Games with a deck of cards are of great remanence in Indian households.  Today, we take a look at the history and origin of a deck of playing cards. Starting right from the roots, all the way up to the card game acquiring ranks, rules and regulations. From pebbles and leaves to hand painting on paper and moving along to block printing, the design history of playing cards is also catalogued in this fun infographic!

The deck of 52 cards might seem like a trivial invention in this fast-paced world. But it did take the collective efforts of our ancestors to come up with this artistry game that has now taken wings in many different forms around the world. Be it a game of Indian Rummy, Gin Rummy, a game Texas Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha in Poker, Bridge to even recreational Indian family card games like Go Fish, Bluff etc. 

This deck of 52 has given us more than just a game with ways to keep our grey cells engaged! Whether it’s about boosting memory, or drawing up a strategy for a skill-based mind game of poker or simply finding an outlet to bring a community of friends, its family or foes together in these Indian card games!


Here are some fun facts about a deck of playing cards we bet you didn’t know:

  • A deck of cards is replaced every 12 hours in Las Vegas. Sometimes, if game play is heavy, they are even replaced after an hour. This is done to ensure a cards’ wear and tear does not result in distinguishing marks to give a player any advantage. 
  • Collecting a deck of cards is a popular hobby around the world. The rarest and oldest deck of cards is said to be a 52-card tarot deck residing in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and dates back to Netherlands in the mid-15th century.
  • The biggest manufacturers of playing cards in the world is the United States Playing Card Company reporting a staggering 100 million decks a year!
  • It’s also considered that a deck of playing cards corresponds to a calendar in many ways than one:
  • The two suit colours – night and day
  • The four suits – seasons.
  • 13 cards in a suit – weeks in each quarter
  • 52 cards – weeks in a year
  • A perfect shuffle Faro shuffles a specialized type of shuffle where in the cards are inter-woven together exactly one card at a time. It is said that if you get eight perfect faro out-shuffles, a deck can return exactly to its original order. A mathematical fact exploited by Magicians often. Intrigued? Check out more

With those new facts in hand, let’s dive straight into the history of this illustrious invention, a deck of 52 playing cards.