There are many practical tips and adaptations that will enable you to continue playing your favorite card games.
Six Practical Tips for Playing Card Games After Vision Loss
- Check the lighting. If you have low vision, make sure that the lighting in your playing area provides sufficient illumination. Read more about lighting. A lamp with an adjustable flex-arm or gooseneck is usually a good choice because you can adjust the direction of the light as needed. A flex-arm floor lamp on wheels is another good option. If possible, also try to choose a seat where there is shadow-free natural or artificial light and no glare.
- Use a low vision device. Talk with your eye doctor or low vision specialist to determine if a low vision device, such as a chest or around-the-neck magnifier or a magnifier mounted on a flexible gooseneck stand, can be helpful for card and board games. For more information about low vision devices and training, see What Is A Low Vision Examination?, Low Vision Optical Devices, Non-Optical Devices, and Vision Rehabilitation Services.
- Use a card holder. It will provide you with an “extra hand” and enable you to use a magnifier or simply spread your cards apart for better viewing.
- Use solid colors as backgrounds to make the playing cards “stand out.” Avoid the use of table coverings with patterns, prints, or stripes.
- Place light-colored objects on a darker background; for example, a white playing card is more visible against a dark placemat or table covering.
- Label and mark cards as needed.
Large Print or Braille Playing Cards
- CAN-DO Bold Numbers Playing Cards are poker-sized playing cards with bold numbers measuring 5/8″ high and slightly wider than numbers on standard and low vision cards. The red numbers and suits are outlined in black to increase the contrast with the white background.
- Brailled 100% All-Plastic Playing Cards are durable plastic playing cards with 1/2″ high print numbers with braille overlays. Each card measures 3 1/2″ x 2 1/4″.
- EZC Playing Cards have 1 1/4″ high numbers. The hearts and diamonds have deep red backgrounds and the spades and clubs have black backgrounds. Both have crisp white numbers and suit markers.
- Low Vision Playing Cards with Colored Suits have 1 1/2″ high numbers and letters and each suit is a different color: spades are black, hearts are red, diamonds are green and clubs are blue. Each card measures 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.
- Marinoff Low Vision Playing Cards were designed by ophthalmologist Gerald Marinoff, MD. They have 1 1/4″ high numbers, and each number is outlined in black to make it “stand out.”
- Braille UNO Cards have braille markings, large print, and bright colors.
You can find information on where to order these games at Helpful Products and Technology for Living with Vision Loss – VisionAware