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History of Playing-cards


The earliest known references to playing-cards in Europe date from 1371. However, cards must have been invented in China, because it is the home country of paper. There is evidence that Chinese cards were some kind of paper money and were used as stakes as well as tools of playing. By the time cards arrived in Europe from the Mamelukes of Egypt, they had already become very similar to modern cards. For example, the Mameluke deck contained 52 cards and was composed of four suits- polo sticks, coins, swords, and cups. They spread rapidly across Europe and soon started changing in order to represent European royalty and attendants - "king", "chevalier" and "servant". The original deck went through many variations, specific for each country and yet very similar to one another, before it became what we presently know as a deck of cards.
 
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