Playing cards are rectangular sheets made of cardboard or thin plastic used for card games, tricks and cartomancy. A complete set of playing cards is called deck. One side of cards called face indicates their value and distinguishes each one from the others. The opposite side looks the same for all in the deck.
Playing cards have been used to play gambling games in every casino around the world. Some of them even have their own card sets with symbols of the casino. You can enjoy gambling using really nice cards in popular casinos like in MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and find some with the symbols of casino Betway or WiliamHill.
Let’s look into the ancient times to the history of cards.
The earliest playing cards appeared in East Asia. Korea and China were the first countries where people start to play card games as far back as in 12th century. Before the appearance of paper the Chinese and Japanese have used flat oblong plates of ivory or wood.
Been propagated in different cultures set of cards took different forms and species. Round cards named Gandjifa (or Gânjaphâ) became popular in India. A card game Uta-garuta was well known in medieval Japan during the shogun. They used shell mussels as card sets that were covered with depicting scenes of everyday life, seasons and poetry scenes.
And what cards are used to play nowadays?
There are 6 popular sets of playing cards being used in different countries.
Satin cards - created in the mid-19th-century by Adolf Charlemagne (Bode-Charlemagne), academician of painting in Russia.
Charlemagne did not create a fundamentally new card style. Satin cards were the result of remaking pre-existing card images from French deck, which were used also in the 17th and early 18th centuries by Moscow's card factories. Today such decks are usually used even in online casinos like http://betway.com/fi for poker, blackjack, baccarat, écarté, etc.
French deck – a 54-card deck used for traditional games (eg, Bridge).
It was made in the XV century through the simplification of German deck. Soon cheaper cards spread to central Europe. French cards, which became a basis for Charlemagne work have their exact names written on the cards even today:
- King of Hearts - Karolus Magnus (Charles the Great), Kink of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans
- King of Spades – David, second king of the UK of Israel
- King of Diamonds - Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman
- King of Clubs - Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great), Greek king of Macedon
- Queen of Hearts - Judith, a character in The Book of Judith in Old Testament of the Bible
- Queen of Spades – Pallas Athena, the goodness of wisdom, inspiration and warfare in ancient Greece
- Queen of Diamonds – Rachel, one of the two wives of the patriarch Jacob
- Queen of Clubs – Argine, wife of Polynices
- Knave of Hearts - La Hire, French military leader of the Hundred Years’ War epoch
- Knave of Spades - Ogier the Dane, one of the characters in the French epic tales
- Knave of Diamonds – Hector, the bravest Trojan army chief in the Greek mythology
- Knave of Clubs - Sir Lancelot, the most famous knight of the Round Table
Most-wanted Iraq playing cards – a well-known combination of playing cards, covered with the portraits of most-wanted Iraqis. Used during the Iraq war to search for the deposed Iraqi leaders.
The Baraja – a version of a 40-card deck used for traditional card games in Italy and Spain.
German deck – a 32-card deck used for the traditional German card games (eg, Skat).
Swiss deck - a version of a 36-card deck used for traditional card games (eg, yassen).