Once You Know This, You’ll Never See Playing Cards the Same Way Again

September 15, 2015

Playing cards are a big part of Las Vegas casino culture.

While lots of casino players enjoy blackjack or other casino card games, they often don’t spend much time thinking about the cards themselves.

Once you hear this theory about the origin of playing cards, though, you’ll never view them quite the same way again!

Bonus trivia: In French decks of cards, Jacks are known "valets."

Bonus trivia: In French decks of cards, Jacks are known “valets.”

Would you be surprised to learn the four suits in a standard deck of playing cards are based upon the four seasons?

It gets even better. Legend has it many aspects of playing cards can be tied to the calendar.

Each suit has 13 cards. Thirteen is significant because it represents the 13 phases of the lunar cycle. Starting to see a theme here?

It all starts to click into place when you realize there are 52 cards in a standard desk, the same number of weeks in a year.

There are two primary colors, black and red, representing day and night.

Blackjack

Blackjack is the most popular casino card game.

There are 12 face (or “court”) cards, the number of months in a year.

There are 13 cards in each suit and 13 weeks in each season.

Here’s the kicker: If you add up the values of all the cards in a deck, the result is 364. Add a joker and you’ve got 365, or the number of days in a year. Leap year? Just add another joker!

Playing card experts tend to agree these calendar-inspired connections are merely a coincidence, but it’s a fun diversion and a great conversation-starter when sitting down to play your favorite casino table game.

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