Here's a typical Bicycle joker. Below, close ups.
These close up pictures below were taken to highlight a subtle difference between two Bicycle Joker Playing cards. I incidentally highlighted the texture of the cards. See the little dimples in the finish? That is what the US Playing Card Company calls its Air Cushion which is what makes the cards slide against each other so smoothly.
The cards don't fly, they aren't Air Jordans. They are Air Cushion.
There are three differences between the top and bottom picture and that is why I was taking the picture.
One. The top one has a registered trademark, an R in a circle. ® The bottom one has a registered copyright on it. A C in a circle. © What's the difference? Well, a copyright has to do with ownership of the intellectual property. It is meant to protect property rights. A trademark has to do with not confusing the public. It has to do with keeping the consumers from being misled. Clear as mud, huh?
Two, the top one has 808 on the milestone. That's the Bicycle product line. The 88 on the bottom one means the corner indices on the cards are much larger. Good for the alte kakers (old people).
Three, the graphics are also different. Look at the exact lines on the milestone for instance.
From here, you can choose what you want to learn more about:
More history perhaps?
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress
National Card Company,
Kalamazoo, and Perfection too
Also: The History of the Joker, the Ace of Spades, and the Stamp Act