Everyone has played Teenpatti or the Andar Bahar card game. They are socially relaxing, a lot of fun and also provide intellectual stimulation. No wonder they are popular all over India. But have you thought about where and how these card games originated? What is their source? Read on and discover interesting nuggets of information about card games.
1. Cards were linked to the socio-economic levels in French society
French society in the medieval period had 4 levels –
1. The kings and nobility – represented by the Spades
2. The priests and clergy – represented by the hearts
3. The mercantile class or merchants – represented by the diamonds
4. Humble farmers and peasants – represented by the Clubs
So the next time you are playing cards, you know you are literally holding a piece of history!
2. In the casinos of Las Vegas and Macao, a deck of cards is thrown away after 1 hour.
As you know, casinos attract big crowds. Every table is busy dealing out cards and for the more cards they deal out, the more transactions. Indeed, time is money here! But this high frequency takes a toll on the cards. The cards go through wear and tear. Sometimes they bend or get twisted. And this can possibly give the players that extra edge which no casino will allow! The solution? Plenty of decks are kept as stand by. It’s exactly like in Wimbledon where thousands of tennis balls are kept readily available, in some of them get spoilt.
3. Casanova loved playing cards
Surely you have heard of the world’s foremost expert on matters related to love and seduction! Giacomo Casanova was a Venetian who, apart from his amorous interests, was also into playing cards. In fact, he was a regular presence at the top gambling houses and clubs across Europe. Recently, a collector’s edition of cards – Memoires de Casanova was released which contained cards that had illustrations of the women Casanova had dalliances with! The illustrations were the handiwork of famous artist – Paul Emile Becat.
4. The faces on cards are those of real historical figures from royalty
There are number cards and there are face cards. The face cards are not based on nondescript people but represent the faces of some of the most powerful kings and queens who ruled the earth. Who are they?
The king of hearts is Prince Charlemagne also known as Charles the Great. (Charles 1) He was king of the Franks from 768. In 774, he became king of the Lombards and eventually in 800, the king of Rome. His greatest achievement was uniting the western and central Europe.
The king of diamonds is Julius Caesar, also known as the most famous man in all of antiquity. He was the first dictator of Rome and had many great victories including the conquest of Gaul. His assassination is the most famous in all of history.
The king of clubs is Alexander the Great, the Macedonian prince, who at the age of 27, conquered the whole world and razed to the ground the most powerful civilization of its time, the Persians. The king of spades is King David, the shepherd boy who became king of Israel and Judah after slaying the monster Goliath. He is often mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as one of the wisest kings ever.