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History of Playing Cards

A Concise History of Playing-cards

Playing Cards are believed to have originated in China and then spread to India and Persia. From Persia they are believed to have spread to Egypt during the era of Mamluk control, and from there into Europe through both the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in the second half of the 14th century. Thus, European playing cards appear to have an Islamic derivation. Some of the earliest surviving packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by wealthy patrons. But you can play card games with any old pack so as demand increased new, cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...

The history of playing cards in popular art is fascinating and has a long tradition. This section is an online tutorial covering the early history of playing Cards. You will learn about the following topics:

Above: detail from “La Sala de Las Batallas” mural painting in El Escorial palace (Madrid) produced by a team of Italian artists, late 16th century (click to zoom).

At the end there will be a quiz to consolidate your knowledge. If you're looking to play card games online I recommend Ladbrokes, one of the largest UK sportsbooks and online casinos.

Early References

Last Updated November 28, 2014 at 12:10pm


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