Building a House of Cards
This guide is about building a house of cards. It can be difficult, but persevere and you can do it!
The house of cards relies on nothing more than balance to stay upright. There's no glue, and no damage or alterations are made to the cards themselves. The larger your house, the more likely it is to fall.
One of the most familiar form of a house of cards involves the creation of a triangular pyramid-style structure formed from a series of identical smaller structures that each emulate an inverted letter V.
1.) First, lean two cards against each other to form an A-frame, with the short ends resting upon a flat and stable surface:
/\ / \
2.) Next, place two more cards in a similar fashion immediately adjacent to the existing structure:
/\ /\ / \/ \
3.) Then bridge the space between the two structures with an additional card to form a level platform:
---- /\ /\ / \/ \
4.) On the developed platform, place two more cards (as described in step 1) completing the pyramid:
/\ / \ ---- /\ /\ / \/ \
5.) This entire process can be repeated, each additional structure placed on the lowest level allowing for an increase in the overall height of the house of cards. The example above is two structures wide and two structures high, but with the addition of another eight cards it would become three structures wide and three structures high:
/\ / \ ---- /\ /\ / \/ \ -------- /\ /\ /\ / \/ \/ \
A prominent house of cards builder is Bryan Berg. Berg broke the former world record in 1992 for "The Tallest House of Cards" with a tower that stood fourteen feet, six inches tall!
Another tower was built by Berg at the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University in 1998. It stood at approximately 25 feet tall and utilized over 1500 decks of standard playing cards that weighed over 250 pounds. It took two and a half weeks to build, with construction taking place in shifts that lasted anywhere from four to twelve hours each day. During construction, the tower was surrounded by scaffolding, which also formed the means of reaching the top of the tower to place additional cards.
On November 6 1999, Berg built an even taller tower in the lobby of the casino at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. This time it stood at approximately 25.29 feet tall and utilized over 1700 decks to stack up to 131 stories high!
When he was asked whether it would be possible to build even taller (reaching for instance, about 100 feet), Berg just responded with a simple: "You bet!". Why don't you give it a go?