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Game Design Question #1

Assume that there is a card game that requires six suits in the deck. Obviously, as long as one does not need more than thirteen unique values per suit, four of the suits can be taken from any standard deck of cards.  The other two suits, however, will need new symbols, and possibly a new color as well. Ideally, these new symbols/colors should fit in, stylistcally, with a standard deck of cards. So, the question: What should the symbols be, and what color(s)?


If I was doing a card game with 6 suits, I wouldn't use the traditional 4 and add two more. I'd design six from scratch. I'd use six different colours, and not use symbols at all.

However, if I was to answer your question as opposed to what I think you should really be asking, I'd use something like:
red diamonds
red hearts
black spades
black clubs
gold fleurs-de-lis
gold acorns

German decks use hearts, bells, leaves, and acorns. There's also the Tarot suits of cups, coins, wands, and swords if you're after more traditional symbols.

Many Tarot decks use pentacles instead of coins.

As already noted, the standard card decks in some other countries use different symbols.

I'd go for red/green/blue for the colors. And I'd be tempted to go with the Tarot deck's 14 cards per suit (btw, playing solitaire with the Lesser Arcana part of a tarot deck gets you interesting looks)

Coins and Cups

You could even get an Italian deck; they're usually 40-card, but there are some regional Italian decks that use 52 cards -

the Bresciane (used to play Cicera);
the Trevigiane (for Scaraboción, Sancagna, Gilet alla Greca and Trionfetti); the Trentine (Dobellone).

You get a knight instead of a queen, but it wouldn't be hard to just equate them.

You could take the Coins and Cups suits, add to an old-looking English deck and you have six suits...

David's suggestion of a third colour being gold is cool. I was just thinking an extra black and red, but a third colour has some nice possibilities.