The origin and evolution of card games

Casino card games are definitely some of the most popular games on earth; they are also quite classic and have been around for centuries. Looking back the origin and evolution of casino card games and playing cards in general, it seems that the earliest versions of what we know as playing cards originated somewhere in Central Asia, all the way back to the 10th Century when the Chinese used some sort of paper dominoes that will shuffle and deal in games they created.

The beginning of it all

Around the year 1350, Islamic playing cards were introduced to Southern Europe: these cards included suit signs very different to the ones we are familiar with nowadays and of course were the casino card game rules (although back then, there were no casinos, but just gambling games). The suits included on the earliest versions of the playing cards were: coins, cups, swords and sticks. Later around the year 1377 Europeans began to experiment with different kinds of royal courts that included as many as 6 characters. There is where the card game, casino games in general started to take the shape we use now.

Is there any prove?

The earliest surviving playing cards date far back to the 15th Century and these were hand painted; only wealthy people could really afford these playing cards. It was the French who began sharing the pleasures of playing cards and that invented the familiar suit signs we currently use, this was back in 1470. Europeans and Americans began playing with these, casino card game rules began to shape around 1860. Something really important is to know that each of the kings in the card suit are actually representations of famous Kings: Charlemagne is the King of Hearts, Julius Caesar is the King of diamonds, Alexander the Great is the King of Clubs and the King of Spades is King David from the Bible.

Americans began producing their own playing cards in the early 1800’s. The joker was apparently included on a game called Euchre, later on, the Americans added it as the Imperial Bower or Best Bower, and nowadays we know it as the Joker.

Types of Card Games We Know

There are several types of card games: patience games such as solitaire and memory; adding card games where the point is to reach or avoid certain totals (these include 21 and Blackjack); fishing and matching games, card exchange games and more. And they all have evolved from the early Dominoes’ like paper cards created by the Chinese.

Hopefully, the next time you are playing a card game, casino game or anything of the sort you will use all these interesting facts about the origins of card games to your advantage and surprise the other players with your knowledge.

Erik Blackwell

Erik Blackwell is a 'bon vivant' with a problematic addiction to comics and fondue. Went to MIT but finally left to pursue acting. He currently lives in sunny California with an American Stafford-shire Terrier and an American Bulldog that somehow managed to get along. He's dabbled in acting but doesn't like the spotlight. Loves to play casino online.