Talk:Playing card

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Possibly inconsistent dates for deck suits[edit]

It caught my attention that the article mentions the common French suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades) being introduced around 1480, but one of the images on the side of the article, which depicts court cards and aces for those suits, has a foot that reads "Medieval gambling cards, from the year 1377". I may be missing something, but it appears as if one of those two dates could be incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

King of Clubs[edit]

How can the King of Clubs be Alexander the Great if he is holding the Dominus Mundi, a christian symbol? I think that the King of Clubs is Charlesmagne and the hearts one is Alexander the Great.

(forgive my bad english)

Our English language or Anglo American cards are from the Rouen scheme, not the Paris scheme.

You are right : King Of Clubs = either Charlemagne or Charles VII (talk) 23:38, 21 July 2009 (GMT)

www dot cs dot manchester dot ac dot uk has a page entitled Playing-card History : Paris And Rouen Patterns.

Perhaps someone with more computer background than me could insert the Rouen paradigm in the article after the Paris table?

The article later mentions that the floating orb we observe for the King Of Clubs is the only surviving link we have to the French assignations of personages (in this case, either Charles the 7th Of France or Charlemagne would be the mysteriously vague Charles ). By the way, I definitely vote for Elizabeth Of York as the model for the Queens. ( The portrait at her wiki article is a spot on match for the card portraits. )

Persian and Indian Influence[edit]

remember seeing in the british museum in london, the very same egyptian cards made on hard material, the persians also had such cards aswell... which i think should be state in the article.

also in northern india they had the round card back in the 1500's -

Near the bottom there is an article on the 'Ganjifa decks' which also had some persian infulence, these are important parts in card history, as they were so early on, it should be added to the article!

International playing cards[edit]

This article is not really about the very varied general issue of playing cards, instead focussing mostly on the French suited cards, with only minor references to a few of the many other types. The whole issue of the Latin suited cards, for example, which lie at the origin of the Tarot cards (also used for playing games and not just for cartomancy) and which are the proper ones to use in games such as mus, tute, brisca and escoba, is knocked off in just one sentence. Most of the current content of this article belongs under French suited cards. The article Playing cards (I think in this case it would be better to name it in the plural) should cover the whole and varied issue of playing cards, without focussing on the particular card deck used and spread by the dominant culture. Uaxuctum 16:56, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC) concerning Tarot, I had to correct the false assumption that ALL tarot decks have Italian suits. I've included some pics of modern decks used in France and Austria for playing games. The spanish section was edited to correct a false assertion that the spanish decks were derived from tarot cards or have anything to do with major or minor arcanaSmiloid 22:43, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

For some reason, the text is overlapping the first picture when I view this article with Internet Explorer. -- April

That's odd; I went out of my way to make the table code dead simple and scrupulously standard; even Lynx shows it correctly, as do my graphical browsers, including my version of I.E. I'd like to hear from other I.E. users here. Perhaps you have a strange default font setting or something. --LDC

Do we really need the picture of the child with the cards in front of him? -- Zoe

Howdy. Great, great article. I've always wondered about the origin of playing cards, but have never cared enough to do any serious research. This article totally appeased my curiousity. The only suggestion I have is to maybe explain in better detail why the one-eyed jacks and the suicide king appear as they do. The suicide King especially seems of interest, as the origin obviously has nothing to do with Alexander, whom according to your article the card is based on. Otherwise, a great article. Thank you.

Salami swami 08:41, Mar 6, 2004 (UTC)

The King of Hearts isn't committing suicide; he's swinging a sword behind his head. If you knew anything about swords, you'd easily realise this. (Huey45 (talk) 10:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC))

The wording said that Ambition was a "notable" exception, which is simply not true. A one-year-old invented game is not a notable example of anything. Isomorphic 08:44, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"(Contract bridge, written in 1925, and Ambition written in 2003 are among a few exceptions)" was the wording. Notable appeared nowhere. Stop being such a troll and get a hobby-- you're wasting my time in a massive edit war. It's not fair to me, nor is it fair for the rest of Wikipedia's users. Please stop now. Mike Church 08:57, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Mea culpa. You are correct. I tend to assume that the only exceptions mentioned should be notable exceptions - that's how I would have worded the sentence so I unthinkingly assumed that that was the wording. That doesn't change the fact that Ambition has no business being mentioned here. Isomorphic 09:35, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you can admit this. However, I doubt that it was a mistake. I am surely not alone in thinking that you intentionally manipulated facts for your own agenda. I am 95% sure that you have a contract arrangement with some game company that is hostile to my ideas; however I presently cannot prove it. Your willful manipulation of facts gives you a credibility problem, so I have no guilt in removing many of your unjudicious edits. Mike Church 18:55, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Master of the universe[edit]

The bit about Italian and Dutch "master of the universe" games in 1100/1200 sounds fishy to me. (Also, did Dutch even sound like that so many years ago?)

I've removed it and pasted it here for reference. -- pne 05:39, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

In the 1100s, the Dutch made a game called "ik ben de meester van het heelal" which means "I am the master of the universe".
In the 1200s, the Italians made a game called "soro il padorone dell'universo" which means "master of the universe".

The queen[edit]

Anne Boleyn article says : " Legend has it that this (Anne's) image is the basis for the queens in a deck of cards, but the actual inspiration was Anne's mother-in-law Elizabeth of York". Is this true ? I don't find a mention of it in this article. Jay 12:14, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Anne Boleyn is clearly the Queen of Spades. There are the comments of the queen of spades being traditionally called "the bed post queen" or "the black lady." The queen of spades is shown looking in the opposite direction of the other queens. She holds her flower with greater delicacy.She wears a big red gem. There is the curious image of an arrow head connected to a carved wooden post. Anne Boleyn was buried in an arrow box. It is stated in the artical that the rouen cards, "were so badly copied in England that the current designs are gross distortions of the originals." I think the tudor and stuart card makers motives have been forgotten. Very good artical, hope you don't object to my opinion

I added John Scarne to "See also" and Naive cynic removed him as irrelevant; how is he less relevant than Hoyle? (Respond here, not at my (or Naive cynic's) User_talk, please.)msh210 17:56, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As 'not relevant enough', to be exact - he doesn't seem to be directly related to this article. Perhaps it would be better to add him, as a game author, to card games, together with Hoyle? -- Naive cynic 13:12, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)

Fair enough: I'll add them both there. Now, what's Hoyle doing on Playing card's "See also" list? —msh210

I certainly won't mind removing him. -- Naive cynic 23:05, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)
Agreed.msh210 16:59, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The following sentences got removed during my refactor of /* Anglo-American */ because I thought they were inaccurate/in the wrong place. I'll put them back in somewhere sometime. They are presented here with my corrections. —Blotwell 5 July 2005 13:10 (UTC)

An Anglo-American four-color deck exists. It has different colors for its suits, but it is not in wide use.
When relevant, most some (see suit (cards)) modern card games follow the bridge ranking of suits, i.e. spades are highest, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs. A common mnemonic to recall this ranking is reverse alphabetical order.
Six-handed 500, and some other games, require extended standard decks with extra spot cards (in the case of 500, 11's, 12's, and red 13's)

Here is one question about the early history of playing cards. t appears to be beyond question that the Mameluk deck predates any extant European deck and appears to be an exact equivalent of the modern 52-card deck. It also appears to be beyond question that it is consistent with Islamic practice not to show the court cards as icons of actual people but instead to show them as abstract designs with captions indicating their rank. It is not, however, logical to assume that the innovation of the court cards would have taken place in a culture in which the cards would have required a caption to identify them. Would it not have made more sense for Islamic card players to innovate by adding 11, 12, and 13 instead of by adding court courts? In addition, it makes sense that the Italian style of bastone may have been inspired by a polo stick as in the Mameluk deck, but it does not make as much sense that the Spanish cudgel-like basto would have had a similar origin. Judging from the designs alone, it makes more sense to suppose that the Spanish style of deck gave rise to the Italian, which in turn inspired the Mameluk style. This, however, is contrary to the known chronology, and that is problematic.

-- Bob (Bob99 16:45, 10 September 2005 (UTC)bob99)

I removed the comment about use of the joker in poker being largely faded; while it is true that Texas Hold'em is now by far the most common game in public clubs, one can still find draw games and others that use a joker without too much difficulty, and of course it remains common in home games. --LDC 02:20, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Best Brands[edit]

How about someone putting something about the different brands out there and what is consider best, paper, plastic, vinyl. KEM, Copag, Bicycle, Bee, Aviator, etc. 14:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Two comments. First, isn't "best" largely a matter of personal preference? In addition, of the five brands you've identified, four are produced by the same firm, U.S. Playing Card Co. A comparison of Bicycle and Bee will show that the face cards are identical. These two brands are U.S. Playing Card's flagship consumer and casino brands, respectively, and differ in details such as finish, the pattern on the back, and the design of the ace of spades. Aviator is one of U.S. Playing Card's value brands, which typically means a card manufactured on less expensive paper stock and with a less expensive finish. Casino cards have different requirements than consumer cards, since the average casino deck will be used for a period of 15 minutes while a consumer deck may continue in use for months or years. (Though Bee cards seem to stand up pretty well to long-term solitaire use.) That means that the trade-offs on which materials are optimized are different for casino cards than for consumer cards. A finish which will remain perfect over a short period of time and then lose its performance characteristics may be perfect for a casino deck, where decks are made for short periods of professional handling. But a finish that is less than 100% perfect when new (at least to a professional card dealer) but more long-lasting may be optimal for consumer decks, which tend to be used longer. Copag is a European manufacturer catering to a different market, where consumer expections as to details such as the size and design are somewhat different than in the American market. Like U.S. Playing Card Co., Copag has various brands for consumer and casino applications. U.S. Playing Card's KEM cards are very expensive plastic cards which do not wear out as quickly as paper cards.
-- Bob (Bob99) 14:54, 19 January 2006
Research has been done on the durability of different brands, even if some are from the same firm. check out -- 21:33, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Other Countries[edit]

I currently am looking at a deck of cards that I was led to believe were Swedish but they have "MADE IN BELGIUM" printed on the Jokers and doing a Google search for <a href="">pictures</a> resulted in faces with identical styles.

The deck is a standard Anglo-American 52 card deck with three Jokers. The three Jokers have identical faces but only two have "MADE IN BELGIUM" printed on them. The court cards are much more elaborate than a traditional deck you can pick up in the States and the labels are not K, Q, J but H, V, B. The Aces are pictures of buildings, and I cannot identify the language the building names are written in.

I was curious to know if these types of playing cards should get a mention. The suits and order are identical, but running a few Google searches I can find many such decks. Does anyone know what these are? MrHen 16:45, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

They are almost certainly made by Carta Mundi, a Belgium-based card firm who are Europe's major producer of playing cards. AxS 14:42, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The language on those card is Dutch and both the buildings depicted are from Amsterdam. H, V and B mean Heer (Lord), Vrouwe (Lady) and Boer (Knave). These letters are common on Dutch cards and are occasionally used in Flanders aswell, though in Flanders we also often use H, D and B ... D being Dame (also Lady) or the french variant R, D, V ... Roi, Dame, Vassal. And, Yes, almost certainly made by Carta Mundi Fiji101 11:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Copyright status of cards[edit]

All the scans of cards in this page (and others, see Image: King of hearts.jpg) are labeled as PD-- this isn't true, is it? Someone scanning the cards doesn't make it their work. I'd change this, but I'm not sure how to go about doing so, or what tag to change them to. --Szabo 00:38, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I can't vouch for the 52-card picture since I can't read the brand name, but the other photos are fine. The old cards are clearly old enough for any copyright to have expired, and even the Bicycle cards (my photo) are clear because card images were not copyrightable until the 1970s, and the images were published long before that. LDC 01:59, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Out of interest, who owns the copyright to the modern card design? Perhaps it is in the public domain, but claraifcation both here and in the article is welcomed. Ddast 20:14, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Card designs and prevention of cheating[edit]

Information on the design of the backs of playing cards in preventing cheating should be included in the article.

  1. Simple back design, so that people can't systematically mark their cards. Because of a simple design, these markings would be easily seen.
  2. White bordered back: this prevents bottom dealing, as people would more easily see it if it occurs.
  3. Plastic: aside from the added durability compared to paper (and comparable to vinyl), the cards are not as easily marked or damaged, thus preventing the recognizability of dirty/marked/damaged cards.

-- 21:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Card materials[edit]

I understand the differences between paper and plastic or vinyl, but what about Plastic(100% Cellulose-Acetate)(KEM) vs. PVC(plastic)(Copag) vs. vinyl(Cheaper decks such as Bee, Bicycle, Aviator)? -- 21:41, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

KEMs and Copags just use different types of plastic. Bee, Bicycle, and Aviator aren't actually plastic, they're plastic coated paper, which doesn't last as long. Lord Bodak 03:31, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Questions about history[edit]

Do the historical sources indicate anything about which games were played? Have cards always been associated with gambling? Which social classes played cards? What did the church say about playing cards? 11:11, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Anglo-American deck[edit]

I would prefer the expression anglo-american-french deck. As the history section behind the anglo-american deck section implies, the anglo-american deck is basically the deck developed mostly by the french with initials for court figures derived from their english language names. People were playing this deck in the french court even before there were any USA. Calling it the anglo-american deck means to most readers that this modern deck was invented by english-american people which is false. In most european languages (for instance, french, italian, spanish, portuguese, german, russian and scandinavian languages to mention those I know about) this deck is known simply as the french deck. Americans invented half of modern things, but as far as i know there were no americans involved in this development. Salvadorjo 20:40, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

 You would have to resort to a term such as a Rouen deck or pack because the Paris one is not the 

ancestor of the Rouen Anglo American 1 ( one ) . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 22 July 2009 (GMT)

I'd never even heard the expression "Anglo-American deck" before seeing it on Wikipedia. I've always known it as the French or occassionally the English deck, due to their slight changes from the French deck. In the history section, it doesn't give any justification at all for adding the Americans into the name as if they somehow played a part in its creation. Being popular in the US is certainly no claim for credit. Unless someone can find a credible source indicating that the deck is actually called "Anglo-American", then this will have to be changed. Owen214 (talk) 23:43, 13 November 2010 (UTC)


I just deleted After the reunification a compromise deck was created, with French symbols, but German colors. Therefore, many "French" decks in Germany now have yellow or orange diamonds and green spades.". There are neither "compromise decks" nor decks with yellow diamonds in Germany.

The Deutscher Skatverband, [1], thinks otherwise. And please sign your posts. —Blotwell 03:10, 26 August 2007 (UTC)


i'm not sure the picture for MS solitaire is appropriate. it does not add any information or help to illustrate anything. for someone unfailiar with what solitaire is and what happens when you win, this is also misleading. suggest removal/replacement —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dylan2106 (talkcontribs) 08:52, 18 April 2007 (UTC).

Bells or Balls?[edit]

The article says that one of the suits of Central European cards is "bells". In Czech cards they are called "kule", related to the word "koule" for a ball or sphere, and illustrated as orbs, like on the Hungarian pack shown in the image. Is "bells" a (recurring) typo here? If they are bells in some languages, it is certainly worth poiting out that they are balls in others. HairyDan 12:19, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

No, these are bells. They are called Hawk Bells, being made in two halves to make a sphere. There are usually trefoil shaped holes in the bottom half and a small ball on a chain inside to make them chime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philebus (talkcontribs) 14:51, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

Bridge/Poker sizes question[edit]

Could anyone include something indicating information about common card sizes? You commonly (in english-speaking countries) see cards listed as either bridge or poker size -- what's the difference? Are there any other sizes commonly used, eg I sometimes see decks advertised as pinochle decks. AxS 14:57, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Concerning the common sizes, I just measured a pack of Bicycle brand poker cards. They are definitely 63 mm by 88 mm. Are we sure the most common size is 62 and not 63 mm? Is it possible the common width has changed over time? --Trakon 09:49, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

While I don't know the sizes off the top of my head, "Bridge size" cards are narrower than "poker size." This is probably because you hold 13 cards in bridge, and almost never more than 5 in poker. Pinochle decks are a 48 card deck with 9 through Ace of each suit, twice. Schoop (talk) 19:46, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Related to the sizes, the article states "The most common sizes for playing cards are poker size (2.5×3.5 inches (63.5×88.9 mm), or B8 size according to ISO 216) and bridge size (2.25×3.5 inches (56×87 mm)), the latter being narrower.[25]". The reference only states that the size is 2.3x3.5 inches and says nothing about B8 size. B8 size is not 2.3x3.5 inches, it is 62x88 mm, which is a different size. Which is it? I assume 2.5x3.5 because of the reference, but I can't be sure. Potatoj316 (talk) 20:21, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Did this information get removed? I'd also like to see information on the overall card shape; I recall learning that the the current rectangular shape is relatively new, and that (for example) circular cards were once popular. Modern Poker-sized playing cards agree with B8 in ISO 216, which surely can't be coincidental, so this seems to suggest that this size can't be older than 1798. Joule36e5 (talk) 07:40, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

It was moved to Standard 52-card deck where it fits better. As for shapes, rectangular is older and far more common. The oldest cards from China and the Arabs tend to be thin and long strips, this is still reflected in Italian suited cards. Round cards exist in India (see Ganjifa) but they were converted from rectangular Iranian cards. Rounds decks were also made around 1500 in Germany but they seem to be collector's items and never played with.--Countakeshi (talk) 18:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

The missing queen in Spanish pattern cards[edit]

The article seems to suggest that the queen was dropped from a set of Tarot suits. It was my understanding that the cards arrived in Europe with three male court cards, these were added to in a Milanese pack that introduced the queen (the first pack with a queen had a male and female of each cour rank) which then became a 56 card pack (to which trumps were added to make the tarot) that later dropped back to 52 cards, retaining the queen but dropping the cavalier. The queen was never a part of the Spannish pattern to have been dropped from it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philebus (talkcontribs) 14:46, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

Accessible Playing Cards[edit]

I have added a section on accessible (large-print, braille, etc.) playing cards though I'm by no means an expert. If you are familiar with braille playing cards please fill in details about presentations and suit markings used. I also did not include any information about domino-style tile cards which I have seen used by card players with cerebral palsy for playing standard card games since I have no idea how common their use is. bondolo 17:19, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

78-card sets[edit]

There is a company in the US somewhere that has produced a 78-card set (not including jokers), with two additional suits - crowns and anchors, so there are three suits in each colour. There is no mention of this in the article. I believe the reason for designing the set was to increase options for large numbers of players playing a game together. GBC (talk) 01:43, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Section 1.4[edit]

This section says that if you add up all the card values, you get 364, for which you can get 365 by adding a joker. However, because of the ace as high, it is actually 416, for which you can get 417 by adding a joker. What flaw is there here??

The section seems to imply that the symbolisms are all gimmicks, and so I don't think they really need to stand up to deeper inspection beyond 'oh, isn't that a neat coincidence?'. But the paragraph would definitely be better served if it clearified exactly what it was trying to suggest. (talk) 02:43, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Whoah what?[edit]

The joker is an American invention. Given its name, the logical and common depiction on the card's face is a jester; this idea may have been borrowed from the Fool card of French tarot decks, but though the design (and in some games the function) of the two cards are similar, the Joker of the Anglo-American deck has origins unrelated to the Fool.

The joker card was devised for the game of Euchre, which spread from Europe to America beginning shortly after the American Revolutionary War and was very popular by the mid-1800's. The joker was ideated around 1865 by Samuel Hart as a replacement card for the jack of trumps, known as the Bower (from the German "bauer" meaning "best"), which is the highest trump in the game. The joker was uniquely designed and thus more easily differentiable than a Jack. The actual appellative of the card derived from a mispronunciation and misspelling of the Alsatian name for Euchre, "Juker". Some variants of Euchre use two Bowers, one of which outranks the other, and thus as the idea of the Joker became popular, card printers began including two jokers that were differentiable from each other as well as from any other card. In contemporary decks, the two jokers are differentiated by making one card face more colorful, larger or more intricately detailed than the other. This joker is called the "Big" or "Red" joker, while the other is the "Little" or "Black" joker. In many card games the jokers are not used, while in others the role of the joker is simply a wild card, so the difference between the two jokers has no meaning. Unlike face cards, the design of jokers varies widely between manufacturers and deck styles. Many manufacturers use them to carry trademark designs unique to one style of deck.

In the twentieth century, a means for coating paper cards with plastic was invented, and has since taken over the market, producing a durable product. An example of what the old cardboard product was like is documented in Buster Keaton's silent comedy The Navigator, in which the forlorn comic tries to shuffle and play cards during a rainstorm. Cards made entirely of plastic were also developed, and are known for their increased durability over even plastic-coated cards (some brands of 100% plastic cards, in fact, provide a limited lifetime warranty).

I removed these paragraphs from the "Later design changes" section, because frankly... The first two paragraphs are original research (and badly done research as well, 'bauer' does not meant 'best' it means 'farmer' or 'peasant' and is another name for the Jack and Jucker is not the Alsatian name for Euchre, but the name of a card.) and the last paragraph seems superfluous and derived from the original writer's desire to showcase a bit of trivia he knows.

Can someone verify the first to paragraphs and wikify the last before putting them back in? Robrecht (talk) 17:13, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

I checked, edited, and sourced the first paragraph and a half or so. Everything from the sentence beginning "In contemporary decks, ..." is still unsourced. (talk) 23:07, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Missing reference to Kille or Gnav[edit]

An alternative popular suite of cards is the Swedish game Kille and the Norwegian game Gnav, which is said to have Italian origin from at least the 15th century Italy. They have their own article in Wiki, but deserves to be mentioned in this main article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


Most people won't know what unicode is, so isn't including it a bit irrelevant??? (talk) 21:11, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

If you are doing anything computerised and relating to cards, those code points are needed. I imagine that anyone writing up a particular game would find that both useful and relevant, and personally, they just saved my butt. keep. (talk) 22:38, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Completely useless if your computer doesn't use Unicodes. Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 22:55, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The Family of Card Games[edit]

Playing card games belong to three distinct families: The Rummy, Trump and Solitaire family games. They should be classified according to their roots, so that the development of a given line of games could be traced more easily. Games that gave rise to Poker (as Primero, Poch, Brag), Bridge (Maw, Hombre, Whist) and Canasta (Khanhoo, Conquian, Mahjong), could be then found and studied in detail.

The same applies to all sub-groups like: Matching games, Plain-trick games, Point-trick games, Vying and Stops games, etc... they should also be classified according to their roots, so as to clarify the topic. Krenakarore (talk) 15:43, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Are you aware that we have a separate article Card game? Hans Adler 19:22, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

A Shrouded History[edit]

I removed some sections from the Early History section for want of citations. I am posting them here if someone wants to return them, preferably with some citations:

Boccaccio, Chaucer and other writers of that time specifically refer to various games, but there is not a single passage in their works that can be fairly construed to refer to cards. Passages have been quoted from various works, of or relative to this period, but modern research leads to the supposition that the word rendered cards has often been mistranslated or interpolated.

later: There is some evidence to suggest that this deck may have evolved from an earlier 48-card deck that had only two court cards per suit, and some further evidence to suggest that earlier Chinese cards brought to Europe may have travelled to Persia, which then influenced the Mameluke and other Egyptian cards of the time before their reappearance.

The first part appears to be a combination of tangential evidence and then (next sentence) an original conclusion or bit of research if not cited to the modern research referenced.

The other paragraph (in addition to misspelling traveled) just requires some form of verification.

Sorry if this is poorly taken. Msheflin (talk) 03:36, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

This section: Production techniques - is also highly questionable. Msheflin (talk) 03:41, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

French deck[edit]

The article keeps mentioning French decks in passing without clearly saying what one is. Even if the info is buried in the article somewhere, could I ask someone who knows about these things to add a "French" section to the types of deck part - perhaps even before Anglo-American - even if it is very short. -- SGBailey (talk) 10:11, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

It seems that the "Anglo-American" is actually the French deck. I suggest correcting the article by changing all references from "Anglo-American" to "French". (talk) 19:27, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not the exactly the same. The relation of "Anglo-American deck" to "French deck" is a bit like the relation of "American language" to "English language": Both "French deck" and "English language" have two meanings, and depending on which you choose the first term is either included in the second or distinct from it. The differences between Anglo-American and French decks (in the strict sense, i.e. as used in France) is in details of design and in the use of different letters for the court cards. E.g. K for knight vs. V for valet.Hans Adler 19:54, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to second the original comment; the article needs a section on the French deck, if only to clarify the difference. One approach would be to split the current "Anglo-American" section. Any takers? Moonraker12 (talk) 13:31, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The changes from the French deck were implemented by the English, why are you mentioning America in the name at all? Not even the article explains that. Owen214 (talk) 09:37, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Cards used in Telepathic Research?[edit]

What is it called when you use cards in telepathic research? It was my understanding that playing cards are occasionally made with special cards like bars, circles, triangles, and the like? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 22:58, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Zener cards --Error (talk) 21:44, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

King of Hearts[edit]

Could someone able to edit SVG images please remove the moustache from Playing card heart K.svg -- SGBailey (talk) 16:11, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure that that's appropriate. Which kings have a full beard and which have only a moustache seems to vary between the different variants (French, Anglo-American, German) of the French pack. Hans Adler 18:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

The first card game?[edit]

Among the many card games that are known of, does anyone know the rules of an original primeval game called "cards" or similar that the playing cards were invented for? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 23:40, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

No. The first card games in Europe appeared in the Middle Ages and I think we don't know much about what people played with them at the time. We also don't know where they came from, although it seems clear that they came from somewhere in Asia.
I think there is a hypothesis that the first playing cards were derived from dominoes, but I can't check this with my source right now. What we do know with some degree of certainty is that trumps were invented (or at least became popular) through an Italian game called triomphi (triumphs), and that the first tarot packs were created for this game. Hans Adler 18:12, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Spanish deck[edit]

How many cards are in this deck? The Baraja page says 40, and the list at Mus (which uses it) has K Q J 7 6 5 4 3 2 A.
But the text here has “so each suit has only twelve cards” which makes 48. It also says “most Spanish games involve forty-card decks, with the 8s and 9s removed”; that leaves 44.
Does anyone know? Moonraker12 (talk) 11:35, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Check your maths - removing the four 8's and the four 9's from a 48-card deck (which already doesn't have any tens) leaves 40 cards. Your other questions are good and I don't know the answers. Zargulon (talk) 15:41, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The penny drops: I'd missed the bit which says "the card numbered 10 is [also] the first of the court cards" and was thinking of an Anglo- pack of 52. Thanks. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:11, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Bishop Gunther’s shroud[edit]

This bit claims that the supposed 'hearts' 'clubs' 'spades' and 'diamonds' on the background of this tapestry is evidence of contemporary playing cards in 11th century Constantinople. I'm not certain that this has in fact been proven (At least, if it has, it hasn't been cited anywhere), but I AM certain that it conflicts with a later part in the article that DOES account for the establishment of these four suits in 14th century France. If there's no dispute here, I'll gladly remove the bit about "Bishop Gunther's" shroud. Gnosis1185 (talk) 22:08, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

the argument is finally settled: Name of standard deck[edit]

After I noticed the inconsitencies and un-earnt credit in the naming of the standard deck here as the "Anglo-American deck", I did a bit of checking and now we can put this debate to rest. At these seemingly reliable sites, it just calls it the French deck straight up: Even other wikipedia pages refer to it as the French deck: I was hoping to use the Bicycle website as a source, but I noticed that it translated Baccarat Chemin de Fer by the incorrect urban myth and also kept alive the urban myth that the Viet Cong were terrified of the Ace of Spades.

This site provided the best explanation as to why some people don't call it the French deck: The letters have been translated (from Roi to King for example) and the pictures are in a slightly different style. Still, as many of the previous sources have indicated, those differences are frivolous and just to be expected. The only mention I could find for why America has any claim to the name is because America introduced the Joker in order to play Bridge I think it was. What they failed to point out though is that the original French Tarot deck already had the fool which is depicted in the same way as the Joker and plays the same function as the Joker in Tarot. So it would be more correct to say that the Americans "brought back the joker". It might interest you to know that most people seemed to not even realise that some countries have different decks; merely calling it a "standard deck" or a "52-card deck".

The confusion about the French deck turns out to be harmless, it seems. An American game Telsina strips down the deck and some people seem to nickname this new deck as the "French deck" but I couldn't find any explanation for how this makes it French.

So there you have it; we don't need to be confused about the names anymore; it's the "French deck" and has been for centuries. If anyone is keen to improve the sources, looking in Hoyle's book of rules would be a good place to look. I don't have the book myself so I couldn't check.Owen214 (talk) 10:24, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

I can answer some of your asked and un-asked questions. "French deck" isn't really better than "Anglo-American deck", because it also refers to a specific style and refers specifically to R for the king, etc. What I normally use instead is "French-suited deck". Although there are also French-suited tarot decks, tarot decks are rare enough overall so that there should be no ambiguity in practice.
The tarot deck is not originally French but was invented in Italy and originally had Italian/Spanish suits. The French suits were invented later, and were applied to tarot decks even later. (In France this happened as late as the 19th century, in some other places earlier.)
There is a small number of serious researchers on card games and playing cards, such as David Parlett, John McLeod and Michael Dummett. They all agree that in spite of the similar depictions, the Joker is unrelated to the Fool. It was introduced for the game Euchre, which originally was called Jucker (pronounced like "yooker"). The Joker serves as an additional Jack, and the Jacks in that game were also sometimes called Juckers.
Although I think we shouldn't follow the practice, calling a "stripped" 32-card deck a "French deck" makes sense in that most modern French card games are played with such decks, in the same way that most modern Spanish card games are played with 40-card decks. In Germany one distinguishes between the (French-suited) "French deck" and the (German-suited) "German deck", both of 32 cards. Normally such decks are called piquet decks after the very old game Piquet, for which the number of cards was reduced from 36 to 32 around 1700.
"Hoyle's book of rules" is not really a specific book but a family of books form different authors and publishers, loosely held together by the fact that they all use the name "Hoyle" for marketing reasons. The best source for information on playing cards is probably Chapters 3 and 4 of Parlett's Oxford Guide to Card Games. Most (not all) information on the web is wrong or useless. Hans Adler 11:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
In reference to the above statement by Owen214 "because America introduced the Joker in order to play Bridge I think it was", the joker is not used and has never been used in bridge. Newwhist (talk) 15:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
In reference to the above statement by Newwhist, as well as the slightly more above statement by Owen214 re: the origins of the Joker, I'm guessing that the game they were thinking of was Euchre eldamorie (talk) 20:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
That's right, thanks Eldamorie. Owen214 (talk) 08:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Back pattern[edit]

Can someone add a section describing the historical context of the (often highly intricate) back patterns? Turkeyphant 20:24, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


The history section begins with a list of possible times of introduction of cards into Europe, but then matter-of-factly says that they were brought to Europe in the 14th century. I have added a tag. Drlf (talk) 23:20, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. The first paragraph was plagiarised from a book from 1863 and was mostly wrong, so I have simply removed it. There is excellent information on this matter in Chapter 4 of the Oxford Guide to Card Games and some other academic sources that I have. At some point I will rewrite the section, but I don't have the time right now. Hans Adler 11:36, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Standard pack, again[edit]

I understand Owen's point, above, but the section labelled "French deck" is predominantly about the English and American packs; I've broken this out into a sub-section, for clarity.
I've also reduced the Piquet and Pinochle sections to sub-sections of the French deck, because (as far as I can see) they use that deck, rather than being specialist packs on their own. I trust that is OK with everyone. Moonraker12 (talk) 12:42, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

4 Symbols of playing cards (Suits)[edit]

Hearts = Love

Dimonds = Richs/Wealth

Spades = Hard work

Clubs = War

Notably the red suits signify possitive and the black negitive. Remember its all about the colour of the suits! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:39, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

File:Baraja-40-cards.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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National and international regulation[edit]

A friend of mine noticed that the post offices of various countries (specifically Germany, Italy, and the U.S.) have very detailed regulations regarding the shipment of playing cards from one country to another. Does anyone know the origins of such regulations? Are there other regulations (perhaps in other countries) restricting the printing and distribution of playing cards (beyond the usual copyright controls)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Why no inclusion of links to individual cards?[edit]

Just passing through and wondering why this isn't included in this page somewhere: {{Playing cards}} (which does this:

) Elf | Talk 19:54, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Done. Newwhist (talk) 14:55, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Queen of Clubs / Queen of clubs / queen of clubs ?[edit]

What capitalisation should be used? I'm just trying to move a new article from Queen of Clubs to Queen of clubs, but usage in this and other articles is inconsistent! PamD 12:17, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Some common styles particular to contract bridge are summarised in Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge/Manual of Style/Appendix 2: Referenced Manuals of Style. This suggests for "Queen of clubs" as a title and "queen of clubs" in a text string. However, these style recommendations may be overridden by the more general Wiki style. You may wish to pose your question at the Wikipedia:help desk. Newwhist (talk) 13:52, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, you may wish to check the talk/discussion pages of the various playing card articles to see if this issue has been addressed before. Newwhist (talk) 13:57, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't much like the principle but it seems that wikipedia style is to use the lower case of "clubs" for wikipedia articles, however, historically on wikipedia the capital is still used.
As an additional point the extend article is not in good shape. The introduction of material on mysticism is back to front. First a single page needs to be created on mysticism perhaps by suit rather than setting a precedence about creating a page for each card. I suspect only the ace of spades has sufficient notability to have its own page. This is similar to a situation which has arisen with Tarot cards. Clearly, it is WP:UNDUE with respect to QC already.Tetron76 (talk) 09:57, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I quite agree it's a pretty poor article: I came across it while stub-sorting and worried about the title first. Feel free to tidy it up / strip out the rubbish. I wonder about the wisdom of the {{Playing cards}} template: it implies that there are likely to be articles about most if not all of the individual cards, and apart from dubious mysticism there probably isn't enough to write about most of them. PamD 17:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Image caption dubious[edit]

Currently there is a picture of some cards, captioned, "Medieval gambling cards, c.1377." The image shows hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades, so these cards must be from later than 1480. Ordinary Person (talk) 08:03, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Capitalization of the word pack is dubious[edit]

Capitalization of the word "pack" in the article varies. The word generally should not be capitalized since it's not a proper noun. I won't change the article because I'm not certain, but it seems the word is incorrectly capitalized in several places in the article. Evonj (talk) 13:52, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree with you, especially as there doesn't seem to be any consistency to when it's capitalised and when it's not. I'll attack it now but am open to reasons I could have missed as to why they're there. JaeDyWolf ~ Baka-San (talk) 14:28, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Playing card money[edit]

One guilder, playing card money (1801). Prior to the formal introduction of paper currency, playing card money, denominated in Dutch Guilders, was used in Dutch Guiana (1761–1826)

I wanted to see if it would be appropriate to insert this image (and some form of the caption) in this article. Thanks-Godot13 (talk) 03:39, 28 August 2014 (UTC)