Knight (playing card)
A knight is a Tarot playing card with a picture of a young man riding horse on it. The usual rank of a knight, within its suit, is as if it were a 12 (that is, between the queen and the jack). In Latin suited playing cards such as La Baraja and the oldest Western playing cards, the knights take the place of queens.
As early as the mid-16th century the knight was called the chevalier (meaning a male riding servant of royalty). The card came to be known as the knight during the middle of the 19th century, when card manufacturers began to label playing cards to indicate their value with 1(A), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Kn, Q, K, Jkr(J).
In the standard French Tarot playing card deck produced in English speaking countries, the knight and the other face cards represent no one in particular — this is in contrast to the historical French practice, in which each court card is said to represent a particular historical or mythological personage. The knights in a French deck have traditionally assigned names as follows:
- knight of Spades: Ogier the Dane (legendary hero of the chansons de geste)
- knight of Hearts: La Hire (French warrior)
- knight of Diamonds: Hector (mythological hero of the Iliad)
- knight of Clubs: Lancelot
These card designs are based on those from a historical French Tarot deck, and include the historical and mythological names associated with the French cards.
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