The World of Playing Cards Logo

Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Browsing keyword:

Card Games

646 Articles

Children's games are distinct from ordinary playing cards, with their most obvious difference being the lack of any court cards or suit marks.

Black Peter

Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.

Black Peter

Sergeant-Major

Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith

Sergeant-Major

J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

J. W. Spear and Sons

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Ariel Productions Ltd

The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.

Ariel Productions Ltd

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Crazy People

Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.

Crazy People

Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.

Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.

Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Panko

Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.

Panko

Snap

Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.

Snap

Nederlands Stedenkwartet

Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.

Nederlands Stedenkwartet

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.

Lion Coffee

Panto People

Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Panto People

Hats-Off!

Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Hats-Off!

Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Zoo-Boots

XIXth Century

The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.

XIXth Century

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

Österreichisches Trachten-quartett

Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.

Österreichisches Trachten-quartett

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.

Round the World Happy Families

So Fängt Es An

“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt, c.1950.

So Fängt Es An

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.

Abbatt Animal Families

Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt

“Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt” transport quartet game by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1958.

Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt

Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.

Asterix Abenteuer

French for Fun

French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s

French for Fun

Eurotrotter

Eurotrotter by La Ducale, c.1980s.

Eurotrotter

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930.

Counties of Britain

Radio Banker

Radio Banker by John Waddington Ltd for Marconiphone Co Ltd.

Radio Banker

Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien

‘Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien’ family card game by Dondorf.

Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

Zwarte Piet

Jigstar

Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.

Jigstar

Black Peter

Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.

Black Peter

Corrida de Toros

Bull fighting card game publshed by Naipes Comas, 1969.

Corrida de Toros

Countries of Empire

“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s.

Countries of Empire

Majas Alfabets Spel

Majas Alfabets Spel beautifully illustrated by Lena Andersson, 1980s.

Majas Alfabets Spel

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

El Gato con Botas

Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.

El Gato con Botas

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.

Gas Warm Homes

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Pato Donald

Donald Duck card game © Walt Disney Productions, by Naipes Fournier, 1984.

Pato Donald

Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979.

Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

Jeu de Quaternes ‘Rizá’

Jeu de Quaternes ‘Rizá’

Jeu de Quaternes ‘Rizá’

Zooloo Misfitz

Zooloo Misfitz card game designed by George Lambert for C.W. Faulkner & Co, c.1907.

Zooloo Misfitz

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Forfeits

Forfeits party card game by Merit Games, J & L Randall Ltd, c.1950.

Forfeits

Caperucita Roja

Caperucita Roja card game published by H. Fournier, 1981.

Caperucita Roja

Splash Page Special

Splash Page Special party card game.

Splash Page Special

Donkey

Donkey card game by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.

Donkey