These are not at all easy to get, as the only place I’ve seen selling them to the public is linked below. These are the same cards (though with a different back pattern) that have been used at WSOP Final Tables in the mid 2010’s, as well as on other poker shows like Shark Tank. These are different card stock from other Cartamundi plastic cards out there, as there is a different, thinner, more slippery Cartamundi stock made in the USA that is sold under the “Cartamundi Ace” line. This review is for the Cartamundi Belgium line of cards.
Purchasing Link: https://www.pokerstore.nl/poker-cards/carta-mundi/cartamundi-plastic-casino-playing-cards-red.html
Price: 9 euro per deck, plus 10 euro shipping to the United States for two decks= 28 euro= roughly $34 USD shipped per two deck set up. Cards arrived in two weeks from being ordered.
Feel: Though I am personally more partial to cards with a textured finish, these cards feel amazing. Unlike other plastic cards which are mostly made of PVC, other card manufacturers put out a line of plastic cards made of cellulose acetate which are usually softer and more flexible than their PVC counterparts. These are no different. These cards are soft to the touch, with a slight hint of texture on the card stock on the front and the back of the card, and shuffle and riffle very smoothly. They feel very close to paper cards, but maintain the shape and are less prone to creasing than their paper counterparts. The stock is a bit thinner than other European manufactured cards, but this comes with the territory of cellulose acetate to maintain their lightweight feel.
Durability: These have gone into play in a 6 hour tournament so far with no signs of marking, fading, bowing, or warping.
Case/Travel: You’ll need to find your own tuck box or plastic case to house these, they are shipped wrapped in cellophane only.
For reference, this is my personal scale when determining card quality that can be used as a basis of comparison for future reviews:
8.5 or above: My dream, ideal card that I would use every game if I wanted to
7.4 to 8.4: An excellent card that I would buy a couple of extra set ups of when the first set starts to get worn down
6.4 to 7.3: A good card that I would be happy to use with my home game
5.0-6.3: A passable card that I would use for a home game if I had no other better options available to me
3.0-4.9: A not so great card that I would carry with me in my travel bag that I wouldn’t care if it got damaged or lost
0-2.9: Wouldn’t use in any game. Fodder for my 2 year old son to play with and destroy
These cards looks and feel great to play with. If you don’t mind the somewhat high cost in purchasing from Europe, the website that sells them are very reliable and turnaround time is reasonable given intercontinental shipping.
Cartamundi Belgium Poker Size, Super Jumbo Index Plastic Playing Cards
Quality is as good as it gets, made out of a very soft cellulose acetate
Unique and extra large pips provide excellent readability across the table
Previous use in WSOP Final Tables and other streamed pro poker events make every game in which these cards are used feel like a big game
High cost and difficulty in acquiring
Cards are shipped in cellophane only with no protection via a tuck box or cardboard box