playing cards

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

playing cards,

parts of a set or deck, used in playing various games of chance or skill. The origin of playing cards is unknown, and almost as many theories exist as there are historians of the subject. Playing cards were used hundreds of years ago in Europe and probably long before that in Asia. In the British Museum there is a 14th-century manuscript depicting a card game played by a king and two courtiers; the arrangement of the pips on the cards is similar to that of the present day. Playing cards are referred to in the household expense accounts of Charles VI of France for 1392. In 1397 the provost of Paris issued an edict prohibiting the people from playing certain games on working days, and among these, cards are mentioned. The manufacture of playing cards in Germany dates from the beginning of the 15th cent., and in Italy they were made in 1425. Playing cards appeared in England in 1463, and the earliest designs produced there were painted by hand. There were usually four suits; in Germany these were called hearts, bells, leaves, and acorns, while in Italy they were known as swords, batons, cups, and money. The present-day variety of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades was adopted in France in the 16th cent. In addition to these cards, called numeral cards, there were also cards known as tarotstarots
, playing cards that are used mainly for fortunetelling, sometimes called "the book of divination of the Gypsies." It is generally believed that the cards were introduced into Western Europe by the Romani (Gypsies) in the mid-15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
, or triomphes (trumps), because when played in combination with numeral cards the tarots had a higher value. A full pack consisted of 78 cards, the 22 tarots and 56 others that were divided into four suits of 14 cards each. Out of this pack developed the modern standard deck, consisting of 52 cards, divided into four suits (spades and clubs, black; hearts and diamonds, red). In each suit there are king, queen, knave (or jack), and 10 cards bearing pips from 1 (the ace, the highest card in most games) to 10. In gambling games such as poker, an extra card called the joker is often used.


See R. Tilley, A History of Playing Cards (1973); D. Hoffman, The Playing Card: An Illustrated History (1974).

cards, playing:

see playing cardsplaying cards,
parts of a set or deck, used in playing various games of chance or skill. The origin of playing cards is unknown, and almost as many theories exist as there are historians of the subject.
..... Click the link for more information.
References in periodicals archive ?
When I graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in interior design I didn't want to work for someone else, so I started to freelance, doing graphics work online and designing interiors for projects in Dubai, London and America," said the 23-year-old, who runs WhySo Creative with SiShou Playing Cards as a sideline.
Inverno and Verana, the final two card decks from the acclaimed Seasons series are changing the way people look at playing cards.
Dane Whitehurst, Creative Director at Burgopak said: We ve always wanted to do a collaboration like this and we feel that DeckStarter represents the best in bespoke, open source playing card design.
The playing cards controversy has erupted days before BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is to address a major party rally in Bhopal.
Nintendo was founded in 1889 and made traditional playing cards before venturing into video games.
The second property searched in the Paphos district was in Chloraka where police confiscated 1639 chips, 520 playing cards and a roulette wheel which was hidden under the floor.
There are only three playing cards left and we're giving them away Willy Won-kar style
In another incident, Wah Cantt police raided and arrested four gamblers Muhammad khan , Fahim , Akram and Azam who were playing cards in the nearby area and recovered gambling money of Rs 3,400 ,Mobile and different equipment of gambling from them.
Summary: A man from China attempts world record for slicing fruit and vegetables with playing cards.
Dubai: A detainee was sentenced to six months in jail for punching his cellmate and breaking his teeth because the latter cursed his mother while playing cards.
Local law enforcement officials on Wednesday announced the release of a set of playing cards that profile 52 so-called "cold cases" from throughout Western and Central Oregon, including 18 from Lane County.
As well as a 2-in-1 Card Game and standard playing cards in a brilliant Buzz tin, the set features an innovative Buzz Lightyear Card Game.