History of Card games


The history of card games is a long one, after all people in all time periods liked to have fun! First playing cards actually originate from China before 1000 AD. These cards ware the ancestors of dominoes, well actually they ware more or less paper dominoes. Later on these cards started being made out of wood and become similar to dominoes that we know today.

But the history of playing cards continues as they spread through out Asia and came to Europe around the mid 14th century. At first different signs ware used in different countries. The Germans ware the masters of making playing cards really complicated as they had versions with a lot of different suits. Later on these German cards turned into Tarot cards(not used for fortune telling at first).

The playing cards we know today ware made in France. The card makers agreed on four different suits that represented four different classes of society. Also each picture card represented a different historic personality. For example, the king of diamond represented Julius Caesar and the king of clubs represented Alexander the Great.

Old chinese playing card

After these playing cards that we see as standard now spread through Europe they also made it to America. This was mostly thanks to Spanish and french immigrants that took their favorite games on the road with them. Once playing cards reached, new card games started emerging, like Poker and Gin.

And even now the evolution of card games continues, with new playing cards(like UNO) and new games are created all the time.

If you want to learn more take a look at the history of card games on wikipedia or scroll down the page for brief histories of specific card games.

Histories of specific card games

Interested in how a specific card game came to be? Just choose the game history that interests you below and click on it. You will learn all about how the game developed, where it came from and what influenced it’s evolution.