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6 fun facts about playing cards

6 fun facts about playing cards

Playing cards have been around since we can all remember and many of us will have grown up playing games like rummy, solitaire, jacks twos and eights and many more. Some people tend to love cards so much that they’ve invested in customised playing cards of their own design. Here’s some fun facts which make these cards extra special, we’ve found seven fascinating facts that you may not have known about playing cards and their history. 

The first decks of cards were created in Imperial China during the 9th century 
It’s believe that the first printed card deck was made around the 9th century and consisted of only 32 cards, this included all combinations of a pair of dice. Originally the decks were printed on paper, wood and even bone. 

The French Suit Symbols that we use in card decks today came from German ones in the late 1400s 
The French suit symbols that we are most familiar with (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades) are a variation of the German suit symbols which were used in the late 1370s.These symbols include Acorns, Leaves, Hearts and Bells. Earlier than the 14th century, cups, swords, coins and batons were used. Then in the 1480s, the French suit symbols became popular and are still widely used today in America and other regions. 

Face cards were designed after real people in history
French card decks were modelled after historical figures, these personalised playing cards include Charlemagne (the King of Hearts), Julius Caesar (King of Diamonds), Alexander the Great (King of Clubs) and King David from the Holy Bible (King of Spades). 

The first branded playing cards were produced in the late 1800s 
Dating back to 1885, one of the most iconic card decks, mainly popular in America is the Bicycle brand. Dating back to 1885, Bicycle cards were used by magicians, gamblers and card players across the globe. 

Most casino playing cards are made of 100% plastic 
It’s very common for casinos to have plastic cards, this is usually for two main reasons, they’re better for frequent handling and last much longer than paper cards and they’re significantly more difficult to write on, this in turn makes it hard for players to try and cheat. 

Playing cards once helped war prisoners escape During World War II the government partnered with the United States Playing Card Company to produce and ship of specially designed card decks to help lead American POWs to freedom, the cards were designed to peel apart when wet and revealed pieces to a secret map that helped them escape.

So now you know, playing cards aren't just something created for entertainment, they have many uses, especially when considering historic moments. 

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