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The history of the Card Deck

People began playing cards many centuries ago. All the rules and strategies for the game have been developing since early times and most people do not realize that there is something called the history of card games. There have been defining moments in the history of cards that have caused the games to evolve. I read about this topic at the Casino Advisor and I thought it was interesting to learn it which is why I will share some of the history of playing card games with you today.

Historians have stated that the origin of card games is China. The Chinese royalty has records of playing card games from as early as the ninth century. Back then they played with four suits and the numbers 2 to 9 in each one of them. The merchants then brought card games from China to India, the Middle East and Egypt.

The card games we know today became developing in Egypt around the 12th century. The Egyptians started playing around the time of the Mamluk Sultans and the 52 cards deck came to be known as the Mameluke deck. The suits were polo sticks, coins, swords and cups and each one had ten number cards, they also had three court cards named King, Viceroy and Under Deputy and they had abstract designs and not people on them.

The earliest authentic reference to playing cards in the West is in Europe from Spain in 1371. After that date there have been a lot of references found in Europe. The first playing cards were hand made from woodcuts and later from engravings. Cards began being mass printed later and the cards all across Europe were different with different designs, symbols and names. The suits as we know them today, spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts come from France in the 15th century. Ultimately the rest of Europe accepted the standardizes design anf the court cards were named King, Knight and Knave, later the Queen replaced the Knight.

In the 17th century the introduction of the indices at the corner came and it was important because cards could be recognized without spreading them wide and could be held with one hand. This was when the Knave was replaced by the Jack, because following the indices lead to confussion between the King (K) and the Knive (Kn).

In the 18th century came the design of reversible count cards. All the way until then the court cards were designed as full length figures. Some players would turn the court cards to make them upright and this often revealed the nature of the card. With the reversible court cards this problem was solved. Card games were also being played in America at the time and the Joker was invented here around 1870.

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