What Do the Playing Card Suits Represent?

play poker online

The deck of cards we use today to play poker online have evolved much since the ancient time. They were always hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs. 

Let us dig in to know what were they during the ancient times and then we can sit in the table to play poker. 

Through the centuries and while playing the online poker games, numerous nations have adapted card decks so that the shades, emblems, styles, and even the card names significantly reflect tradition and cultures. In the United States particularly, the symbols on a standard poker deck of English cards are known as pips, and modern decks presently display the four suits of hearts and diamonds in red, and clubs and spades in black. However, these suits and colours had a long history of evolution. 

The Beginning 

There’s no ultimate authority on when the playing card was first created. But, early reports recommend that the 1st playing cards may possibly have been used as early on the late 1200s in China and the late 1300s in Europe. A few reports say that the initial cards were used as early on the 9th century, but many reports also recommend that the Chinese game of leaves that retains this title, didn’t truly use cards, and so people debate if that ought to count as the beginning of playing cards. 

It is thought that the Chinese were the earliest to use suited cards, which symbolized money. Their suits were coins, strings of coins, myriads of strings, and tens of myriads. The Mamluks of Egypt revised these and passed them down to Europeans in the Middle Ages, roughly in 1370s. 

It is normally believed that the four suits in a deck of contemporary English playing cards obtain from French decks of cards that were created from the Germanic suits roughly in 1480. Consequently, the Germans adapted their suits from the Latin suits. The names we today use stem from English names, a few of which carried over from the Latin suits. 

Latin Suits 

The Latin suits were cups, coins, clubs, and swords. The word for sword is spade in Italian and espadas in Spanish, and that was stored in English. The ranking of suits most likely eventually stems from the Chinese tradition, which was straighter linked to a worth. 

Germanic Suits 

In German-speaking lands, the Latin suits were revised in the 15th century. Around 1450, the Swiss-Germans used play card suits to represent roses, bells, acorns, and shields. But, the Germans changed these to hearts, bells, acorns, and leaves. In spite of the changes, but, the card suits looked identical to each other. 

French Suits 

The French suits that now commonly appear in the United States a variance of the Germanic suits. They keep the hearts, but instead of bells, they made use of carreaux, which are tiles or diamonds. Interesting, there was a crescent suit rather than diamonds before the French settled on diamonds. The acorns became trèfles, standing for clovers or clubs. Instead of leaves, they had piques for pikes or spades. 

In one legend, the French suits symbolize the four classes. Spades represent nobility, hearts stand for the clergy, diamonds symbolize the vassals or merchants, and clubs are peasants. In the German tradition, bells (which turned out to be the French diamonds) were the nobility, and leaves (which turned out to be the French clubs) were the merchant middle class. 

England Gets Playing Cards from France 

French cards were exported to England around 1480, and the English carried over their names for clubs and spades from the older Latin suits. Import of foreign playing cards was banned in 1628 in England, so they started to produce their own cards. The French Rouen designs of the face cards were reworked by Charles Goodall and Sons in the 19th century to give us the regular designs seen in the present day. 

Happy playing!