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National Card Playing Day on December 28th encourages us to invite our friends to deal out a hand and play a game or two.  

In the 9th century, the Chinese began developing games using money and other paper objects. These early playing cards bear no resemblance to the sturdier European playing cards that emerged a few centuries later.

Card games spread around the world in a variety of shapes and styles. From the elaborate Mamluk designs of Egypt to the appearance of the first playing cards during the Early Renaissance in Europe, the decks were divided into four suits of coins, cups, swords, and sticks or batons.

It is from these four suits that today’s modern decks of playing cards developed. Theories range how the suits converted to hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs. One theory suggests the suits represent the different classes of the era – clergy, aristocracy, military and peasantry.

In India, the ten suited card game of Ganjifa became popular during the Moghul period. Traditionally, artists hand-painted a stunning scene on each of the 120 cards in the deck.

A standard pack of cards may be used for playing a variety of card games, with varying elements of skill and chance, some of which are played for money. Some of the top card games include Spades, Poker, Solitaire, Spite and Malice, Hearts, Spoons, Gin Rummy, Ridge, Black Jack and Texas Hold’em.  Of course, there are thousands of card games, some of which are regional favorites.

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HOW TO OBSERVE #CardPlayingDay

What’s your favorite card game? There are so many to play. Celebrate the day by:

  • Organizing a card tournament
  • Trying out a new card game
  • Inventing a new card game
  • Teaching someone how to play
  • Learning the history of your favorite games

Get playing and show us your hand using #CardPlayingDay to post on social media.

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