Card Games

History of Cards


History is silent as to where they first appeared. Although there is a legend that maps first appeared in Ancient Egypt. For example, one legend says that when the enemy came close to the border of the kingdom of the pharaohs, the pharaohs gathered the council of the wisest to decide how to protect from the enemy all their knowledge, which was accumulated for centuries. Knowledge meant the system of relationship between God, the universe and man. In this way, knowledge was transformed into drawings, which were shown on maps. In this deck of cards, there are 78 sheets called arcane. This deck was called Tarot cards. With this deck, the four elements of the universe were guessed: fire, water, air, and earth.

Another version suggests that the maps were first invented in China. Ching Jie Tung, the most famous Chinese sage, wrote in his books that the maps were invented in 1120, and in 1132 were already in widespread use. But Chinese archaeologists believe that the maps appeared long before 1120 and were not made of paper, but of ivory or wood plaques on which figures were depicted.

In Europe and the Muslim East, maps appeared, as historians believe, in the XIII century and were imported by nomadic tribes. The authorities of many states initially treated the cards indifferently, but after a while, they began to persecute the cards, as it was assumed that the cards were an unclean force.

history of cards

Summing up all of the above, we can assume that the maps appeared in different states and on different continents at about the same time. Maps of any state or continent carried their own special culture and reflected their spiritual and material existence in the drawings on the maps.

Over many years and centuries, the deck of Tarot cards has transformed from 78 sheets to 52 sheets, and eventually to 36 and 32 sheets. The cards became mainly used for divination. Why a deck of Tarot cards was transformed into 52 sheets because 52 cards are the number of weeks in a year, 4 suits are 4 seasons, 13 suits are 13 weeks of any season. Each suit consists of points from 1 to 10, and if instead of images of Jack, Lady, King, Ace take the corresponding numbers of Jack – 11, Lady – 12, King – 13, Ace – 0 points, and add all the points, we get the number 91, which corresponds to the number of days in one quarter of the year.

Thus, the sum of all points of four suits will be equal to 364, i.e. the number of days in a year without one day. Sometimes another card is added to the deck – it’s a joker, which is used for various purposes.

Somewhere in the XIV century, jacks, ladies and kings were depicted as legendary heroes. For example, Julius Caesar – King of diamonds, Alexander the Great – King of the Tref.