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Playing Card Boxes

Here is a quick review of the different playing card boxes that I have been sent. In the future, I will review some of the more expensive wood and decorative boxes that are available for storing playing cards, but for the moment, this is a review of the boxes that the playing cards are actually shipped in. Most of the superior quality playing cards are shipped in plastic boxes that can be used to store your playing cards for a lifetime. The KEM cardboard and plastic boxes have been around for years and other brands, such as Copag, are very similar in design.

A Plus

Cardboard box image My A Plus cards came in a two-deck cardboard box. There is a cardboard separator between the two decks. There is no latch on the box so you must use an elastic band to keep it closed and it does have a tendency to open if you do not. You must turn the box upside down to remove one or both decks. This is a nice sturdy box and reminds me of a jeweler's box. The box is made of sturdy cardboard and should last a long time, but not as long as the plastic boxes that are available.


Carta Mundi

Box image Carta Mundi cards come in cardboard boxes similar to many of the other cardboard boxes reviewed here. The only real difference is that there is a small round tab at the top of the center divider that separates the two decks. The tab helps keep the cards from sliding from one deck to the other. This is a nice feature that the other cardboard boxes should copy. This box is slightly less sturdy than the A Plus, Dal Negro, or Kem Select cardboard boxes.


Copag plastic

Copag box Copag cards come in a nice plastic box that is very similar to the KEM box. This case will stay closed without the need of an elastic band. There is a plastic divider between the two decks to keep the cards separate. A removable tab on top of the divider helps keep the cards down in the box. The feel and quality of this box is almost identical to the KEM plastic box. You must turn the box upside down to remove one or both decks.


Copag cardboard

Carboard box image This Copag cardboard box wins the prize for being the worst playing card box available. It lacks the little side tabs that help keep the top flap closed. This means that ... the top flap does not stay closed! The cards are constantly spilling from the box unless you use an elastic band or lean the top flap against another surface in order to ... keep the top flap closed!


Copag wooden playing card box

Copag wooden playing card box image This wooden playing card box from CopagCards.com is manufactured by Copag in Brazil and is meant to be displayed on your bar or with your other poker gear. It has rounded corners and somewhat resembles a good cigar box. The construction is solid and it is sturdier than the plastic card boxes, but I would not want to drop it on a concrete floor.

The lid is connected to the base of the box by two wooden dowels, rather than a hinge. The lid does not stay closed on its own, you will need a rubber band to keep it closed while traveling. It tilts backwards enough to ensure that is stays open on its own. The center tab, to keep the cards separated, is made of the same wood as the rest of the box.

The playing cards lie on black felt, which acts the same as padding on a poker table in that it allows you to slip your fingers under the cards to remove them from the box. A deck of 54 cards is a tight fit inside the box, and just barely fits under the top lid. The cards did not slide back and forth within the box.

The cost is $13 per box.


Dal Negro

Cardboard box imageThe Dal Negro single decks come in standard cardboard boxes, similar to Bicycle or Bee paper cards although the Torcello cardboard box is a bit larger than normal. Nothing special here, just plain old cardboard boxes ...


Dal Negro

Playing card box image Dal Negro double-set cardboard boxes are similar to the KEM Select or casino cardboard boxes. There is a cardboard divider that separates the two decks but does not prevent the top cards from sliding from one side to the other. The lid does stay closed without using an elastic band.

The cardboard lid of the Dal Negro box has a nice textured design that is probably the best looking of all the card boxes that I have reviewed.


Dal Negro

Dal Negro clear box Dal Negro Grand Slam cards come in a clear plastic double-deck box. It's a nice box but the lid does not stay closed without using an elastic band.

I am beginning to prefer the clear plastic boxes because I can view the deck of cards through the plastic. This becomes even more important as I acquire more and more decks of cards.


DaVinci

Playing card box imageThe DaVinci trays are identical to the Modiano trays that slide inside the outer cardboard box. These are some of the poorer boxes on the market, you must retain and rely on the cardboard box, which will deteriorate with time. The cards slide around from side to side within the box. If you are going to spend money on high-quality playing cards such as these, you should probably buy a nice wooden box to store your cards.


Flip-up case

flip-up card box These playing card cases are exclusive to CaraGails.com and hold one poker size deck of Copag or Dal Negro playing cards. These cases are not meant to hold any other brand or size of playing card.

A poker size deck of cards just barely fits into the case, there is no room to spare but even with the tight fit, it is not too difficult to insert the cards into the case. The case will hold 52 playing cards without any cards spilling out over the side panels. It is possible to hold more than 52 cards (two or three jokers) but the extra cards will sit above the side walls of the case and might spill out.

The lid stays closed even when the case is turned upside down and given a shake. It is somewhat difficult to open the lid on the case - you have to place your fingers in just the right position on the side panels of the case. The case is made of plastic. It is well-made and sturdy. It would probably take a fall on to a carpeted floor without damage but I did not want to try. The case measures 86 x 95.5 x 19.5mm. It is small enough to easily fit into a shirt pocket. The corners of the case are very rounded and there are no sharp edges or protrusions to get caught anywhere.

The cost of the flip-up case is $2.95 and it is available exclusively at CaraGails.com. CaraGails is presently running a special where you get two plastic cases for only $1 with any of the new Copag sets of playing cards. August 2007


Fournier

Playing card box image These plastic single-deck boxes are nice. The fit is fairly tight and the box will stay closed without an elastic band, unlike the Royal playing cards boxes. One of my pet-peeves are card boxes that are not quite high enough to enclose the entire deck of cards. Many times, the top cards will spill over the top of the box and either fall out of the box, or intermingle with the cards in the second deck (if a double deck box). The Fournier box will hold 52 cards, but there is a spill-over effect if you keep all 55 cards (3 jokers) in the box.


Fournier

Playing card box image The double-deck plastic boxes are similar to the single-deck boxes. The cards fit nicely and the top stays closed. There is some spillover of the top cards from one side to the other. This is basically a clear plastic version of the plastic boxes that come with KEM or Copag cards.


Graphica

Box of Graphica playing cards The Graphica cards come in a plastic box that resembles the KEM and Copag boxes except for the clear lid. It is a bit easier to remove the decks from the box because of the two curved cutout sections, but you still have to turn the box upside down. The center divider is tall enough to keep the cards from sliding back and forth with the lid closed. The box is about as sturdy as a KEM or Copag box.


KEM

Plastic box image New KEM cards came in the same familiar plastic case as the old KEM cards except there is no little tab that clips on to the middle divider separating the two decks. This box is the 'standard' by which other boxes are compared. You must turn the box upside down to remove one or both decks of cards. The lid always stays closed on it's own.


KEM

Cardboard box of KEM Select playing cards KEM cards also come in a cardboard box and this is the box that you will see in a casino. There is a cardboard separator between the two decks. You have to turn the box upside down to remove one or both decks of cards. The cardboard is fairly sturdy and the box should last a lifetime if not abused.


Kem WPT

Kem WPT box The Kem World Poker Tour cards come in the standard Kem black plastic box that is identical to the other Kem plastic boxes.


Modiano

Modiano box imageThe Modiano Super, Old Trophy, and Poker Club double-decks come in lidless plastic trays that slide inside the outer cardboard box. These are some of the poorer boxes on the market, you must retain and rely on the cardboard box which will deteriorate with time. The top cards can slide around from side to side within the box. If you are going to spend money on high-quality playing cards such as these, you should probably buy a nice wooden box to store your cards.


Modiano Cristallo

Cristallo card box CaraGails.com makes these boxes available for its Modiano Cristallo playing cards. It is clear plastic single-deck case that is 73mm wide, 99mm long, and 29mm tall. I like these boxes! They are sturdy and make a perfect box for single decks of cards. They stack well and the top does not come off without a little bit of effort. The clear case makes it easy to view both the back design, and face design of your playing cards.


Modiano Kristal

Modiano playing card box Modiano playing cards usually come in plain cardboard boxes that are rather unspectacular but you can sometimes pay a, little extra to get a very nice plastic box - the Kristal plastic case is the best of all the playing card boxes. This case has a lid that lifts one end of the cards up as the box is opened - this makes it very easy to remove one or both decks of cards from the box. Many of the other playing card boxes require that you turn the box upside down to remove a deck, and most require that you remove both decks even if you only want one deck. In addition, the top lid of the case is clear meaning that you can view what style of cards are in the box without opening it up.

The Kristal box has a center dividing tab that keeps the cards separated, even when you shake the box or turn it upside down. The lid stays closed even when the box is turned upside down although you are encouraged to use the original cardboard packaging to further secure the box.

Individual cardboard boxes of playing cards will also fit into this Modiano box. If you have single decks stored in regular-size Bee or Bicycle cardboard boxes - they will fit into this box. It is a tight fit, and some of the larger cardboard boxes, such as the Dal Negro Torcello, will not fit into this box.

The only fault of the Modiano box is that it is somewhat less sturdy than a KEM or Copag plastic box. A KEM or Copag box might survive a drop on the floor but the Modiano box probably would not. It's not that it's poorly made, it's just that the hinges and sharp corners make it vulnerable.

These card boxes cost $3 and are available at TridentCards.


NTP

NTP box image NTP cards come in fantastic black plastic boxes. The boxes are very similar to the traditional KEM and Copag cards except they are a little more square. The lids stay closed without problem. The card boxes come in single or double deck versions.


Piatnik

Plastic box of Piatnik playing cards This bridge size plastic case is one of the best that I have seen. It is similar to the Royal case except the lid stays closed without the use of an elastic band. You must turn the box upside down to remove the cards from the box.


Piatnik 1360

Piatnik box image These are nice clear plastic boxes with one serious flaw - they are very difficult to pick up from the table. The top cover extends down over the entire lower deck and when you attempt to lift the box off the table, the entire top lid lifts off the base, leaving the base and cards still lying on the table. You end up turning the deck upside down and lifting the box from the bottom of the deck.


Piatnik 2464

Piatnik card box These cards come in a plastic double-deck box. The plastic is more of a softer (Tupperware) type of plastic rather than the much firmer Kem and Copag boxes. You cannot remove one deck at a time, so you must turn the box upside down to remove the deck. I liked this box, the only drawback is that you must use a rubber band to keep the lid closed. The boxes also stacked very well, so you could stack several boxes on top of each other and use one rubber band to keep them all secure. The more that I handled this box, the better I liked it - it was like using a kinder, softer version of the Kem/Copag playing card boxes.


Royal

Plastic box of Royal playing cards Royal Plastic Playing Cards come in a nice plastic box, one of the best boxes of all the single decks reviewed here. The lid for the case does not close tight enough to stay closed on its own so you must use an elastic band, or the original paper sleeve that case came in, to keep the box closed. You must turn the box upside down to remove the cards. If you have bridge-size cards and are looking for a storage box, buying a deck of Royal cards for a couple dollars might be worth it for the box alone.


WPT Plastic

Box of WPT plastic playing cards The WPT Plastic cards come in a nice plastic box with a clear top that does stay closed. The divider in the middle of the box could be a little higher to prevent cards spilling from one side to the other. You have to turn the box upside down to remove one or both decks of cards. The quality of the box is the same as the KEM.


Playing Card Pouch

Card pouch image This is a vinyl pouch available at HoldemPokerChips.com. It is available in bridge or poker size and fits one deck of cards. Velcro keeps the top flap in place. The pouch has a nice soft, comfortable feel to it. It is available in the four different suits. The cost is $5.99 and it can be monogrammed for an additional charge.


Playing Card Wood Box

Card case image This is a two-deck playing card box from ChipsAndGames.com. The inside has room for two decks of cards, including the cardboard boxes. The decks fit in tight, so the box will not accomodate the larger-sized cardboard boxes. The inside is the usual molded plastic with a felt-like cloth on the bottom of the box.

The finish is highly polished wood. The hinges, and the box itself, are good and sturdy. The box is 6.75" x 5" 1.75" in size. The cost is $14.99. The box comes with two decks of 'Motor' plastic coated (paper) playing cards. It is made in China.


Links to Playing Card Boxes

5 Star Deal
Baracraft
Cara Gails
Chips and Games
FCI Poker
Poker Chest $10 off code:HPT10
Sidepot Gaming (BuyPokerChips.com)
Straight Poker Supplies Canada
World of Boxes

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