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Friends Enjoying Clever Playing Cards




Bringing family and friends together through games.

Randy and Maxine
Hi! We're Maxine and Randy Ekl, co-founders of Clever Playing Cards. Here are a few highlights of our journey as card / board game designers.

We self published Think Ahead and High And Low Poker in 2010 based on Randy's idea for Dual Value Playing Cards.
Think Ahead Card Game Stripes Card Game

Maxine at ChiTag Inventor Conference 2013
In 2013, looking to expand the distribution of our card games, Maxine attended theInventor Conferences at ChiTag. She was given invaluable advice about our card games specifically and the game industry in general. This in turn led to our decision to change our business model from self-publishing to a licensing format. It also led to the creation of a new card game - Stripes.

Randy and Maxine at Protospiel-Milwaukee
In 2015, we attended our first Protospiel in Milwaukee to play testStripes. Not only were we given top notch advice on makingStripes better, we also found a generous, welcoming community of game developers.

Stripes at ChiTag Speed Dating
Later that year, Maxine returned to ChiTag and participated in a "speed dating" event to pitchStripes. It was there that she met Shari Spiro of Breaking Games. Shari loved it and licensed it a few short months later.

Protospiel-Chicago 2016
We couldn't understand why there wasn't a Protospiel in Chicago, so Maxine decided to organize one. The firstProtospiel-Chicago took place in September of 2016. It was a great success with over 100 people attending.

Stripes card game

In early 2019,Stripes became available atfor sale online at Breaking Games. We couldn't be more excited about the release of our latest game!

That's our story so far. Follow us on social media (see below) to see what we do next!