how to mark a deck of cards

How to Mark Playing Cards?

By Miya Zhang 0 comment

Have you ever sat at a poker table and just watched your money slip away from you time and time again? You love the game, but you can't manage to keep losing over and over again. 

Here is a secret: there is a surefire way to keep you in the game, without having to worry about coming up short. It is a process that has been used by players throughout history called card marking. 

Did we pique your interest? Here are some ways you can learn how to mark cards and use them to come up on top. 

What Is Marking Cards?

Poker cards marking is when a player or a magician alters playing cards in a way that is only discernible to the marker or the markers co-conspirator, like bending them or adding visible marks or cuts. This allows players to cheat at card games or for magicians performing tricks to use the marks to their advantage.

Casinos have also caught on to card marking and will mark cards they sell to tourists so that they can prevent cheaters from slipping favorable cards into their hand while they are playing at the game table. However, savvy card sharps will use more sophisticated skills of manipulation to insert favorable cards into their hands.

What many people do not realize is that marking cards is an art in and of itself. You must know how to mark your cards in a distinguished way that only those in the loop will be able to recognize and be very careful not to tip off any other players or dealers. 

Here are several ways you can learn how to mark cards and successfully get away with it.

1) Mark Playing Cards Using A Knife

For this traditional method of marking cards, you will need an X-Acto knife or a razor blade type of knife and an hour of your time.

  • First, you will order your cards from low (Ace) to high (king).
  • Then, you will begin to mark your cards by lightly scratching an etching in the paint. You will need to make the etching very light and inconspicuous so you do not get caught. You also must mark it in a way that you can recognize what it means.

If you are using a Bicycle back playing cards, you can use the following technique: use your knife to make a small scratch mark in the paint of the wheels at the top and bottom of the cards. The left wheel signifies the value of that card and the right wheel identifies the suit. But an even better method is to create a code of your own that is unique and works for you and use that to your advantage. 

Mark Bicycle Cards Using A Knife

These markings are so small, they generally will not be noticed by others around you, or if they do see them, they won't know what it means. The only disadvantage to this method is that it only works when you are in a situation where you can read the cards up close to see the etchings.

2) Use A Luminous Invisible Ink Kit To Mark Cards

Looking for a way to mark cards in a less conspicuous way than with knife etchings? You may be interested in luminous ink. This newer methodology is invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with special infrared contact lenses worn by magicians or card sharps and sharks alike.

marking cards with luminous invisible ink kit

You might be wondering: how does one mark cards with luminous ink? Well, anyone can do it with a luminous ink kit that comes with the ink, red filter, and a fine tip paintbrush. One thing to note is that you will have to seek out purchasing the special luminous ink contact lenses on your own.

Here's how it works:

  • To start the process, use your paintbrush to paint markings on your cards. This can be anything such as letters, numbers, or symbols, whatever works best for you.
  • Once you mark your card, wait a few seconds and then wipe the ink off with a paper towel or cloth that is a bit damp.

Be aware that the longer you wait to wipe off the card, the darker the ink will get, so you may have to practice a few times to get it just right. You want the ink to be dark enough that you can see it with your special lenses, but not so dark that you can see it with the naked eye. 

3) Use A Professional Printer

Although the two methods above of how to mark cards are viable, they come with a major disadvantage:  marking traces can be easily found by other players. Plus, the process of both of these techniques is time-consuming and comes with the risk of human error.

This is why the best possible way to mark playing cards is to use a professional printer. However, buying and installing this type of printer can be pricey. The ink formula used for marking is an industry secret because different playing cards use different ink mixing ratios due to the various materials and back patterns. This is why only professional technicians who are experts in how to mark cards can complete this task. 

playing cards marked by professional invisible ink printer

Conclusion — What Is the Best Way to Mark Cards?

If you want to impress your friends with a card trick or win money during a game, try marking your playing cards. Remember that each marking method won't work for all games. Different types of invisible ink will also be necessary depending on the game you're playing. 

If you are looking for a foolproof way of marking cards, you need a company that has the highest quality invisible ink on the market. We have ten years of experience marking playing cards and helping our customers win big. Our professional technicians can mark the back of the cards as well as the sides and recommend what custom marking methods are best for different games.

how to mark poker cards

For those of you who are not willing to wage your luck any further, it is worth contacting a professional who can consult with you on the needs of the game. Our team knows exactly how to mark your cards with a professional printer, saving you the trouble. Feel free to contact your professional card marking team at +86 150 9995 1380 or email

Now that you have read this guide and know how to mark cards, go out there and win big!