Alice in Borderland: All the card meanings and games explained in season 2
22 December 2022, 16:07 | Updated: 22 December 2022, 20:35
All the card suits explained, plus the King of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Spades and every other face card game revealed.
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Alice in Borderland is finally back, and the games have officially begun again with the players now in pursuit of the Face Cards. For those needing a reminder, here's a recap about what each of the card suits mean and an explainer for every Face Card and game revealed in Netflix's Alice in Borderland season 2.
In season 1, players had to beat as many games as possible in order to extend their Borderlands visas (and their lives), and collect as many of the numbered cards as possible in pursuit of collection a whole deck. In season 2, the players enter the Second Stage of the games and have to collect the Face Cards in the deck, including the deadly King of Spades and Queen of Hearts.
As the show explains, players need to collect an entire deck of cards to leave the Borderlands. And you can collect them by beating each of the games.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Alice in Borderland season 2!
What do the cards mean in Alice in Borderland?
What do the cards mean in Alice in Borderland? What do the suits represent?
Throughout season 1, we see the players compete for the numbered cards in order to extended their visas and stay alive. If players survive the game, they will collect the corresponding card to add to their deck.
The higher the number on the card, the higher the difficulty level. As we see in season 1, the Ten of Hearts is the most deadly and high stakes game the players take part in. However, the Face Cards in season 2 are much higher in difficulty and require the players to take on an individual. The game does not end until the Face Card citizen is dead.
Here's what the cards mean, and what type of game they represent:
- Team battles that balance the different elements of teamwork including communication and trust. Players can survive if they work together.
- In season 1, we see two Club games. The first is the very first game Arisu plays with the 'Dead or Alive' doors. The second is a game of 'It'.
- Games that require intelligence, strategy and wits. Players will need to analyse and think carefully during these games.
- In season 1, Arisu takes on the Four of Diamonds game – the one with the switch and the lightbulb – when he arrives at The Beach to prove he's worthy of joining the collective.
- Spade games are physical and require a lot of endurance, strength and agility.
- Season 2 immediately opens with the King of Spades' deadly, twisted game that runs throughout the entirety of the season.
- The absolute worst. Heart games are psychological. They require a high level of trust and also bring about huge levels of betrayal.
- In the final episodes of season 1, the players take part in the Ten of Hearts game that requires them to identify The Witch and throw their body into a fire.
What are the Face Cards in Alice in Borderland season 2?
Throughout season 2, we see Arisu, Usagi, Kuina and Chishiya take on several Face Card citizens in order to survive. Each of the Face Card citizens are involved in games that represent their suit. Here's what games the players have to win in order to beat each Face Card.
King of Spades
The King of Spades game starts almost immediately and continues throughout the entire season. The King of Spades is a deadly mercenary who shoots to kill the players. He's been described as the "boss of physical challenges". Oh, and his battlefield area is the entire city. The game does not finish until the players kill him.
Players can tell when he's near because his blimp moves with him and he moves across the city. Players can also avoid the King of Spades by engaging with other Face Card citizens because he is not able to interfere with the other games.
King of Clubs
The King of Clubs is Kyuma and he runs the ultimate team game: Osmosis. Osmosis requires Arisu's team to take on Kyuma's team and work together strategically in order to finish the game with more points. The majority of this game takes place throughout episodes 2 and 3 and it has a lot of rules.
Each team has 10,000 points spread between them. You can either Battle solo or team up to steal points from another player, find Items to increase your score, or touch the other teams base for a whopping 10,000 points. However, if you battle someone with more points than you, you lose 500 points. And if the player who is guarding the base touches you, you're basically dead. Why? The player touching the base has infinity points.
Jack of Hearts
This game – "Solitary Confinement" – is taken on by Chishiya. The game is simple: Players have to guess the card suit that appears on the back of their collar, but they are not allowed to look at the symbol themselves. They must trust those around them to tell them the truth. However, the Jack of Hearts is also in the game and his objective is to lie to everyone and win the game.
The symbols change at the end of each round. If they give a wrong answer at the end of the round, the collar explodes. The only way to win this game is to identify the Jack of Hearts and lie to him so he dies.
Queen of Diamonds
Defeated in episode 5, but we don't see the game. It takes place in a multi-story carpark and there's quite a few survivors who come stumbling out of the building.
Jack of Spades
The game of physical combat with weapons is briefly shown in episode 5 with Kuina as a player.
Queen of Spades
The Queen of Spades' game begins in episode 5 and is revealed to be a physical game called 'Checkmate'. The players' team faces off against the Queen's team. The game sees each team take alternating turns to 'capture' a member of the opposing team by tapping the button the back of their device. If you get tapped by the opposing team, you switch sides. The team with the most players at the end of the game wins. The losing team is killed. The player team must win in order to defeat the Queen of Spades.
King of Diamonds
In episode 6, Chishiya takes on another game of intelligence against the King of Diamonds who is revealed to be former Beach executive Kuzuryu. This one is a very complex and confusing game of numbers that requires players to strategically choose a number between 0 and 100. The average number of the chosen numbers is then multiplied by 0.8, and whoever is closest to that number lives to play another day.
If they lose, they lose a point. If a player reaches -10 points, the scales tip and they are drenched in sulphuric acid.
Queen of Clubs
Queen of Clubs is a game of 'Target' which looks like deadly dodgeball. Ann and Kuina take part in this one and it sees the two on one team throwing balls at members of the other team as they run along concrete bridges suspended over a huge dark pit.
Jack of Clubs
Shown briefly in episode 7. Players are tasked with climbing a very, very high rope. They're also able to swing over and attack other players causing them to fall to their deaths.
Jack of Diamonds
Shown briefly in episode 7. This one is a game of mahjong.
King of Hearts
Again, shown briefly in episode 7. The highest difficulty Hearts game involves players running through a concrete maze as they try to escape what sounds like another deadly animal, like the panther in season 1.
Queen of Hearts
The final Face Card viewers are introduced to is Mira, the former Beach executive and the game-maker who unveiled the Second Stage to the players at the end of season 1. Her game is actually pretty simple: Play against her in three rounds of croquet. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you just have to not forfeit. Of course, while it really is that simple, Mira has a few mind tricks up her sleeve too...