A simple deck of playing cards holds infinite possibilities for fun and competition. It’s one of the oldest forms of entertainment and provides some of the most novel, engaging ways to bust boredom, compete and socialize.
Ever wondered how many ways you can arrange a deck of cards, how much the most expensive deck of cards in history sold for, or how many people have played in an online poker room at the same time? Look no further. Below are some of the weirdest and most interesting playing card world records that have ever been set. Check them out.
Highest Throw of a Playing Card
On March 14, 2015, Rick Smith Junior threw a playing card higher than one had ever been thrown before at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
The 41-year-old professional illusionist and card thrower managed to fling a card 70ft 3in into the air. Thirteen years earlier, on March 21, 2002, Smith broke the world record for the farthest playing card thrown at 216ft 4in.
While he’d also held the world record for throwing playing cards with the most accuracy (50 cards into a 12-inch radius target,) Smith’s record was broken in 2021 by Travis Stich, who also holds the record for the most playing cards thrown into a single target in one minute.
If throwing playing cards between playing your favorite online casino games sounds interesting, you can find plenty of how-to videos online. Fun fact: Smith does have one advantage over most throwers out there — he was an NCAA Division I pitcher at Cleveland State University during his college years, so you’re going to need a strong arm and a solid shoulder to compete with card throwers of this caliber.
Largest House of Cards
Many people enjoy stacking a house of cards when they’re seriously bored, and there’s nothing going on (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.) But some people take building card structures very seriously. American Bryan Berg is one of these people.
On March 10, 2010, Berg completed a house of cards in Macau, China that was 9 feet 5.29 inches high, 34 feet 1.05 inches long and 11 feet 7.37 inches wide. It took him 44 days to complete and was made up of 218,792 cards. He also holds the world record for the tallest house of cards, which reached 25 feet 78 inches and used 1,100 decks of cards.
The Solitaire World Record
Solitaire is a satisfying test of your organizational skills. It takes the average player a few minutes to complete a round, but a German player by the name of “Tscherni” was able to complete the game in five seconds.
For years, determined players have tried to beat the solitaire world record, but Tscherni’s astonishing achievement remains unbeaten to this day. It will take a lightning-in-a-bottle combination of luck, skill and the perfect strategy to beat Tschierni’s time and the odds are stacked high against any would-be record-breakers.
Fastest Time To Arrange a Deck of Cards
Now here are some guys who can give live online casino dealers a run for their money. As if it isn’t impressive enough to deal 126 cards in one minute, Brian Pankey did it with only one hand. The person who holds the record for dealing a complete deck in 14.19 seconds is Swede Simon Akerblom.
How many ways can you arrange a deck of cards? In the shuffling stakes, Zdenek Bradac of the Czech Republic managed to arrange a deck of shuffled playing cards in 36.16 seconds on May 15, 2008 at Sheffield Castle College in South Yorkshire in the UK. Then in September 2017, Strahinja Stamenkovic of Serbia set the record for the most riffle shuffles in under a minute — 31 times, but even more jaw-dropping is Dan Sheikh’s record of most riffle shuffles in 15 seconds — eight times.
Biggest and Smallest Playing Cards
If you think playing cards come in one size, think again. The biggest cards on record that are part of a complete pack are 62.3 inches high, 41.1 inches wide and weigh 440.9 pounds. The deck was created by Claes Blixt of Sweden, who took the record in May 2016. At the other end of the scale, the smallest deck in the world was made up of cards that measured 0.275 inches by 0.196 inches. The record was set by Ramkumar Sarangapani of India on November 18, 2020.
Most Expensive Playing Cards Sold at Auction
Would you fork out $143,104 for a deck of playing cards? An anonymous buyer was willing to pay this large sum of money for a pack on December 6, 1983 at a Sotheby’s auction in the UK, making it the most expensive deck of cards in the world.
Named the Luxury Deck, these expensive playing cards are the oldest known complete set dating back to around 1470, with hand-painted graphics surrounded by 17-carat diamonds and 18-carat white gold.
Largest Prize Pool in Poker Tournament History
The biggest poker tournament in the world is the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. The largest prize pool was $82,512,162 at the 2006 Main Event: It was won by Jamie Gold, who took home the first prize of $12 million.
The second-largest prize pool outside of the WSOP was the 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge, which had a $260,000 buy-in. With 73 entrants and 21 of these making a rebuy, the prize pool totalled $23.5 million.
Most WSOP Titles
Whether you prefer to play live poker online or table games at a brick-and-mortar establishment, it won’t be long before Phil Hellmuth is brought up in conversation. The 57-year-old professional poker player, originally from Wisconsin, has 16 WSOP bracelets — the most in the world.
Also known as “The Poker Brat” for his crazy antics at poker tournaments, Hellmuth won his first bracelet back in 1989. He also holds the records for most WSOP cashes (154) and most WSOP final tables (64.) By November 2021, Hellmuth had clocked up more than $26 million in live tournament winnings, making him the most successful WSOP pro in the world.
Most Players in an Online Poker Room
Have you ever wondered how big online poker rooms can get? According to the Guinness World Records, the most people to play poker online at the same time in one online poker room is 307,016 individuals, who played at 42,814 virtual tables on September 6, 2009. It takes expensive and sophisticated digital infrastructure to keep hundreds of thousands of players in-sync, demonstrating how the evolution of playing cards has come thanks to technology.
Longest Continuous Poker Tournament
While most people can’t imagine doing any one thing for 48 hours 55 minutes and 58.5 seconds, American Damon Shulenberger managed it with a single card game, playing in the longest non-stop poker event that went on from December 13–15, 2013 at Pasay in the Philippines. It was organized by the Asian Poker Tour and Resorts World Manila Iron Man Poker Challenge (Philippines.) Shulenberger took home a modest $18,240 as the winner of the event.
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