Playing cards are one of the oldest forms of man-made “toys” and can be used for a variety of different purposes. Gambling, magic and tarot reading are some examples of the use of these cards. They can come in specially layered paper, thin cardboard, plastic, and in some cases thin metal.
A ‘deck’ or ‘pack’ of cards has 52 cards, with 2 additional cards called ‘Jokers’. There are 4 suits or “types” of cards in a deck. These are Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds. Within each suit, there are 13 different cards, consisting of the ace, the numbers 2-10, the jack, the queen, and the king (the ‘Cut’ or ‘Picture’ cards). These values are printed on one side, while a uniform design is printed on the back.
Over time, many forms of games have been created. Some include Go Fish, Hearts, Solitaire, Big-2, and Poker. These are all interactive games that can be played by one person or a group of people. Gypsies and fortune tellers are also known to use cards or ‘Tarot Cards’ as an extension to predict the future.
The main and most popular producer of playing cards is the United States Playing Card Company, which was previously based in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to Erlanger, Kentucky. They are known for their ‘Bicycle’ and ‘Bee’ cards from popular and internationally recognized brands. Which is made from 3-ply paper coated with an ‘Air Cushion’ finish that makes them slippery and glides beautifully without the cards being able to stick together.
Did you know that the simple deck of cards hides hidden secrets and associations with human culture? For starters, the deck consists of 52 cards, exactly the number of weeks in a year. The 4 suits represent the 4 seasons of summer, fall, winter and spring. With the Court cards representing 11, 12, and 13 respectively for the Jack, Queen, and King, the 52 cards in a deck add up to 365, the exact number of days in a year. The Ace of Spades typically represents death.