Lavishly illustrated playing cards

While the name "ULTIMATE DECK" is a little off-putting, I'm rather fond of the illustrations on this deck of cards. At $25 a pack, it's a pricey way to play Go Fish, but if you think of it as a kind of secular tarot -- a deck of lovely, evocative pictures without the pretense of foretelling the future -- that's about par for the course.

The ULTIMATE DECK is a one-of-a-kind, luxury deck of playing cards showcasing stunning works of art on every card. It is the most expensive deck ever produced.

Featuring 54 unique works of art, and an elaborate back design. Packaged in a gorgeous tuck-case of extraordinary detail that incorporates embossed elements and foil accents. Each deck is hand sealed with a vintage-inspired tax stamp, perforated for easy opening.

ULTIMATE DECK (Thanks, Dan!)


  1. I was trained to use the Tarot as a thematic perception deck, not for fortune telling. A way to bring unconscious thoughts to the surface and get a clearer view of a situation. I bet this lovely deck would work very well for that. Too bad it’s so pricy.

    1. i’ve done the same myself. is there literature about this application? i haven’t seen any, apart from the manual that comes with the H.R. Giger deck, which sets up a few scenarios.

  2. I find it hard to believe that the stated prices aren’t a typo. For $25 you get a deck of all original art. That’s amazing. Yet, for $65 you get that deck plus a second deck measuring 22 inches by 26.5 inches. Both decks for $65? Am I reading this wrong?

  3. You can tell fortunes with regular playing cards too. “Cartomancy” is the term for the whole family of divination methods which use playing cards, tarot among them. I bet it would be a lot of fun to figure out and assign meanings to these pictures. (I collect and read tarot decks as a hobby. It’s a fun party game with company, a useful way to ‘think out loud’ alone, and an awesome way to collect art without having to figure out where to hang a print.)

    I am seriously tempted to add this one to my collection, $25 dollars is actually not TOO bad for an illustrated deck. Of course, most tarot decks have more cards plus an accompanying book.

    1. Naw, you can’t tell fortunes with regular playing cards. Nor with these, nor with special decks.

      You can pretend, though…

      If you pretend hard enough, you’ll fool even yourself.

  4. Oh, my….in the late 50’s little girls would collect cards…you would nicely ask for the Jokers and the company card whenever your parents or other adults would break out a new deck…this was in the era of bridge parties…you then would sort by design theme and put in recipe boxes, take them to school or Girl Scouts and trade them…I guess boys were collecting and trading baseball cards…I can remember the smell upon opening the lid of the box!  the effect of a collection was much like what you see here, as hostesses vied for attractive bridge sets.

    I love coming to Boing Boing!  thanks for helping me keep my mind active and interested.

  5. These would add a bit of class to the next house poker game. I like it! Going to try to get a set ASAP.

  6. Aiiieeee!  BoingBoing knows my weakness, and it brings me to my trembling knees.  Everywhere I go, I have a background scour and awareness of the presence of playing cards.  Wonderfully cheap, beautifully made (if you’re choosy), tactile, multi-purpose …. ahhhhh!

    This deck already winging its way to London.  Thankyou.

  7. The red die on the 10 of Hearts is wrong. 6-sided dice have opposite sides add up to 6, which means the side with 1 dot should be on the opposite side of the 5 dots.

  8. The deck may be wonderful for 54 small works of art, but doesn’t it defeat the purpose of playing cards, having each card with a different back? I mean, how long would it take to memorize which picture corresponds with which card? If you’re playing blackjack, and you can see the next card on the deck, you’d know when to stay and when to draw. . . if you’re playing poker, you’d know if someone was bluffing a busted flush.

  9. Black Rock Collective has a few awesome decks for the same price in their store. The first is sold out again, but the second two are still in stock.

  10. This is awesome. They’re gorgeous!

    I’m not sure if it’s bad form to show off my own stuff here, but it’s kind of in the same vein.
    I have a multimedia tarot deck I made that’s got it’s own tumblr over here: – if you go to the older pages (page 2 and older) you can see the scans of all the 78 cards. To make these cards I used sticks, paint, glue, bugs, glass, wax, pins, stain, ink, old photos, wire, cloth, tape, gold leaf, etc etc. No digital anything here. I cut all the corners of the cards myself and have a local printers do the reproduction. My best freind handmakes the little cloth bags they come in.

    It took well over a year to make, and I sell small reprint copies of the deck on etsy. I’m very proud of my work, so forgive my self promotion. I just really love Boingboing and this seems like the perfect opportunity to give back a cool link in exchange for the innumerable cool links and stories I’ve gotten from you.

    As a side note, I fall between secular humanist and atheist, and don’t believe that tarot does anything other than help you be more introspective. However, I do love making art, and mystical stuff- even if it’s kooky, has a cool aesthetic.

  11. Having designed a deck of art cards myself I can reassure that $25 is actually a really good price for such a deck. That’s 52 unique pieces of art and a nice box to keep them in. Not a bad deal at all.

Comments are closed.