Posted by David Russell on 3/6/2012 to Playing Cards
These purposes varied from casino-style card games, such as Poker, Blackjack, Solitaire or Gin; to fortune telling, in the form of tarot cards; to collectible trading cards with popular media characters imprinted on one side.
But whatever their purpose, they were almost always of a rectangular shape, one side identical to the others in the deck, or series, and the faces (or front) of the cards depicting a picture of some sort. In the modern, common deck of cards, we draw the faces from France. The kings, queens and knaves drawing from real historical figures; and they are as follows:
The King of Hearts: King Charles (or Charlemagne) The King of Spades: King David The King of Diamonds: Julius Caesar The King of Clubs: Alexander the Great The Queen of Hearts: Judith The Queen of Diamonds: Rachel The Queen of Clubs: Argine The Queen of Spades: Pallas The Knave of Diamonds: Hector The Knave of Hearts: La Hire The Knave of Clubs: Lancelot or Judas Maccabeus The Knave of Spades: Holger Danske.
Of course, there are many interpretations of who is really supposed to be on the faces of the cards, this is just one of many possible lists of possibilities.
In modern days, the playing card is almost always associated with Poker and the Old West. There are many versions of poker, as well. Texas Hold-'em and Five-Card Draw are the most popular.
Poker tournaments are famous for having high stakes, but a huge payout to one winner. Arguably, the most famous of these tournaments are the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour, both of which are held in Las Vegas.
Most people play card games exclusively online nowadays, but it is still alive and well and they will most likely be a large part of our culture for centuries to come....