“Oops, there it goes.”
“House of cards” is an expression that dates back to 1645, referring to a structure built on a shaky foundation that will collapse if you remove a necessary element.
A house of cards is also a structure created by stacking standard playing cards on top of each other. Putting forth this law of stacking is professional card stacker Bryan Berg:
“The more cards placed the stronger it becomes because the weight of the cards pushing down on the base (increasing friction) allows occasional cards to stumble without the entire structure collapsing.”
Which displaces the currently held theory that the larger the structure, the more likely it is to fall.
I would tend to listen to Berg since he holds the current record by building a replica of The Venetian Macao (do take a look) resort hotel, which he accomplished in 44 days, using 218,792 cards and more than 4000 decks with nothing but his own dexterity.
In other words, no glue, no tape, no Velcro.
We’re not sure when this patience-teaching pastime originated but it stands to reason it must have been shortly after playing cards were invented in ancient China as early as the 9th century.
We do know they started keeping records at the turn of the 20th century when a picture of Miss Victoria Maitland’s 15-story structure was published in The Strand Magazine in 1901.
If any of this inspires you, all you need are a flat surface, a deck of cards, and a decision on your structure.
A single card between its walls or one level stacked on top of another?
Or something more ambitious?
So how do you stack up?