Hearts (suit)

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Ace of Hearts
German pattern set of Hearts

Hearts (French: Cœur, German: Herz) is one of the four suits in playing cards of both the French deck and the German deck. However, the symbol is slightly different: Symbol: Herz in a French deck and

In Bridge, for which in Germany the French deck is common, it is called by its French name, Cœur. In games using German-suited cards the suit of Hearts is often called "Red" (Rot).

In the Swiss-German deck the suit of Hearts is replaced by the suit of Roses RosendeutschschweizerBlatt.svg. The roses are usually depicted in yellow.

Name[edit]

The origin of the term "heart" to describe the symbol, which only very marginally resembles a true heart, is not known.[1] In general, equivalents in other languages also mean "heart".

Characteristics[edit]

The heart typically has a form of cardioid, the lower part of which ends in a point. The symbol is drawn with its tip down, the two lobes of the cardioid pointing upwards. Generally, the hearts are coloured red.

The following gallery shows the hearts of a 52-card deck of French playing cards. Not shown is the Knight of Hearts, used in tarot card games:

History[edit]

The first playing cards published in Europe did not have any of the suits encountered in modern French suited-decks. Latin suits (Batons, Coins, Swords and Cups) may have been adapted from card games in the Muslim world.[2][3] French suits were introduced by French playing-card makers at the end of the 15th century[4], probably by adapting Germanic suits (Acorns, Bells, Leaves and Hearts).

French retailers produced a simpler design compared with the earlier suits, allowing easier reproduction and therefore a lower manufacturing cost. The sign of heart is taken from the Germanic suits, but has been greatly simplified.[3].

Coding[edit]

The symbol ♥ is already in the CP437 and therefore also in the WGL4. In Unicode, a black heart ♥ and a white ♡ heart are defined:

Symbol Unicode Entity in HTML
U+2665 BLACK HEART SUIT ♥ or ♥
U+2661 WHITE HEART SUIT ♡
Example from Dingbats for one of the other forms of heart:
U+2764 HEAVY BLACK HEART ❤

In the game of Watten, the King of Hearts is the highest Trump.

References[edit]

  1. ^ K. McDonell (13 February 2007). "The Shape of My Heart - Where did the ubiquitous Valentine's symbol come from?". Slate.
  2. ^ "How did they evolve? Cultural diversity & localisation". The World of Playing Cards.
  3. ^ a b "An Introduction to Playing Cards". Playing Cards.
  4. ^ "Games played with French suited cards". pagat.com.