has "non-standard" court cards. That is to say that the King, Queen and Jack in each suit carry an unusual design, although you will note that the "indices" (letter and suit signs in each corner) are standard. The pip cards retain the conventional designs.

The third fan is what we would describe as a pack with non-standard faces on all cards, so Aces, Courts and pip cards all have unusual designs on them, in this case illustrations of the Lake District in North West England.

Below the third fan, we have shown examples of "back designs" which for almost all packs will be the same for all cards in the pack. Some trick packs (i.e. marked packs) and occasional gimmick packs do not comply with this rule and have backs with patterns that may vary - it might be wise to avoid using packs like these for playing games - especially for money!!

You will notice that the size of packs can vary considerably. The left hand back design is on a pack which might be described as "bridge" size. This tends to reflect the proportions of the cards rather than the specific size. You will observe that it is narrower than the pack on the right which is what might be described as "poker" size and has cards which are proportionally wider. The pack in the middle, while still coming within the broad band of "standard" size packs is clearly significantly larger than either of the others (though perhaps not quite as large as it might seem as it is on a white background which is NOT part of the card)

Railway Posters Playing Cards - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

The Tarot and Fortune Telling Section includes, as you might expect, cards for fortune telling and also packs of cards for playing the game of Tarot which is still popular in many parts of Europe. (Examples of both types can be seen on the right hand side of this page). There are also a few packs of cards which can be used for fortune-telling which have conventional suits on them. You can find these in the General Catalogue (look for Fortune-telling under Subject or Type of Pack in the General Catalogue).

Standard Regional Pattern section includes all the packs of cards we stock with standard faces. Most people are familiar with the widely used 52 card pack which is often supplemented with jokers and used for a wide variety of card games by card players all over the world. There's a good selection of these made by the Austrian manufacturer Piatnik in the Standard Regional Pattern section of the catalougue if you look under Austria - Piatnik (click "Regional" on the main navigation menu bar on the Catalogue front page).

Additionally, we carry a considerable range of regional pattern packs for different games which are popular around Europe and elsewhere. Many regions have particular games which require different numbers of cards, and regional differences are further reflected by the use of different suits and characters on the court (royal) cards. You should be able to find the sort of pack you are looking for in the catalogue where one of the search categories allows you to look for packs of cards with particular combinations of cards. Look out for indications that the indices are not in English, (for example the French use R, D, V for Roi, Dame and Valet rather than K, Q, J for King, Queen and Jack) and that suits may not be the internationally recognised Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds. Standard Regional Pattern packs can be found in the catalogue section called "Regional", and beware if searching by country of publication as there are many publishers who produce packs for regions other than their own!).

Other sections

Other sections of the website include a section consisting of packs for conjurers and magicians, and we have a wide variety of books on the History of Playing Cards and Collecting Playing Cards, games which you can play using playing cards and the use of both Tarot and Fortune-Telling Cards.

Shopping Basket

The catalogue incorporates a 'shopping basket' system which means that you can place an order by entering the number of each item you require in the white box next to it in the catalogue listing and then clicking the "add" button. Click on the 'View shopping basket' button at the bottom of the screen at any time to see what you have currently got in your 'shopping basket'.

Above all, if you can't find what you are looking for,


we may well have it!! Perhaps it's either lurking somewhere other than where you are expecting, or we haven't managed to get it up on the website yet. Please do give us a ring and we will be delighted to try to help you to find what you are looking for. You can find details of how to get in touch on the contact page which you can find if you go back to the homepage of the catalogue.

Please let us know if there is additional information you would like to see on this page, or if you have tips about how to find your way around our website that you think other visitors would be grateful for. Send an e-mail to the website manager by clicking this link to our
contact form.

Gill Tarot - Tarot pack for fortune-telling - in the Tarot & Fortune-Telling Section

Art Pack Playing Cards - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

Asterix Tarot - Pack for game of Tarot - in the Tarot & Fortune-Telling Section

Classic Roses Playing Cards - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

Swiss pack for the game of Jass - in the Standard Regional Patterns Section

Civil War Illuminated Deck - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

Bicycle Jumbo Index - Standard face pack with jumbo indices - in the Standard Regional Patterns Section

Historic Houses Playing Cards - Non-standard face pack - in the General Section

Winnie the Pooh - Family collecting game pack - in the General Section

A note on the code letters we use to identify different types of packs:
A = non-standard face (like the ones on the left), C = 4 suit-colour pack, F = Fortune-telling pack,
G = card game, P = standard regional pattern,S = standard face, T = Tarot for fortune-telling, U = Tarot for game of Tarot.

Locating packs to buy

To look for the packs of cards you would like to buy, you have several options.

If you know of a keyword in the title of the pack you are looking for, then you may choose to use the search facility on the site. Click "search" on the main navigation menu at the top of the page, key in your word or words to the white box which you will then find on the left hand side of the screen and then click the "Go" button. You can narrow your search down to specific areas of the site by using the "select a catalogue to search" pull down menu.

To browse around the site, there are several ways of selecting lists of packs subdivided into categories. If, for example, you wish to find packs featuring historic houses, click "General" on the main navigation menu bar at the top of the screen. When the General Catalogue page appears, you will see you have options to search by country, by subject or by pack composition (the menu is towards the top of the left hand side of the page. Click "by subject" and then scroll down to "Historic buildings" in the menu below. Click "Historic buildings" and the page with all packs in this category will be displayed in the main screen. Click on the name or illustration of any item of interest to you for full details of that pack to be displayed. You may also get the option to view more illustrations of cards from the pack. On the detailed item page, you will notice that the categories this pack belongs to are listed. If you click, for example, on the country and publisher entry, you will be taken to a list of all other packs by that publisher we currently have in stock within the catalogue section you are currently viewing (General, Tarot, Standard Regional, etc). Likewise, if you click on the subject entry, you will be taken to a list of all other packs in that subject category.

Click here for enlargement

Click on the diagram above to see enlarged version which shows what the main links on this site do.

Last Updated: 7th April, 2006