Shuffle your cards and cut the deck on Card Playing Day, December 28. It is the ideal activity to spend time with your family without having to chatter away or go on some big outing. The Christmas hustle and bustle is over, there is still time off from work, and the excitement from opening presents has diminished. There’s nothing like a slow-paced game of cards to relax while having fun!
History of Card Playing Day
Card Playing Day doesn’t exactly have a founder or origin, it is just a go-to activity that is quickly turning into a tradition after the busy holiday season. Family game night is already a thing, but elaborate board games can be too competitive and take longer to set up. It doesn’t take much to start playing a game of cards.
Playing cards have been around for a long time, but they didn’t start out as the 52-card deck we have today. It all began in 9th Century China when people from the Tang dynasty began developing games using paper and objects. These were nothing like the modern, sturdier cards, but they did spread from China to different parts of the world. In India, the card game Ganjifa played by The Great Mughals had 10 suits in a deck. Court artists would hand-paint detailed scenes onto each of the 120 cards. From Egyptian cards featuring geometric Mamluk designs to the arrival of playing cards in Europe during the Renaissance, the deck eventually evolved and was divided into four suits of swords, cups, sticks, and coins.
These four suits were further developed into the modern deck we all know today, featuring hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. There are different ideas on how this happened. One theory says that these symbols represent the aristocracy, clergy, peasantry, and military. Another suggests that the four suits represent the four seasons. As for why there are 52 cards in a deck, it is believed that this number represents the total weeks in a year.
Today, thousands of card games are enjoyed by people around the world. The most popular card games include Spades, Hearts, Solitaire, Gin Rummy, Black Jack, and, of course, Poker.
Card Playing Day timeline
The first playing card decks are printed on paper.
The four suits — hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades — start becoming popular in France.
The oldest deck of cards known in the world is from the 15th century and called the Flemish Hunting Deck.
Poker, as we know it today, begins to form in America as ‘poque’.
The biggest poker tournament at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) takes place.
Card Playing Day FAQs
Is playing cards good for the brain?
Research studies show that card games are great stimuli for the brain and promote mental well-being.
Which card suit is the highest in poker?
Spades are the highest.
Why is the king of hearts stabbing himself?
Artwork painted onto cards were extremely detailed in the past. Over time, these vivid drawings were copied by card manufacturers and certain character details were skipped. This is why the king of hearts appears to be stabbing himself in the head when he’s really not.
Card Playing Day Activities
Play a game
Because what else are you supposed to do on Card Playing Day? Gather your friends, deal the cards, and stay alert for those side glances at your cards!
Play a digital tournament
If you don’t have a physical deck of cards, you can go online and play one of the thousands of card games available like Texas Hold Em’ Poker.
Create a stack
You can always interpret ‘playing cards’ differently and actually play with the cards. Build a card house and see how high you can stack it.
5 Facts About Playing Cards To Shuffle Through
Ace of Spades
The United States Playing Card Company is the biggest manufacturer of playing cards in the world.
Cards as a secret weapon
During World War II, the US government produced special secret card decks with a famous card company for American prisoners of war.
Stakes are high
Casinos have an unbelievably high level of security for protecting the cards they use, requiring sign-offs before the deck is reshuffled.
Vegas Casinos change decks within 12 hours
Casinos in Vegas sell- or discard cards within 12 hours of using them.
Why We Love Card Playing Day
We love how a single deck of 52 cards leads to complex games that give us hours of entertainment. Even playing Solitaire alone is a great way to pass the time.
Time out with the family
Playing cards is fun and relaxing, and can be played in total silence with family members. It is a great way to spend time with family without requiring any extra effort.
A piece of history
The cards we have today have evolved over time. It’s crazy to think these were fully hand-painted at one point. Although cards have changed, we are still practically playing the same deck that was used years ago.
Card Playing Day dates