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Playing Cards from Around the World

flags of countries from around the world

The different countries in the world feature distinct cultures and histories, styles of government, many different languages, national suit systems and playing card patterns. Some of the older patterns are now archaic or extinct, whereas others are universal.

Argentinian Playing Cards - Naipes Argentinos

Argentinian Playing Cards - Naipes Argentinos

Playing cards were introduced to the Americas with Spanish explorers such as Columbus or Cortés.

Australia

Australia

Playing cards from Australia.

Belgian Playing Cards

Belgian Playing Cards

Belgian cardmakers have been actively designing and exporting playing cards since the 14th century.

Brazil

Brazil

Playing card production in Brazil was officially sanctioned by royal decree in 1770.

Chilean Playing Cards

Chilean Playing Cards

Naipes Chilenos ~ Early Chilean playing cards were based upon Spanish models.

Chinese Playing Cards

Chinese Playing Cards

The Chinese took their cards with them wherever they travelled and traded in the East, and we find Chinese cards in use not only in the mainland but also in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, North Borneo and Vietnam.

Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia

The Republic of Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 from the former Austro-Hungarian empire.

Estonia

Estonia

Estonia's first period of independence lasted 22 years, beginning in 1918, and this period was one of great cultural advancement.

German playing cards

German playing cards

Card-playing rapidly became popular in medieval Bavaria and German printers were quick to supply the goods.

Greek Playing Cards

Greek Playing Cards

Greek Playing Cards.

History of Danish Playing Cards

History of Danish Playing Cards

The earliest mention of playing-cards in Denmark dates from 1487 when King Hans, who reigned from 1481-1513 and was notorious for his gambling, again and again drew money from the treasury to pay for his losses.

Italian Playing Cards

Italian Playing Cards

The first reliable evidence that playing cards were being used in Italy is from 1376, when a game called 'naibbe' is forbidden in a decree, with the implication that the game had only recently been introduced there.

Japanese Playing Cards

Japanese Playing Cards

Japanese playing cards include: 'Awase' or 'matching pairs' cards and Portuguese or Spanish-derived 'Dragon' type cards.

Korea

Korea

The game of Hanafunda was introduced into Korea by the Japanese and modified somewhat by the Koreans.

Latvian Playing Cards

Latvian Playing Cards

The best Latvian playing cards were produced just after independence, during the period 1921-1942.

Lithuanian Playing Cards

Lithuanian Playing Cards

During the 20th century Lithuanian printers produced striking playing cards containing Lithuanian symbols and national heroes.

Malta

Malta

The so-called ‘Dragon Cards’, with winged monsters on the four Aces, are an enigmatic aspect of early playing card history.

Netherlands

Netherlands

Playing cards have been known in the Low Countries since the 14th century

Peruvian Playing Cards

Peruvian Playing Cards

Playing cards have been travelling from Spain to South American colonies ever since Christopher Columbus.

Playing cards from Finland

Playing cards from Finland

Playing cards from Finland. Finnish cards have a relatively short history, presumably because the country only finally broke loose from Russian influence in 1920.

Playing Cards from Mexico

Playing Cards from Mexico

MEXICO shares a long tradition with Spain in the field of playing cards. The Estanco de Naipes (playing-card monopoly) was established in 1576.

Playing cards in Morocco

Playing cards in Morocco

The earliest literary references to playing cards in Europe refer to the game having been introduced by a 'Saracen', and also to Moorish and Damascene varieties of playing card.

Playing cards in Puerto Rico

Playing cards in Puerto Rico

Playing cards in Puerto Rico

Playing cards in Wales - Welsh playing cards

Playing cards in Wales - Welsh playing cards

Whereas the distinctiveness of Wales is an important resource contributing to the rich texture of variety which characterises the island of Britain, to date no Welsh playing cards cards have been found which were actually manufactured in Wales.

Portuguese Playing Cards

Portuguese Playing Cards

The Real Fábrica de Cartas de Jogar was founded in 1769, by Royal Charter of King José, under the master craftsman Lorenzo Solezio, brother of Félix Solesio who ran the Spanish Real Fábrica at Macharaviaya.

Russian Playing Cards

Russian Playing Cards

In 1817 the Imperial Playing-Card Factory (Leningrad) was founded and it played a benevolent role by channelling revenues to the Imperial Foundling Hospitals.

Spanish Playing Cards

Spanish Playing Cards

Spain has played a pivotal role in the history of playing cards in Europe and Latin America.

Sweden

Sweden

Swedish cards have characteristics in common with their Scandinavian neighbours

Swiss Playing Cards

Swiss Playing Cards

The Swiss national suit system of shields, acorns, hawk bells and flowers emerged sometime during the XV century

Thai & Siamese Playing Cards

Thai & Siamese Playing Cards

The Portuguese were the first Westerners to trade with Ayutthaya in Thailand in the 16th century. Traders also arrived from India, Japan, the Arab world, England, Holland and France.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago comprises a unique mix of races and cultures that can be traced back to Africa, India, Europe, the Middle East, China and native American Indians.

Turkey

Turkey

Once the centre of the Ottoman Empire.

U. S. A.

U. S. A.

The manufacture of playing cards in America only began during the second half of the 18th century, and not before 1776 by some estimates.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Playing cards first arrived in England during the 15th century, but none have survived from such an early date.

Wiener pattern

Wiener pattern

The Vienna pattern, or Wiener Bild, is a distant relative of the early Lyons pattern. The King of Hearts carries a scroll in his hand.