Talk:Playing card

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Bridge/Poker sizes question[edit]

Could anyone include something indicating information about common card sizes? You commonly (in english-speaking countries) see cards listed as either bridge or poker size -- what's the difference? Are there any other sizes commonly used, eg I sometimes see decks advertised as pinochle decks. AxS 14:57, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concerning the common sizes, I just measured a pack of Bicycle brand poker cards. They are definitely 63 mm by 88 mm. Are we sure the most common size is 62 and not 63 mm? Is it possible the common width has changed over time? --Trakon 09:49, 28 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While I don't know the sizes off the top of my head, "Bridge size" cards are narrower than "poker size." This is probably because you hold 13 cards in bridge, and almost never more than 5 in poker. Pinochle decks are a 48 card deck with 9 through Ace of each suit, twice. Schoop (talk) 19:46, 19 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Related to the sizes, the article states "The most common sizes for playing cards are poker size (2.5×3.5 inches (63.5×88.9 mm), or B8 size according to ISO 216) and bridge size (2.25×3.5 inches (56×87 mm)), the latter being narrower.[25]". The reference only states that the size is 2.3x3.5 inches and says nothing about B8 size. B8 size is not 2.3x3.5 inches, it is 62x88 mm, which is a different size. Which is it? I assume 2.5x3.5 because of the reference, but I can't be sure. Potatoj316 (talk) 20:21, 24 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did this information get removed? I'd also like to see information on the overall card shape; I recall learning that the the current rectangular shape is relatively new, and that (for example) circular cards were once popular. Modern Poker-sized playing cards agree with B8 in ISO 216, which surely can't be coincidental, so this seems to suggest that this size can't be older than 1798. Joule36e5 (talk) 07:40, 17 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was moved to Standard 52-card deck where it fits better. As for shapes, rectangular is older and far more common. The oldest cards from China and the Arabs tend to be thin and long strips, this is still reflected in Italian suited cards. Round cards exist in India (see Ganjifa) but they were converted from rectangular Iranian cards. Rounds decks were also made around 1500 in Germany but they seem to be collector's items and never played with.--Countakeshi (talk) 18:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

the argument is finally settled: Name of standard deck[edit]

After I noticed the inconsitencies and un-earnt credit in the naming of the standard deck here as the "Anglo-American deck", I did a bit of checking and now we can put this debate to rest. At these seemingly reliable sites, it just calls it the French deck straight up: Even other wikipedia pages refer to it as the French deck: I was hoping to use the Bicycle website as a source, but I noticed that it translated Baccarat Chemin de Fer by the incorrect urban myth and also kept alive the urban myth that the Viet Cong were terrified of the Ace of Spades.

This site provided the best explanation as to why some people don't call it the French deck: The letters have been translated (from Roi to King for example) and the pictures are in a slightly different style. Still, as many of the previous sources have indicated, those differences are frivolous and just to be expected. The only mention I could find for why America has any claim to the name is because America introduced the Joker in order to play Bridge I think it was. What they failed to point out though is that the original French Tarot deck already had the fool which is depicted in the same way as the Joker and plays the same function as the Joker in Tarot. So it would be more correct to say that the Americans "brought back the joker". It might interest you to know that most people seemed to not even realise that some countries have different decks; merely calling it a "standard deck" or a "52-card deck".

The confusion about the French deck turns out to be harmless, it seems. An American game Telsina strips down the deck and some people seem to nickname this new deck as the "French deck" but I couldn't find any explanation for how this makes it French.

So there you have it; we don't need to be confused about the names anymore; it's the "French deck" and has been for centuries. If anyone is keen to improve the sources, looking in Hoyle's book of rules would be a good place to look. I don't have the book myself so I couldn't check.Owen214 (talk) 10:24, 15 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can answer some of your asked and un-asked questions. "French deck" isn't really better than "Anglo-American deck", because it also refers to a specific style and refers specifically to R for the king, etc. What I normally use instead is "French-suited deck". Although there are also French-suited tarot decks, tarot decks are rare enough overall so that there should be no ambiguity in practice.
The tarot deck is not originally French but was invented in Italy and originally had Italian/Spanish suits. The French suits were invented later, and were applied to tarot decks even later. (In France this happened as late as the 19th century, in some other places earlier.)
There is a small number of serious researchers on card games and playing cards, such as David Parlett, John McLeod and Michael Dummett. They all agree that in spite of the similar depictions, the Joker is unrelated to the Fool. It was introduced for the game Euchre, which originally was called Jucker (pronounced like "yooker"). The Joker serves as an additional Jack, and the Jacks in that game were also sometimes called Juckers.
Although I think we shouldn't follow the practice, calling a "stripped" 32-card deck a "French deck" makes sense in that most modern French card games are played with such decks, in the same way that most modern Spanish card games are played with 40-card decks. In Germany one distinguishes between the (French-suited) "French deck" and the (German-suited) "German deck", both of 32 cards. Normally such decks are called piquet decks after the very old game Piquet, for which the number of cards was reduced from 36 to 32 around 1700.
"Hoyle's book of rules" is not really a specific book but a family of books form different authors and publishers, loosely held together by the fact that they all use the name "Hoyle" for marketing reasons. The best source for information on playing cards is probably Chapters 3 and 4 of Parlett's Oxford Guide to Card Games. Most (not all) information on the web is wrong or useless. Hans Adler 11:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In reference to the above statement by Owen214 "because America introduced the Joker in order to play Bridge I think it was", the joker is not used and has never been used in bridge. Newwhist (talk) 15:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In reference to the above statement by Newwhist, as well as the slightly more above statement by Owen214 re: the origins of the Joker, I'm guessing that the game they were thinking of was Euchre eldamorie (talk) 20:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's right, thanks Eldamorie. Owen214 (talk) 08:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image caption dubious[edit]

Currently there is a picture of some cards, captioned, "Medieval gambling cards, c.1377." The image shows hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades, so these cards must be from later than 1480. Ordinary Person (talk) 08:03, 14 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Capitalization of the word pack is dubious[edit]

Capitalization of the word "pack" in the article varies. The word generally should not be capitalized since it's not a proper noun. I won't change the article because I'm not certain, but it seems the word is incorrectly capitalized in several places in the article. Evonj (talk) 13:52, 12 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you, especially as there doesn't seem to be any consistency to when it's capitalised and when it's not. I'll attack it now but am open to reasons I could have missed as to why they're there. JaeDyWolf ~ Baka-San (talk) 14:28, 12 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Playing card money[edit]

One guilder, playing card money (1801). Prior to the formal introduction of paper currency, playing card money, denominated in Dutch Guilders, was used in Dutch Guiana (1761–1826)

I wanted to see if it would be appropriate to insert this image (and some form of the caption) in this article. Thanks-Godot13 (talk) 03:39, 28 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Left handed cards ?[edit]

Surprised there's no mention that the standard design of cards with 2 sets of pips are designed for a right handed player. If the cards are fanned by a naturally left handed person, then the pips are all obscured.

This doesn't happen with cards which have a 4-pip design (e.g. Waddingtons in the UK).

I wrote a paragraph about 4-pip design (also in the Bias_against_left-handed_people article). Please feel invited to improve the wording and/or the links. --Cheater no1 (talk) 14:36, 9 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I recognize that left-handed individuals might find it helpful to know about cards marketed toward left-handed people, however, it is not necessarily proven that a design with indices on the top-left corner are any actual bias towards holding cards a particular way. Given that, the two citations about supposed “left-handed” cards existing are two links to buy “left-handed” cards. That feels wrong to me, the citation links should be articles about the subject, not links that effectively promote these cards. Louie Mantia (talk) 21:14, 30 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A miniature in a 14th-century manuscript[edit]

This is the earliest known depiction of card play, a miniature in a 14th-century manuscript of Meliadus or Guiron le Courtois (part of the romance also known as Palamedes; also known as Le Roman du Roy Meliadus de Lennoys), by Hélie de Boron.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Robertolyra (talkcontribs) 00:39, 26 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a wonderful find, and probably should be incorporated into the article, but -- quickly glancing at the summary from the British Museum -- I just wish to note that we must be cautious about making too-specific statements about the dating. This is because, while the description clearly dates the ms to "between 1352 and 1362", it also specifically calls out this very illustration as "added later". It's a little unclear whether this means "later than the text... whenever that was", or "later than 1362", but to me the context suggests the latter. I trust that someone willing to dig for fuller documentation can shed better light on this. But because 1362 appears to be right around the time that playing cards made their very first entrance into Europe, dating an important piece of evidence like this to "before 1363" or "sometime after 1362" makes a very big factual difference. Cheers. Phil wink (talk) 18:11, 2 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In the Spanish Wikipedia version of this article it is mentioned that there was a ban of playing cards in Barcelona in 1310, however in the version in English no reference to this history is made whatsoever... The section on history might need some reviewing then in the English wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2a02:1811:d10:8300:e946:f152:aef4:9fe7 (talkcontribs) 19:24, 24 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am reviewing the source of the quote itself.
The source quoted in Wikipedia in several languages has a mistake, as that page has no text!!!
I don't know the origin of that mistaken source, or if some other book of that author may have be the real source for that.
Anyway, someone somewhere would have quoted that same ban, and I cannot find anything like that. Still checking that. Looong work. Freiburger (talk) 20:35, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The most common deck?[edit]

"The most common type of playing card is that found in the French-suite" Shouldn't the chinese suite be the most common? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 9 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History in China[edit]

Qiushufang, pretty strong research since 2020 is putting into doubt Needham's and others' supposed origin of playing cards as Yezi xi. Considering the important of the first paragraph in a Wikipedia section on the history of a thing, and considering the strength of this new evidence compared to Needham's well-known quantity over quality leading to frequent errors, I think it's appropriate to place the qualification succinctly in the first paragraph, not below as you have suggested. I still leave the reference to yezi xi basically intact as the dominant theory, but it should be prominently stated that this is recently in dispute. Hence the edits and deeper references, so as to allow future others to make further inquiry. More is needed on this: a good start would be to read Andrew Lo's paper carefully. Zelchenko (talk) 01:41, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did not delete your additions. Assuming good faith, perhaps you did not understand, the existence of a leaf game had not been established yet and the added material was a response to the leaf game, leaving the reader confused as to what the leaf game even is when the sentence pops up. I moved it to give it chronological coherence. Qiushufang (talk) 01:43, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

French playing card suits: bold, revert, discuss[edit]

The literal translation into English of the French suit names is not (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades; these are merely their equivalents on English playing cards. The correct translation of the words themselves is Hearts, Tiles, Clovers and Pikes. Unfortunately we have repeated instances of well-meaning editors who fail to read what the line says: French – and decide it must be vandalism. This has just happened again and a BRD challenge has been raised (even though I was reverting a previous editors mistake.) But this debate will recur repeatedly unless we agree a consensus position, so let's address it head on. Looking back 500 edits (over five years ago), it was causing difficulty then and will do so in five years time without a firm resolution.

By the way, the citations for this are at the main article, French-suited playing cards.

IMO, we have some obvious choices:
1 Add a line giving the English suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades). English is international too but the main purpose of having this as a line is to intercept these misguided "corrections"
2 Give the actual French names cœurs, carreaux, trèfles and piques

2.1 Exactly as is, no translations -or-
2.2 with their literal translations (hearts, tiles, clovers, pikes) -or-
2.3 with their equivalent names (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades) -or-
2.4 with both their literal translations and their equivalent names -or-

3 Ignore the names in French and

3.1 Give only the literal translations (hearts, tiles, clovers, pikes) -or-
3.2 Give only the equivalent names (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades) -or-
3.3 Give both their literal translations and their equivalent names

I think that's it but please extend as appropriate. --𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 22:44, 25 September 2023 (UTC). Revised to insert a new 2.3 and 3.3--𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 13:34, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • All the other lines use option 3.1: I see no reason to treat French any differently. So my !vote is for 1 and 3.1. --𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 22:44, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no such thing as "English suits". The French suit system is international; it is only called "French" because several centuries ago, French cardmakers created the symbols used. But since at least the 1650s, English sources have called them Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. They are never literally translated, nor would that be meaningful and certainly not "correct". Accurate translation involves finding the nearest equivalent. Otherwise German Army captains would be called "headmen". Setting that aside, Wikipedia follows WP:RS and all the sources use Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds. So if you type in "Ace of Clovers" at Google Books, for example, you get nothing meaningful. The article at French-suited playing cards needs amending to give the English names first and original French names in brackets. Bermicourt (talk) 20:13, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]