What Is New Deck Order for Playing Cards? (List of All 56 Cards)

In magic, and some card games, you’ll often hear people refer to something called new deck order.

New deck order simply refers to the order a deck of cards comes in straight out of the box before its been handled, cut, or shuffled.

When you first open a standard deck of USPCC (US Playing Card Company) cards, you’ll most often see the two Jokers at the face of the deck, followed by the A through K of Spades, A through K of Diamonds, K through A of Clubs, and K through A of Hearts.

At the very back of the deck, there may be a few “ad cards.” In Bicycle decks, these ad cards usually promote a free app for card games rules and the Bicycle social media handles.

Full list of cards in new deck order

When you open up a fresh pack of Bicycle cards (and most other USPCC decks of cards), here’s exactly what you’ll see.

From the face of the deck, meaning you’re looking at the faces of the cards, you’ll find the:

  1. Joker 1
  2. Joker 2
  3. Ace of Spades
  4. 2 of Spades
  5. 3 of Spades
  6. 4 of Spades
  7. 5 of Spades
  8. 6 of Spades
  9. 7 of Spades
  10. 8 of Spades
  11. 9 of Spades
  12. 10 of Spades
  13. Jack of Spades
  14. Queen of Spades
  15. King of Spades
  16. Ace of Diamonds
  17. 2 of Diamonds
  18. 3 of Diamonds
  19. 4 of Diamonds
  20. 5 of Diamonds
  21. 6 of Diamonds
  22. 7 of Diamonds
  23. 8 of Diamonds
  24. 9 of Diamonds
  25. 10 of Diamonds
  26. Jack of Diamonds
  27. Queen of Diamonds
  28. King of Diamonds
  29. King of Clubs
  30. Queen of Clubs
  31. Jack of Clubs
  32. 10 of Clubs
  33. 9 of Clubs
  34. 8 of Clubs
  35. 7 of Clubs
  36. 6 of Clubs
  37. 5 of Clubs
  38. 4 of Clubs
  39. 3 of Clubs
  40. 2 of Clubs
  41. Ace of Clubs
  42. King of Hearts
  43. Queen of Hearts
  44. Jack of Hearts
  45. 10 of Hearts
  46. 9 of Hearts
  47. 8 of Hearts
  48. 7 of Hearts
  49. 6 of Hearts
  50. 5 of Hearts
  51. 4 of Hearts
  52. 3 of Hearts
  53. 2 of Hearts
  54. Ace of Hearts
  55. Ad card 1
  56. Ad card 2

The full stack should look like this when you first open a standard deck of cards:

Why does new deck order matter?

There are a few reasons magicians and other card handlers care about new deck order.

First, it’s handy to know in case you need to stack or re-stack a manipulated deck back into new deck order.

There are plenty of card tricks and effects where a set-up, gimmicked, or otherwise manipulated deck of cards is set in new deck order and potentially even re-sealed back into its package to appear like a brand new deck of cards.

New deck order is also important when it comes to getting into certain deck stacks.

For example, a clean deck is new deck order can reach Mnemonica or Si Stebbins stacks using very particular sequences of runs and shuffles.

(This is pretty advanced stuff and beyond the scope of this article, but we’ll cover it another time!)

In other effects, the magician takes a shuffled deck and, through sleight of hand and “magic”, returns it to new deck order.

New deck order alternatives

The large majority of decks of cards come in standard NDO.

However, there are a few exceptions.

David Blaine decks (in his Lions series) often come in a stack order, like Tamariz or Mnemonica.

Trick decks of cards like the Invisible Deck, for example, come in a specialized order for performing the effect.

Other specialized decks meant for magicians may come in stack order or have other secrets hidden within.

But for the most part, when buying standard USPCC decks like Bicycle and others, you’ll find NDO matches the list above.

Wrapping Up

That about covers new deck order!

When you first open a deck, you’ll usually see the Jokers at the face, followed by the Spades and Diamonds in ascending order, then the Clubs and Hearts in descending order. At the very back or top of the deck, you’ll get a few ad cards — or perhaps a double backer or gimmick card, depending on the deck.

What are your favorite effects involving new deck order? What did I miss?

Let me know in the comments!

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