One of the most popular games in the casino industry, you would be surprised to know that casino cards games have been around for more than 2000 years now. What was thought to have originated in China, the game of cards has gone numerous transformations over the years and is now popular in almost all countries on the earth. Today, let’s take a glimpse of some of the fun yet lesser-known facts about playing cards.
A Chinese Invention of Casino Card
Looking at the popularity that cards games enjoy today and given that people in the European and American continent enjoy card games and casino games so much, one might think that cards have originated in the western hemisphere. But in reality, historians are of the opinion that playing cards were a Chinese invention. Though the shape, the material they were made with how it was played would all be different, the concept of playing cards were first invented by Chinese civilization.
We Have Fallen in Love with the French Design
Like with most other fashionable things, it seems that the playing cards design that is currently being used is the work of the French. Previously different countries and regions had their own designs and styles. But in 1940 the French using the clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades design though they were called different names then. And from then, on the whole, the world started using the same design for playing cards. Even to this day, you will find any casino conventional or otherwise generally uses clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades for their decks. So, it is an interesting fact to know that the playing cards design has essentially not been changed for 80 years now.
The Size and Shape Have Remained Standard Too
Something else that has remained the same for over 80 years is the size and shape of playing cards. Basically, irrespective of the country and the casino you will be presented with a similar size and shape of playing cards. The cards are rectangular in shape and fit in the palm of your hand. But this hasn’t been the case from the beginning. In the beginning, different regions had cards that were of different sizes and shapes. The Persians played with round cards, Egyptians had long ones and the European ones looked similar to tarot cards. When it comes to the modern shape, and features historians are of the opinion that the invention of the Gutenberg printer it became easier to print the cards and the generalized shape and size were a by-product of mass printing.
Each Suit Represents a Different Type of Power
A fun fact about the suit of cards that you currently find in any casino around the world is that the symbols aren’t just there for the aesthetics. Every symbol actually points to the forces that were prominent in the Middle Ages. Basically, the diamonds were the merchant class, the spades pointed to the military, the clubs were a reference to agriculture, and finally, the hearts were symbolic of the church. And given that these four powers can exert a lot of power and influence even to this day, it isn’t hard to accept that the symbols stand for those specific powers.
But, as a matter of fact, there is another school of thought that the four symbols might stand for the four important elements of nature, namely water, earth, fire and air. Additionally, the two different colours are thought to symbolize the two solstices, the four suits the four seasons of the year, the 13 cards in each suit the thirteen weeks in each season and the 52 cards the 52 weeks of the year.
The Card That People Feared
Though this is totally not related to actually playing with cards or any casino games, there were times when getting an ace of spades would spell doom to the recipient. All through our history, the ace of spades was used by unsavoury characters like the Caribbean pirates and even the military to put people “on the spot”. So, this card has an especially colourful history.
The Importance of Rounded Edges
Have you ever wondered why playing cards whether encountered in a casino or bought in a store have rounded edges? Though it is true that rounded edges make them look better, that isn’t the only reason. Basically, sharp edges fray off easily, and this can lead to the value becoming apparent for the more observant player. To prevent this problem playing cards come with rounded edges.