Monday, 21 December 2015

"500s", Queen's Slipper : International pattern XI

"500s", Queen's slipper. 62c+1

 The following deck is used to play the game of "500". Although once popular, it appears to have died out almost entirely except in Australia.  The present deck of cards is made by what appears to be the only maker of playing cards in Australia, Queen's slipper. It appears that cheap, imported cards of appallingly low quality are far more commonly available.

  The feature that makes this particular deck unique are the additional pip cards. In red suits, the pips run from ace to 13, and in black suits, from ace to 12.

The court cards of this deck are fairly typical of the Anglo-American pattern. However, the faces and hands of the figures are printed in a pink tone. This is a rare feature, but certainty not unheard of. The Joker in the deck depicts a bird grabbing a serpent. The design is different from the jokers used by the maker in their standard decks.  The black suits have an 2 additional ranks a 11 and a 12. 
Here you see the red suits. While each of the black suits have two extra ranks, the red suits have three extra ranks; 11, 12 and 13. 
Although these cards are quite frequently encountered, it appears that the game is almost never played with the extra cards. In any case, the 11s, 12s and 13s are only used in the 6-player version of the game. The more typical 4-player version requires only 45 cards (Omitting the 2s, 3s and a pair of 4s). 


  1. The "bird" is a Kookaburra (aka Laughing Jackass - hece The Joker) a member of the Kingfisher family which predates on snakes in Australia.

    1. Interesting ornithological observation you have made. Thanks!