John Beetem said:
But what's with the playing cards? Any idea? Maybe some secret codes used for money laundering?
I had never heard of that before, but
It may be tax related. England had a tax on decks of playing cards from 1765 to 1960. You may have inherited it from us. I guess people tried to circumvent the tax by splitting up the deck – probably why parts of decks are banned.
seems to be right. There has been a heavy tax on playing cards in Germany from the 18th century until 1981, which was applied per full deck. However, as there are very popular games with 28, 32, 36, 40, 48 and 52 cards, it should not have been an issue to find the right label and packaging anyway.
In fact the 32 card deck should be the most popular here in Germany right now, even if poker is catching up fast