The popularity of poker cards as a pastime is very high and has penetrated into every household. The randomness and unpredictability of the combinations between different cards, can make players feel very excited.
You may have more or less mastered the poker rules. However, do you know what is poker exactly?
History Of Playing Cards: Why Were Playing Cards Invented?
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There are many different opinions about the origin of poker cards, but three main accepted ones are as follows:
- Playing cards were probably first introduced to Europe by Venetian merchants.
- The predecessor of playing card is the leaf play in the Southern Song Dynasty of China.
- India is more likely to be the origin of poker card than China, because the early European Tarot cards are somewhat related to Hindu mythology.
Although their origins vary, they all share a common feature, agreeing that playing cards were originally identified as “game coins” used as wagers in other gambling games, before slowly becoming a game in its own right.
What’s more, a link between poker and the games of chess or dice has also been suggested, but this is also speculative.
Suit: What's In a Deck Of Cards？
The internationally used playing cards are divided into four suits: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. In different countries, the design of the four suits of poker card games varies:
- France: Hearts, Tiles, Clovers, Pikes;
- Germany: Hearts, Bells, Acorns, Leaves;
- Switzerland: Roses, Bells, Acorns, Shields;
- Italy/ Spain: Cups, Swords, Coins, Clubs.
There are also many arguments as to why these four patterns should be used as the poker suits. Two of the more concentrated statements are following:
- They show the four main trades of the society at that time, in which the spade represents the spear and soldier; the club represents the trefoil and agriculture; the diamond represents the brick and tile used by craftsmen; and the heartrepresents the red heart and the priest.
- They come from the drawings of the artifacts used in ancient European divination, in which the spade represents the olive leaf and peace; the club is a clover, meaning luck; the diamond is symbolizing wealth; and the heart symbolizes wisdom and love.
Number Of Poker Cards: Why Are There 52 Cards In a Deck?
The number of cards in the earliest card deck varies from place to place. Italy is 78 cards, Germany is 32 cards, Spain is 40 cards, France is 52 cards, etc.
Among them, the 52 cards represent the 52 weeks of the year, and the spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds represent the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Each pattern has 13 cards, shows a season of 13 weeks (about equal to three months). The number of ranks for each pattern (1-13) adds up to 91 points, and each season is also 91 days.
The K, Q and J have 12 cards, indicating both that there are 12 months in a year and that the sun passes through 12 constellations during the year.
The two jokers were invented by the Americans, where the Red Joker indicates the day and the Black Joker means the night. In addition, the playing cards have only red and black colors.
So far, the international common 54 playing cards are basically finalized. Some custom playing cards, will also add one or two “advertising cards” in a deck of cards.
Why are there jokers in a deck of poker cards?
The concept of these two cards was based on the trick card game Euchre, when some players changed the rules to require an card in addition to the 52 standard cards.
As a result, an “trump card” was created and used as an extra card, or even as a replacement for a lost card. Due to the popularity of the Euchre, American card manufacturers soon joined the trend and started producing this poker with extra cards.
It wasn’t long before the card became known as the “Jolly Joker” – because it could be played as a “wild card” in many games, which is very surprising and deceptive to play.
Rank: Deck Of Cards Symbols
The rank is also known as face value or points, and the order of poker cards is based on the number of points, except for aces and twos, which are slightly controversial. The number of rank 1-5 is called wheelcard, rank 3-10 is called spotter, and rank 1-10 is called whiteskin.
JQK, which are bigger than 10 points, are called Face Cards, Royal Cards or Court Cards. The origin of the latter two expressions goes back to the prototype of the 12 JQKs in four suits. Among them, K are four important kings, Q are four famous queens, and J are four legendary knight of great merit.
Who are the JQKs in poker cards?
The king of clubs is Alexander the Great, the most powerful military commander in European history, who established his dominance over all of Greece and then destroyed the Persian Empire. His clothes were always worn with jewels equipped with crosses, and his hair was curled outward.
The king of diamonds is Julius Caesar, the rightful uncrowned king of the Roman Empire. Since Julius Caesar is depicted in profile on the coins of the Roman Empire, he is the only profile portrait on the King’s Card.
His hair is curled inward, and he is the only one inside holding a battle axe instead of a sword – a symbol of power in Rome.
The king of hearts was Charlemagne, who controlled most of Europe. The emperor is described as a six-meter-tall giant whose hair curls inward and holds his sword behind his head.
He is the only king card without an upper row of beards, because the carpenter who first carved his portrait accidentally scraped off the beard on his upper lip. And all the later king of hearts are based on this painting as a specimen.
The king of spades is King David, who is described as the most righteous of all the ancient kings of Israel, and was an excellent warrior, musician and poet.
According to the Bible, Jesus was a descendant of David, and since David was good at playing the lyre, the king of spades often has a harp on it.
The queen of clubs is called Argine, which is not a real character. Her name originates from the European Scrabble game, which was recombined to become Argine.
Legend has it that the Lancaster royal family in England was symbolized by the red rose, and the York royal family was symbolized by the white rose.
After the Battle of the Roses, the two royal families reconciled and tied their roses together. So this queen is holding a rosebud in her hand.
The queen of diamonds is called Rachel, the second and favorite wife of Jacob (the ancestor of the Jews). She was originally a shepherdess, with a beautiful and lovely figure, holding a flower in her hand as well.
The queen of hearts was Judith, a beautiful widow of the ancient Hebrews. It was saying that when the Assyrian army invaded the Hebrew region, she seduced the Assyrian general Holofemes, killed him in his tent while he was drunk and asleep.
Then she cut off his head, causing the Assyrian army to flee in terror, thus saving Bethulia.
The queen of spades is Eleonor, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. Leopold married this German princess as a way to stop the German nobility’s attempts to gain independence from the Empire. She is the only one to hold a weapon.
The jack of clubs is Sir Lancelot Du Lac, the first warrior in King Arthur’s Round Table. His love affair with Queen Gwynevere led to a war between him and King Arthur. He was gentle, and quite brave, and helpful.
The jack of diamonds is Hector, the first warrior of Loti, known as “The Walls of Troy”. Finally, he fought with Achilles and died in the hands of his opponent.
The jack of hearts is La Hire, an attendant of Charles VII le Victorieux. Also, he was a French military commander in the Hundred Years’ War and Jeanne d’Arc’s right-hand man, who was very resourceful.
The jack of spades is a Czech nobleman, AEW von Wallenstein, who fought in many wars and won many victories in commanding Catholic armies against Protestants.
What Types Of Poker Are There?
There are a great amounts of poker cards, from the famous classics to the emerging variants, which vary in style, length and complexity of play.
Among them, texas holdem poker, madison deck, star wars playing cards, kem playing cards, harry potter playing cards and nintendo playing cards are arguably the six most popular types of playing cards.
To sum up, poker is the crystallization of human wisdom, but also the product of human recreation and entertainment. It relaxes the mind and body to a certain extent and makes people spiritually happy.
But on the other hand, it is the condensation of human greed and darkness and a symbol of gambling. And in modern times, more often than not, playing cards are used as a custom artwork, or advertising and marketing tool.
If you have your own creative ideas for playing cards, we can help you really make it happen!