Jerry's Nugget playing cards

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A red deck of Jerry's Nugget playing cards.

Founded in 1964 by Jerry Lodge and Jerry Stamis, Jerry's Nugget Casino stands today as a significant piece of Las Vegas history.[1] In 1970, the casino printed a special deck of cards, and sold them in their gift shop for fifty cents. Almost forty years later, these decks fetch upwards of $200–500 per deck on the second-hand market.[2]


Jerry's Nugget Casino, North Las Vegas, Nevada

Jerry's Nugget playing cards were supposedly printed in the 1970s for the gaming tables, but never saw any action at the gambling table.[3] They were immediately sold in the gift store thereafter. The classic Jerry's Nugget playing cards were made from top of the line United States Playing Card Company card stock, that is not available today, which makes the cards much thinner than today's playing cards. The Playing Card Company also used a chemical finish then, which is also not available today due to environmental reasons.[4]

Jerry's Nugget playing cards were printed in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then were driven to the North Las Vegas casino via trucks where they sat in storage for many years. The highly prized playing card eventually sold out in the summer of 1999. In 2000, Dominique Duvivier famous french magician and private collector purchased the remaining stock of 40,000 decks.[5] Jerry's Nugget Casino does not have any plans to reprint them.[6]

According to Jerry's fans, there is something different about the cards that makes them perfect for different types of moves and flourishes.[7]

Dai Vernon, Larry Jennings, Ed Marlo, Lee Asher, Frank Simon, Chris Kenner, Earl Nelson, Dan & Dave Buck, Wayne Houchin, and many other notable sleight of hand artists have been seen playing with Jerry's Nugget playing cards. The playing cards are stiff, hold their form, and are easily manipulated. Flourishers have taken a liking to these pasteboards as well.


The backs display fields of red or blue with an image of the oil derrick sign that graces the parking lot of the casino. The Jerry's Nugget oil derrick appears on the deck's joker as well.


In 2008, sophisticated counterfeiters super-saturated the market with fake Jerry's Nugget playing cards. Random videos started appearing on YouTube from upset purchasers. While the illegal versions look remarkably genuine, most playing card experts can tell the difference easily, as the fake decks were made from cheap cardboard.[8] Some of the signs would be that of the box. The stamp on the legitimate version of the deck is blue and off center. Another sign would be on the flap, a long flap with no context on it. If you cut open the box and look inside there will be a printed year on the side. Last but not least would be the color, the originals are off white and lightly yellowed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jerry's Nuggets Casino: Table Games
  2. ^ "Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards"
  3. ^ Asher, Lee (31 May 2009). "Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards Hidden Secret - The Box is the Key to Unlocking the Secret". YouTube. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Jerry’s Nugget Playing Cards by Dan and Dave" (7 December 2011). Dan&Dave. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Jerry's Nuggets". Dan&Dave. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  6. ^ "How Did Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards Gain Their Cult Status?". LeeAsher. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Allen, Stan (August 2010). "Tools of the Trade By Jason England". MAGIC. Volume 19, number 12, page 39-48. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Fake Jerry's Nuggets Playing Cards" (27 May 2008). YouTube. Retrieved 6 August 2015.

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