The History of The Joker Card

Have you ever been interested in the history of ordinary objects? The history of ordinary objects interests me quite often. Most recently I became interested in the history of the Joker card in a deck of playing cards when watching a YouTube video where the creator asks the question. I decided to look up the history of the joker card and write my findings. At the end of the article are my sources if you would like to learn more.

We are all familiar with the basic deck of playing cards, however a deck of cards has not always looked the way it does today. The way the deck of looks has changed throughout history and across countries. The suits in a deck of playing cards have been and still are different across countries. There have even been decks of cards with less than 52 cards. In the past, Germany has used hearts, bells, acorns, and leaves as its suits. Italy and Spain still use swords, clubs, cups, and coins as their suits. The court cards have also been different across countries. Playing cards in Germany and Spain did not have a card for a queen. They instead had a king and two kanves or a king, a knight, and a knave. The most recent change to the deck of playing cards is the addition of the Joker card.

The joker card was first used in a deck of playing cards in 1863 in the United States of America. The card was created when Euchre players in the United States came up with new rules for the game. The new rules required a new trump card. The Joker is that new trump card for the game. American card companies were the first to publish the new card with British companies following in the 1880s. The term Joker was first used in a book published in 1886 called Euchre: How to Play It. The book described how to play a version of euchre that uses the Joker card. The Joker was first designed as a jester. The Joker card is also thought to be designed after the Fool card in a Tarot deck.

Sources

A Brief History of the Joker Card.” n.d. Bicycle Cards. Accessed May 20, 2021. https://bicyclecards.com/article/a-brief-history-of-the-joker-card/.

“The Evolution of Joker.” 2021. Card History. http://cardshistory.com/joker-card-history.htm.

Roya, Will. 2018. “The History of Playing Cards: The Evolution of the Modern Deck.” Playing Card Decks.com. https://playingcarddecks.com/blogs/all-in/history-playing-cards-modern-deck.

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There are three main passions that I have in life: books, coffee, and history. I have decided to write about them.

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Victoria Buckman

Victoria Buckman

There are three main passions that I have in life: books, coffee, and history. I have decided to write about them.

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