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Shuffling Away the Boredom

Posted on 05/15/14 in Fun Gifts
Playing CardsEvery experienced traveler knows to never leave home without at least one book and a deck of playing cards, especially when traveling somewhere without a cell phone signal. Card games are one of the oldest forms of entertainment, and a deck of cards is always useful. Playing cards have a fascinating history shrouded in a bit of secrecy. Using this timeworn form of entertainment can be beneficial to a business when promotional playing cards are put into the hands of possible clientele.

History of Playing Cards

Playing cards were most likely invented around 700 years ago in China. However, this is a difficult theory to validate, as playing cards were made of paper which has failed to withstand the test of time. From China, playing cards spread into Persia, India, Egypt and Europe.

Amazingly, there are still parallels between the oldest playing cards found and those we use today. The decks of the 14th century also had four suits, but the club we know today was a sword in historic decks. Additionally, in the male-dominated cultures of the past, there were no women present on the playing cards, so a queen cannot be found among them.

Soldiers may have been the contributing factor to the worldwide spread of playing cards, since they carried a deck in their pockets and quickly introduced them to the locals of other regions. As cards continued to spread, they became easily accessible to the majority of the population. This led to the creation of card games based upon gambling.

These gambling games quickly became popular and the church began to forbid them, equating the game with sin and sinister acts. Today, the use of playing cards is well-accepted and many beloved games have been created as a result. Some of the most popular card games include:

  • Solitaire. This game makes the top of the list in popularity. Several variations of the game exist and can keep single players occupied for hours; though games using two or three players are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Canasta. Perhaps one of the best known games in the world, Canasta began in South American in the mid 1900's and quickly rose in popularity across the globe.
  • Poker. The cowboys of the Wild West were known to play a mean game of poker. Today, everyone can take part in the game, from children gambling for cookies to the pros we watch on television.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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