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Card Shark

Playing card games have been around since 1857 when the playing card was first invented taking its rectangular shape from the humble wheel (round wheels didn’t take off until 1878 because they were considered flamboyant) but what do you really know about playing cards and their origins? Read on to find out more true facts.

1) The first card game created ten years before decks of cards was called snap and involved two players drawing cards from the top of a face down deck and placing them face up on top of each other. If any of the cards matched then ‘snap’ was shouted and the player who got the first ‘snap’ in wins the cards. Unfortunately once cards were invented all fifty two cards were made different so games could last for several days without anybody calling snap. It was only several years later that it was suggested that maybe ‘snap’ should be called when the numbers match and not the whole number and suit.

2) The card called the Ace Of Spades gets it’s name from the song of the same name by Motörhead who originally penned this classic after translating an old Gregorgian Monk manuscript from 1324 containing the original lyrics and guitar riffs.

Original lyrics as translated by Lemmy

If thy wilst gamble, I prithy thee I’m thy squire,
Thy win some, lose some, all differences equal to thy,
Thus gigglefax is to tarry, maketh no differences what thy speaketh,
I doth bequeath your greed, thy wanton card I doth seek,
The Ace Of Spades
Anon 1324 – Circecees Gregorgian Monestry, Hull.
3) The follow up song The Number Nine Of Diamonds failed to be as successful for Motörhead and only charted at number 28 in the Peruvian Rain Forest Classic FM charts in 1989
4) Magicians often use cards as part of their magic act, unfortunately magic was heresy in the Middle Ages and anyone wearing a tuxedo or carrying a wand was taken to the local stocks and locked up until they recanted their belief in Ali Bongo, deity of the Magic Circle. Later this punishment was changed to be more severe after the first ever appearance of Paul Daniels. Magicians now have to pretend to live in a glass box for attention.
5) Popular in 1578 the game ‘Poker’ took off in bawdy taverns throughout the land. Players were dealt cards until they made twenty one or went bust betting on each turn of the card. A tally was made of winners and losers, winners got to keep the steady growing pot of money whilst losers were given heated pokers and left to beat each other, hence the term ‘Poker’ entered our language. Unfortunately the term poker has changed over the years and now is often heard in clubs and bars up and down the country as in ‘I dunno, would you poker?’
6) If you lay out all fifty two cards and count all the symbols on every card adding them all together then devide the answer by four you probably would be better getting a life and only doing it for one suit and times it by four for the same result.
7) The biggest playing cards in the world were Montezumas Mammoths, a deck of cards so large that it helped Columbus to see land twenty five miles out at sea helping him discover Mexico. The cards were used at several special Inca events where it took two hundred slaves just to shuffle the pack and often led to injury.
8) A person who is good at cards is often called a Cardicianallytallywally or a cheat for short and should be disposed of accordingly.
9) Greeting cards are a spin off from our well known deck of cards, collectors of greeting cards can often have ‘decks’ containing as much as a thousand different cards. Snap is played by matching occasions rather than the numbers on the cards, although greeting card numbers can go up to a hundred. Casinos have been slow to take up this new game along with the equally popular Loolette, a game involving rotating toilets and a football.
10) Place a playing card in the spokes of your bike for a pleasing engine noise.
We hope you enjoyed our true card facts, have a nice day!
Just one thing to add, have you seen the trailer for the new Paddington Bear movie? It’s awful, Paddington was a teddy bear not a half bear, man child in drag who can turn nasty and why have a baddie that wants to kill and stuff animals? It’s not for me, it’s my childhood in tatters. 🙁


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