History of Playing Cards

History of Playing Cards

Playing cards have a long and varied history, with their origins believed to date back to ancient China in the 9th century. The earliest known examples of playing cards were found in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and were called "money cards" or "leaf cards." These cards were used in various games, including a game called "The Game of Leaves," which involved matching cards and was similar to the modern-day game of Go Fish.

From China, playing cards spread to other parts of Asia, including India and Persia. By the 14th century, playing cards had arrived in Europe, likely brought over by traders from the Middle East. The earliest European playing cards were produced in Italy and featured suits of swords, cups, coins, and batons.

Over time, the suits used in European playing cards evolved to include hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. These suits were first introduced in France in the 16th century and gradually became the standard for playing cards throughout Europe and much of the world.

Playing cards have had many cultural and symbolic meanings throughout history. In Europe, for example, the court cards (the king, queen, and jack) were often depicted as historical or mythological figures, such as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar. In some cultures, certain cards were believed to have mystical or supernatural powers, such as the ace of spades, which was thought to be associated with death.

Playing cards have also been used for divination and fortune-telling in many cultures. In the 18th and 19th centuries, tarot cards became popular for this purpose in Europe and are still used for divination and spiritual guidance today.

Today, playing cards are a popular form of entertainment worldwide, used in countless games and enjoyed by people of all ages. Marked Cards USA carries a vast selection of playing cards and with their long and rich history, playing cards continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies and cultural trends.

Back to blog