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A deck of playing cards usually consists of two jokers and fifty-two _____s.

Is there a name for this that’s better than “cards with numerical values”?

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To me, “cards with numerical values” just means the 2 through 10 ("pip" cards, to the great unwashed). Although the Ace has a numerical value, it's usually included with the Jack (Knave), Queen, and King as a "court" card. – FumbleFingers Jan 17 at 22:39
up vote 28 down vote accepted

How about suit cards?

The jokers are distinguished by not having a suit. And this phrase has been used for exactly this purpose (Google fifty-two suit cards).

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Low fruit, given all the comments, but clearly an upvote ;-) – Dan Jan 17 at 23:31
This page is now the top result for the linked search. I guess that makes it official. :P – gla3dr Jan 18 at 18:50

A deck of cards consists of fifty-two playing cards plus two jokers. Jokers, whether there be one or two, are not counted among the playing cards. Jokers only appeared in decks on or around 1860 when a version of euchre became popular in America that involved a third bower, which is why there are only two jokers and not four. Even the name joker is a permutation of euchre. The joker is not standard fare in card games, not even in euchre.

Short Answer: The word for a playing card that isn't a joker is "playing card." Jokers aren't playing cards.


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While it is possible to make this argument, it is unhelpful as an answer to the question, and demonstrably false in real life. The cited article does not support the claim that "Jokers aren't playing cards", and indeed a different Wikipedia article Joker (playing card) begins "The Joker is a playing card found in most modern card decks". I fear that the actual answer to the question is that there is no common answer to the question. – Colin Fine Jan 17 at 22:11
@Colin Fine: I think in practice most native speakers would be happy to endorse Benjamin's position here (jokers aren't normally counted as playing cards). But for the ultra-finicky, here are half-a-dozen references to 52 suit cards – FumbleFingers Jan 17 at 22:35
@FumbleFingers: Exactly: I've heard suit cards used, and it is immediately obvious (and recognised as excluding jokers). Benjamin has a point, but suit card is the best answer. P.S. Do you happen to play Bridge? – Cerberus Jan 17 at 22:37
@Cerberus Bridge is a game with four jokers, although they're usually called by the compass points. – deadrat Jan 17 at 22:44
In Canasta (see Wiki), the Jokers are playing cards. – TripeHound Jan 18 at 11:23

..and fifty-two non-jokers :). Hehe, and why not say 'and fifty-two regular cards'.

Or: A deck of playing cards usually consists of fifty-two cards and often two extra joker cards.

Or: A deck of playing cards usually consists of fifty-four cards.

And then split it out in the rest of the story.

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A natural hand is a hand without any wild cards. So perhaps you can say non-wild cards are "natural cards".

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