Russian Criminal Playing Cards

CHOP SUEY CLUB

$ 20.00 Sale price

This deck of cards has been put together using four different sets (one for each suit) made by Russian criminals in prisons during the 1980s. Prohibited by the prison authorities, they were constructed from innocuous materials procured from the everyday routine of prison life, their unique designs skillfully manipulated so that they could be read.


The respect commanded by any criminal was directly related to his ability to play, and win, at cards. Being "lucky" at cards was also seen as a good omen (even if the winner cheated, as this practice is acceptable within the thieves' world). A thief could stake anything in a card game, a finger, an arm, the life of another inmate, or even his own. If he lost, the debt had to be paid immediately. The penalty for defaulting was expulsion, a forcibly applied tattoo or, in some cases, death.
Mostly confiscated and destroyed by the authorities, original decks are difficult to obtain and often incomplete. The authentic designs reproduced here have been taken from original cards collected over the last ten years by the authors. A standard Russian deck contains only 36 cards. This pack has been adapted to make a complete standard Western deck of 52 cards and 2 jokers, making them suitable for any game.

Format: Boxed, 54 cards, 2.5 x 3.5 in. / 54 pgs / 54 color.

Publishing Date: 9/25/2018

Domestic Shipping:

We provide free domestic US shipping for orders over $50 via USPS Priority (2-5 business days). Express shipping (1-2 business days) is available at checkout for an additional cost. We ship out package Tuesday - Saturday. Orders placed after 3pm will be processed the next day. 

International Shipping: 

International shipping is available via DHL Express Worldwide (3-6 business days). 

Customs Policy (PLEASE READ):

There are duty and import taxes that are not included in the total at checkout, are owed by the recipient, and are collected at time of delivery. The taxes are calculated by the customs agency of the destination country, and are beyond our control. You can calculate the costs by contacting your local carrier/customs office.

**If the recipient refuses delivery of their order due to a customs charge, their package will be considered abandoned and disposed of by the shipping carrier and their order will not be eligible for a refund.**

**The customer is responsible for paying for shipping costs for returning any item(s). Shipping costs are non-refundable.**

**Once an order ships and is in transit, it is not possible to cancel the order.**

Refunds & Exchanges:

Refunds and exchanges can be made within 14 days of purchase. Lingerie, books, and SALE items are non-returnable and non-refundable.

The customer is responsible for return shipping charges unless the item is defective, damaged, or incorrect. 

Recycled Packaging:

In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, Chop Suey Club is reusing shipping packaging. ☺

Regular price $ 20.00

This deck of cards has been put together using four different sets (one for each suit) made by Russian criminals in prisons during the 1980s. Prohibited by the prison authorities, they were constructed from innocuous materials procured from the everyday routine of prison life, their unique designs skillfully manipulated so that they could be read.


The respect commanded by any criminal was directly related to his ability to play, and win, at cards. Being "lucky" at cards was also seen as a good omen (even if the winner cheated, as this practice is acceptable within the thieves' world). A thief could stake anything in a card game, a finger, an arm, the life of another inmate, or even his own. If he lost, the debt had to be paid immediately. The penalty for defaulting was expulsion, a forcibly applied tattoo or, in some cases, death.
Mostly confiscated and destroyed by the authorities, original decks are difficult to obtain and often incomplete. The authentic designs reproduced here have been taken from original cards collected over the last ten years by the authors. A standard Russian deck contains only 36 cards. This pack has been adapted to make a complete standard Western deck of 52 cards and 2 jokers, making them suitable for any game.

Format: Boxed, 54 cards, 2.5 x 3.5 in. / 54 pgs / 54 color.

Publishing Date: 9/25/2018

Domestic Shipping:

We provide free domestic US shipping for orders over $50 via USPS Priority (2-5 business days). Express shipping (1-2 business days) is available at checkout for an additional cost. We ship out package Tuesday - Saturday. Orders placed after 3pm will be processed the next day. 

International Shipping: 

International shipping is available via DHL Express Worldwide (3-6 business days). 

Customs Policy (PLEASE READ):

There are duty and import taxes that are not included in the total at checkout, are owed by the recipient, and are collected at time of delivery. The taxes are calculated by the customs agency of the destination country, and are beyond our control. You can calculate the costs by contacting your local carrier/customs office.

**If the recipient refuses delivery of their order due to a customs charge, their package will be considered abandoned and disposed of by the shipping carrier and their order will not be eligible for a refund.**

**The customer is responsible for paying for shipping costs for returning any item(s). Shipping costs are non-refundable.**

**Once an order ships and is in transit, it is not possible to cancel the order.**

Refunds & Exchanges:

Refunds and exchanges can be made within 14 days of purchase. Lingerie, books, and SALE items are non-returnable and non-refundable.

The customer is responsible for return shipping charges unless the item is defective, damaged, or incorrect. 

Recycled Packaging:

In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, Chop Suey Club is reusing shipping packaging. ☺