Playing Cards

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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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Playing Cards

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:59 am

Hi gang, here I am again, doing yet another one of my write-up threads that you couldn't give a rat's tail about!

My thread on jeep caps
My thread on bath robes
My thread on highneck sweaters

This time in the write-up we're gonna be looking at playing cards.

Okay, so before I start, I admit that I'm not an expert on playing cards: I don't know all of the brands there are in existence, I barely know what hand beats what in poker, I can't do any magic tricks with them, and I don't even know how to play any games like Go Fish or Gin Rummy! But, playing cards are still interesting nonetheless, and since poker played such a big part in M*A*S*H, it's interesting to see the kinds of cards the gang play with from time to time.

To start off, from observation, it seems like the Bee brand playing cards were the prefered choice amongst the gang at the 4077th, as confirmed by its distinctive custom Ace of Spades seen here:
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Bee cards are known for their busy, diamond back design, and the red deck seemed to be handled a bit during the first season, but it seems like after that, the blue deck was more common.
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Bee must have been a really popular brand of playing cards back in those days - the boys from HOGAN'S HEROES seemed to like playing with them:
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As did Felix and Oscar and their poker buddies from THE ODD COUPLE:
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The ever-popular (and ever-widely available) Bicycle brand cards, with their widely-recognized, signature rider back design, popped up a few times as well, though nowhere near as often as the Bee cards appear to; and likewise, both blue and red have seen their share of use:
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Here's a deck that threw me off:
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At a glance, the cards look like Bikes, the design is very similar, but a closer look shows there's a difference - the figure in the circle on Bikes is centered, while the figure in the circle on these cards is more angled. I recently discovered that this particular deck they were playing are Hoyle brand; here's Bicycle and Hoyle side by side for comparison:
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Close up, you can actually see the difference, but at a quick glance, they do look very much alike. As it turns out, Bee, Bicycle, and Hoyle are all made by the same company anyway.

Finally, throughout Season Six, a certain deck of cards made the rounds in a number of episodes that I have yet to identify, or figure out what brand they are:
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They actually look very similar to a cheap, off-brand deck of cards I bought at dollar store many years ago, which makes me wonder if perhaps this is what this particular deck is - just a cheap, off-brand that the prop master got his hands on, I don't know.

From my own experience, Bicycle and Bee are top-notch cards in feel, handle, and play; they're coated paper cards that have a finish on them that make them nice and easy to use in terms of shuffling, spreading, fanning, and such. My dollar store cards are products of China, made of plastic, and feel gross - very slick and slippery.

Tuttle
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Re: Playing Cards

Post by Tuttle » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:40 am

Good write up
I'm watching Talley Round The Flag Boys, now and they are using the blue Holye cards in gin rummy

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Re: Playing Cards

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:37 pm

Yes, you're right. Watching GFA again last week on MeTV, it caught my eye that Hawkeye and Sidney were playing with a particular deck I don't recall seeing in any other episodes: the design was very stylized, but it was sort of a pale, grayish-blue color. I don't know for sure, and I'd have to check the DVD for reference, but my guess is that it might have been a Maverick deck, which I haven't heard too many positive things about from card players and collectors (must be why they're readily available at Big Lots), but again, I'd need to check to confirm that.

And since my initial post, I've since learned how to play gin rummy, and I really enjoy it, lol.

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