History is silent about where they first appeared. Although there is a legend that cards appeared for the first time in ancient Egypt. For example, one of the legends says that when the enemy approached the border of the kingdom of the Pharaohs, the pharaohs gathered a council of the wisest to decide how to protect from the enemy all their knowledge that had been accumulated for centuries. Knowledge meant a system of relationships between God, the universe, and man. In this way, knowledge was transformed into drawings that were displayed on cards. There are 78 sheets in this deck of cards, which are called arcana. Such a deck was called Tarot cards. With the help of this deck, the four elements of the universe were divined: fire, water, air, earth.
Another version suggests that the cards were still first invented in China. Ching Tse Tung, the most famous Chinese sage, wrote in his books that cards were invented in 1120, and in 1132 they were already in widespread use. But Chinese archaeologists believe that the cards appeared long before 1120 and were not made of paper, but of ivory or wooden tablets on which figures were depicted.
In Europe and the Muslim East, the cards appeared, according to historians, in the XIII century and were brought by nomadic tribes. The authorities of many states initially treated the cards indifferently, but after a while, they began to persecute the cards since it was assumed that the cards were evil spirits.
Summing up everything that has been said above, we can assume that the cards appeared in different states and on different continents at about the same time. The cards of any state or continent carried their own special culture and reflected spiritual and material existence in the drawings located on the cards.
Over many years and centuries, the Tarot card deck has transformed from 78 sheets into 52 sheets, and eventually into 36 and 32 sheets. Cards began to be mainly used for divination. Why the Tarot deck was transformed into 52 sheets because 52 cards are the number of weeks in a year, 4 suits are 4 seasons, 13 cards in a suit are 13 weeks of any time of the year. Each suite consists of points from 1 to 10, and if instead of images of jack, queen, king, ace, we take the corresponding numbers jack – 11, queen – 12, king – 13, ace – 0 points, and add up all the points, then we get the number 91, which corresponds to the number of days in one quarter of the year. Thus, the sum of all the points of the four suits will be equal to 364, that is, the number of days in a year without one day. Sometimes another card is added to the deck – this is the joker, which is used for various purposes.
Somewhere from the XIV century, jacks, ladies and kings began to be depicted as legendary heroes. For example, Julius Caesar is the king of diamonds, Alexander the Great is the king of clubs.
In the XVII century, a shirt for cards began to be made with a small dotted pattern, it was protection from cheaters so that cheaters did not put their signs on the back of the cards.
At the beginning of the XVIII century, two-headed cards began to be made in Italy, that is, such cards in which one half reflects the other half.
And at the beginning of the XIX century, the cards have already become what we see them today.
In Russia, cards appeared at the beginning of the XVII century. There is an assumption that the card games were brought by Poles, Ukrainian Cossacks, and Germans. This assumption is based on government prohibitions of card games. The first of them appeared in the reign of Mikhail Fedorovich, in the middle of the XVII century, and became so widespread that it was necessary to create resolutions banning them. The game was particularly popular among soldiers, mostly in the German suburb. The soldiers played secretly, at night.
During the reign of Peter the Great, the old strict laws on the card game lost their force and were completely forgotten, as a result of which fans of card games no longer hid from anyone. The cards came into general use and did not arouse any suspicion in the legislator and remained inexpensive fun for free pastime. Even among soldiers, the game was not prohibited, it was forbidden to play for military uniforms, weapons and money. In Peter’s time, only one Decree was issued in 1710, “Instructions and Articles of the military of the Russian Navy,” where it was forbidden to have cards on the ship.
Under Peter II, the card game is included in the repertoire of ordinary amusements in the imperial palace and it becomes so necessary that no court ball and no court meeting can do without it. No decrees prohibiting this game were issued and absolutely everyone played.
How were the rules of ancient card games developed?
Theoretically, it can be assumed that first of all there were combination games of the type: Canasta, Rams. In such games, it was necessary to connect the cards according to pictures and colors as quickly as possible. Then there were solitaire games, which were a kind of card games and took their origin from simple fortune-telling. In the ruling circles, card games were played most often for money, for their fortunes, and ordinary people played simple games to pass their time.
What types of cards are there?
In Korea, they play cards with 8 figures: a man, a horse, an antelope, a rabbit, a pheasant, a crow, a fish, a star. There are 10 different cards for each of the figures, that is, the deck consists of 80 cards.
In China, they play cards with 16 figures and which are painted in 4 colors (red, white, yellow, green): a general, 2 advisers, an elephant, a horse, a war chariot, a cannon, 5 soldiers. The number of cards in the deck is 128. Chinese cards are long and narrow. In India, the cards are square and sometimes round. A long time ago, the cards were of 12 colors, and each color consisted of 12 cards, and the number of cards in the deck was 144. Now the cards are of 4 colors, with the number of cards in color 13 and the deck is equal to 52 cards.
Currently, there are about two hundred of the most popular card games in the world, although their total number is about 500, the most popular game of course is Poker. There are also about 1000 solitaire games. 300 solitaire games were handed down to us from generation to generation, and all the rest were invented by the authors of computer programs for playing solitaire. Card divination has also been handed down to us from generation to generation, the interpretations of certain cards change somewhat. Cheating techniques are modified with the development of technological progress and the ingenuity of the human mind. Sometimes it is enough to have a reliable assistant and an inconspicuous hidden camera in the form of a pin or special items for a cheating game and then the whole game is yours. Card tricks have practically remained the same as they were handed down to us by previous generations. After all, the development of card tricks is influenced only by sleight of hand and the ability (gift) to be a magician.