The Rich History of Playing Cards
Playing cards have been a source of amusement and game playing fun for centuries. For hundreds of years people have been playing them for fun, gambling with them and even fortune telling with them! They are a truly international and universally known and acknowledged game. With literally hundreds of variations of games that can be played and enjoyed any number of players from one individual to a group. What are your favourite card games to play? There’s no doubt you can think of one straight way, in fact, you may know may card games you enjoy.
The history of card games is rich and varied and illustrates how versatile this old game really is.
Let’s look at the deck of cards first. A deck or pack is made up of 52 playing cards. They are made up of four suits, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds and Spades. Each suit is made up of numbered and face cards, the numbers run from Ace through to 10, and then the face cards are Jack, Queen and King. In most games, the Ace value can be counted as high or low depending upon the game rules. For example, in Poker and Black Jack the Aces are high.
On the back of the cards is usually a design or custom image, this depends upon who has had the cards printed. Companies and casinos have their own customer designs done. There are also traditional ornate card designs and colours which are usually red, blue or black. There is also a wide variety of designs and themes for the suits. Even well-known film franchises like Star Wars and Marvel comics have created their own playing card suits.
Over the year literally hundreds of games have been created and passed down through generations. The traditional card games are all still played, like Poker as previously mentioned. But there are also fun games like Solitaire, Hearts, Go-fish, Trumps and more.
For years cards have been used to tell fortunes. Fortune tellers use the suits and the cards are they are dealt out to give the questioner a glimpse into their futures. Whether you believe in this or not, there is no doubt that it is an art in itself and something that is still popular with many people today.
It is believed that the four suits represent the four season of the year, and that each card a day. When you had the cards up they do come to 365 which is the total number of days in the year. There are many little facts like this that add to the interest and mystery of playing cards and how they came about so many hundreds of years ago.
The next time you pick up a pack of cards and start to play think about how historical they really are. Many books have been published on this subject and for many it has become and hobby and passion. In auction houses around the world the oldest packs in perfect condition go for literally thousands of dollars and more. The older they are, and if all cards are present, they can fetch huge sums of money.