Ganjifa: Indian Playing Cards

Ganjifa: Indian Playing Cards

Ganjifa cards have been around for centuries in India and Persia, but they are relatively new to the West. Ganjifa cards are round playing cards, numbered 1-10 with two face cards: the Raja (King) and the Vizier (Minister). There are 8 suits in the Mughal version which makes 96 cards in all.

Ganjifa cards are traditionally hand painted and the rules for games are passed down from one generation to the next. The sad part about Ganjifa is that it seems to be a dying art. There are fewer and fewer artists in India producing the cards and few in the West are even aware of Ganjifa. This is where we stepped in.

While we found bits and fragments of rules around the internet, we could only find individual hand painted cards for sale, and the cost was quite high. To breathe new life into this art form, and to make it available to everyone, we decided to print our own cards. We also compiled the rules we found to make the games complete. Instead of just making a few sets for ourselves, we thought it would be great to share Ganjifa with the rest of the world.

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