[[quoteright:250:[[ComicBook/{{Gambit}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/X_Men_Origins_Gambit_2.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:It's like the Dead Man's Hand... But in reverse.]]

->''"52-card pickup is a staple of juvenile humor. But when the deck slices and dices, it's no laughing matter."''
-->-- '''Cheshire Cat''', ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice''

Many {{Card Sharp}}s may see their cards as useful tools, but this goes one step beyond that. Cards can, when thrown by [[ImprobableWeaponUser the right hands]], become a deadly weapon.

How (and why) someone is using cards as a weapon varies: it can be some form of AppliedPhlebotinum, Magic, control of [[Franchise/XMen Kinetic Energy]], or even because the characters are [[BadassNormal just that good]]. Or they're a PaperMaster and that's just what happened to be on hand.

May include [[PrecisionGuidedBoomerang boomerang powers]], and definitely causes PaperCutting. And don't forget that they typically carry a clip of [[FlechetteStorm 55 of them]] (the 52 plus two jokers and the company card) in a case roughly [[ShapedLikeItself the size of a pack of cards]].

Very often, overlaps with TheGambler, for obvious reasons.

The user might be, but isn't necessarily, a CardCarryingVillain ([[IncrediblyLamePun sorry]]). Also likely to be a CardSharp (with sharp cards), so the use of such a [[WeaponOfChoice distinctive weapon]] may be the killer's CallingCard ([[HurricaneOfPuns we can do this all day]]). If they're so [[ImprobableAimingSkills improbably good]] that the full house won't shut up about it, they're TheAce. [[PungeonMaster (Yeah, we know, our card is marked. we can deal with it.)]]

No relation to [[Fanfic/MyImmortal Vlodemort's band]], Creator/FrankFrazetta's helmeted, axe-wielding {{Badass}}, or ''Film/{{Underworld}}'''s many vampiric assassins (Note: both franchises feature character(s) who share the same moniker), ''or'' the ParanormalRomance novel by Heather Graham Pozzessere.

Not to be confused with ArmsDealer or TheAggressiveDrugDealer. For cards that are a PortentOfDoom, see DeadMansHand. If the cards themselves have power, it's CardsOfPower. Note: This isn't real life but in an improbable situation it could be. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1ZGIN0UqJEz Ricky Jay]][[note]]Magician, Actor, Former world-record holder for the longest playing-card throw, and author of the book "Cards As Weapons"[[/note]] can be seen here throwing a normal playing card hard enough to pierce a watermelon rind. Now imagine if that was somebody's neck... Well, actually, you don't need to; the Series/MythBusters [[JustForFun/TropesExaminedByTheMythBusters had a go at this one]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&v=AiE3in71YEo&NR=1 came to the conclusion]] that regular playing cards just don't have sufficient mass to cause any injury beyond a paper-cut. Of course, throwing a card at someone's face is going to make them flinch, but the same goes for [[AHandfulForAnEye a lot of things]].

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Tubalcain Alhambra, a.k.a. The Dandy Man, from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' telekinetically controls cards and manages to slice several bystanders into pieces with them. They also explode. The cards themselves are magical, too, as Alucard cannot instantly regenerate his wounds when hit by them.
* In the ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' novels (and the Adam Warren comics), Yuri carries a self-propelled throwing card with razor edges -- better known as the "Bloody Card". Its only anime appearance was in the movie ''Affair of Nolandia'', where Yuri kills a *whole crowd* of mooks with it.
** Only use ''by Yuri''. Madam Barr uses one (with similar results) in OAV #6. Yuri also used it on a single mook in ''005 Conspiracy''. Yuri also used it in the ''Dirty Pair'' cameo appearance in the ''LightNovel/CrusherJoe'' movie.
* ''RozenMaiden'' has a live toy for this - a clown that throws cards just like shurikens - and they actually hurt the protagonist.
* Hisoka from ''HunterXHunter'', an AxCrazy MonsterClown, kills people with thrown cards. It's implied that he gives them lethal force using FunctionalMagic.
** Wing shows that this is just a basic skill with good Nen control. Wing demonstrates this by giving a random piece of paper nearby the same piercing powers as Hisoka's cards.
* The characters of ''YamiNoMatsuei'' will occasionally use magically enchanted hanafuda in battle.
* Kaiba disables a gun-wielding mook by tossing a card at him in an episode of ''Anime/YuGiOh''. He does it again in a later episode to prevent a Rare Hunter from killing Anzu (using his ''Blue-Eyes White Dragon'', no less...which disgusted Kaiba, who was hoping to draw a common card that so there'd be no risk of damaging ultra-rare ones[[note]]In the anime, there are only three Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards ''in the entire world''.[[/note]]).
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'':
** Judai once threw a card hard enough to destroy Titan's fake Millenium Puzzle.
** "Boy", a character from one episode of the second season could do this rather well.
* Shira from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' has done this fast and hard enough to pierce a police helmet. Demack sliced through chains with a card. Basically, cards in this series are completely indestructible.
* Qing Lang and his tarot deck from ''InnocentVenus''.
* One of the main characters in ''ShinHakkenden'' wields diamond-edged cards. Quite effective, and made uber-awesome when he actually activates his jewel ability...in the last episode.
* This is a big part of the [[MagicKaito Kaitou]] [[Manga/DetectiveConan KID's]] schtick. He has a gun that's modified to shoot poker cards, which can apparently slice through metal.
* Rein from the Assault Team of ''Anime/BestStudentCouncil'' uses cards as her WeaponOfChoice. The two other members use a KillerYoyo and a [[WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter bokken]]. Seeing as they're in an AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil, these things are a lot less lethal than the grown-up versions, and are suitable for beating up some delinquents.
* Yomiko Readman from ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' is seen to be able to throw business cards with such force that they embed themselves in wooden ceiling beams, though this is less from her own strength than it is her ability to manipulate the matter of paper. It may not count if they're not actually playing cards in that scene, though.
* Meganoid General Edwin from ''{{Daitarn 3}}'' in his [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever Megaborg]] form looks like a stage magician.
* Friagne of ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'' has a deck of exploding cards. Conveniently, they never run out and he can control them remotely.
* Miime of ''CaptainHarlock'' usually uses her cards for fortunetelling, but there is an episode where she kills a Mazone by throwing a card through her.
* [[CuteWitch Yukari]] from ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' uses her (steel) tarot cards to this effect. Rather than throwing them, she levitates them with magic.
* Desert Apostle Cobraja from ''HeartCatchPrecure'' uses autographed photos of himself as his weapon of choice.
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', minor villain Suzuka demands [[InsistentTerminology everyone call him "The Beautiful Suzuka"]]. When Koto calls him "Suzuka", he throws a playing card at her. She ducks, and the card skewers the head of the demon sitting behind her, killing him.
* In ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', Nagi takes down a LoanShark by throwing a card into his head, flooring him with pain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Gambit}}, from the ComicBook/XMen, uses his mutant power to turn ordinary playing cards into kinetic-energy-charged bombs. He can do it to anything[[note]] famous exploits include ''devastating'' a wide area with a bucket of nuts and bolts, finishing off a villain who had him totally immobilized by ''spitting exploding chewing gum in his face'' and pushing '''''Rockslide''''' towards a BrainwashedAndCrazy Juggernaut[[/note]], but likes playing cards since they hold over 52 "shots" in such small packages, they're very easy to obtain, they explode with enough force just about equal to a standard grenade, [[RuleOfCool and they're also stylish.]] In a nod to RealLife, they hardly ever slice cleanly through objects but embed shallowly in them... then explode after [[PowerGlows flashing the trademark pink glow.]]
* Casino is a villainess from ''The Solution'' in ComicBook/TheUltraverse who throws razor-edged metal cards.
* ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' villain Bullseye is partial to the ace of spades as a murder weapon. This is, however, a minuscule subset of his true ability to OneHitKill with ''anything'' that he can throw.
* TheDCU has Double Down, a hard luck professional gambler who was cursed. Now he can turn his skin into razor sharp, magic playing cards, and speaks in gambling metaphors and puns.
* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, sometimes. In his case, the cards are prepped with a metal edge, so they're both heavier and razor sharp.
** In one of his earliest Golden Age appearances, the Joker killed a man by treating a new deck of cards with Joker Venom. The poison was administered when the victim [[GambitRoulette got a paper cut opening the new deck]].
* In an issue of the ''Madrox'' miniseries, Jamie Madrox reflexively slits an enemy's throat with a playing card.
* In ''Radio/TheShadow'' #0 from Dynamite, the Shadow takes on a group of stage magicians. One of them attacks the Shadow by flinging razor edged playing cards at him.
* Comicbook/{{Taskmaster}}, amongst his many weapons, also has razor-edged cards. They need to be razor sharp because he can copy Gambit's ''skills'' but not his ''powers''.
* James from ''ComicBook/DeathVigil'' has a power set based around magical cards. Unlike many examples on this list, however, the motif is more aligned with ''{{collectible|CardGame}}'' cards than the standard 52-card deck.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the ''Film/CityHunter'' live-action movie, a gambler character (Kao Ta) uses cards as throwing weapons. He also exists as a minor villain in the manga, using the same schick. Their standoff endis with a quick-draw, where the grip of his pistol is plated with the Ace of Spades.
* In ''Film/SmokinAces'', stage magician-turned-low-level-mafia-boss Buddy "Aces" Israel throws cards around so hard he imbeds one into the leather of a couch, and uses another as a weapon against his chief henchman.
* Deleted scenes from ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' had a techno-terrorist ([[TheCastShowoff played by Ricky Jay]]) throwing playing cards as weapons.
* As mentioned above, Bullseye uses a card as a weapon in the ''Film/{{Daredevil}}'' film. He doesn't use it to actually ''kill'' anyone, but it does leave a cut on Elektra's throat and stuns her long enough for him to finish her off.
* In ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', Gambit uses his kinetic energy manipulation powers to imbue cards with enough energy to knock Wolverine through a wall.
* ''Film/NowYouSeeMe'': Well, not death, but Jack's card throwing skills look like they hurt Rhodes somewhat. Then there's his card...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The BigBad of Creator/TimPowers' novel ''Literature/LastCall'' put out his son's eye with a thrown playing card near the start of the story. (He used magic to do it, as all the magic in the story has TarotMotifs or modern playing-card motifs. He wasn't aiming for his son, though; Destiny took a hand.)
* In the ''StarTrekNewFrontier'' series, Burgoyne 172 learned this with normal playing cards and then upgraded to the rather harder isolinear computer disks used on Starfleet ships, taking out some Romulans with them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/MythBusters'' busted the "regular cards can be deadly weapons when thrown" part of this trope (with Ricky Jay once again making an appearance): even with a specially designed rig to throw the card faster than a human being, Jamie only reported mild discomfort.
* Series/JonathanCreek once took out a man holding him at gunpoint with a playing card to the face; it didn't do much in the way of actual injury, but it did make him flinch and let go of his HumanShield and give the police an opening to take him down. He was able to hide it from the guy because of his card-palming skills - because ''that's'' [[NonActionGuy the bit that seemed implausible...]] although Jonathan receives a copy of Ricky Jay's "Cards As Weapons" (see below) at the start of the episode and is seen practicing the throws in idle moments, so it's not ''utterly'' implausible. Just, you know, very.
** Despite this apparent feat of accuracy, Jonathan later admits that he had actually been aiming for [[GroinAttack his balls]].
* In the final episode of ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', Tsukasa pulls this one off against Apollo Geist; especially noteworthy since his cards are key elements of his TransformationTrinket. For bonus points, [[PrecisionGuidedBoomerang they came right back to him]].
** Speaking of Riders, in ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'', in #3 Kaito once threw a card at a TV, shattering it! He tries to do this again in #15 to Ryoma Sengoku, but his assitant Yoko stopped the card mid-flight by throwing a ''pen'' at it.
** ''KamenRiderStronger'' villain General Shadow's schtick is cards. He throws 'em as weapons, plays card games with the other villains during downtime, and he escapes any losing battle by disappearing behind a zillion cards that he tosses into the air. More recent teamup movies with their improved special effects allow him to ''turn into a giant, spinning, razor sharp card."
* ''Series/TokusouRoboJanperson'' loves doing this as a sort of DynamicEntry. His JP Cards (5 kinds, the usual being light-colored and proclaiming "Janperson -- Dedicate Myself to Justice") are metal and sharp, and thrown by a robot on top of that, so they'll embed themselves in anything up to and including concrete pillars.
* Gregor Molotov, a villain in ''Series/TheCape'', is a master magician who uses this trick to kill off four of his informants, so they can't squeal to anybody else.
* A MonsterOfTheWeek from ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' had a gambling theme and made use of exploding playing cards. When the heroes transformed into the likewise card-themed Series/JAKQDengekitai, the energy from their TransformationSequence blew his cards right back at him...in an imitation of ''J.A.K.Q.''[='s=] opening theme.
* The first VictimOfTheWeek in the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' episode "Last Woman Standing" is killed when his throat is slashed open by a thrown playing card.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Tabletop Games example: [=Card Shark=], a major crime lord in the ''Dark {{Champions}}'' setting, has razor-sharp cards on his character sheet, and has killed with them several times.
** Blackjack from ''European Enemies'' has gimmicked playing cards that he throws as weapons.
* The Huckster Arcane Background in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' uses this often. Can range from throwing one card with a magical razor's edge (''card sharp''), to throwing them in front of projectiles to stop ranged attacks (''ace in the hole'').
* Ogma in the ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' quickstart carries Mana-infused cards as a weapon. Possibly subverted by these being ''metal'' cards apparently designed for combat use.
* The Trickster Mage OCC from ''{{Rifts}}'' is an interesting case; he was introduced in an April Fool's edition of ''The Rifter'' and wasn't intended to be a serious OCC. A mage whose only abilities seem to revolve around levitating playing cards, the Trickster Mage's arsenal would be pathetic... if he weren't so creative.
* ''GURPSSupers'' supplement ''Supertemps''. The super known as Dealer used a weapon that fired metal projectiles the size and shape of playing cards.
* ''{{Exalted}}'': A few Thrown charms allow you to throw cards (and pebbles and coins...) as though they were shurikens. An Exalt with these charms are rarely unarmed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Roxis from ''VideoGame/ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis'' uses cards as his weapon, which he will either throw or chain together to form [[WhipItGood a whip]].
* Dhana from ''VideoGame/GrandiaIII'' attacks her enemies from a distance with cards, and is the only one with a ranged weapon.
* In ''VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviousRacoonus'', the generic enemy Inkspot Jackson throws a fan of playing cards at Sly.
* ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' - thrown playing cards are one of Alice's primary weapons.
* Sheena from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', though instead of throwing the cards long ranges she usually hits someone with them or has them swung around, floating in the air. Since there are supposed to be spells sealed on the cards, this may also fall under PaperMaster or {{Onmyodo}}.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' has Setzer the gambler and his thrown cards.
** They're also used in ''FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' by the Trickster class, and surpass bows ''and'' guns for the greatest weapon range.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' had an enemy named Death Dealer. The cards were semi-random, but the most dangerous one killed with a spell like Death.
** The Lady Luck dressphere in ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 Final Fantasy X-2]]'' uses a deck of cards for the standard attack command.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0'' has Ace who wields tarot cards.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHeart'':
** Luxord of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' uses a deck of cards that can change size as a weapon. He doesn't throw them but instead turns them into minions. He can also transform hero Sora into a card.
** In ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 358/2]]'', he does actually throw them and use them to create a shield when he's Roxas' partner for the mission.
* Spider from ''VideoGame/MegaManXCommandMission.'' In addition to straight damage, the different suits each have a different effect (2 hits, hits all enemies or boosts money or experience gained upon kill) when he has at least 75% WE left. There's also the Joker, which has no minimum WE requirement but like the name suggests, it randomly uses one of the 4 effects mentioned above.
** In ''Mega Man and Bass'', there's Magic Man, who throws two cards that look like they're shuffling themselves, and then it comes back to him like a boomerang. If he hits you, he steals some life. After [[PowerCopying beating him,]] you can do it yourself, but without the draining ability. You CAN pick up items and aim upwards with it.
* Oswald from ''KingOfFighters XI''. His LDSM even has fifty-two hits. And one of his [=DMs=], ideally, hits 21 times (Blackjack!).
* Raccoons in ''TricksterOnline'', after classing up into the Card Master class,can (and probably should) be played like this
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' has an enemy called "Jester" who can throw playing cards as an attack.
* Clowns and Gypsies of ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' have the Tarot Card of Fate skill, which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It can inflict a variety of effects, including but not limited to a total debuff, stun, and instant death.
* Gambling assassin Twisted Fate from ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends''.
* Some characters in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' can use 'shot', which seem to be some sort of thrown bullet. They can also use the various 'Deck' weapons, which apparently fling cards at people.
* Genjuro Kibagami in the ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' games can fling one of these as a projectile. These (as well as most of his theme) are from hanafuda, rather than the Western tarot-derivative deck.
* Ruby from ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns''.
* The Killer Clown soul in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow'' lets you throw surprisingly powerful cards.
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines'', Death himself is the Death Dealer.
* FortuneTeller Lucia from ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts II'' uses a deck of tarot in battle. Rather than fight with them directly, they are used for attack spells, buffs and debuffs.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'': Zuo Ci uses cursed cards that hit harder than any sword.
** Technically, like Sheena, he is actually using paper seals infused with magic, but translation calls Zuo's weapon the cursed deck. Each talisman is longer than a regular card.
* British BadassNormal Black Jack from ''VideoGame/FreedomForce vs [[ThoseWackyNazis The Third Reich]]'' uses an acid-dipped ace of spades as his signature weapon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'''s Magician copy ability in ''VideoGame/KirbySqueakSquad'' allows him to do this.
** Squashini in ''Kirby's Epic Yarn'' can strafe the stage with cards.
* The boss of the Italy house in the NES game ''8 Eyes'' uses sharp-edged metal playing cards.
* Dorothy Albright from the ''VideoGame/ArcanaHeart'' series is a young StageMagician who uses playing cards with all of her special attacks.
* Magic Man from ''VideoGame/MegaManAndBass'' attacks mainly by shooting cards. Made annoying by the fact that they also [[LifeDrain steal your health]].
* This is Jackle's weapon of choice in ''NiGHTS''.
* [[WeaponsKitchenSink Inevitably]], ''VideoGame/ExitFate'' has a character who uses these. They're not a very good weapon, but they do full damage from the back row (and he [[BettingMiniGame gambles with them, too]].)
* The Pierrot class series from ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'' has card-based psynergies.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Pirate101}}'' Bill Peacock follows up his pistol shots with a few thrown cards when he lands a critical hit and weasel gamblers/assassins throw cards as ranged attacks. Depending on the player's class these characters may join their crew.
* "VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}"and "VideoGame/Persona4Arena" has Elizbeth who uses tarot cards as her weapon and uses the tarot cards to summon her persona.
** "VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}" and "VideoGame/Persona4Arena" has the main character and the other playable characters use tarot cards to summon their personas.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Blackjack from the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' uses tricked out, weaponized playing cards as weapons, and dresses in a costume reminiscent of the Jack of Spades.
* Obligatory WhateleyUniverse example: Chaka threw some playing cards into a man's legs in the last chapter of Ayla and the Birthday Brawl. Regular playing cards.
** Not her first use, either. In an earlier Chaka story, she fights off an armed superpowered ninja with playing cards, before she gets out the fighting chain. We are talking about a mutant who can throw things like sewing needles with lethal accuracy.
* David Kintobor, one of Creator/DavidGonterman's {{Author Avatar}}s, possesses a Bloody Card that he got at a convention. It's soon updated to a Luna Card as a means to not kill any civilians in the ongoing battles.
* The cartomancer class in ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'', first seen in action in Season 3 of the webseries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Several versions of SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, notably the one from ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman.''
** In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', he throws razor-edged playing cards at Wonder Woman in "Triumvirate of Terror!".
* A one-shot villain, TheDragon of a Bond-Villain parody on ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures''.
--> "We hold all the cards! We have the upper hand! We -"
--> "We ''could'' take it down a notch on the card puns."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMagician'' gives us Ace Cooper, [[StageMagician a prestidigitator]] and superhero whose weapon of choice is [[AbsurdlySharpBlade absurdly sharp cards]] pulled out of his sleeve.
* Ricky Jay appears in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "The Great Simpsina" where he attempts to kill Lisa by hurling cards at her with enough force to shatter a steam pipe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Some stores sell what's billed as playing card shuriken--metal rectangles, ostensibly sharpened on the edges, with pictures of a card on each one. Not quite the same as a real deck of cards. While they might not be quite as effective as actual shuriken, they still do the job better than normal paper cards ever could. And unlike real shuriken, the lighter weight and slimmer profile makes it possible to conceal more of them, and with greater ease. While a single one might not be that deadly (unless you score a [[CriticalHit lucky hit]] to the carotid artery or jugular vein), playing a game of "52 Pickup" with them could be rather...[[DeathOfAThousandCuts effective]].
* Card manipulation specialist Ricky Jay is famous for his ability to throw playing cards at great speed. He has even written a book called ''Cards As Weapons''. In his recorded special ''Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants'', he demonstrates his skills by embedding cards into the skin of a watermelon.
** As noted in another category of this trope, Jay appeared as a villain in the ''Film/JamesBond'' film ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies''. Reportedly a scene showing his character utilizing Jay's card-throwing abilities was shot but the scene was cut.
** Professional poker player Chris "Jesus" Ferguson is also famous for this.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVq0HdiM-Ok This]] one (performed for the new Samsung Digital Camcorder H205 launch).
[[/folder]]

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