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Card games

cards century deck introduced

Card games, games played with rectangular cards marked with number (rank) and symbol (suit). Playing cards probably developed from small stones, scratched with various symbols, used in early cultures for religious ceremonies and magical purposes. These pebbles were eventually used for competitive games, often involving gambling. Cards were used in China in the 10th century A.D. By about the 13th century they had been introduced in Europe by travelers and gypsies from the East. Early cards varied greatly in design. The 14th century Italian tarocchi or tarot deck had 78 cards that included 22 picture cards bearing mainly religious illustrations, and 4 suits each of 14 plain cards. Today, many different decks exist, but the most popular contains 52 cards divided into 4 suits. First used in 14th-century Europe, this 52-deck was introduced to Britain, modified, and eventually popularized by the invention of games requiring such a deck. As games became more sophisticated, it became desirable to have written rules. The English writer Edmond Hoyle (1672–1769) produced a rule book giving details of many games.

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