Scroll down for FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
(mostly about how to find things but also about ordering, payment etc)

This page gives a quick explanation of how to find you way around this website. There's a lot more information on the various pages in the help section. Click help on the banner above if you need more guidance than is offered on this page.

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. (Click here to see a map of all the categories in the catalogue.

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.


FAQ

Here's a list of questions we've had recently and the answers we gave - hopefully this might save you the time it takes to send us an e-mail and wait for our reply.

Can you supply the rules for the game of Tarot in English?

We are often asked if we can supply packs for the game of Tarot with rules in English. Our suppliers are sometimes a bit inconsistent about including leaflets at all and which leaflet they do include when they do. In our experience, the rules on the leaflets tend to be printed in microscopic print and aren't always that easy to work out anyway.

The website manager (who plays quite a lot of French tarot) recommends the rules published on John McLeod's site as more comprehensive and much easier to read if you print them off on A4 pages. You can find these at this address: http://www.pagat.com/tarot/frtarot.html (From this page, you can also find your way to rules for all other Tarot and Tarock type games, and in fact pretty much any other card game you care to think of!)

Can you set up your site to tell me what my order will cost in my local currency?

The short answer is that at this stage this is beyond us! We are a small organisation and the cost implications of building a site which includes currency conversion to all major world currencies and updates these conversions daily is really a bit too much for us to contemplate! There is a link to the Yahoo currency converter which gives customers the opportunity to check what their bill will be in their own currency before completing their purchase. You can find this link (Click here for exchange rates) on the payment page in the checkout process or on our 'Useful links' page.

Can you supply playing cards with a standard size but large format which are suitable for a partially sighted person?

What I think you are looking for are what we describe as 'large index' (large suit signs and numbers) playing cards. You can find these on the Standard Regional Pattern section of our main catalogue.

Click 'Regional' in the menu banner toward the top of the page. Select 'by type of pack' in the short menu that then appears toward the top of the left hand side of the page, and then scroll down to 'Large index'. Click on that link and the selection of what we currently have in stock will then appear on the main page.


Do you sell playing cards with eight suits for the game of Cripple Mr Onion as described by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld novels?

We have recently aquired stock of an 8 suited pack. It does not have the Discworld suits, but it should be possible to translate the suits it does have to play this game. It is called the Fat Pack (Cat Ref 13757) - use the search function to find it by name or Cat Ref.


Do you sell large format cards like the ones used on the TV show 'Play Your Cards Right'?

We have a number of packs in large format. The Mammoth Deck is approx A4 size and there are several other packs which are approx A5 size. You can find these in the Standard Regional Pattern section of the catalogue on the 'Unusual shapes & sizes' listing - click Regional on the menu banner above, then 'by type of pack' (towards the top of the menu on the left hand side of the page) then scroll down the menu below it to find 'Unusual shapes and sizes' and click on that - the list of packs then appears on the right hand side of your screen.

Do you sell cards which are smaller than normal size for use where there isn't much space to play?

What you are probably looking for are what are generally described as "patience" size cards. You can find a selection of these on our website. I'm afraid that so far, we have not got many of these type of packs illustrated, but hopefully you will be able to find enough to make some sort of selection.

In the Standard Regional Pattern section, you will find packs with standard faces. Click the link to the "Regional" section on the navigation bar on the front page of our main catalogue, then select "by type of pack" in the short menu towards the top left hand corner of the page and scroll down in the menu below to "Patience size packs". Click that link and view the selection in the main panel on the right.

Alternatively, you might prefer to choose cards with non-standard faces which you can find in the General section. Click "General" on the navigation banner and select either "by subject/theme" or "by type of pack", scroll down to "patience size packs", click the link and off you go again. More of the packs on this list have pictures to show what they are like.

There are instructions on the site to tell you how to choose the cards you want, order them and pay for them.


Do you sell the presentation packs offered annually by the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards?

Yes, we have either mint or second-hand packs for most years since 1940. A complete list of the packs we have available can be found in the General Catalogue (click General on the menu banner above) under 'GB - Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards' in the Country/Publisher menu.

Could you please tell me if I can order tarot cards from you if I live in the USA?

You certainly can! We are delighted to send out cards from all sections of our catalogue to almost anywhere in the world.

Can I pay in US dollars?

The simplest way to pay is to give us your credit card details using our secure server. Other payment options are available - please see the answer to the next question or our 'terms & conditions' (click on the link on the menu on the left hand side of our homepage or in the help section)

Do I have to pay by credit card?

If you do not wish to pay by credit card, we can also accept payment from UK customers by cheque and we can accept payment by Bank Draft, International Money Order in pounds sterling or cash in pounds sterling or Euros only. (If you wish to pay in Euros, please submit your order and indicate in the special instructions box that you need a precise quotation in Euros so you will know how much to send.) In these cases, please print the "confirm order" page in the checkout process (there's a button to press which will do this automatically) and enclose a copy of this with your payment. If you want to be sure the items you are ordering are available please ask and we will confirm availability of items ordered. As a general rule, we try not to have items which are currently out of stock listed on the site, so usually if it's on the site it will be available.

I'm trying to purchase a set or two of plain / no frills/ unfussy/ bog standard playing cards for general family use. Please point me in the right direction........

Click on Regional (on the blue menu bar across the top of the page) to find the Standard Regional Pattern section and then click 'by type of pack' in the short menu at the top of the left hand menu bar. In the menu list which then appears below, I suggest you might like to look at 'Standard English face packs - boxed pairs by Piatnik' where you will find a reasonable selection of packs which are illustrated. Should you require even more 'bog-standard' cards than these, you can find a selection in the 'Standard English face packs' section where there is a listing of inexpensive packs most of which have single colour back designs (usually available in pairs). Regrettably, we have not yet managed to get illustrations up for most of these - please let us know if you would like more information about any of these packs.

I am looking for an Autobridge board with, if possible, intermediate level games.

We replied telling this customer that this game is no longer manufactured - regrettably it has been usurped by computer bridge simulations. We were pleased when we got a reply back from the customer as follows:

Thanks for replying. Actually I found an ancient antique AutoBridge set at http://www.rubylane.com/ - you might like to advise anyone else who asks for it. You can't get more game cards but she sent nearly 100 and I am enjoying it immensely.

I am trying to get a deck for Scopa D'Assi. I was told you might be able to help me. Ideally, I would like to get it in the US but I haven't had any luck yet. Would you know where I could get a deck?

Judging by the comments from various customers from the USA, packs of the sort you are looking for are hard to come by in the States and many have expressed delight at finding a supplier at all who can send items like this to customers in the States. In short, we are not aware of anyone in the USA who does supply cards like the ones you seek.

My understanding is that for Scopa (and Scopa D'Assi) you need a 40 card Italian pack. We have a considerable number of different Italian regional packs with 40 cards but I believe that not all would be suitable for playing Scopa.

I have consulted the Penguin Encyclopedia of Card Games and Neil McLeod's website ( http://www.pagat.com/fishing/scopone.html ) to try to establish exactly which packs would be suitable.

From Neil McLeod's site, I gleaned the following:

An Italian 40 card pack is used, often the Neapolitan pattern with the Latin suits: swords (spade), clubs (bastoni), cups (coppe) and coins (danari). The cards in each suit are Re, Cavall, Fante, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A. It is also possible to play with a standard international 52 card pack from which you need to remove the 10s 9s and 8s.

I have also established that Piemontese, Ligurian, Tuscan, Milanese and Lombardo packs would probably not be suitable.

You may know name of a type of regional pack which is suitable if you are replacing a pack you have used before or if you are trying to source a similar pack to one you have seen in use (the name would probably be on the box the cards came in). If not, it will probably be best to go with Neil McLeod's suggestion of a Neapolitan pattern pack. It is my understanding that all the 40 card Neapolitan packs we have for sale use the Latin suits (batons/bastoni, swords/spade, cups/coppa and coins/denari) and each suit consists of Re (King), Cavall (Knight), Fante (Footsoldier) 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1/A.

You can find the Neapolitan pattern packs on our site by going to the main catalogue ( http://www.playingcardsales.co.uk/cards/ ) and clicking on "Regional" on the main navigation menu bar towards the top of the page. Then click "Italian patterns" on the menu on the left hand side of the page and scroll down to find Neapolitan patterns. I regret to say that the only pack of this sort that we have currently got pictures of is out of stock. My understanding is that all the packs that are currently in stock will look pretty similar to that one so I have attached a copy of our illustration of that pack so you can check that it looks right. None of the Neapolitan pattern packs has indices.

Neapolitan pattern by Dal Negro.
Neapolitan pattern by Dal Negro.

Why aren't more of the packs on your site illustrated?

We are sorry if you are disappointed with the number of packs we have illustrated on the site. We are only too aware that this task is not yet complete! We took the decision to get all items we have in stock listed with a price regardless of whether we have yet got images or descriptions available. Given the number of customers who clearly know what they are after (judging by the numbers of orders received for items which are not illustrated) we think this was probably the right decision. It does, however, mean that there are quite significant areas where the illustrated packs are rather few and far between.

Have you managed to find your way to the general lists in the Tarot and General (non-standard face) sections of the site which include only items which are illustrated? You can find these by going to either of the sections mentioned, and then clicking "by Subject or theme" in the short menu towards the top left of the page. Scroll down and click "General" or "General - illustrated" (depending on which catalogue you are in). If you are looking for standard face playing cards, the list of packs by Piatnik in the Standard Regional Pattern section has a good range of packs which are illustrated. Another place to go to look for packs which have illustrations is in the "What's new" section (click on the link on the main navigation menu across the page towards the top) where you can click a link to a listing of packs which have recently had pictures added.

We are engaged in an on-going programme of getting packs illustrated on the site and recently scanned images for the 2300th pack for the site. Regrettably, quite a number of packs which have been illustrated have now sold out (either temporarily or in some cases permanently) but this does leave approximately 85% of the packs which are currently in stock with illustrations on the site. Please bear with us while we work on adding to this number! (03/10/07)



R. Somerville (Playing Cards), Place de la Mairie, F-31420 ALAN, France

Last Updated: 15th October, 2009

Click here to start at the beginning of our catalogue.






The R. Somerville Playing Cards catalogue has over 2,500 different packs listed. We hope you will be able to find just what you are looking for. We are not aware of any other organisation which has nearly as many packs for sale as we have!!

All items are now in the same database, so you can be sure to find what you want if you use the search function. When you find something you like, use the links from that item to see other packs on a similar theme and other packs by the same publisher.

We are probably the world's most comprehensive dealers in modern playing cards and Tarot cards with a range of around 2,000 different packs which we sell over the internet and by mail order to collectors and card players throughout the world.

We have packs on a wide range of themes such as music, animals & nature, sport, souvenir views, packs for magicians, packs in unusual shapes and sizes, packs with large indices and standard regional pattern packs. Our range of books on playing cards and related subjects is also listed.