Thursday, May 20, 2010

What do the suits represent in playing cards? Diamonds, Clubs, Spades, and Hearts?

Is there some historical significance?

What do the suits represent in playing cards? Diamonds, Clubs, Spades, and Hearts?
The earliest known suit system in playing card decks originated in Spain and is known today as the Latin suit system. The suits appeared in Europe during the renaissance. The Germanic style suits appeared next, after a period of change and experimentation with the different variations, followed by the French suits.

Some scholars believe that the earliest suits – the cups, swords, coins and clubs – represented the four classes of people. The four classes of people in Europe during this time were clergy, soldiers, merchants and farmers. The cup stood for the clergy, representing the chalice used in services. The sword represented the soldiers, the coin symbolized the merchants. The club, also known as the rod, represented the farmer.

Today, the French suit system is the most commonly used suit system in the world. The suits in the French system are the hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs.

Even at their invention, most playing card decks had four different suits. This means, that in the commonly used 52 card deck, each suit has 13 cards in its grouping. By the 1500’s the three main suit systems – Latin, Germanic and French – were completely developed.

The Suits’ Sovereignty

There is no one definite list of the suit rankings. The highest suit is dependant on the game you are playing. As mentioned before, the ace of spades was considered the highest-ranking card in the deck. During this time, the most popular card games were bridge and hearts, in which the spade was considered the highest-ranking suit.

It would be difficult to say what the most popular card game in the United States is today, let alone the entire world. The growth and popularity of poker and casino-style games is the most predominant for of card games; they are widely played across the country for recreation, in casinos, tournaments, online, and even on television with Celebrity Poker and similar shows.

Most people want to know the suit rankings today in regard to poker, to determine which of the royal flushes would be considered the higher. The answer to this is simple, all suits are considered equal in poker and in the case of two royal flushes, the pot would be split. In some cases, the house will decide upon guidelines and have their own order of suit ranking.

While the suit can determine the winner in some card games, it can also be completely meaningless in other games, like the popular casino game of blackjack.

EDIT: It is thought that the earliest 'cards' were founded in 9th Century China but are more like the tiles used in Mah Jong - a Chinese dominoes style game.
Reply:great work chief Report Abuse

Reply:I don't know. Maybe there is
Reply:No, I think it's just a design.

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