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Basic tools for working with generic game cards in python.

Project description


is a library for implementing card game logic in python. It's designed to be generic enough to build unique card types with, but also implements a standard poker deck for convenience. Basic usage is simple:

>>> from protocards.standard import make_deck
>>> deck = make_deck(shuffle=True)
>>> hand =
>>> print(hand)
AJ6s 2h 3c
>>> print(hand[0])
Ace of Spades

The cribbage module implements some example game logic using protocards.

>>> from protocards.standard import make_deck
>>> from protocards.cribbage import score_hand
>>> deck = make_deck(shuffle=True)
>>> hand =
>>> turned = deck.pop()
>>> print(hand)
Jh 8d QTc
>>> print(turned)
Six of Spades
>>> score_hand(hand, turned)
{'runs': 3, 'fifteens': 0, 'pairs': 0, 'nobs': 0, 'flush': 0, 'heels': 0}

package summary


base is for abstract classes which can be used on their own in simple projects or subclassed to build more complex mechanics.

A CardProperty is a category a card can belong to, like "spade" or "three" or "green" or "flying." This base class only has a name; subclass it to add other attributes, or just to have a new type for easy comparison.

Card is a placeholder, which provides a basic equality test to its subclasses.

Hand is a container for storing cards. It behaves like a list in that it can be indexed or sliced, and implements the standard list methods as well as these:

  • .shuffle() is the opposite of .sort().
  • .deal(n) removes the number of cards you specify and returns them as a new Hand.


standard implements the standard 52-card deck. It defines Rank and Suit as card properties, and a list of each: RANKS and SUITS. These lists define the sorting order for cards with those properties. Specific ranks and suits can also be accessed as constants--TWO, QUEEN, HEART, and so on.

StandardCard is your normal playing card. It has a rank, a suit, and a name. You can compare StandardCards to each other; cards with lower ranks are less than cards with higher ranks, and a card with a lower suit is less than a card with a higher suit and the same rank. (Aces are high in the default implementation. Ascending suit order is clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades, following bridge.)

StandardHand is what you hold StandardCards in. To Hand it adds a tidy string representation (as seen in the examples), and two more methods:

  • .by_rank(Rank) returns a new StandardHand containing the cards from your hand which have the given rank. It does not remove them from your hand.
  • .by_suit(Suit) is the same thing but for suits.

Finally, make_deck() is a top-level function which just creates a full deck of cards, defined as one of each possible pair of the members of RANKS and SUITS. By default, it is returned still in order; pass shuffle=True to have it shuffled first.


cribbage implements the hand-scoring rules of cribbage (but not the play rules). Its main interface is score_hand(), which takes a StandardHand and returns a dictionary of ("score-type": points) pairs. You can also pass it turned=StandardCard and the boolean arguments crib and dealer to cover all the scoring possibilities.

score_hand() has a series of helper functions which can be called individually with a StandardHand: score_fifteens() etc. return integers, and check_flush() returns a boolean. It also has the value() function, which takes a StandardCard and returns the point value of that card (for fifteens and the play).

I originally wrote this because I wanted to know what the cribbage score for a whole deck of cards was. Now I can find out!

>>> from protocards import standard, cribbage
>>> def score_deck():
...     score = cribbage.score_hand(standard.make_deck())
...     for key, value in score.items():
...             if value:
...                 print("{} for {:,}".format(key, value))
...     print("total: {:,}".format(sum(score.values())))
>>> score_deck()
runs for 872,415,232
fifteens for 34,528
pairs for 156
total: 872,449,916

Plus 1-2 for heels/nobs, depending on the turned card and whether you're dealing.

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