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I like to think of the Website as a contribution to “THE HISTORY OF WORLD POKER”, as what other memories will there be of the Casino’s & Poker Room’s, that have now ceased operating and of the many Poker Tournament’s & Poker Sponsor’s, that are now distant memories!

When I first started this collection in 2008, there were an abundant number of Casino Poker Room’s, Poker Sponsored Tournament’s, Poker Leagues & Clubs etc. issuing Card Guard’s & Spinner’s. Unfortunately, due to the cost of the raw materials required in the manufacture of these items having increased, as the year’s have gone by, I have seen so many of these operations reduce the number that they issue or reduce the weight of them. Hopefully, these photo scans will serve as a good memory or to those of you who have just started playing Poker, give you an insight as to what has been available!

Gala Casinos, Stockport (England) where I first played Texas Hold’em in 2008, is just one example of a Casino that no longer has a Poker Room but did issue a Card Guard. See Photo Ref. 051A. Happy Memories!

WWW.CARDGUARDGALLERY.COM displays the LARGEST Pictorial Gallery of ‘OFFICIALLY‘ Issued Poker & Casino Card Guard’s, Protector’s, Spinner’s & Dealer Button’s on the Internet. By viewing the Card Guard Gallery, you will see examples of the above items that have been produced by/for Casino’s, Poker Rooms, Poker Tournament Sponsors, Poker Clubs, Poker Leagues and Poker Websites etc.

Not only will you find ‘OFFICIALLY’ issued Card Guard’s etc. within the Card Guard Gallery but you will also find ‘UNOFFICIALLY’ manufactured Card Guard’s and also ‘BESPOKE’ Card Guard’s.

Card Guard’s, sometimes called Card Protector’s, come in a variety of Manufactured Materials, Weights, Shapes, Sizes and Colours. Many Poker players have a User Name or Nickname and use a Card Guard that relates to their name, others use Officially issued Card Guards, acquired from a variety of sources.

The Standard Measurements of Poker Playing Cards is 88mm x 63mm, however, small deviations are made by some Manufacturers. The size of the ‘base’ of the Card Guard should be no greater than the width of the Playing Cards, the explanation for this, is to ensure that other Players at your table, can see that you have ‘Live’ Cards and are still in the hand. How many times have you been sitting at a table, when a player has covered their cards with their hands?

On numerous occasions, I have seen Players, play out of turn, simply because they had NOT been able to see that a Player that should have stated their bet prior to them, had their 2 hand’s covering their ‘Hole’ Card’s. This has led to arguments and a bad feeling between players. In many Live Tournament’s, player’s are now warned prior to the Start, that a one round penalty will be given to any player, who plays out of turn.

Ideally, a Card Guard should be heavy in weight, so as to ensure that your Pocket Cards CANNOT easily be removed and/or thrown into the Muck by a Player or a Croupier. Due to the costs of the precious metals used in the manufacture of Card Guard’s rising, the weight of Card Guards produced in the 80′, 90’s and early 2000’s were heavier than those produced in later years e.g. GROSVENOR CASINOS.

Card Guard’s are manufactured in a variety of metals and man made materials. Many designs have a coloured infill to replicate the Company Logo or to make the design more interesting. Some Players simply use circular Plastic ‘Chips’ that they have obtained from Casinos, Poker Websites or have had printed to their own specification whilst others choose to use one of the standard designs, circular Enamel Card Guard’s with their favourite ‘2 Pocket Cards’ printed on the face e.g. 2 Aces (Bullets) etc. If you would like a Metal Token and/or a Plastic Chip printed with your own design, I suggest that you visit Freemont Street in Down Town Las Vegas, where several of the ‘Barrows’ placed in the Arcade already have ‘Blank’ Tokens & Chips, that they will Laser print with a Photograph etc. supplied by you, for very little cost.

Casino’s, Poker Tournament Sponsor’s & Poker Clubs, Websites around the World have produced Card Guards. This is a very clever way of Free Publicity as Televised Tournaments and Cash Games show Players with their Card Guard clearly visible on their 2 Pocket Cards, as do Photographs of Players in Magazines and in ‘Live Tournaments’ regularly shown on the Internet. The time and effort spent on Designing Card Guards can clearly be seen on the various examples on this Website, headed CARD GUARD PHOTO GALLERY.

The U.K. Casino Group’s GROSVENOR and ASPERS  have produced some wonderful Card Guards over the years, with details of the Casino Name and the Tournament Event being displayed on the Face and Reverse sides of the Card Guard.

The U.K. ‘Rank’ Group, who also own GROSVENOR, have also produced a variety of Card Guard’s to promote their GUKPT/BLUE SQUARE Tournaments, in various shapes.(BLUE SQUARE Poker ceased operation after being purchased by BETFAIR in 2013).

The Grosvenor Victoria Casino, London a.k.a. THE VIC have issued various Card Guard’s for their Poker Room. The Oldest Card Guard that I have acquired is The Vic World Stud Poker Federation FINALIST Card Guard issued Circa 1980 (Ref. 7A).

The ‘World Series of Poker Card Guard’ Rules (2016) #80 There will be no foreign objects on the table except for a maximum of one card cap (also known as a card protector). Card caps can be no larger than two (2) inches in diameter and no more than one-half (1/2) inch in depth.

The largest Card Guard that I have seen, is one produced for the AUSSIE MILLIONS. It has a diameter of 8cms i.e. just over 3 inches (see Ref. 390J)

DUSK TILL DAWN, the largest Privately owned Poker Room in England, issued a large circular Card Guard (GOLD in colour) engraved with the wording ‘GOLDEN £5,000 CHIP’. It has a diameter of 6cms i.e. 2.36 inches. They have also issued  a variety of smaller Card Guard’s, awarded to Players in specific Tournament’s.

The CIRCUS Casino Group produced a 2009 LIMITED EDITION Card Guard which was individually numbered. PADDY POWER have also produced some interesting Card Guard’s for their IRISH OPEN & IRISH WINTER FESTIVAL (Dublin) Tournaments. CAESARS PALACE, Las Vegas have produced a number of Card Guard’s, some of which have the Year on the facia and THE VENETIAN, Las Vegas has produced a variety of Card Guards for their POKER ROOM and DEEPSTACK Tournaments. LADBROKES produced a Card Guard for their POKER CRUISE III as have the PRINCESS CRUISE LINE for their Annual ROYAL POKER TOUR.

Most of you will own or will have seen the Card Guard’s made specifically for the various World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tournaments, most of which currently take place at the Rio Casino, Las Vegas (as at 2019) and some for their National Circuit Events. WSOP Card Guards come in different formats e.g. (Face Side) 38th ANNUAL WSOP JUNE 1 – JULY 17, 2007 (Reverse Side) TEXAS HOLD’EM (NOT individually numbered); whilst another example has (Face Side) 39th ANNUAL WSOP MAY 29 – JULY 16 2008 (Reverse Side) TOURNAMENT PLAYER and the LIMITED EDITION NUMBER Two interesting and ‘none related’ WSOP RIO Card Guards that I have come across are:

  1. (Face Side) 2006-2007 CIRCUIT EVENT SERIES WSOP TOURNAMENT PLAYER (Reverse Side) CAESARS MARCH 26 – APRIL 4, 2007.


Whilst the Annual WSOP Las Vegas Tournaments were being held in the RIO CASINO, their Card Guard’s & Spinners could be purchased in the WSOP Booth’s in the Foyer. 

The Organisation that knows the IMPORTANCE of Card Guard’s more than any other Poker related Company and promotes them far more than anyone else is POKER STARS (as at 2014). Those of you, who have won a Package or Seat in one of the POKER STAR Internet Tournaments, up to 2014, are more than likely to have received a Card Guard in the POKER STARS Bag that was given to you, whilst attending and playing in the ‘Live’ Tournament. To name just a few of the Tournaments that POKER STARS have produced Card Guard’s for are the WSOP (World Series of Poker), EPT (European Poker Tour), UKIPT (U.K. and Ireland Poker Tour) and PPS (Portugal Poker Series) Tournaments. POKER STARS award Card Guard’s in some of their on-line Tournaments e.g. SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker and also offer POKERSTAR.COM Card Guard’s on their Website online shop, in a Silver and a Gold Plated colour and also the well known POKER STARS SHARK that can all be purchased with Player Points. Some of you may have noticed that POKER STARS have also produced a POKERSTARS.NET Card Guard.

The Crown Casino, Melbourne have produced a wide variety of Card Guard’s for their AUSSIE MILLIONS Tournaments and during my visit to the AUSSIE MILLIONS in January 2012, I was very surprised to see just how many players used Card Guards. It soon became apparent, that almost ALL Australian Poker Rooms & Tournment Sponsor’s issued Card Guards e.g. Australian Poker League (APL), Aussie Millions, 888 Poker, Full Tilt Poker, National Poker League, National Pub Poker League, OZ Poker Tour etc. 

The AUSTRALIAN POKER LEAGUE (APL) are another organisation that promote almost all of their Tournament’s, by giving their Winner’s & Runner’s-Up very well produced Card Guard’s in a variety of shapes, sizes and design’s.

‘SPINNERS’ are also used as Card Guard’s.  The HARDROCK Casino Group have issued a variety of Spinner’s in their Poker Rooms. As the name suggests, these SPIN around and are used as a way of spending your time, when you have gone ‘CARD DEAD’ for a period of time! 

A number of Casinos and Tournament organisers no longer allow players to use Spinners as they do mark cards.

The LAS VEGAS HILTON POKER ROOM (Ref: 241G) is my most prized Spinner.

You will also find a selection of DEALER BUTTONS from Casino’s and Poker Tournament Sponsor’s. Whilst the diameter vary in size, you will also note that the Depth of them also vary quite substantially. The WSOP Circuit Events have designed some quite colourful examples for the various Casino’s that the Tournament’s were played in.

During the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis in 2020, almost all Casino’s were closed during the Lockdown between March – June. ALL Poker Tournaments were CANCELLED during this period including the WSOP held at the Rio, Las Vegas June – July. As a result, fewer Card Guards will be available for Tournaments held in 2020.

I am known as the SKULLMAN and now use a bespoke Card Guard manufactured by WWW.ROOM101SILVER.COM.

I have displayed a photo of the First SKULLMAN Card Guard (Small) that I used and also a photo of the Large SKULLMAN Card Guard that you will presently see me using in Tournament’s.

I purchased the Small SKULL ‘figure’ from a Store and bought the Circular Base, which I had engraved with SKULL MAN, from a jewellery Store. I then quite simply glued them together. Whilst I enjoyed using this Card Guard and it more than paid for itself, with Tournaments that I used it in, I decided that I required a heavier Card Guard. The weight of the bespoke SKULLMAN Card Guard (see photo) is much heavier than any other Card Guard that I have seen other players use and the reason for its weight is fully explained in the passage that follows, titled WHY USE A CARD GUARD/PROTECTOR?

I do hope that you enjoy looking through the Photographic Images displayed within the Card Guard Gallery.

One should NOT forget the IMPORTANCE of using a Card Guard!

As a result of NOT using a CARD GUARD, you could inadvertanly have your ‘Hole’ Cards ‘MUCKED’ by the Dealer, which would automatically have the knock on effect of you LOSING any Chips that you may have ‘Bet’ on the said hand.

Gerald a.k.a. SKULLMAN

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