Reply To: Brailling Playing Cards

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Chris Clemens

Hello Kookiaz2,

Are you going to be brailling regular playing cards or a game using playing cards? While there are no specific rules that I am aware of, you may find the following guidelines helpful. These guidelines are what our volunteer group uses. 🙂 You may want to adapt your cards for a beginning braille reader. My response is also a long one. 🙂

Transcribing Playing Cards
Erasures cannot be done successfully on playing cards, so first-time accuracy is an absolute requirement.
There is a special slate for this purpose, obtainable from Howe Press. But if you wish to use your Perkins, you’re going to have to “fool” the machine. It won’t roll in unless there is paper under the little wheel at the left edge; but if you put your card under the wheel, the braille will be too far from the left margin of the card.
Cut a strip of regular braille paper; place this at the left edge under the little wheel; and place your playing card to the right of it, before locking the paper-clamp. Best position for the card is with the edge of the card just between two raised ridges on the long bar at the back of the braillewriter. Do not use the line-spacer at all; instead “soft roll” for more accurate placement.
Different blind people may have different preferences as to the placement of the braille (front of card, back of card, upper left corner, upper right corner). Use whatever method your client prefers.

Standard method. Transcribe about 1/4” from each edge (from top edge and side edge). Transcribe 2 cells in upper left corner; turn card around 180º, transcribe other upper left corner, diagonally opposite. Transcribe on the face of the card.
Alternate method #1. Put required 2 cells in upper right corner, for player who reverse-fans his cards. Looks strange to a sighted card-player but makes for easier braille reading.
Alternate method #2. We’re sure nobody would try to cheat a blind friend by reading the dots or the dimples from across the table, but—place the braille within the patterned area on the back of the card, not against a plain white border.

General Instructions. Each indicator is 2 cells only; no number sign. Number first, then suit.
as ah ad ac
bs bh bd bc
cs ch cd cc
ds dh dd dc
es eh ed ec
fs fh fd fc
gs gh gd gc
hs hh hd hc
is ih id ic
xs xh xd xc (x is 10)
js jh jd jc
qs qh qd qc
ks kh kd kc
jo (usually on one joker only; leave the other joker blank, to be transcribed by the
player if he needs to replace a lost card.)

If you are brailling Uno Cards, you may want to use the following guidelines:

Transcribing Uno Cards

Follow the general guidelines for transcribing playing cards (above).
General Instructions. Each indicator is either 2 or 3 cells; no number sign.
Numbered cards: number first (0-9), then color
jb jr jy jg
ab ar ay ag
bb br by bg
cb cr cy cg
db dr dy dg
eb er ey eg
fb fr fy fg
gb gr gy gg
hb hr hy hg
ib ir iy ig

Wild cards:
wi wild
wdd wild draw four
dbr draw 2 red
dby draw 2 yellow
dbg draw 2 green
dbb draw 2 blue
sb skip blue
sy skip yellow
sr skip red
sg skip green
ry reverse yellow
rr reverse red
rg reverse green
rb reverse blue

I hope you find these helpful. Let me know how successful you are 🙂