8 surprising facts about playing cards

The game of cards has a rich history of how it was invented. When reading the history of card games in Poland, it is easy to come across Mariage’s famous game. The ancient game originated in middle Europe and is mentioned in the book Two of Pan Tadeusz, a Polish national epic. 

The Polish card deck replaced Queens and Jacks with Obers and Unters. The competition involved two players who played using a 36 card Polish card deck. Why Mariage? Surprisingly, the game comes from the French word mariage that means marriage. Our expert Jacek Michalski (read more about him here) has more playing cards history facts detailed below.

The reason we have 52 cards in a deck

I believe some not all have questioned why there are 52 cards in a deck. It was not always that way. In Poland, two players had to play Mariage using a 36 card in a deck. Over the years, players have experienced different card variations of 24, 36, 40, and 48. It is said that British and French colonialism influenced the making of 52 cards in a deck.

Cards symbolize the calendar

At this moment, newbies in the gambling world would be asking how cards related to calendars are.  Simple? The game uses a deck size of 52 cards which is one of the significant facts about playing cards. The number of cards agrees with the number of weeks within one year. There are 13 cards in a suit representing the number of lunar cycles, and 12 court cards match the 12 months of the year. The fascinating part is that the sum of all symbols in a deck of cards total 365.

Recognizable card characters

Players looking closer at the 52 decks of cards can quickly notice Julius Caesar in the diamond cards and Alexander the Great in the clubs. The faces in cards are designed after real people in history, such as the queen of spades is the Greek goddess Pallas Athena. The famous queen of hearts is said to be Judith, who has a biblical figure. Modern players have moved to online casinos, but the characters are still recognizable. Polish players can enjoy such card games online as long as they do so on reputable casinos like those reviewed at gry kasyno.

Playing cards originate from China

Playing cards set its foot in China during the Tang dynasty in the 9th century. The game was a result of the usage of woodblock printing technology. During these ancient times, there were only 36 cards in a deck. The game spread to India and Persia and reached Europe in 1360, arriving from Mameluke in Egypt.

The oldest deck of cards is in NYC

The world’s oldest full deck of cards is showcased at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The decks of cards that appear to be hand-painted hail from the mid-15th century Netherlands. The cards are in good condition, owing to the fact that they were hardly played. In the 1970s, the deck was sold to a collector for $2.800. After researching its history, the collector sold it to the Metropolitan Museum for $143,000.

Casino cards require top-notch security

One of the ways to win a card game is through concentration and is considered a crucial playing card fact. There are certain players with eagle-eyes that can bring imperfections during the game. Casino operators have invested much in bringing in dealers who ensure the game is played moderately.


Cards are not what they seem

Governments could get creative with playing cards during the war. During World War II, a famous card company worked with the US government to manufacture private decks for American prisoners of war. The cards would peel apart when wet to reveal maps that helped American prisoners escape. In addition, the Americans used the Bicycle cards to escape from German captivity. The decks have allowed at least 32 people to escape from Colditz Castle and 316 escape attempts.

King of hearts is also the suicide king

The king of hearts stands out from the crowd for being the only king without a mustache. He also holds a sword behind his head, thus nicknamed the suicide king.  It is also a result of bad copying English card makers who made the king’s axe head disappear in the earlier centuries.

Card games are rich in history, and the above are the most interesting facts about playing cards.

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