King of spades

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For the novel, see King of Spades (novel).
King of Spades and Queen of Hearts, early 16th century.

The King of spades (K♠) is one of 52 playing cards: the King of the suit of Spades (♠).



Starting in the 15th century and continuing until the 19th, French playing card manufacturers assigned to each of the court cards names taken from history or mythology.[1][2] The King of Spades was usually the Biblical King David. The suit of spades means "swords" from the Italian spada and the sword which he holds is that of Goliath, who David slew. Some pictures also show the king holding a harp, as the Bible attributes many of the psalms to David.[3][4]

Card reading[edit]

In cartomancy, the King of Spades reversed is viewed as a dishonest lawyer. He is a stern law giver who is not easily swayed by emotion.[5]

It is representative of a dark haired person who is intelligent and authoritative in judgment, and is not easy to get along with.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Four King Truth" at the Urban Legends Reference Pages
  2. ^ "Courts on playing cards", by David Madore, with illustrations of the Anglo-American and French court cards
  3. ^ Coogan, M. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in its Context. (Oxford University Press: Oxford 2009), p. 209.
  4. ^ Sir William Gurney Benham (1957), "The King of Spades", Playing Cards: History of the Pack and Explanations of Its Many Secrets, Spring Books, p. 97 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]