Four Color Deck

I have not weighed in with an opinion on a controversial issue in the poker world in quite a while. I have decided to break the cycle and attack an issue that is really just a non-issue at this point. Roll the clock back to 1992 and Mike Caro, the mad genius, develops and publicizes the four colored poker deck. Mike even rolled it out in 60 casinos across the country. Like many ideas that arrive before their time the four color deck was met with much criticism and never gained any traction.

A four-color deck is identical to the standard Anglo-American playing cards except for the color of the suits. In a typical four-color deck, hearts are red and spades are black as usual, but clubs are green and diamonds are blue.

The deck was a good idea and made the play of hands easier and eliminates the often made mistake of players thinking they have suited cards. Several online poker sites use a virtual four color deck and the players seem to have adjusted to it. I think the time may have arrived for the card rooms of America to reintroduce the four color deck.

The arguments against the four color deck are primarily just that is not what we are used to. Players are resistant to change and no effort was made to prepare players for the change. That initial look down at your hole cards can be quite alarming if you find a green or blue card staring back at you. A modest argument is offered up that a player catching a glimpse of a card can better identify the suit in a four color deck. My response is, fundamentally players are not supposed to be catching glimpses of cards. At this time Copag is the only large scale manufacturer of poker cards marketing a four color deck, but I believe this would quickly remedy itself if the change to four color decks was implemented across the country on a broad scale. There really is no reason for not going to the four color deck.

Many card rooms have made the change to cards with large indices to help players better see the cards and I feel the four color deck falls into the same category. I think this is an idea whose time has finally come and we should go back and correct the decision to drop the idea.

Mike Caro and I rarely agree on poker topics but this is one time that I will throw my support behind an idea that Mike deserves the credit for.

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