These were cards issued as part of various games. Often, gaming cards are good ways to find inexpensive releases of stars and Hall of Famers. Most gaming cards, however, feature generic players. Since those are usually cheaper than cards with actual players, gaming cards can be an inexpensive way to collect pre-war cards.
Despite their age, gaming cards can also be found in excellent condition. Part of that is due to the cards’ manufactured rounded corners, which help them exhibit less wear than cards with originally-sharp corners. Another factor is that some games were boxed away and used only sparingly. While somewhat rare, it isn’t impossible to find complete game sets up for auction where the cards appear virtually untouched.
Interest in gaming cards varies, depending on the issue. Those featuring pictures/names of actual players are generally more desirable than those that have pictures of generic players. Basic action cards (those with only words on them to allow for game play) are not usually as sought after as those with pictures on them. However, they can also be an inexpensive option for type collectors that simply want any card from a particular set for their collection.
Note that the WG-Card designation was initially given to types of greeting cards in the American Card Catalog. Similar to the N-Card designation which has changed over time, this is another one that is used differently by today’s collectors.
It should also be noted that many more pre-war baseball games exist. However, this site focuses only on ones with cards as a part of them.
WG1 Baseball Playing Cards
1906 WG2 Fan Craze
1906 WG3 Fan Craze
1914 WG4 Polo Grounds Game
1913 WG5 National Baseball Game
1913 WG6 Tom Barker Game
1913 WG6 Tom Barker Game Fenway Breweries
1924 WG7 Walter Mails Game
1936 WG8 S&S Game
1904 Allegheny Card Company Baseball Card Game
1934 Babe Ruth Ask Me Trivia Game Cards
1921 C. Schultz Baseball Game Cards
1930s Cine Manual Playing Cards (Multi-Sport/International)
1909 Dempsey’s National-American Base Ball Game Cards
1889 E.R. Williams Game Cards
1909 Fan-Ball Game Cards
1904 Fan Craze
1884 Lawson Game Cards
1913 Leslie’s Perfection Baseball Game Cards
1921-30 Major League Ball Die-Cuts
1937/1939 Joe Ducky Medwick Big Leaguers Baseball Game Card
1894-95 McLoughlin Amusement for Boys to Cut Out Paper Dolls / Baseball Nines
1913 Nap Lajoie Game Cards
1917 T. Norpoth Baseball Playing Cards
1920s Old Maid Cards (Bill Homer)
1930s Old Maid Cards (Harry Homer)
1922 Olsen’s Baseball Game Cards
1910 Parker Brothers National-American Base Ball Game
1924 Parker Brothers Rook Game
1927-35 Psychic Baseball Game Cards
1906/1910 Russell’s Rustlers Base-Ball Boys Game Cards
1910 Tim Jordan Game Cards
1938 Whitman Big League Baseball Card Game