* A standard deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards, of which there are four suits – two red, which are diamonds and hearts and two black, which are clubs and spades.
* The colored suits of the cards represent day and night.
* The four suits consist of 13 cards each. They represent the four quarters of the year, which have 13 weeks each.
* The four suits also represent the four phases of the moon, which are new, first quarter, full and waning or last quarter.
* It is believed, but not proven, that playing cards originated in Asia around the 10th century.
* The French derived today’s deck of playing cards.
* Americans brought the Joker into the deck of cards sometime around the 1870s. At that time it was used for the highest “Bower” when playing Euchre.
* In the late 18th and early 19th century, the back of a deck of cars was used as an advertising media for products and services. The cards also bore the image of famous landmarks and travel destinations.
* Cards came to America with British Colonists and have been popular ever since. The varnished or high gloss finish that we know today was derived in America to ease shuffling. Square corners became round to prevent wear on the cards. Court cards – the Jack, Queen and King, became double headed to prevent the player from having to turn the cards right side up when they were dealt.