Blvck Spades is a Black-owned luxury card deck brand created by E. Mackey that highlights Black culture and community through the classic game of Spades.
Spades has been part of Black American culture for generations, so you may have grown up playing Spades or watching others play it. If not, Spades is a trick-taking card game developed in the 1930s. The object is to gather the number of tricks that were bid at the beginning of the game.
Mackey created Blvck Spades in 2019 after watching a video about a mathematical formula that used holographic playing cards as a visual aid. Mackey liked the cards’ look and thought to himself, “what if I made cards?” At first, he didn’t know where to start, but he knew the cards needed to stand out, and he instantly thought of Spades. Mackey chose spades because of its significance in Black culture and because Spades decks are uncommon.
Blvck Spades decks are designed to help players learn how to play the game. So if you never learned, don’t worry – Blvck Spades can help. The cards also feature beautifully intricate designs inspired by Egyptian history; each card displays different historical figures like Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and King Tutankhamun. The brand has two standard decks in red and white and the aces deck.
In making the cards and brand, Mackey extensively researched the quality and design of the playing cards. Mackey traveled to Egypt to make sure that he understood the history behind his creations. He also traveled to China to visit the manufacturers and make sure that the quality of the cards was exactly what he wanted.
“I’m working hard to make sure that this is a Black brand people can feel pride in,” Mackey said.
Mackey takes great pride in Blvck Spades and what he has created with them. Along with the card decks, Blvck Spades also has a scholarship fund that selects 2-16 HBCU students per year to help with their schooling. The brand also does the Spades cruise in the summer. This summer, they are stopping in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Haiti over six nights. There will be Spades tutorials and tournaments with cash prizes during the cruise. This summer’s cruise is closed for registration, but there will be more in the future.
Blvck Spades is a brand with integrity and pride in everything it does, and Mackey hopes you see that.