Where Did Playing Cards Get Their Symbols

Eliza | 11 - 06 - 2020
Where Did Playing Cards Get Their Symbols

Cards are used all around the world. Every one of us must have encountered playing cards at one point or another in our lives, but no one really knows where and when the playing cards appeared!

There were a lot of arguments about who invented the playing cards.

The French suit symbols- spades, diamonds, hearts, and clubs are in two colors black and red. They were introduced in France around 1480. Back then this suit was competing with the Latin suit- swords, cups, coins, and staves and with German suits- leaves, hearts, bells, and acorns of which the Swiss suits were a major variant- shields, rose, bells, and acorns.

1. How Many Face Cards Are in a Standard Deck?
  • A. 16
  • B. 15
  • C. 12
  • D. 9

Eventually, the French suits spread all over Europe because they greatly simplified the printing of playing cards, and the Latin and German suits were printed in full colors.

According to the middle age period, the Jewish Kabbalists, the suits represent four classes of spirits. Hearts symbolize lords of air called Sylphs. Diamonds mean salamander spirits. Spades stand for gnomes who are the lords of the underground world and finally Clubs refer to water spirits of undines.

Later, the other medieval mystics believe that the cards refer to the four main aspects of human nature. Hearts mean love, Spades warns the deaths, Clubs are the desire for knowledge, and Diamonds stand for a passion for money.

There are plenty of arguments on who invented playing cards and where they got their symbols, but still, there is no definite answer.

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