No Deposit Poker
deck of cards trivia

Amazing Facts About The Humble Deck Of Cards

Sometimes a question occurs to us and we just can’t get it out of our heads. This week that question was, “What’s the deal with poker cards?”. So we’re going to stuff a whole pile of deck of cards trivia into the next few minutes of your scrolling time.

The standard 52-card deck: a marriage of France and Britain

The 52-card deck we’re acquainted with in the UK, the USA and much of the Western world is technically a deck of French suited playing cards with an English pattern.

France is where the idea of the four suits we’re familiar with came from. Trefles are clubs, carreaux are diamonds, coeurs are hearts and piques are spades. We’re hoping your high school French lessons are coming in handy there in this piece of deck of cards trivia!

And we’ve also got the French to thank for the colourings. Their traditional cards are black spades and clubs, then red hearts and diamonds, just like ours.

The French also introduced the face cards as we know them. Valet, Dame and Roi are what we know as Jack, Queen and King.

Meanwhile the design we’re all acquainted with is firmly an English pattern of the aforementioned French cards. The earliest example of this pattern is from 1516.

The double headed phenomenon

The earliest decks of cards were single headed. But from 1860, we start to see decks where there are double headed kings, etc., appearing on the cards.

It’s all about the indices

We also start spotting corner indices, which are synonymous with modern cards, added around 1880. Easy to read upside down and right side up, it’s no wonder the caught on.

Measure up

Up until the 19th century, every printer decided themselves what size the deck should be. So there was no uniformity at all. But then at some point during the 1800s, the size started to become more uniform.

Known as poker-sized cards, there was a new standard size of 3.5×2.5 inches. There was also bridge-sized cards, designed so you could hold more of them in your hands at once. They were a little narrower than poker size.

Nowadays, any deck of cards trivia know-it-all should know that all cards are in and around that size. However, it’s not an exact measure. Card manufacturers can go a little narrower, wider, shorter or longer.

James I, tax and the Ace of spades

The Ace of Spades can sometimes be highly decorative. Oftentimes, much more so than the rest of the pack. The reason for this? James I of England. During his reign, in the early 1600s, it was decided that there needed to be proof of tax paid on every deck.

And so the fancy design held the name of the manufacturer’s logo as proof. And, incredibly, this was still the case until the 1960s. So if you get your hands on your Granddad’s old deck of cards, check out the Ace of Spades.

Get your hands on history and play some card games today

Pretty much everyone has a deck of cards in their house. But if you want to play some poker, it’s nice to have somewhere great to do it.

If you’re in the market for an online poker room, why not check out bet365? Plus with this bet365 bonus code, you can get a super sweet welcome offer!


Welcome to is an affiliate of the brands we promote throughout this site. While we strive to maintain accuracy throughout our content, we do receive compensation for this promotion.

Here you will find the latest no deposit poker bonuses from the top poker rooms for players from the UK and beyond.

We currently have deals available from some of the UK's top poker rooms that let you play for real money without making any deposit. Use any of the links you see on this site to secure great poker deals at reputable online sites.

UK No Deposit Offers

UK Poker News& Notes