Who Invented Playing Cards?

The invention of playing cards has been an interesting moment in history.

When the game first became popular, it was mainly a way for people to play games when they were traveling.

These would be cards that are not readily available elsewhere.

For example, when the railways came on to the scene the game got even more popular and it moved onto playing cards with different cards on them.

Who invented playing cards? It’s not clear who exactly invented playing cards, but from the historical evidence, there can be inferences made. Ultimately, it looks like either the Egyptians or the Chinese invented playing cards, with more evidence leaning towards the Egyptians. 

It may be said that this discovery of playing cards gave birth to the games that we know of today.

They have been popular for thousands of years, dating back to the days of the Greeks and Romans.

With the advent of such a well-developed society and civilization, playing cards had become an inevitable part of their social life, including those card games that were played in the presence of friends or at home.

The History of Playing Cards

It is said that ancient civilizations invented the concept of using cards to play games.

This is supported by many ancient writings on the subject.

The game became popular among ancient civilizations.

When the civilizations came into contact with one another, they continued to play the game for many years.

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Eventually, these games developed and spread throughout various regions.

You will find that the early days of the cards were very different from what is now used in a deck of cards.

Sometimes, cards used in those days were made from leather, which was not hard enough to sustain the wear and tear of playing the game.

It was because of this that many of the other materials were used later on, and various forms of games took off.

During the ancient period, there were no cards at all.

Instead, there was a wooden playing deck that was referred to as a deck.

There are many reasons why an early society would make use of a deck.

First, it helped to facilitate group interaction by allowing individuals to draw out a picture or divination on the deck.

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This may have been done to aid in making decisions or to determine the future.

Today, this is known as a tarot set.

In later times, when there was a need for cards, there were two types: the deck of cards and a cloth.

When there were cards to play with, the first decks of cards were constructed from wood.

These wooden decks had a handle on the bottom which was used to hold the cards and also a divination device known as a pointer.

When a person sat down to play, he would simply spread the card on the table, and the person next to him would be able to see what was written on the card.

Playing Cards In Ancient China

Most cultures have various card systems, and there are no hard and fast rules as to how these cards were created.

However, it’s possible to assume that the basic idea was born in China.

There is a Chinese legend that says that they started playing cards as early as 5000 B.C.

This legend relates to the fact that Chinese players kept using the same deck and even after they learned to write they continued to use the same cards.

Playing Cards In Ancient Egypt

The answer to the question of who invented playing cards may surprise you.

Many people think that the game was invented by the Egyptians because they had a lot of things to gain by creating the card game.

There are many things that this culture developed first in the civilized world, including types of architecture and farming practices.

Much of what they’ve done involve material possessions and certain objects.

The Egyptians developed some of the first cards and began trading them between themselves.

This is the reason why you can see some Egyptian tombs that still contain a complete collection.

Many other civilizations followed suit and started trading with one another, but it was not until a thousand years ago that they started to be made in great quantities and the game of cards began to evolve into what we know it to be today.

They would have been able to dominate all the other countries in the ancient world.

They would have been the kings of the playing card world and they would have been able to dictate who was playing the game in each country.

That would have made it easier for them to control who the players were and how much they paid to play the game.

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This would have constrained the development of the system for some generations.

Playing Cards In Classical Rome

After conquering Egypt and bringing it into the empire, the Romans noticed a lot of interesting cultural items that were widely used in the region.

They didn’t want to be left out so they decided to create their own version of the card game and this is where the game of playing cards began in the western countries.

In fact, it was the Romans that invented the rules of the game that were used in most games today’s games.

These are basically the same rules that you see being used in other card games.

However, these rules allowed people to add additional rules to make the game more challenging.

They would make the playing rules so complicated that not anyone playing could only win the game.

In that way, there were actually multiple games that developed over time so people had a wide variety of ways to play.

However, the rules were so complicated that it would take a very long time to memorize them.

People had a hard time finding other people to play for this reason or simply didn’t like losing to the few people who were experienced with these rules.

It made it difficult because many people bet money on games.

This led to a game called solitaire where players would have to pay to get all of the cards that they need to complete their deck.

This would allow people to play a game that would last longer than the average person could spend in an hour without losing the game.

Playing games of solitaire would become the norm and people would still find new games to play as people would always be searching for new challenges.

It allowed people to have their own individual skill level and only compare their skills with other people they were close with.

Playing Cards In Modern Europe

Cards were played in large quantities throughout Europe for many years.

During this time there were also written accounts of these games.

These written accounts gave rise to the idea of a game of cards throughout the various countries in the region.

Even though these weren’t exactly invented in the area, they were made incredibly popular because many people loved to play the various games.

The story goes that cards were discovered in Egypt.

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This is when the game of cards began to evolve. It is also believed that when the Spaniards arrived, they learned to make various decks from the Egyptians.

Then they were then used in Spain for many years until card-playing friends introduced the game to the Americas, where they continued playing it.

This is part of why it spread so quickly and developed into the version today.

Some of the American settlers brought the game back home.

The American settlers continued to use these cards until they were replaced by the more advanced ones.

Some of the earliest ones were made from wood, but the most common type was the cardboard playing type.

Cardboard is easier to make than wooden cards, even during those days.

This is why the cards became popular in the first place because they were more easily distributable.

A history of American decks also included a history of printing.

The settlers used the printing press to print their own decks using their own methods such as engraving and printing images and designs onto the sides of the cards.

Later, the colonists printed their own decks, and they are still being made today by some deck-printing companies, although most people choose to go with a more traditional deck design.

Playing Cards and Magic

Apart from playing card games, playing cards are used also for performing card magic tricks.

There is a lot of tricks that are very easy so you can learn them even if you’re an absolute beginner!

The video below will teach you the best card tricks for beginners and if you’re interested to learn more, you can check my lists of best YouTube Channels and Websites for learning magic tricks:


These days, card games are widely popular and are enjoyed by people of all ages.

People from all walks of life, genders, ethnicities, and ages enjoy playing card games.

The invention of playing cards, particularly the kind played in the Americas, allowing for the expansion of card games across the world.

This is the main reason why these cards continue to be popular and why they can be found in many places around the world today.

As more evidence is found, it’s possible that another civilization developed them. Kingdoms in the Arabian Peninsula are older than both Egypt and China, after all.

Improve Magic

I believe that life is magic. I'm a playing cards collector, I love performing magic tricks and I'm also the owner of a small magic shop. Apart from that I like to explore different kinds of supernatural magic that we all have in our lives and I like to share what I learn... I'm great fan of Harry Potter...

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