There are several theories to the origin of the history of playing cards but the first playing cards are believed to have been invented in China in the 10th century.

The earliest authentic references to the history of playing cards in Europe dates back to 1377. They spread into Europe from the Mameluke empire.

Mameluke playing cards originated from the Indian card game of Ganjifa and ornate patterns was used to differentiate between value of each card.

history of playing cards

The first European card manufactures used royalty as rank for each card and the playing cards used today derives from the French design.

The king of hearts represented Charlemagne, the king of diamonds represented Julius Caesar, the king of clubs represented Alexander the Great and the king of spades represented King David. The French also invented the suite signs of spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts.

The earliest European card games included trick taking games without trumps and hand comparison games. Trumps were introduced in the fifteenth century.

The earliest history of playing cards in England dates to around the mid-15th century. The design of the standard English playing-cards are the most popular ones around the world casinos, but many changes has occured to this design.

The Americans history of playing cards dates back to the mid-1800s. They invented playing cards with rounded corners, double-headed court playing- cards, playing cards with varnished surfaces and indexed playing cards.

In the early 19th century the design of the playing cards were made double-ended. The suit sign moved from the upper right, to the upper left corner. The reason for this was mainly to make fanning the cards easier for Whist and other types of card games.