Playing cards are a fundamental component of board games and card games, often the most handled and prone to wear and tear. Understanding the various aspects of custom card game printing and manufacturing can help you create high-quality cards that are durable and visually appealing. Here’s everything you need to know:

Standard Sizes of Playing Cards

There are seven standard sizes commonly used in most board games:

  1. Playing Card Size (63x88mm)

    • Commonly used for most traditional and modern card games.
  2. Bridge Size (57x88mm)

    • Narrower than standard size, ideal for games requiring larger hands.
  3. Mini Size (44x68mm)

    • Compact size, suitable for games with numerous cards or for portability.
  4. Large Tarot Card Size (70x120mm)

    • Larger format for detailed artwork and additional information.
  5. Small Tarot Card Size (70x108mm)

    • Slightly smaller than large tarot, still ample space for artwork and text.
  6. Large Square Size (70x70mm)

    • Square format, suitable for unique game mechanics or designs.
  7. Small Square Size (63x63mm)

    • Smaller square format, compact and portable.

Approaches to Deciding Card Size and Number

1. Playtesting Approach

  • Determine the optimal number of cards and their size through extensive playtesting.
  • Focus on gameplay balance and player experience.

2. Manufacturing Approach

  • Start with understanding how many cards fit on a printing sheet.
  • Optimize card count to maximize sheet usage and control manufacturing costs.

Custom Sized Playing Cards

If standard sizes don’t meet your needs, custom sizes are an option:

  • Considerations for Custom Sizes:
    • Custom sizes involve hand-cutting, finishing, and corner filleting, which may affect quality.
    • Include 3mm bleed on each side for cutting precision.
    • Ensure file color format is CMYK, not RGB.

Playing Card Material

Three primary types of paper are used for playing cards:

1. White Core Paper

  • Recommended for most game creators.
  • Provides good print quality and durability.
  • Standard thicknesses: 300gsm (0.32mm) and 350gsm (0.35mm).

2. Blue Core Paper

  • Slightly more durable than white core.
  • Not as white on the surface, which may affect print quality.
  • Suitable for higher-end games but can only hold up to 54 cards.

3. Black Core Paper

  • Highest quality, primarily used by magicians and card enthusiasts.
  • Offers superior durability and elasticity.
  • Similar to blue core, it can affect print quality due to its less white surface.

4. Gray Core Paper

  • Generally poor quality and not recommended.

Printing and Manufacturing Considerations

1. Sheet Layout

  • Optimize card layout to maximize the number of cards per sheet.
  • Coordinate with the manufacturer for the best sheet sizes and layouts.

2. Bleed and Safe Zones

  • Include 3mm bleed on all sides of your design.
  • Keep critical elements within safe zones to avoid being cut off.

3. Color Format

  • Use CMYK color mode for accurate printing.
  • Request proofs to ensure color accuracy and print quality.

4. Card Boxes

  • Design custom card boxes that protect your cards and enhance game presentation.
  • Options include tuck boxes, two-piece boxes, and magnetic flip boxes.




Creating custom playing cards involves selecting the right size, material, and manufacturing process. By understanding standard sizes, considering custom options, and choosing appropriate materials, you can produce high-quality cards that meet your game’s needs and enhance the player experience. Prioritize quality materials like white core paper and ensure your designs are print-ready with proper bleed and color formats. Collaborate closely with your manufacturer to optimize production efficiency and control costs.

Card games provide an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with friends, family, or even strangers. Contact Kylingm for one-stop board game customize service.