You are on page 1of 5

Standard 52-card deck - Wikipedia

Standard 52-card deck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The deck of 52 French playing cards is the most common

deck of playing cards used today. It includes thirteen ranks
of each of the four French suits: clubs (), diamonds (),
hearts () and spades (), with reversible "court" or face
cards. Some modern designs, however, have done away
with reversible face cards. Each suit includes an ace,
depicting a single symbol of its suit; a king, queen, and A set of 52 playing cards of
jack, each depicted with a symbol of its suit; and ranks two the Rouennais or English
through ten, with each card depicting that many symbols pattern by Piatnik & Shne
(pips) of its suit. Anywhere from one to six (most often two
or three since the mid-20th century) jokers, often
distinguishable with one being more colorful than the other, are added to commercial
decks, as some card games require these extra cards.[1] Modern playing cards carry index
labels on opposite corners or in all four corners to facilitate identifying the cards when
they overlap and so that they appear identical for players on opposite sides. The most
popular stylistic pattern of the French deck is sometimes referred to as "English" or
"Anglo-American" pattern.[2]

It has been shown that because of the large number of possibilities from shuing a
52-card deck, it is probable that no two fair card shues have ever yielded exactly the
same order of cards.[3]

1 English pattern cards and nicknames
2 Size of the cards
3 Rank and color
4 Unicode
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References

English pattern cards and nicknames

The fanciful design and manufacturer's logo commonly displayed on the ace of spades
began under the reign of James I of England, who passed a law requiring an insignia on
that card as proof of payment of a tax on local manufacture of cards. Until August 4, 1960,
decks of playing cards printed and sold in the United Kingdom were liable for taxable duty
and the ace of spades carried an indication of the name of the printer and the fact that
taxation had been paid on the cards.[notes 1] The packs were also sealed with a
government duty wrapper.

Though specic design elements of the court cards are rarely used in game play and many
dier between designs, a few are notable.

Face cards - jacks, queens, and kings are called "face cards" because the cards have
pictures of their names.
One-eyed Royals - the jack of spades and jack of hearts (often called the "one-eyed

1 of 5 15/05/2017, 14:36
Standard 52-card deck - Wikipedia

jacks") and the king of diamonds are drawn in prole; therefore, these cards are
commonly referred to as "one-eyed". The rest of the courts are shown in full or
oblique face.
The jack of diamonds is sometimes known as "laughing boy".
Wild cards - When deciding which cards are to be made wild in some games, the
phrase "acey, deucey or one-eyed jack" (or "deuces, aces, one-eyed faces") is
sometimes used, which means that aces, twos, and the one-eyed jacks are all wild.
The king of hearts is the only king with no mustache;
Suicide kings - The king of hearts is typically shown with a sword behind his head,
making him appear to be stabbing himself. Similarly, the one-eyed king of diamonds
is typically shown with an axe behind his head with the blade facing toward him.
These depictions, and their blood-red color, inspired the nickname "suicide kings".
The king of diamonds is traditionally armed with an axe while the other three kings
are armed with swords; thus, the king of diamonds is sometimes referred to as "the
man with the axe". This is the basis of the trump "one-eyed jacks and the man with
the axe".
The ace of spades, unique in its large, ornate spade, is sometimes said to be the
death card or the picture card, and in some games is used as a trump card.
The queen of spades usually holds a scepter and is sometimes known as "the bedpost
queen", though more often she is called "black lady".
In many decks, the queen of clubs holds a ower. She is thus known as the "ower
queen", though this design element is among the most variable; the Bicycle Poker
deck depicts all queens with a ower styled according to their suit.
"2" cards are also known as deuces.
"3" cards are also known as treys.

Size of the cards

Modern playing
cards are most Imperial measure (inches) Metric measure (mm)[4]
commonly referred Category
Length Width Length Width
to as either 'poker'
or 'bridge' sized;[5] Bridge size 31 2 21 4 88.9 57.15
dimensions are Poker size 31 2 21 2 88.9 63.50
summarized in the
adjacent table. Notwithstanding these generally accepted dimensions, there is no formal
requirement for precise adherence and minor variations are produced by various

The more narrow cards are more suitable for games such as bridge in which a large
number of cards must be held concealed in a player's hand. Nevertheless, in most casino
poker games, the bridge-sized card is used; the use of less material reduces
manufacturing costs and since a casino may use thousands of decks per day, the total
savings are signicant. Other sizes are also available, such as a smaller 'patience' size
(usually 134238 inches (4460mm)) for solitaire and larger 'jumbo' ones for card

The thickness and weight of modern playing cards is subject to numerous variables
related to their purpose of use and associated material design for durability, stiness,
texture and appearance.[7]

Rank and color

Some decks include additional design elements. Casino blackjack decks may include

2 of 5 15/05/2017, 14:36
Standard 52-card deck - Wikipedia

markings intended for a machine to check the ranks of cards, or shifts in rank location to
allow a manual check via inlaid mirror. Many casino decks and solitaire decks have four
indices instead of just two. Many modern decks have bar code markings on the edge of
the face to enable them to be sorted by machine (for playing duplicate bridge, especially
simultaneous events where the same hands may be played at many dierent venues).
Many decks have large indices, largely for use in stud poker games, where being able to
read cards from a distance is a benet and hand sizes are small. Some decks use four
colors for the suits in order to make it easier to tell them apart: the most common set of
colors is black (spades ), red (hearts ), blue (diamonds ) and green (clubs ).
Another common color set is borrowed from the German suits and uses green spades and
yellow diamonds with red hearts and black clubs.

When giving the full written name of a specic card, the rank is given rst followed by the
suit, e.g., "ace of spades". Shorthand notation may reect this by listing the rank rst,
"A"; this is common usage when discussing poker. Alternately, listing the suit rst, as in
"K" for a single card or "AKQ" for multiple cards, is common practice when writing
about bridge; this helps dierentiate between the card(s) and the contract (e.g. "4", a
contract of four hearts). Tens may be either abbreviated to T or written as 10.

Example set of 52 playing cards; 13 of each suit clubs, diamonds, hearts, and
Ace 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jack Queen King





As of Unicode 7.0 playing cards are now represented. Note that the following chart
("Playing Cards", Range: 1F0A01F0FF) includes cards from the Tarot Nouveau deck as
well as the standard 52-card deck.

3 of 5 15/05/2017, 14:36
Standard 52-card deck - Wikipedia

Playing Cards[1][2]
Oicial Unicode Consortium code chart (
/PDF/U1F0A0.pdf) (PDF)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F


1.^ As of Unicode version 9.0

2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also
French playing cards
Stripped decks come with fewer ranks
500 decks come with extra ranks
Tarot Nouveau, the most common French-suited tarot game deck

1. Stamp Act 1765 imposed a tax on playing cards.

1. McLeod, John. Games played with French suited cards (
/french.html) at Retrieved 17 April 2017.
2. The English pattern ( at the International Playing-Card
Society. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
3. "The Amazing Truth About a Deck of Cards". KnowledgeNuts.
4. The poker size is associated with the B8 size according to ISO 216
5. Kem Cards oicial website. Narrow (Bridge) Size verses Wide (Poker) Size, retrieved
6. In a sample of 95 bridge and poker card sets, lengths ranged from 87.50mm to 89.50mm. In
a sample of 28 bridge sized cards, widths varied from 56.98mm to 58.25mm. In a sample of
67 poker sized cards, widths varied from 62.44 to 63.54mm. Reference: Home Poker
Tourney website. Playing Card Review, retrieved 2014-02-27.
7. In a sample of 28 bridge sized cards, the weight of a card varied from 1.8g to 2.48g and
thickness from 0.26mm to 0.34mm. In a sample of 67 poker sized cards, the weight of a
card varied from 1.4g to 2.78g and thickness from 0.24mm to 0.34mm. Reference: Home
Poker Tourney website. Playing Card Review, retrieved 2014-02-27.

Retrieved from "


Categories: Playing cards Game equipment

This page was last edited on 17 April 2017, at 12:31.

4 of 5 15/05/2017, 14:36
Standard 52-card deck - Wikipedia

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License;

additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and
Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation,
Inc., a non-prot organization.

5 of 5 15/05/2017, 14:36