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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.

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joker

10 Articles

The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who, when modifying the rules sometime during the 1860s, decided that an extra trump card was required.

The Joker Card

The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who, when modifying the rules sometime during the 1860s, decided that an extra trump card was required.

The Joker Card

Hand Drawn Joker Pack

Pack of 52 hand-drawn Jokers.

Hand Drawn Joker Pack

Chinese Jokers

Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.

Chinese Jokers

Baggy Clown Joker

Evolution of American Bank Note Co's “Baggy Clown” Joker.

Baggy Clown Joker

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysian-made deck of cards produced for Malaysian Airline Systems (MAS).

Malaysia Airlines

West Flanders Souvenir

West Flanders Souvenir pack manufactured in Belgium by Mesmaekers, c.1950.

West Flanders Souvenir

De la Rue’s 125th anniversary

In around 1955 De la Rue introduced a new coloured joker and a series of aces of spades with a silhouette of Thomas de La Rue which coincided with their 125th anniversary

De la Rue’s 125th anniversary

SNP Ausprint Jokers

A series of SNP Ausprint jokers with the various wording and name changes

SNP Ausprint Jokers

Jest Jokers

Peter Wood’s “Jest Jokers” comprising 54 different Joker designs made into a full pack of cards.

Jest Jokers

The Joker Card

The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who, when modifying the rules sometime during the 1860s, decided that an extra trump card was required.

The Joker Card