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KEM's unique polymer gave the cards their distinctive texture, snap and handle.Unlike other cards, KEM cards were able to withstand the occasional spilled beer, making them an instant hit with seasoned poker players.The company experienced great success through the 1950s and 60s.Then, in 2004, after many years of success, KEM cards sold their plants and copyrighted artwork to the US Playing Card Company.Since then, KEM has been happy to remain the official playing card of the greatest poker tournament ever.A reliable way to date decks made by the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) is the dating code printed on the ace of spades or joker at the time it was manufactured. REV.', 'PLAYING CARDS,' and 'CLASS A.' Both stamps have have '7 CENTS' in the center row of the cancellation, and they were cancelled by the U. Accordingly, the deck was made in the 16th week of 2013 and under the old code, 2013 would have been indicated by the letter S. For example, the ace on the left, below, has the code 1613-S6560.
Made of cellulose acetate, KEM cards were bendable, washable and retained their shape long after paper-based cards had withered and died.
This strongly suggests that the date code was indeed used at least as early as 1901.
The code consists of a letter usually followed by a number.
However, it appears that the old letter system has been retained.
For some time, there also was a stamp for tax-free playing cards. There is no known explanation for the other letters and numbers.
This historic corporate purchase left the industry with a shortage of plastic playing cards.