For years, women have outlined inequalities they experience in daily lives, no less while playing competitive card games like poker. Women's-only tournaments, Ladies bonuses, and female ambassadors are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there have been some creative ways to make card games more inclusive. But somehow we’ve missed this one - until now.
Indy Mellink, a 23-year-old from The Netherlands, was explaining a card game to some cousins and realized she couldn’t justify why card decks and card games value Kings above Queens. In response to this, and after a lot of trial and error, she has designed a gender-neutral card deck. She did this by replacing the Jack, Queen and King in the traditional deck with Bronze, Silver and Gold bars respectively.
This is smart because the values of these metals in respect to each other are clear for the public already. So it wouldn’t be as hard a change if you decide on playing with this new style of deck. This thinking seems to have been popular because already, Indy has sold over 1,500 decks of GSB cards online in various countries worldwide. Including Belgium, Germany, France and the United States. And apparently, game shops will soon follow suit.
Indy hopes this change will make people more aware of what she called “subtle inequalities” that women often have to face. So in purchasing and playing with a deck of cards like this, you’re supporting this concept of equality.
A minority of players and observers seemed to be sceptical about this idea. Stating that never in their whole time playing card games have they heard of Jacks and Queens being undervalued. Some even felt a whole lot of anger over an innocent deck of cards, including UK’s Piers Morgan.
However, many players just don’t see what the big deal is. And have welcomed the idea saying that this is a great step forward and a “new generation” of card players.
Still - it was clear that formalizing gender-equality across card games would mean updating the rules to most games and variants we know and love. Imagine peeling a pair of Gold Bar cards instead of Kings during a poker game and having it rank above a pair of Silver Bars or a pair of Bronze bars. This would take more getting used to than simply playing with Gold, Silver and Bronze bars.
We think that playing with a gender-neutral deck is harmless. But it’s true that expanding on this could change the way we play cards forever. How many players do you think would welcome an even bigger change? And is this something we should go for - or at least start talking about?
Let us know in the comments below. Thanks