Where do card games come from?

Card game

Different playing cards
Above left: From an old quartet game
Above right: Swiss Jass cards
Bottom left: French playing cards
Bottom right: Get out of the children's game Elfer!
Swiss playing cards. From top to bottom: bells, shields, roses, acorns

A card game is only played with cards. So it doesn't mean games in which cards are drawn from time to time like in a board game. Many different card games are known. They differ according to the playing cards used and according to the rules.

The well-known playing cards are often used for card games: Each card has one of four different characters and numbers or heads. All over the world four people can play bridge with such cards, in other words: bridsch. In Germany they like to play skat with it. Jass is a popular game in Switzerland, while Watten is known in Austria and South Tyrol. So you can play many different games with the same playing cards. But there are also cards that the game designer has come up with from scratch. With these you can usually only play a certain game. This is the case with the quartet or the UN, for example.

In the past, some people were strictly against playing cards. So strict Christians made sure that gambling was banned. They were afraid that people would lose a lot of precious time playing the game. In 1367, the city of Bern already banned card games. Most of all, it is now gambling for money that many people do not find good. Because some people like to gamble for money, so they make it a game of chance. This is the case, for example, with the card game of poker or in the casino. Some players have already lost all of their money in the process. It is safer to just play for fun and use play money. Playing cards is a great activity for all players.

Where does playing with cards come from?

Playing cards were already known in ancient China. Such cards were made of paper and were rather elongated. They were printed with woodcuts.

In Europe, people only got to know playing cards late, in the course of the Middle Ages. The Europeans might come up with the idea themselves, or they learned about it from the Arabs or other peoples. Once the playing cards were known in Europe, more and more people wanted to play with them. At first the cards were painted and very expensive, then they were printed.

What do playing cards look like?

The best-known look of cards is probably the French “hand”: The colors are actually symbols and are called clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds. Clubs and spades are black, hearts and diamonds are red. The numbers go from one to ten. This is followed by the cards that are worth even more: Jack, Queen, King and Ace. The ace is usually the most valuable. The English sheet is very similar to the French one. But there the names are Jack, Queen and King.

The German newspaper is less known, also in Germany. The colors are called acorn, leaves, heart and bells. Mostly you have cards with numbers from six to 10. There are also under, over, king and ace. The ace is also called a Daus. This is where the saying comes from: "Egg the Dau" when you suddenly discover something valuable.

In Switzerland there are the colors Schelle, Schilte, acorn and rose. The numbers go from six to nine, followed by Banner, Under, Ober, König and Ace. The banner is sometimes called ten.

The French hand has 52 cards, the German and Swiss only 36. Depending on the game, it can be even fewer. With the “Schafkopf”, for example, there are types of games where you only take 20 cards.


There are also other search results for “Card Game” from Blinde Kuh and Ask Finn.

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