Friday 23 March 2018
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Origins of Playing Cards

Playing cards exist since years. It is almost impossible to find the exact origin of playing cards as they emerged in different cultures across the ages, at different times. It is believed that playing cards reached Europe around the 14th century, which is one of the earliest historical references. However, by that time, playing cards were already famous in Switzerland and Germany. There are three main theories about the invention of playing cards and how they reached the British culture.

The Mamelukes

According to this theory, playing cards originated from Egypt. It is stated that a deck of cards lays in the Opkapi Sarayi Museum, Istanbul, ever since 1939. Known as the Mameluke Deck, this deck of playing cards was found in the 15th century by Professor L.A. Mayer. The deck was inspired by the Mamelukes, a tribe who ruled various parts of Egypt. Just like today’s playing cards, the deck was made of 52 cards divided into four suits of thirteen ranks. This resemblance is apparent as the card suits and arrangement are the same. In fact, you can easily play a game of blackjack with a Mameluke deck. The cards are just like the ones you can see on the various table and card games at Aspers Casino Online. At the online casino, you will forget where cards come from as the exciting and thrilling games only ask to be played!

China and the Far East

China is known as the country which provided Britain with the earliest tangible artefacts; as from the 12th century, they sent paper money cards to United Kingdom. It is no news that China was one of the first countries to manufacture paper, and they are highly considered as the ones to create playing cards. However, it is difficult to piece together how they could have traded with the 14th century England, as there were no possible sea routes. Also, as per archaeologists, the early Chinese money cards did not have any resemblance to the first playing cards. India, found in the Far East, frequently traded with England, which is why they were also thought to be the creators of playing cards. But, playing cards arrived in India only in the 16th century, which makes it impossible to be the birth place of playing cards.

The Gypsies

Some people believe in the idea of roaming gypsies travelling from village to village and introducing them to playing cards. This is indeed a romantic and delightful thought, but the gypsies only arrived in England in the early 15th century… and by that time, playing cards were already part of the British culture. There is an assumption that gypsies toured through the Turkish Empire, so there is the possibility that they may have taken playing cards from there. But the pertinent question still is how they could have taken it to England…

Playing cards are so famous now that people don’t really want to know where they come from, as long as they exist and bring them entertaining moments. The exact route by which the decks of playing cards arrived at England might not be fully discovered or understood. No matter from where or when they arrived, they did change the lives of many people!

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