Playing cards originated in China, but their popularity spread to countries like India and Persia. Playing cards are believed to have spread to Egypt and Italian and Iberian peninsulas. European playing cards have an Islamic derivation. The initial card packs were hand-painted works of art and were really expensive. Not everyone could afford these cards in the early days. They could be afforded by wealthy patrons only. However, as the demand for these playing cards increased cheaper methods of production were discovered. Low production cost made the playing cards affordable to the common man.
Though playing cards originated in China, their popularity and use in India is really high. Indians just can’t imagine their lives without card games. Multiple card games are a source of entertainment during festivals like Diwali. Also, families love to enjoy card games like Rummy, Poker, and Teen Patti during getting together. Many of us have owned a deck of cards since our childhood. Some, still have them at home to enjoy games with friends and family. We are seeing these cards since ages, but have we ever thought why the cards have 4 suits and what exactly does each symbol on the cards mean?
Here is the answer to it.
A deck consists of 52 cards, each signifying the number of weeks in a year. Every suit has 13 cards that symbolize the 13 lunar months. When you add the value of the numbers on the cards, the total comes to 365.
The 4 suits of a deck are the heart, club, diamond, and spade. Every suit symbolizes something.
- The heart signifies the season of spring. It also symbolizes the “childhood” phase of human life.
- The club suit represents the season of summer. It also denotes the “youth” phase where the focus of an individual is on education, irresponsibility, etc.
- The symbol of diamond stands for the season of fall or autumn. It shows the “growing” phase of human life where every individual is working towards his/her career. A diamond shows growth, responsibility, values, security, etc.
- Spade represents winter season. It denotes the “old age” where people learn wisdom, acceptance, etc.
The four suits also signify different elements. The heart symbolizes the element of fire, the club symbolizes the element of earth, the diamond symbolizes the element of air, and the spade symbolizes the element of water.
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Also, each value number of the card is like a keyword that tells you the nature of the card. For example, an Ace shows desire, two shows union, three is for faith, four is for Satisfaction, etc. The number ten shows a success.
Apart from numbers, a deck of cards also includes royal cards like the king, queen, and jack. These cards signify the historical figures. Though the meaning of each card has nothing to do with the actual gameplay, it is always good to have an in-depth knowledge of various things. Having a good idea of the meaning of the cards will build your interest in various card games.
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