Brailling Playing Cards

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    Chris Clemens

    I am going to attempt to braille playing cards. Not too big a deal, however, I'm not sure which would be the best 2 character combination to use for a Kindergartener, going to 1st grade student. He has been exposed to a little Nemeth Code (already), and is familiar with his alphabet.

    Here are a couple of specific questions I have:
    a) Should I braille on both ends of the card (not sides, both ends)
    b) would I use the number sign (making it three characters), or no number sign
    c) is there somewhat of a standard for brailling playing cards?
    d) should I braille directly on the cards, or should I just put labels on the cards?

    If there is not a standard for brailling, what would you suggest for the charchters used? Below are my thoughts:
    for the numbers of the face cards, I would use a lower sign number
    for the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack I would use the first letter....a for ace, k for king, etc.
    for the suit, I would use the first letter of each as well....d for diamond, h for hearts, etc.
    for the joker....just type joker? specify color if different?? Not sure here! It IS just for a kindergartener and probably for school use only.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated!!!!

    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 🙂


    Chris Clemens

    Very helpful, thank you! I will keep these 'guidelines' for future reference. I didn't think to ask you until I was brailling playing cards (yes, just regular playing cards), and I could have used them when I brailled UNO playing cards! I was close!!!

    Thank you, for all you and NBA are doing to help us all with Braille!!


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