The Singularity Deck

Universal Playing Cards

The Singularity Deck is a universal playing card system that allows for an immense number of games to be played including modern and traditional card games. Check out this geeklist for a variety of games compatible with the Singularity Deck.

Pick up a copy of the deck on Drive Thru Cards.

Become a Singularity Games Patron to get discount codes and access to print and play versions of the deck. Patrons also help me make decisions about the future of the deck.

Design your own custom version of the deck using the Multideck Maker tutorials. 

The Singularity Deck Exists in Two Layouts:

Asymmetric Layout

The asymmetrical layout has the numerical ranks on the top and the dice ranks on the bottom. This makes it possible to orient the card to only show the rank type being used. The suit pips all face in one direction.


Pick up the Singularity Deck (Asymmetric) from Drive Thru Cards

Symmetric Layout

The symmetrical layout has the numerical ranks, suit, and dice ranks on both the top and bottom of the card. The suit pips on the number cards are also more symmetrical.


Pick up the Singularity Deck (Symmetric) from Drive Thru Cards

Combining the two deck layouts lets you play double-deck games like pinochle, while being able to easily separate the decks after playing.

The Singularity Deck Consists of the Following Sets of Cards:  


The Earth Set consists of 6 suits with 18 ranks each (0, A, 2-12, J, Q, K, T, Ω).

 

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Earth Asymmetric

Earth Symmetric


Extended ranks are available that add ranks 13-24 for each suit.


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Earth Asymmetric Ext. Ranks

Earth Symmetric Ext. Ranks


The Cosmos Set consists of 6 suits with 18 ranks each (0, A, 2-12, J, Q, K, T, Ω). 


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Cosmos Asymmetric

Cosmos Symmetric


Extended ranks are available that add ranks 13-24 for each suit.


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Cosmos Asymmetric Ext. Ranks

Cosmos Symmetric Ext. Ranks


The Hourglass set is a stand-alone deck with 126 ranks (0, A, 2-120, J, Q, K, T, Ω).


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Hourglass Asymmetric

Hourglass Symmetric


The Spirals Suit is a special expansion suit for the Singularity Deck. It includes two wild ranks not found in the other suits in addition to ranks 0, A-24, J-K, T, Ω.


Pick up on Drive Thru Cards:

Spirals Asymmetric

Spirals Symmetric

It includes the extended ranks 13-24.

Discount codes and print and play files for all cards are available to Singularity Games patrons.

The Design of the Singularity Deck

The Singularity Deck was designed to:

Each Card Consists of Three Main Features: 

Suit

Each suit has a unique icon and color. I go into the design of the specific suits below. Throughout the design I never wanted color to be an essential designation of information. This color limitation meant that the suit pairings in a standard deck of cards would be lost as they are based on color.

Primary Ranks

The most basic part of a playing card is its rank. The cards able to fan the cards in either direction as all information is repeated on the right and left of the cards. This is in distinction from most standard playing cards in which the information is only on the left of the card. Each suit of the Singularity Deck includes 18 numerical ranks (0, A, 2-12, J, Q, K, T, Ω).  There are also expansion extended ranks that add ranks 13-24 to each suit.

Dice Ranks

The dice ranks allow for games in which some numbers are represented multiple times. A good example of this is Hanabi. Each dice value is represented 3 times in the base set and 5 times with the extended ranks. I spent a long time debating between different systems for representing the secondary ranks, including roman numerals and uniquely designed iconography, before settling on what I felt was the most obvious solution all along, dice. 

Each Rank of The Singularity Deck

The Singularity Card

The Singularity Card which is the namesake card of the deck. The singularity card is ranked the lowest value in the numerical ranks and the highest value in the dice ranks. Thematically it exists outside the other cards representing the cycle of the universe to which we are all beholden despite our machinations. 

Alpha Cards

Functionally the alpha card it is just an ace, but thematically paired with the omega card (shown a little bit later) it represents the beginning of each suit. The image on the Alpha card is the earth, with each suit showing a different rotation of the earth. You could put all of the alpha cards in a stack and make a flipbook showing the earth's rotation. 

Number Ranks

The standard Number Ranks go from 2 to 12. I made available separate expansion cards that brings the number of ranks up to 24 for each suit, but I chose 12 for the main deck for a couple reasons. The main reason is that I wanted the secondary dice pip ranks (discussed later) to repeat twice within a suit and since they go from 1 pip to 6 pips it was necessary that the main ranks had 12 total cards. The other, less important reason is that I'm a fan of the base twelve number system. I've thought about putting out a little set of cards that could swap out the 10, 11, and 12 cards for ones with base 12 iconography so that this would be a proper base twelve deck of cards.The card art for the 12 rank depicts the subject that each suit represents. 

Court Cards

The court cards include the standard Jack, Queen and King. Each court card features a unique item.

Tower

Beyond the standard court cards are the tower cards. They are ranked above the King. Since thematically I placed the Ace/Alpha card as the lowest rank I wanted there to be a card that existed above the king, just to help prevent any players from getting any monarchical inclinations. The cards depict a monument themed for each suit.

Omega

The omega card represents some catastrophe associated with each suit. Since hearts represent animals, the omega card for hearts is overpopulation. The idea is that each suit begins with alpha and ends with omega (with the exception of the singularity card, which sits at both the beginning and the end).  

The Earth Set

These cards represents the constituent components and forces that make up the earth itself. This set contains the "standard" French suits of most common playing cards.

Clubs / Plants

In the singularity deck the clubs specifically represent Bikonta which is an early division of life that became plants. As with the other french suits, my interpretation of the suit for the singularity deck is posthoc and the design of the suit is largely unchanged from the conventional design. The weapon of choice for the forest royalty is the wooden club/staff. The tower card shows a society that is nomadic and lives in the woods. The omega card depicts global pollution and famine. 

Diamonds / Information

The diamonds represent information/the synthetic. To some degree this is a catchall for the things that exist on earth as the result of intelligent manipulation. The royal cards are scientists who use pens and scrolls. The tower card is a university/ research campus. The omega card represents the overthrow of the earth by artificial intelligence. 

Hearts / Animals

The Hearts represent unikonta, which is the early division of life that became animals and fungus. The royal hearts use swords. The tower card is a city that has a large concentrated number of people. The omega card represents overpopulation. 

Triangles / Mountains

The triangles are the first suit in the singularity deck that is non-standard. It represents mountains/stone and any non-organic material on earth. The royal cards hold large hammers or pickaxes. The tower card is a society of miners living among the mountains. The omega card depicts a super volcano.

Ovals / Soil

The ovals suit represents prokaryotes (single cellular organisms). The royal cards carry shovels as soil is the result of prokaryotes mixed in dirt breaking down other organic material to make nutrients usable by plants. The tower card represents a society among the dirt. Design-wise this was inspired by hobbit holes. The omega card is global disease. 

Spades / Order

The spades represent the most abstract thing conceptually in the earth set. It represents the concept of syntropy. This is paired up with the asteroids suit in the cosmos set which represents entropy. Entropy is the property of matter that in a closed system disorder will increase. In essence syntropy is the inverse of entropy, it represents the collection or consumption of energy in order to maintain organization in a system. A possible example of this could be a lion eating a gazelle. Or a plant absorbing energy from the sun to maintain its existence. In a sense war could be considered a form of syntropy in that one group increases disorder in another group (through violence) to take their resources in an effort to maintain function and stability in their own group. This is why the royal cards hold spears and wear armor. The tower card represents a society that lives in a large bunker. 

The Cosmos Set

These suits represents the components that make up the universe itself

Hexes / Planets

The hexes suit represents baryonic matter, which is the matter the stuff around you is made out of, including the planets themselves. This is in contrast to the other forms of matter represented by other suits. The royal cards are holding keys. The omega card depicts the earth being sucked into a black hole. 

Saltires / Antimatter

As soon as antimatter comes into contact with ordinary matter they both obliterate. The icon for the antimatter suit is based on the shape of the containment units designed to study antimatter. The royal cards are each holding a mighty axe. The tower card actually shows two towers that are opposites of each other. The omega card shows the earth being obliterated by its antimatter counterpart. 

Stars / Light

The stars suit represents electromagnetic radiation, such as light or radio waves. The royal cards are holding maces and of course…morning stars. Naturally, the tower card is a light house. The omega card shows the earth being destroyed by a super nova. 

Shields  / Dark Matter

Dark matter is just the name for much of the matter that exists in the universe that is distinct from baryonic matter. It is called dark matter because it has proved incredibly difficult to detect. The royal cards are each holding shields. 

Crosses / Dark Energy

Dark energy is the most abundant component of the universe and yet we barely understand it, despite it explaining the expansion of the universe. The royal cards are all holding bows and arrows. The Omega Card depicts a theoretical end of the universe called the big rip. 

Darts / Asteroids

The Asteroids suit represent entropy, the force of the universe that always draws matter towards disorder. This pairs up with the spades suit which represents the inverse of this force. The royal cards are all holding lances. The tower card depicts a building modeled after an asteroid collision. The omega card depicts an asteroid colliding with the earth. 

The Hourglass Deck

The Hourglass Deck represents Spacetime.

The Singularity Deck Third Edition: Hourglass Set is a special suit that can be used to play many games on its own or be combined with the other cards in The Singularity Deck Third Edition. The Hourglass set is a stand-alone deck with 126 ranks (0, A, 2-120, J, Q, K, T, Ω).


Pick up on Drive Thru Cards:

Hourglass Asymmetric

Hourglass Symmetric

Hourglass Suit Asymmetric Layout

Hourglass Suit Symmetric Layout

The Spirals Suit

The Spirals Suit is a special expansion suit for the Singularity Deck. It includes two wild ranks not found in the other suits in addition to ranks 0, A-24, J-K, T, Ω.


Pick up on Drive Thru Cards:

Spirals Asymmetric

Spirals Symmetric

It includes the expansion extended ranks 13-24.

Spirals Suit Asymmetric Layout

Spirals Suit Symmetric Layout