Now, in The Oxford Guide to Card Games, internationally renowned game expert David Parlett provides a fascinating historical guide to cards in Europe and. Playing Cards. History of the Pack and Explanations of Its Many Secrets: Ward, Lock & Co. Ltd., London, (also reprinted by Spring Books, London, no date). Bavarian card games (1 C, 20 P). S. ▻ Card games of Schleswig-Holstein (5 P). ▻ Skat (card Categories: Card games by national origin · German games.
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Card Game History 18 comments VideoCard Games: Crash Course Games #13 The history of card games is a long one, after all people in all time periods liked to have fun! First playing cards actually originate from China before AD. These cards ware the ancestors of dominoes, well actually they ware more or less paper dominoes. The History of Playing Cards: The Evolution of the Modern Deck The East. The precise origin of playing cards continues to be the subject of debate among scholars, and even the best Italy and Spain. In the manuscript dated , our German monk friend Johannes from Switzerland mentions the. The first pre-CCG to make it to market was the Baseball Card Game, released by Topps in as an apparent followup to a game from called Batter Up Baseball by Ed-u-Cards Corp. Players created teams of hitters, represented by cards, and moved them around a baseball diamond according to cards representing baseball plays drawn from a randomized deck. Playing cards may have been invented during the Tang dynasty around the 9th century AD as a result of the usage of woodblock printing technology. The earliest known text containing a possible reference to card games is a 9th-century text known as the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang, written by Tang dynasty writer Su E. Playing cards or tiles were invented in China as early as the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty (–). The earliest unambiguous attestation of paper playing cards date back to The modern game of Dominoes developed from early Chinese tile based games. A Study in Cultural Adaption Wayland Playing Card Monograph No. Z Zählspiel Zwanzig ab Zweifeln Zwicken Zwickern. Party Spiele Erwachsene Juckerspiel.
It is possible that the clubs trefles derive from the acorns and the spades pikes from the leaves of the German playing cards, but they may also have been developed independently.
The French also preferred a king, queen, and knave as their court cards. But the real stroke of genius that the French came up with was to divide the four suits into two red and two black, with simplified and clearer symbols.
This meant that playing cards could be produced with stencils, a hundred times more quickly than using the traditional techniques of wood-cutting and engraving.
With improved processes in manufacturing paper, and the development of better printing processes, including Gutenberg's printing press , the slower and more costly traditional woodcut techniques previously done by hand were replaced with a much more efficient production.
For sheer practical reasons, the Germans lost their earlier dominance in the playing card market, as the French decks and their suits spread all over Europe, giving us the designs as we know them today.
One interesting feature of the French dominance of playing cards in this time is the attention given to court cards.
In the late s French manufacturers began giving the court cards names from famous literary epics such as the Bible and other classics.
It is from this era that the custom developed of associating specific court cards with famous names, the more well-known and commonly accepted ones for the Kings being King David Spades , Alexander the Great Clubs , Charlemagne Hearts , and Julius Caesar Diamonds , representing the four empires of Jews, Greeks, Franks, and Romans.
Notable characters ascribed to the Queens include the Greek goddess Pallas Athena Spades , Judith Hearts , Jacob's wife Rachel Diamonds , and Argine Clubs.
The common postures, clothing, and accessories that we expect in a modern deck of playing cards today find their roots in characters like these, but we cannot be certain how these details originated, since there was much diversity of clothing, weapons, and accessories depicted in the French decks of this time.
But eventually standardization began to happen, and this was accelerated in the s when taxing on playing cards was introduced. With France divided into nine regions for this purpose, manufacturers within each region were ordered to use a standardized design unique to their region.
But it was only when playing cards emigrated to England that a common design really began to dominate the playing card industry.
Our journey across the channel actually begins in Belgium, from where massive quantities of cards began to be exported to England, although soldiers from France may also have helped introduce playing cards to England.
Due to heavy taxes in France, some influential card makers emigrated to Belgium, and several card factories and workshops began to appear there.
Rouen in particular was an important center of the printing trade. Thousands of decks of Belgian made playing cards were exported to countries throughout Europe, including England.
In view of this, it is no surprise that English card players have virtually always been using the French designs.
But playing cards did not pass through Europe without the English leaving their stamp on them. To begin with, they opted to use the names hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs to refer to the suits that the French had designated as coeurs, piques, carreaux, and trefles.
We do not know why, but they based two of the suit names spades and clubs on the names of the Italian deck rather than directly translate the French terms piques pikes and trefles clovers ; one possible explanation is the Spanish suits were exported to England before French ones.
The word diamond is also somewhat unexpected, given that the English word for carreau wax-painted tiles used in churches at the time was lozenge.
Whatever the reasons, it is to usage in England that we owe the names that we use for the suits today. The English government passed an Act that cards could not leave the factory until they had proof that the required tax on playing cards had been paid.
This initially involved hand stamping the Ace of Spades - probably because it was the top card. But to prevent tax evasion, in it was decided that from now on the Ace of Spades had to be purchased from the Commissioners for Stamp Duties, and that it had to be specially printed along with the manufacturer's name and the amount of duty paid.
As a result, the Ace of Spades tended to have elaborate designs along with the manufacturer's name.
Only in were approved manufacturers finally allowed to print their own Ace of Spades, but the fate of the signature Ace of Spades had been decided, and the practice of an ornate Ace with the manufacturer's name was often continued.
As a result, to this day it is the one card in a deck that typically gets special treatment and elaborate designs.
The artwork on English court cards appears to have been largely influenced by designs produced in Rouen, Belgium, which produced large amounts of playing cards for export.
They include details such as kings with crowns, flowing robes, beards, and longish hair; queens holding flowers and sceptres; and knaves that are clean-shaven, wearing caps, and holding arrows, feathers or pikes.
But whatever variety was present, slowly disappeared as a result of the industrious efforts of Briton Thomas de la Rue, who was able to reduce the prices of playing cards due to increased output and productivity.
But you can play card games with any old pack so as demand increased new, cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone The history of playing cards in popular art is fascinating and has a long tradition.
This section is an online tutorial covering the early history of playing cards. You will learn about the following topics:. Instead, they were printed with instructions or forfeits for whomever drew them.
The earliest dated instance of a game involving cards occurred on 17 July when "Yan Sengzhu and Zheng Pig-Dog were caught playing cards [zhi pai] and that wood blocks for printing them had been impounded, together with nine of the actual cards.
William Henry Wilkinson suggests that the first cards may have been actual paper currency which doubled as both the tools of gaming and the stakes being played for,  similar to trading card games.
Using paper money was inconvenient and risky so they were substituted by play money known as "money cards". One of the earliest games in which we know the rules is madiao , a trick-taking game , which dates to the Ming Dynasty — The two latter suits had Water Margin characters instead of pips on them  with Chinese to mark their rank and suit.
The suit of coins is in reverse order with 9 of coins being the lowest going up to 1 of coins as the high card. Despite the wide variety of patterns, the suits show a uniformity of structure.
Every suit contains twelve cards with the top two usually being the court cards of king and vizier and the bottom ten being pip cards.
Half the suits use reverse ranking for their pip cards. There are many motifs for the suit pips but some include coins, clubs, jugs, and swords which resemble later Mamluk and Latin suits.
Michael Dummett speculated that Mamluk cards may have descended from an earlier deck which consisted of 48 cards divided into four suits each with ten pip cards and two court cards.
By the 11th century, playing cards were spreading throughout the Asian continent and later came into Egypt. They are dated to the 12th and 13th centuries late Fatimid , Ayyubid , and early Mamluk periods.
In fact, the word "Kanjifah" appears in Arabic on the king of swords and is still used in parts of the Middle East to describe modern playing cards.
Influence from further east can explain why the Mamluks, most of whom were Central Asian Turkic Kipchaks , called their cups tuman which means myriad in Turkic, Mongolian and Jurchen languages.
The Mamluk court cards showed abstract designs or calligraphy not depicting persons possibly due to religious proscription in Sunni Islam , though they did bear the ranks on the cards.
Panels on the pip cards in two suits show they had a reverse ranking, a feature found in madiao, ganjifa , and old European card games like ombre , tarot , and maw.
A fragment of two uncut sheets of Moorish -styled cards of a similar but plainer style was found in Spain and dated to the early 15th century.
Export of these cards from Cairo, Alexandria, and Damascus , ceased after the fall of the Mamluks in the 16th century. The earliest records of playing cards in Europe is believed by some researchers to be a ban on card games in the city of Berne in ,   although this source is questionable.
Among the early patterns of playing card were those probably derived from the Mamluk suits of cups, coins, swords, and polo-sticks, which are still used in traditional Latin decks.
In the account books of Johanna, Duchess of Brabant and Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg , an entry dated May 14, , by receiver general of Brabant Renier Hollander reads: "Given to Monsieur and Madame four peters and two florins, worth eight and a half sheep, for the purchase of packs of cards".
From about to  professional card makers in Ulm , Nuremberg , and Augsburg created printed decks. Playing cards even competed with devotional images as the most common uses for woodcuts in this period.
Most early woodcuts of all types were coloured after printing, either by hand or, from about onwards, stencils. These 15th-century playing cards were probably painted.
The Flemish Hunting Deck , held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art , is the oldest complete set of ordinary playing cards made in Europe from the 15th century.
The names pique and spade , however, may have derived from the sword spade of the Italian suits. In the late 14th century, Europeans changed the Mamluk court cards to represent European royalty and attendants.
In a description from , the earliest courts were originally a seated " king ", an upper marshal that held his suit symbol up, and a lower marshal that held it down.
In England, the lowest court card was called the "knave" which originally meant male child compare German Knabe , so in this context the character could represent the "prince", son to the king and queen; the meaning servant developed later.
Although the Germans abandoned the queen before the s, the French permanently picked it up and placed it under the king.
Packs of 56 cards containing in each suit a king, queen, knight, and knave as in tarot were once common in the 15th century.
In , the Mistery of Makers of Playing Cards of the City of London now the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards was incorporated under a royal charter by Charles I ; the Company received livery status from the Court of Aldermen of the City of London in During the mid 16th century, Portuguese traders introduced playing cards to Japan.
Packs with corner and edge indices i. The first American-manufactured French deck with this innovation was the Saladee's Patent, printed by Samuel Hart in This was followed by the innovation of reversible court cards.
This invention is attributed to a French card maker of Agen in But the French government, which controlled the design of playing cards, prohibited the printing of cards with this innovation.
In central Europe Trappola cards and Italy Tarocco Bolognese the innovation was adopted during the second half of the 18th century. In Great Britain, the pack with reversible court cards was patented in by Edmund Ludlow and Ann Wilcox.
The French pack with this design was printed around by Thomas Wheeler. Sharp corners wear out more quickly, and could possibly reveal the card's value, so they were replaced with rounded corners.
Before the midth century, British, American, and French players preferred blank backs. The need to hide wear and tear and to discourage writing on the back led cards to have designs, pictures, photos, or advertising on the reverse.
The United States introduced the joker into the deck. It was devised for the game of euchre , which spread from Europe to America beginning shortly after the American Revolutionary War.
In euchre, the highest trump card is the Jack of the trump suit, called the right bower from the German Bauer ; the second-highest trump, the left bower , is the jack of the suit of the same color as trumps.
The joker was invented c. Columbia University 's Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds the Albert Field Collection of Playing Cards, an archive of over 6, individual decks from over 50 countries and dating back to the s.
Since , Vanderbilt University has been home to the 1,volume George Clulow and United States Playing Card Co.
Gaming Collection , which has been called one of the "most complete and scholarly collections [of books on cards and gaming] that has ever been gathered together".
Contemporary playing cards are grouped into three broad categories based on the suits they use: French, Latin, and Germanic. Latin suits are used in the closely related Spanish and Italian formats.
The Swiss-German suits are distinct enough to merit their subcategory. Excluding jokers and tarot trumps, the French card deck preserves the number of cards in the original Mamluk deck, while Latin and Germanic decks average fewer.
Latin decks usually drop the higher-valued pip cards, while Germanic decks drop the lower-valued ones. Within suits, there are regional or national variations called "standard patterns.
Partners sit opposite to each other and cannot see each other's hands. If communication between the partners is allowed at all, then it is usually restricted to a specific list of permitted signs and signals.
Another way of extending a two-player game to more players is as a cut-throat game, in which all players fight on their own, and win or lose alone.
Most cut-throat card games are round games , i. For some of the most interesting games such as ombre , tarot and skat , the associations between players change from hand to hand.
Ultimately players all play on their own, but for each hand, some game mechanism divides the players into two teams. Most typically these are solo games , i.
But in games for more than three players, there may also be a mechanism that selects two players who then have to play against the others.
The players of a card game normally form a circle around a table or other space that can hold cards. The game orientation or direction of play , which is only relevant for three or more players, can be either clockwise or counterclockwise.
It is the direction in which various roles in the game proceed. Most regions have a traditional direction of play, such as:. Europe is roughly divided into a clockwise area in the north and a counterclockwise area in the south.
The boundary runs between England , Ireland , Netherlands , Germany , Austria mostly , Slovakia , Finland , Ukraine and Russia clockwise and France , Switzerland , Spain , Italy , Slovenia , Balkans , Hungary , Romania , Bulgaria , Greece and Turkey anticlockwise.
Games that originate in a region with a strong preference are often initially played in the original direction, even in regions that prefer the opposite direction.
For games that have official rules and are played in tournaments, the direction of play is often prescribed in those rules.
Most games have some form of asymmetry between players. The roles of players are normally expressed in terms of the dealer , i.
Being the dealer can be a minor or major advantage or disadvantage, depending on the game. Therefore, after each played hand, the deal normally passes to the next player according to the game orientation.
As it can still be an advantage or disadvantage to be the first dealer, there are some standard methods for determining who is the first dealer. A common method is by cutting, which works as follows.
One player shuffles the deck and places it on the table. Each player lifts a packet of cards from the top, reveals its bottom card, and returns it to the deck.
The player who reveals the highest or lowest card becomes dealer. In case of a tie, the process is repeated by the tied players.
For some games such as whist this process of cutting is part of the official rules, and the hierarchy of cards for the purpose of cutting which need not be the same as that used otherwise in the game is also specified.
But in general any method can be used, such as tossing a coin in case of a two-player game, drawing cards until one player draws an ace, or rolling dice.
A hand is a unit of the game that begins with the dealer shuffling and dealing the cards as described below, and ends with the players scoring and the next dealer being determined.
The set of cards that each player receives and holds in his or her hands is also known as that player's hand. The hand is over when the players have finished playing their hands.
Most often this occurs when one player or all has no cards left. The player who sits after the dealer in the direction of play is known as eldest hand or in two-player games as elder hand or forehand.
A game round consists of as many hands as there are players. After each hand, the deal is passed on in the direction of play, i. Normally players score points after each hand.
A game may consist of a fixed number of rounds. Alternatively it can be played for a fixed number of points. In this case it is over with the hand in which a player reaches the target score.
Shuffling is the process of bringing the cards of a pack into a random order. There are a large number of techniques with various advantages and disadvantages.
Riffle shuffling is a method in which the deck is divided into two roughly equal-sized halves that are bent and then released, so that the cards interlace.
The overhand shuffle and the Hindu shuffle are two techniques that work by taking batches of cards from the top of the deck and reassembling them in the opposite order.
They are easier to learn but must be repeated more often. A method suitable for small children consists in spreading the cards on a large surface and moving them around before picking up the deck again.
This is also the most common method for shuffling tiles such as dominoes. For casino games that are played for large sums it is vital that the cards be properly randomised, but for many games this is less critical, and in fact player experience can suffer when the cards are shuffled too well.
The official skat rules stipulate that the cards are shuffled well , but according to a decision of the German skat court, a one-handed player should ask another player to do the shuffling, rather than use a shuffling machine , as it would shuffle the cards too well.
French belote rules go so far as to prescribe that the deck never be shuffled between hands. The dealer takes all of the cards in the pack, arranges them so that they are in a uniform stack, and shuffles them.
In strict play, the dealer then offers the deck to the previous player in the sense of the game direction for cutting. If the deal is clockwise, this is the player to the dealer's right; if counterclockwise, it is the player to the dealer's left.
The invitation to cut is made by placing the pack, face downward, on the table near the player who is to cut: who then lifts the upper portion of the pack clear of the lower portion and places it alongside.
Normally the two portions have about equal size. Strict rules often indicate that each portion must contain a certain minimum number of cards, such as three or five.
The formerly lower portion is then replaced on top of the formerly upper portion. Instead of cutting, one may also knock on the deck to indicate that one trusts the dealer to have shuffled fairly.
The actual deal distribution of cards is done in the direction of play, beginning with eldest hand.
The dealer holds the pack, face down, in one hand, and removes cards from the top of it with his or her other hand to distribute to the players, placing them face down on the table in front of the players to whom they are dealt.
The cards may be dealt one at a time, or in batches of more than one card; and either the entire pack or a determined number of cards are dealt out.
The undealt cards, if any, are left face down in the middle of the table, forming the stock also called the talon, widow, skat or kitty depending on the game and region.
Throughout the shuffle, cut, and deal, the dealer should prevent the players from seeing the faces of any of the cards.
The players should not try to see any of the faces. Should a player accidentally see a card, other than one's own, proper etiquette would be to admit this.
It is also dishonest to try to see cards as they are dealt, or to take advantage of having seen a card. Should a card accidentally become exposed, visible to all , any player can demand a redeal all the cards are gathered up, and the shuffle, cut, and deal are repeated or that the card be replaced randomly into the deck "burning" it and a replacement dealt from the top to the player who was to receive the revealed card.
When the deal is complete, all players pick up their cards, or "hand", and hold them in such a way that the faces can be seen by the holder of the cards but not the other players, or vice versa depending on the game.
It is helpful to fan one's cards out so that if they have corner indices all their values can be seen at once.