How to Print on Playing Cards

Updated April 17, 2017

Playing cards provide an artistic background for printing. You can use the front or the back of the cards as a basis for placeholders, invitations, scrapbook embellishments or art projects. You'll need to use a laser printer, as playing cards are coated with a thin layer of plastic which will cause images from an inkjet printer to smear. The key to printing on playing cards is making certain that the settings for your printer are correct.

Size your document to the size of the playing card, which is 2.5 x 3.5 inches for standard poker cards.

Open the print dialogue box and click "Properties".

Click the Paper/Qualities tab and click "Custom".

Enter the width and height of the card in the appropriate fields. Give your custom setting a name such as "Playing Cards".

Select the cardstock option in the drop-down menu under "Type".

Exit all of the print dialogue boxes. You must do this in order to save your print settings.

Open the print dialogue box again and select your new custom setting.

Insert the playing card into your printer's feeder tray--centre it and print your document.


Consult your printer manual if the configuration of your print dialogue box is different, as it may vary from model-to-model. However, all print dialogue boxes should have a custom option for you to configure.


Protect your printed playing cards. Even the ink from laser printers is not permanent when printed on playing cards. The ink can be scratched off--so the printed card must be handled with care or put into a protective sleeve.

Things You'll Need

  • Playing cards
  • Laser printer
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About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.