The history of cards used to play traditional games in land based casinos is fascinating and rich. According to speculations, playing cards appeared first in the ninth century, most likely in China. The ancient Chinese cards for playing featured four suits. This included coins, myriads of strings, strings of coins and tens of myriads. There is a suggestion from some people that the first playing cards might probably have represented a paper currency that was used both for gambling and trading by the owners. Many historians disagree largely on the most likely time that playing cards appeared first in Europe.

Historians argue that the 38th Worcester Canon of Council is the best evidence for proving the establishment of card games in England in the early 13 century. But today, most experts consider card games to be ‘de rege et regina’ or that were named in above stated canon were most likely to be chess game. And in any case, if Europe was aware of cards in 1278, it could be very peculiar for the prominent Italian scholar by the name Petrarch not to have mentioned the games in his widely celebrated work by the name ‘remedies of good and bad fortunes. There is also a very strong believe among scholars and historians that playing cards were first introduced in Europe by Egyptian Mamlukes, probably in late 1300s. During this time, the cards are believed to have a very close resemblance to playing cards used in modern times.

To be more precise, Mameluke deck featured 52 cards of 4 suits which included swords, coins, cups and polo sticks. Each of these suits had 10 spot cards. The cards were different from the others depending on number of the suit symbols available and there were 3 court cards by the name second deputy, deputy king and the king. These Mameluke court cards majorly didn’t depict any individual but had abstract designs. The history of card games also notes that in the early 15th century, Europeans popularly passed their free time by playing card games, both commoners and aristocrats. Documents that support presence of cards in Europe date from 1377 in Switzerland, 1371 in Spain and 1380 in many other locations all over Europe including Italy and France. Charles Paupar in his book of 1392/ 3 mentions that he received a payment while working as the treasurer of household of French king Charles iv for making of 3 card playing sets.

In 15th century, there was a great variation in the suits of European playing cards. Even though a typical deck had 4 suits some card decks had more than five suits. The card deck used by Germans featured bells, hearts, acorns and leaves and are today the standard suits that are used in East Germany for certain card games. Playing card decks in Spain and Italy displayed batons, swords, coins and cups as standard suits. Some of the suits also feature in modern card decks like spades, diamonds, hearts and clubs.