Some Fun Facts About Playing Cards

Experts believe that the design and invention of playing cards are heavily based on astrology, divination, astronomy and calendar.

Playing cards seem straightforward, just A to 10, plus J, Q, K and Jokers with four suits. But, like many others, there are tons of fun facts about this card game.

Apart from the fascinating long history of playing cards, they have a lot more fun facts linked with a wide range of knowledge. Believe it or not, the designs are heavily related to science, society and even horoscope.

Playing cards are such a common item in every family, but how much do we know about the underlying meanings of these 52+2 cards? Some are so fascinating that may surprise you…

Some fun facts about Playing Cards

52 cards

Starting with one of the simplest fun facts: The 52 cards essentially represent the total number of weeks in a year.

Four suits

Four suits are as the four seasons each year, and more specifically, Heart = Spring, Diamond = Summer, Club = Autumn, and Spade = Winter.

In another definition, they also represent the four elements in astrology: Spade = air/wind, Heart = water, Club = fire, and Diamond = earth.

Four suits, Spade, Heart, Club and Diamond, are linked to four seasons and elements.
credit: Pixabay

13 cards in a suit

There are 13 cards (A to 10, J, Q and K) in each suit. Guess what? We do have 13 weeks in a season.

The court cards: J, Q and K

Each suit has 3 court cards, i.e. J, Q and K, so it makes 12 of them in total. Each year has 12 months, and there are also 12 zodiac signs in astrology.

J = 11, Q = 12, K = 13

As in many card games, we normally treat J = 11, Q = 12 and K =13. Therefore, the sum of a suit, A + 2 + 3 +… + K = 91. Each season has 91 days on average.

So, all 52 cards plus 2 Jokers mean…

As above, each suit has 91 in total and all the 52 cards make it 364. Adding both Jokers in the equation, the sum is equal to the number of days in a leap year, 366 days.

Ace to 10, plus J, Q and K have a lot related to our calendar. This includes weeks, years and seasons.
credit: Midhun Joy

Red and Black

A single day can be split into 2 halves, day and night. In playing cards, the four suits are divided into two colors, red and black. They are equivalent to days and nights. However, some believed otherwise: black means male while red is female.

Jack, Queen and King are actually…

There are various interpretations here for the court cards, but the French version seems to be more accepted. There, the four Ks actually are the well-known emperors:


  • Spade = King David
  • Heart = Charles the Great/Charlemagne
  • Club = Alexander the Great
  • Diamond = Julius Caesar

Queens in this version are:


  • Spade = Pallas (an epithet of the goddess Athena, the only Queen holding a weapon)
  • Heart = Judith (Biblical figure)
  • Club = Argine (an anagram of Regina)
  • Diamond = Rachel (Biblical figure)

For the cards of Jack, they are some famous knights in history:


  • Spade = Ogier the Dane (a legendary paladin of Charlemagne)
  • Heart = La Hire (a French military commander, a comrade of Joan of Arc)
  • Club = Lancelot (Knight of the Round Table)
  • Diamond = Hector (a Trojan prince and the greatest warrior for Troy in the Trojan War)
Jack (J), Queen (Q) and King (K) are related to imperial family, involving some famous names in history.
credit: jalil shams

Two Jokers

There are two Jokers in a deck, Red and Black. They are regarded as the Sun and Moon, respectively.

Four suits have more fun facts…

Notice that many of those fun facts are related to science or nature, happening around everyone, however, the meanings of the four suits may vary, according to different countries and cultures. Some are about the imperial family, hierarchy and classes.

For example:

  • Spade = Soldier (spear)
  • Heart = Priest
  • Club = Farmer
  • Diamond = Worker (tiles)

Besides, there is a more universal interpretation here:

  • Spade = Peace (olive leaf)
  • Heart = Intelligence and Love
  • Club = Toughness/Luck (clover)
  • Diamond = Money

The above is generally everyone’s wishes every year, aren’t they? In Europe and America, four-leaf clovers are considered a sign of luck. If you happen to find one, it is going to give you good luck.


Here are some playing cards’ fun facts, and there are many more in-depth. Some experts suggest that the above interpretations are not coincidences at all. The design and invention of playing cards are heavily based on astrology, divination, astronomy and calendar.

Next time, when you are about to play card games, you may bring more fun into the gameplay. These fun facts may become a topic to discuss.

Of course, do customize your own version of playing cards and establish a new and unique interpretation. There are some design tips for playing cards that may help.