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This Cleverly Designed Deck of Cards Can Turn Into a Chess Board

The One Deck cards can be used to play a variety of games.

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There are thousands of games that can be played with a simple deck of cards, but Rob Halifax has found a way to make 52 cards even more versatile with a redesign that lets you play games like chess, checkers, and even dominoes with the same deck that entertains you for hours on end with Solitaire.

The first thing you notice about the One Deck Game Cards is that the traditional suits and numbers have been pushed to the four corners of the cards. This makes room for additional graphics and symbols in the middle that allow them to be used for far more than just poker. There are small pip markings for dominoes, and chess piece symbols centered in red and black colored dots that also allows the cards to be used to play games like checkers and backgammon.


The second thing you’ll notice is that the One Deck cards are no longer rectangular. They’ve instead been cropped to perfect squares (although remain the same width as regular cards), which allows them to be laid out in perfect grids for games like chess and checkers. The backs of each card feature a solid black design that can be used to fill in the missing squares of the checkered game board you create. (The white squares are simply the negative space left over.)


The deck’s four Joker cards offer instructions on how to lay out and use the other cards for the games you don’t typically play with a deck, including measurements so you know how big an area you’ll need to clean off on a table to accommodate each game. Backgammon could get a little tricky unless you’re willing to draw your own game board to use beneath the cards, but the deck also features three sets of six-sided dice which can be endlessly shuffled and used in lieu of regular three-dimensional die.

Halifax has opted for a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help bring his unique One Deck design to gamers, with a modest funding goal of less than $3,000. The campaign has already well surpassed that. Preordering one of the decks requires a contribution of about $16 to the campaign with delivery expected sometime in April of next year. But the more decks you preorder, the cheaper the per deck cost gets, and it also expands the number of games you can potentially play.


The usual risks and caveats with crowdfunded products applies here, even for a game made from nothing but printed paper, but this is actually Halifax’s fourth Kickstarter product, and their second one based on playing cards, so they already have good relationships with printers and understand the risks and challenges that go along with it. They’re also completely up front about the fact we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, with supply chain and shipping headaches getting worse. So consider the delivery date an ideal scenario, and be prepared for probable delays should you choose to back this Kickstarter.