Perhaps you recall a game from your childhood and you want to relearn it to teach your own children. Maybe you have been on holiday and have seen an unfamiliar game being played with an unusual pack of cards and wondered how to find out the name and rules of the game, and where you might buy similar cards. Would you like to start collecting these often cheap and colourful reminders of different times and different countries? Maybe you would like more in-depth answers to the questions asked above. In that case the International Playing-Card Society may be for you. It numbers around 270 members world-wide and is run by a members’ elected council.

The International Playing-Card Society was founded in 1972 to bring together people, in a variety of countries, who have a common interest in the collecting of playing cards and card games, with the object of sharing research and knowledge. The Society has members in many countries around the world and has inspired the establishment of local societies, which it works closely with, including staging “joint Conventions” in that country.

The International Playing-Card Society holds Conventions annually in the Autumn, the venue usually being located in Europe or America. Details of future meetings can be found on the Calendar page.

Want to know more?

Check our constitution. Enquiries can be sent to the IPCS Secretary John Williamson(, or you can join the society by filling in our on line application form. In many cases the subscription can be paid in local currency to our Area Representatives. Alternatively, annual subscriptions can be paid online by PayPal: go to Join IPCS, and get all benefits in a few days.


Digital Members receive their Magazine and Monographs by .pdf from a Members’ download area – you will be advised when a new issue is available.
Print Members receive publications by post.

Quarterly A4 Full Colour Magazine

The Journal is the centre piece of the Society. It includes a variety of articles and you will find something to suit your collecting interest – or write one.
You will be kept up to date as to what is happening in the Society by the regular column “From The Chairman”.
There are regular features on New Issues, Notes and Queries and a Roundup of new Publications. The four issues come to about 160 pages.

Full access to all back issues from 1972

Via the Members’ Area you will be able to search the database of all the research material and, through our index of all past issues, you will be able to go straight to the article. You will also be able to print the article that interests you.

Annual Conventions

We hold an annual Convention in different countries throughout Europe and North America, usually in liaison with the local playing card society and occasionally as a joint Convention. This is an additional cost but one that members find offers the rewards of friendship and lasting relationships.
These usually last three days and include Trading Sessions, an Auction and a series of Talks plus visits to local Museums usually with Playing Card exhibits. There is always a Convention Dinner arranged for Members and their guests.

Bulletin Board for posting questions

The reservoir of our members’ knowledge can be utilised by raising questions on the Members Only Bulletin Board – you will usually receive a speedy response.
The Society does not provide a valuation service.

Access to membership list

Full geographical listing of most members and their interests ( Under Privacy Laws some Members withhold their details – you will have the chance to do this if you so wish. )
Members are approachable should you have an enquiry that reflects their interests. Members also list the language(s) they read and write in.

Additional Benefits

You will have access to the back issues of the premier North American Magazine – Clear The Decks – from the 52+Joker Society.
We are invited to the English Playing Card Society’s one day autumn meeting in a regional City with talks and trading.
From time to time the Society publishes a Monograph, usually a learned work on an aspect of playing card manufacture or a pattern or the regional history of card making or…..
Back Issues of the Journal and Monographs are available at reduced prices to members.

From Time to time

We will be sending out an occasional newsletter, special offers & advance notice of forthcoming items to be posted on our website.

If you are interested please fill in the form below

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