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Pokerware Secure Passphrase Generator

Pokerware is an offline secure passphrase generator that operates just like Diceware except that it uses a deck of playing cards instead of dice. In some situations a deck may be more readily available than dice. Pokerware draws from 5,304 words, in contrast to Diceware's 7,776 words.

See: Introducing the Pokerware Secure Passphrase Generator


Passphrase generation

  1. Thoroughly shuffle the deck. Six or seven riffle shuffles should be sufficient.

  2. Draw two cards. Sort them by value, then suit. Suits are in alphabetical order: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades.

  3. Draw additional cards until you get a card that doesn't match the face value of either of your initial two cards. Observe its suit.

  4. Using your two cards and observed suit, look up a word in the table.

  5. Place all cards back in the deck, shuffle a few times, and repeat from step 2 until you have the desired number of words. Each word is worth 12.4 bits.

For example, suppose in step 2 you draw King of Spades (KS, K) and Queen of Clubs (QC, Q). In step 3 you first draw King of Diamonds (KD, K), discarding it because it matches the face value of one of your cards from step 2. Next you draw Four of Spades (4S, 4), taking spades as your extra suit. In order, this gives you Queen of Clubs, King of Spades, and Spades: QCKSS or QK. This corresponds to "wolves" in the formal word list.

PDF / postscript build

Choose a word list (formal, slang) and listing type (ascii, unicode) and run it with make.

$ make LIST=slang TYPE=unicode pdf

Which will produce pokerware.pdf with the selected configuration.