Stripped deck

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A stripped deck is a set of playing cards from which some cards have been removed. The removed cards are usually in the range from 2 to 9. The standard Anglo-French suited deck of 52 cards itself can be regarded as a stripped tarot deck from which the 21 numbered trumps, the fool and the 4 mounted knights have been removed. Many card games use stripped decks, and stripped decks for popular games are commercially available.

Piquet deck[edit]

A French-suited deck of 32 cards, consisting of 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace in four suits each, is used in the two-player game Piquet, which dates back to the 16th century.[1][2] Games played with a piquet deck (or the equivalent German- or Swiss-suited decks) are still among the most popular in some parts of Europe. This includes belote and klaverjas (the national games of France and the Netherlands, respectively) and skat (the German national game, which is also played with the equivalent German-suited decks in some regions).[2] Bezique is played with two piquet decks.[2]

Stripped decks in poker variants[edit]

Stripped decks are used in certain poker variants. For example, the Australian game of Manila uses a piquet deck, and Mexican stud is played with the 8s, 9s, and 10s removed from the deck (and a joker added). This may require adjusting hand values: in both of these games, a flush ranks above a full house, because having fewer cards of each suit available makes flushes rarer.

A hand such as 6-7-J-Q-K plays as a straight in Mexican stud, skipping over the removed ranks. Some places may allow a hand such as 10-9-8-7-A to play as a straight (by analogy to a wheel) in the 32-card game, the A playing low and skipping over the removed ranks (although this is not the case in Manila). Finally, the relative frequency of straights versus three of a kind is also sensitive to the deck composition (and to the number of cards dealt), so some places may consider three of a kind to be superior to a straight, but the difference is small enough that this complication is not necessary for most games. Similarly, a full house tends to occur more often than a flush in a piquet deck, due to the increased frequency of each playing card rank, creating a change in poker combination ranking.

Five-card stud is also often played with a piquet deck. In lively home games it might work better to only strip three ranks (2s through 4s) with seven or eight players; with only two or three players 7s and 8s could be stripped as well, leaving the same 24-card deck used in euchre. In any of these cases, a flush should rank above a full house (in a 24-card deck it is actually rarer than four of a kind, but is rarely played that flushes are superior to four of a kind). Stripped deck five-card stud is a game particularly well-suited to cheating by collusion, because it is easy for partners to signal a single hole card and the relative value of knowing the location of a single card is higher than with a full deck.

Other games[edit]

The game of euchre is also played with a 24-card stripped deck, consisting of only 9-10-J-Q-K-A of each suit, the 2-8 being stripped from the deck. The game of pinochle is played with 48 cards, consisting of a doubled euchre deck (that is, two copies of 9-A of each suit).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parlett, David (2006), Teach Yourself Card Games (revised ed.), ISBN 978-0-07-148258-5  [page needed]
  2. ^ a b c Parlett, David (2008), The Penguin Book of Card Games (updated ed.), ISBN 978-0-14-103787-5  [page needed]