Dutch graduate invents a card deck without Kings, Queens and Jacks

Indy Mellink 2021

Indy Mellink, a 23-year-old girl from the Netherlands has invented a genderless deck of playing cards. In this deck, all kings, queens and jacks were removed and replaced with "gold", "silver" and "bronze" cards.

Indy got inspired by the idea of creating a new deck of cards after asking her father why King is older than Queen. The father did not have an answer to that question so he advised Indy to turn the deck upside down and try not to overthink this matter too much.

Such a balance of power in playing cards "offended" Indy, so the girl decided to modify the deck. According to her, this inequality in the card hierarchy where the queen is less important than the king affects people in their everyday life because it's the same as “hey, you're less important”.

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Mellink believes that even such inequality plays a large part in life. The girl decided to delete kings, queens and jacks and use "gold", "silver" and "bronze" cards instead. The new deck had gold bars, silver coins, and a bronze shield depicted on the cards.

GSB deck

The first fifty GSB decks (GSB represents Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively) were all snapped up pretty quickly by her friends and family, and then Mellink started to sell the decks on the Internet. Just over a few months, the girl sold nearly 1 500 card decks sending them to various counties of the globe, for example, France, Germany, Belgium, and the USA.

Indy herself knows many players who have never thought about sexual inequality in card decks. Most of them said they needed some time to get used to the new deck.

Playing cards in their original form appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages. They are based on ancient cards borrowed from the Middle East. Each figure is a prototype of a certain historical personage:

  • King David (the king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah) – the king of Spades
  • Athena (an ancient Greek goddess of wisdom) – the queen of spades
  • Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) – the king of clubs
  • Argina (an anagram of the Latin Regina – queen) – the queen of clubs
  • Julius Caesar – the king of diamonds
  • Rachel (a Biblical figure) – the queen of diamonds
  • Charlemagne (Charles the Great) – the king of hearts
  • Helen of Troy (also known as beautiful Helen) – the queen of hearts

How do you feel about the fact that Indy Mellink decided to replace the Kings, Queens and Jacks with Gold, Silver and Bronze? Is this experiment successful?

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