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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Playing card


Playing cards were invented in Imperial China, during the Tang Dynasty (618–907).

The first reference to card games dates from 868, when the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang, written by Tang dynasty writer Su E, described Princess Tongchang, daughter of Emperor Yizong of Tang, playing the "leaf game" with members of the Wei clan, the family of the princess's husband.

Playing cards took off in China during the Song dynasty (960–1279), where card gambling, suits, and trick-taking games quickly gained popularity.

 Chinese printed playing card dated c. 1400 AD, Ming Dynasty, found near Turpan

Baccarat, a casino card game, is derived from popular 15th-c games, and is thought to have been introduced into France from Italy during the reign of Charles VII.

Trumps as playing cards of a suit that outranks other suits, as in bridge or whist, date back to a 16th-century card game called trumps.

Many governments used to raise revenue by imposing a stamp duty on playing cards. The tax on a deck of playing cards in 16th-century England was 2s 6d - much more than most people earned in a month.

As the Ace card has the most blank space,  the Ace of Spades was usually chosen as the place to bear the stamp which proved the tax was paid. To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck."

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition, the US military developed a set of playing cards with the names and faces of the most wanted members of Saddam Hussein's government on them. This was so the troops would learn to recognize them while playing cards.


Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades – King David, Clubs – Alexander the Great, Hearts – Charlemagne, and Diamonds – Julius Caesar.

The ace of spades in a deck of playing cards is ornate because King James I required the card to bear an insignia of the printing house.

The nine of diamonds playing card is commonly known as the ‘Curse of Scotland’. It’s said to be because it’s similar to the coat of arms of the Earl of Stair — who was behind the Massacre at Glencoe in 1692, where 38 people from the MacDonald clan were slaughtered by troops they’d hosted.

The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache on a standard playing card.


There are 52 cards in a pack — the same number as the total letters in "ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king."

There are 2,598,960 five-card hands possible in a 52-card deck of cards.

There are 635,013,559,599 possible hands in a game of bridge.

A deck of cards has a relationship with a calendar year. The sum of all cards is 364, plus one joker for 365 and an extra joker for leap years, four suits for the seasons, 52 cards for the weeks in a year, and two colors to represent night and day.

There are more ways to shuffle a deck of cards than there are atoms in the universe. The number of atoms in the universe is 133 followed by 48 zeroes, while the number of ways you can shuffle a deck of cards is 80 followed by 66 zeroes.


That use of the word trump is described by the OED as a “corruption of ‘triumph.”

The plot of the 2006 film Casino Royal centers on a game of poker but in the original Ian Fleming book of Casino Royal the card game was baccarat.

In 2010, a casino in Nevada was fined $250,000 for allowing a baccarat player to dance on a card table while the game was being played.

Alabama is the only state in America which imposes a tax on playing cards.

Kevin St. Onge originally from Dearborn, Michigan threw a playing card a record 185 feet and one inch on June 12, 1979. This broke the previous record, set in 1978, by himself, of 172 feet. His feat was beaten in 1992, at 201 feet and this is the current world record.

The largest-ever house of cards, a model of the Venetian hotel-casino in Macao, was built in the resort by U.S. architect Bryan Berg. Measuring 10.39 m (34 ft 1.05 in) long, 2.88 m (9 ft 5.39 in) tall and 3.54 m (11 ft 7.37 in) wide, Berg used more than 218,000 playing cards and took 44 days to complete the playing card structure, completing it on March 10, 2010.

Bryan Berg at work

Sources Daily Express, Ppcorn

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