We aren't using top ten to mean the ten cards sitting at the top of the deck. We asked twenty gaming historians, card sharks, and several ne'erdowells to pick their favorite cards among all fifty-two, and we got some answers that went beyond the standard deck into Tarot and other card-based games. Though these miscellaneous nominees were unexpected, we had to accept them, even though panel moderator, Donald Hoyle (grandson of The Hoyle), wanted to throw them out. "It's not according to granddad," he kept yelling. What a knob.

10. The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers (from Illuminati: New World Order) (13)
9. The Extra Joker (15)
8. The Jack of Hearts (15)
7. The Card with Instructions and Copyright Information (17)
6. Hitler's Brain (also from Illuminati: New World Order) (20)
5. The Jack of Spades (21)
4. The Seven of Spades (30)
3. The Queen of Spades (35)
2. The King of Hearts (39)
1. The Joker that's written on to make it into another card that has gone AWOL (91)

Although jacks, spades, and Illuminati: New World Order all made strong showings, the joker that's written on to make it into another card that has gone AWOL is clearly the hero among playing cards. That card is the one that altruistically saves the game, giving up its own identity to fill in for the missing two of hearts or six of clubs. The players may not be able to play some forms of poker after this selfless sacrifice, but at least the game can go on! Joker that's written on to make it into another card that has gone AWOL, we salute you!

Other highly notable playing cards: The Two of Diamonds, The Jack of Diamonds, The Death Card, The Queen of Clubs, The Ten of Diamonds, Draw Four (from Uno), The Seven of Diamonds, The Ace of Spades, 100 Megaton Warhead (from Nuclear War), The Ace of Hearts, The Eight of Clubs, The Three of Spades, The Five of Hearts, and The Nine of Cups.

Back to the Best Lists of the Millennium


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©2001 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. Questions or Comments?