Playing Cards

Card-playing has always been a big part of my family, especially on my dad's side. Every time we get together we play some combination of Hearts, Screw Your Neighbor, Windows, Crowns, (Gin) Rummy, Euchre, and Wizard, and can spend hours doing so. I have fond memories of playing Rummy with my grandparents who would routinely beat me, but I felt immensely proud when I managed to beat them. 

The cards we use have always been the standard Bicycle deck: Usually red (but sometimes blue), the classic face cards, regular-sized pips (but sometimes the large print), and the great paper quality with the air-cushion finish. Side note: there may be no greater feeling than the effortless glide of a brand new deck of high-quality playing cards... Anyway, playing with "normal" cards is absolutely fine; you're focus is on the game itself, not the aesthetics of the cards. 

But one day during the COVID-19 pandemic I was browsing online and came across a very different, very interesting deck of cards: Pip Men World. Each card face tells a little story about some stick figures and they can actually be arranged together to show a larger picture. I just thought this was really cool, and considering I was often playing cards with my then partner, I figured this would be a fun way to change things up. So I bought them.

As time went on, I got more and more ads (I guess targeted ads do work...?) for other decks. I don't recal exactly, but I bought a couple more, but only one or two. Then one day I got an ad for a deck on Kickstarter, and then the flood gates (and my wallet) opened... The makers on Kickstarter are really amazing and talented and I've not been able to stop myself from grabbing tons of decks from there and elsewhere. Now it's a full-blown collection and I have no intention of slowing down.

The Collection

See my collection in a bit more detail and maybe learn more about each deck, too. Most of these decks were purchased online, some in stores, some were gifts, and others I don't even recall!

Mosaic Making

Eventually I'd collected enough cards that displaying them in a pleasing way (by color, primarily) became a whole thing. Sure, I could manually arrange the ~90 I currently have by hand. But what happens when I get more? What happens when I get some that break the color scheme I've made?

I decided to turn this into a little Python project that would show me how to "best" arrange my cards.