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Card Suits Symbolism

History and Meaning - Card Suits Symbolism

The Indian culture has always been a part of card games. It is also said that India was home to many card games such as rummy, poker, bridge, etc. And indeed, most people would have played these card games in their lives at least once. Some might even practice with a deck of card suits for leisure to pass time. Also, playing card games onlinewith your friends can give you the necessary solace and recreation happiness you need at that time. Above all, it is fun to play cards.

Besides that, cards have other values and meanings. The cards are not only used for playing but also for divination and conjuring. These cards are symbols of significant astrological meaning. Let us investigate the signs seen in these cards, and try exploring them now. This post will reveal some interesting details about card suits, card symbolism and what each of the cards represents.

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Card Symbolism - Playing Card Suits

Playing cards are a collection or set of numbered or illustrated cards that serve as instruments for playing card games like poker. They are sometimes even used for education.

These playing card suits have rectangular-shaped paper layers stuck together to form a semi-rigid surface. They are of equal size and shape, making it easier to hold them in your hands. Each Card is marked differently, rendering them to be easily identifiable with just a glance. Each Card's front side is distinguishable and different, whereas the backside bears a typical pattern for all cards. The cards also have rounded corners that prevent them from wear and tear. Later in the 20th century, the cards were plastic-coated to resist fraying.

The advantage of online games is that each player can only handle and identify his cards but not his opponents. This rule even applies to games like Dominoes and Mahjong. It is also said that the British Domino players often referred to Dominoes as cards back in the day. And Mahjong was considered to be the father of card games, especially the rummy family.

Card Suits - Card Suits Symbolism

For centuries, people have used a deck of cards. And for some reason, we do not even know its exact origin story. Some say that the cards must have originated from the East to the West. Evidence has it that these cash games of cards were prevalent in the 9th century in China. Simultaneously, the French had introduced the tarot card deck for divination and prayer while the British recorded their first-ever recreational card game.

Despite having such great history and background, you need to remember that all card symbols are not the same. They have evolved with time. Back then, the cards were labelled as pips of goblets and sorcerers. But now, the cards have morphed into printed forms of heart-diamond-spade-club symbols. These days, the card symbols are viewed as social signs that can unlock the secrets and meaning behind the pictures of a standard card deck. They are used as designer logos that help with company branding and marketing.

See Also: How to Play Poker

A deck of cards consists of a total number of 52 cards. These are divided across four suits. All these four suits contain 13 cards that are unique and different from each card in the entire card deck. So, what are these 13 cards in a card suit? Among the 13 cards, three cards are considered to be face cards. Face cards were favourites in Europe for centuries. Traditionally in a card deck, there are four Ks and Qs, or Kings and Queens in each tier, one for each suit. The denomination value of the King and Queen cards differs from time to time.

Apart from the three face cards, we have the numbered cards. They are all ranged and valued based on the numbering system. The Ace card is ranked above all the other numbered cards. The symbols and card suits reveal the historical aspects of cultural marks and signals that have long been forgotten. As a means to an end, modern-day logo designers have found ways to be impactful to the public by just utilising this ancient card symbolism.

Heart Club Diamond and Spade Symbols

If you consider counting the entire deck of cards’ numerical value with Jack, Queen and King valued at 11, 12, 13, respectively, you will notice that the total numerical value comes up to 364. With one Joker as well, we will have precisely 365 (A year has these many numbers of days). The four suits, heart-diamond-spade-club, present in a card deck stand for the emblems of society and human energy. Clubs stand for strength and achievement; diamonds for business and wealth creation; hearts for clergy and struggle to attain inner peace; spade symbols represent the warrior class and life in general.

The playing cards made a name for themselves in Europe back in the 14th century. It was the merchants that imported the trade into European cities. The symbols they traded were mostly swords, batons, cups, and coins. Soon the card skill games began to catch on to the French Kingdom and later found their way to England. The French were responsible for adding the Queen to the deck of cards. Even the King and Ace concept was a French addition that happened soon after the revolution succeeded in toppling the King.

Cups, chalices
Bâtons, massues, gourdins staves, rods
Coins, money
Dernières, pièces, soleilsdisks, pentacles
Swiss 6-lobe rosesGerman acornsGerman bellsGerman leaves
Clergy first estateFarmers rural third estateMerchants urban third estateNobles second estate
Fire elementEarth elementAir elementWater element

Names of Playing Cards Symbols

Modern-day playing card symbols (Heart, Diamond, Clubs and Spades) are inked into black and red colours. The French first familiarised the colour pattern in the year 1480. Even to this day, these cards are referred to as French suits. They were also competing with the Latin and the German card suits for recognition and freedom.

During those times, there were political feuds between England and France. But it was the French that prevailed in spreading playing cards symbols-name all over Europe because the cards' simplification they used made it easier to memorise and read. Also, note that the German and Latin card suits were all printed in full colour.

Four Card Suits in a Deck of Cards

In a card deck of 52 cards in total, there are about 13 cards that are equally divided into four suits. The four card suits, in a deck of cards are Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades. They all represent some value and have some history into how they came to be known.

The Hearts suit represents the Spring season. It is also seen as a depiction of the childhood phase of human life. And this symbol denotes the fire element. The Clubs suit represents the Summer season. It also depicts the youth phase, where one tends to lean on education and responsibility. And the club symbol card signifies the earth element. The Diamonds represent the Autumn season. It also talks about the growing stages of man where he/she learns to survive the obstacles of life. In simple words, it stands for wealth creation, growth and values. Diamond card suits stand for the element of Air.

The Spades represent the Season of Winter. It is one of the oldest symbols among the four suits. It also means imparting knowledge and wisdom at the end of times. The logo stands as the element of Water. As discussed earlier, the total cards in the deck sum up to a numerical value. And that value exhibits the number of days in a year. The 13 cards of each suit represent 13 months in the lunar calendar that amount to a total of 365 days.

Card Suits and Symbolism - FAQ

Q. What Does Each Playing Card Represent?

In a deck of cards, you would see there are 13 cards of four suits. All these 13 cards, each of them represents values and meanings. The King, Queen and the Jack are the face cards for each card suit with four symbols.

• The King of Hearts is Charlemagne, who was the actual King of France.
• The King of Diamonds is Augustus, who ruled the Kingdom of Rome.
• The King of Clubs is Alexander, who was the Macedonian King.
• The King of Spades is David, who is the true King of Israel.

Then are the numbered cards starting from Ace to the number ten. They all have insightful depth and meaning, especially when paired with the four suits of a deck.

• Ace Card stands for attraction, desire and hope.
• Two Card means to find union between the two halves.
• Three Card shows opportunity and choice of matters.
• Four Card reveals satisfaction and stability.
• Five Card resembles the restlessness and change found in man.
• Six Card means adjustment and reflection of life.
• Seven Card stands for stress that comes with victory.
• Eight Card represents power and control.
• Nine Card is intended for surrender and new beginnings.
• Ten Card speaks of success and fulfilment but with the risk of breaking down on itself.

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