1.1 Definition and scope of the study
Definition of the card game market
The card game market in France is a fully-fledged segment of the board game market in France. A game of cards can be of luck, of strategy, or collection. With the advent of the digital sphere, the market is diversifying and new actors and games appear, often offering a paid game mode, especially with poker and other online card games.
The main traditional card games on the French market are, according to the most recent report by the Observatory of the Daily Lives of the French: The French and games:
- 7 Familles
- La Dame de Piques
For a long time practiced with only games of traditional cards (poker, belote), games are nowadays played more and more with specific cards such as Uno or Jungle Speed. Another trend that emerged at the beginning of the 21st century is that of games and card collections such as Pokemon cards and Yu Gi Oh! cards.
History of card games
According to an article by Bicycle cards, playing cards would have appeared in the 9th century in China. From there, it gradually spread to India, Persia, and then to the Muslim world, to arrive in Europe in the 14th century. Indeed, an ordinance of 1367 issued in Bern prohibited its use. The cards were then produced manually by craftsmen, sometimes embroidered with gold, and represent exceptional products. In 1418, card manufacturers in Ulm, Nuremberg, and Augsburg began to use woodcuts to produce mass maps. In the 15th century, the tarot appeared in Italy, in a form similar to that which still exists today.
If the separation of the cards into four colours and the values they represent stabilises very quickly, the colours did not change until 1480 the date in which the French started to produce cards using the suits we know today hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds. The form of card games would not undergo any major changes until today, with the exception of the promotion of the Ace as the highest card (following the French Revolution) and the introduction of the joker in the 1870s.
Before industrialization, paper was relatively expensive, and cards did not spread to all levels of society. It's only with the establishment of industrialists that cards started to be produced and disseminated in mass with, in particular, the establishment of the Grimaud district in France in 1848.
1.2 A growing global market
The use of playing cards is certified in all parts of the world. Being an inexpensive and easy to set up entertainment, the base of potential players is practically the entirety of the human species.
The playing card market is a subsegment of the playing cards and board game market. This ...
1.3 The playing card market in France
As mentioned above, the playing cards market is a sub-segment of the board games market.
In ****, the French market for board games and puzzles will have a turnover of *** million with **.* million boxes sold over the year. This represents an annual increase of **% over the last * years
The French market for ...
1.4 Imports & exports
The United Nations Comtrade allows us to track global trade flows.
The code ****** corresponds to 'playing cards'. The graph below outlines recent French trade history regarding playing cards.
Trade flows & coverage rate of playing cards France, ****-****, in millions of euros and % Source: ****
As we can see, France is a net ...
1.5 The impact of COVID-19
Since the playing card market is part of the larger board game & puzzle market, it is interesting to see the effects that the pandemic had on the latter.
An article in Point reports on the evolution of the market in the face of the unprecedented COVID-** crisis, even though it had ...
2.1 The French and their cards
As mentioned above, **% of French people play card games, with **% of them doing so regularly.
Frequency with which people play cards France, ****, in % Source: ****
The card games which most people know the rules are: Bataille, * Familles, Reussite, Belote, Tarot, while some of the games to which the rules are least known ...
2.2 Favourite card games
According to the most recent report by the Observatory on the Daily Lives of the French, Belote is the favourite card game of the French, followed by Tarot and Reussite. The graph below displays the ** preferred card games in France.
Answer to the question: "Which are your three preferred card games?" France, ...
2.3 Playing cards and gambling
As mentioned previously, casinos are the main B*B segment for playing cards. However, other than for leisure or fun, a lot of people play cards as a way to win money (***). Gambling is another important segment of the playing card market.
More than half the French population gambles (***).
Share of ...
2.4 Cards in the online and digital era
The Observatory of the Daily Lives of the French reported that card games were the second most played games on smartphones (***) [***].
According to the AndroitPit, in ****, the main card game applications were Solitary, Multiplayer Tarot, offline or non-paying Poker, Bataille, and La Dame de Pique.
With the increased digitalisation of society, ...
Spending on playing cards is categorised under 'cultural and leisure spending'. The graph below breaks down the distribution of cultural and leisure spending in France.
Distribution of cultural and leisure spending, by category France, ****, in % Source: ****
Spending on cards can be considered under 'games&toys', 'gambling' as well as 'others' ...
3.1 Geographical and territorial distribution of card games
French people are quite confident in their ability to play cards and their skill level. In fact, **% of the French consider themselves to be 'good card players'. Normands are the most confident, with **% of them estimating that they are good players [***].
"Are you a good card player?"
France, ****, in %
As with toys and board games, there are several places where one can buy playing cards:
Large surfaces: Auchan, Carrefour, Leclerc... These brands are most often concentrated on games with the widest possible target audience These are games aimed at children, with simple rules that can be implemented quickly and are ...
3.3 Main players
As mentioned above, cards are a part of the board games&puzzle market, which is a subsegment of the toy and games market.
The players in this market are varied, due to its vast and segmented nature. They include board game manufacturing giants, playing card production specialists, foreign entertainment companies as ...
3.4 The rise of the gaming bar
As a direct consequence of the growing offer from game manufacturers, game bars are flourishing, serving as catalysts for consumers who often find it difficult to make up their minds when faced with the diversity of the offer (***). There has been a surge in the number of board game bars opening ...
Prices vary greatly depending on the segment observed
Prices differ according to the different market segments.
An exhaustive search among the distributors on the French territory allows us to estimate the prices of different cards and card-based games:
Concerning the traditional cards (***): the price of traditional card games in France varies ...
4.2 Different games, different rules
As indicated above, the main traditional card games on the French market are:
Belote Tarot Reussite Rami * Familles Bataille Poker La Dame de Piques Crapette Kems President Coinche Manille Bridge
The table below outlines the top ** preferred card games in France in ****.
For a long time practiced with only ...
4.3 More specific and complex card games
Among the ** most popular board games in France, two very specific card games appear: UNO, in *th position with a penetration of **%, and Jungle Speed, with a penetration of *.*%[***].
More and more sophisticated trading card games
Appeared in the ****s with, for example, Magic cards (***) and Pokémon cards, these games ...
Gambling games are games of chance, which are based, by hypothesis, on luck, and, therefore, all constitute a form of "lottery".
The organization of poker games, therefore, falls under both the law of May **, ****, prohibiting lotteries, and the law of July **, ****, on games of chance.
Unless the game is played in ...
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