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Playing Cards History

Where did playing cards come from, The Cultural Context, Card Games, Other uses besides Games, How did Suit Systems evolve, What did the earliest European cards look like, Different methods of production, Sources of imagery, The Renaissance influence, Standard National Patterns.

A cluster of early literary references refer to the game being introduced by 'a Saracen', 'the Moorish Game' etc. Etymological evidence also suggests that the Arabs introduced playing cards into Europe in the second half of the fourteenth century and that European cards evolved from the suit system and composition of these cards.

We have collected a one-stop database of links to trace the origins of these elusive yet sought after playing cards. From the nuances of an English deck to the appearance of cards in Europe, we’ve traced history. Try this section for all the information on the history of playing cards.

History of Playing Cards

The International Playing-Card Society presents a brief history of playing cards during the past 600 years. Includes illustrations of historinc cards from many countries more...

Collecting English Playing Cards

Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society, has written an excellent article on the origins of English playing cards more...

Introduction of Playing Cards to Europe

A brief summary of European playing-card history, from their introduction in the 1300's, with discussions of historical references to playing cards, their appearance, and evolution more...