History of The Deck of Playing Cards
I have always loved to play cards. My grandfather taught me various games when I was very young. Poker, crazy eights, snap, rummy 500 and cribbage were all taught to me by the time I was seven years old.
On Saturday nights at my Grandparents home, we would play a game called Rummoli. I really liked it because we played for money and I was pretty good at it. Mind you we only played with pennies, nickel, and dimes. The snacks and treats that my grandmother would put out were memorable as well which included Cheezies and cucumber sandwiches.
Poker is my favorite and I have to say that I am an online FaceBook Zynga poker addict. Not often does a day go by without me playing.
So I thought the history of the deck of cards would make for an interesting topic for this weeks HubMob, Uncommon History of Common Things.
History of Playing Cards
Cards go way back in time to India and China in the 9th century but they were not as we know them today. The Chinese made their first playing cards from sheets or pages. They were called money cards and had four suits comprising of coins with strings of coins. Mahjong tiles and dominoes evolved from the earliest playing cards.
When playing cards first entered Europe in the 14th century they were similar to tarot cards with swords, staves, coins, and cups.
Different cultures had their own suits and it was the French in the 15th century that designed the suits we use today in most countries, being hearts representing the clergy, diamonds merchants, spade nobility and clubs peasants. German suits were acorns, hearts, hawk bells and leaves.
It was once thought that the four suits represented the four seasons and the 52 cards in a deck were for the 52 weeks in a year. This has been found to be an urban myth. Religious people would say this made them feel that it was okay to play cards without it being a gambling game.
Deck of Cards
Cards of Today “French Deck”
A 52 box of cards is called a deck or a pack of cards. Most decks will contain an additional two cards that are jokers but for most games, these are removed before play begins.
The individual cards are made from thin cardboard or thin plastic. The standard card size or Poker size is 3.5” high and 2.5” wide.
Cards for playing the game of bridge, card size are 3.5” high and 2.25”. The face of the card color will be red for hearts and diamonds and black for clubs and spades. In the deck, you have 4 aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, 4 jacks and four of each number from two to ten. The backs of the cards will have all have the same design per deck.
Each manufacturer will have a different design. There are cards that can be purchased that are of a larger print for the visually impaired as well as braille cards for the blind.
- SNAP An Old Favorite Classic Card Game
Snap is a fun game to play whether you are an adult or a child. There are several variations of this game and all are quite entertaining.
© 2011 Susan Zutautas