FREE! Click here to Join FunTrivia. Thousands of games, quizzes, and lots more!
Quiz about Playing Card Origins
Quiz about Playing Card Origins

Playing Card Origins Trivia Quiz


Most of us are familiar with the "standard" Bicycle-type decks of cards. But how much do you know about how they got that way? Here are some popular explanations.

A multiple-choice quiz by shvdotr. Estimated time: 4 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. Hobbies Trivia
  6. »
  7. Games & Toys
  8. »
  9. Card Games

Author
shvdotr
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
372,858
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
216
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Modern playing cards printed in Europe and the United States fall into several national styles, as reflected in courts (face cards) and pips, or suits. What would we call the style that Bicycle brand playing cards have? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. When the four suits we use in the US were first developed in the Fifteenth Century, clubs, with their clover-like shapes, represented which socio-economic group? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The Knight and Hero of France, La Hire, who had been a military commander in the Hundred Years' War, was a close friend of Joan of Arc. He was also credited with inventing the French card game "piquet", and, like Joan, was represented in ancestors of today's American cards as a face card. Which card represented La Hire? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Of the four kings labeled on the earliest French playing cards and who have become associated with the traditions of our modern decks, only one can be linked to the rule of France. Who was this iconic figure crowned "King of the Franks" in 768 and "Emperor of the Romans" by the Pope Leo III on Christmas Day, 800 AD? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Unlike the rest of the deck, the Joker did not originate in Europe, but in America as immigrants brought their card games across the pond. Originally referred to as "Best Bower," which German-born card game can we give credit to for this wild card? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The diamond suit originated in France under the term "carreau" (Karo in German) meaning tile. Which social class did this suit originally represent? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Which of the following was NOT one of the kings traditionally believed to be represented by playing card kings? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Spades, which still resemble spear points, originally represented which feudal class? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Like the hearts in the German playing card pack, the heart suit that developed in Fifteenth Century France represented which segment of the population? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Although Hera was the Queen of the Greek gods, she is not traditionally considered to be one of the queens in the deck of cards. That would be another goddess, represented by the Queen of Spades, who is also sometimes associated with Joan of Arc. Which warrior goddess would that be? Hint



(Optional) Create a Free FunTrivia ID to save the points you are about to earn:

arrow Select a User ID:
arrow Choose a Password:
arrow Your Email:




Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Modern playing cards printed in Europe and the United States fall into several national styles, as reflected in courts (face cards) and pips, or suits. What would we call the style that Bicycle brand playing cards have?

Answer: French faces

The suits and courts of cards printed in America are in the French style of hearts, clubs, diamonds, and spades with courts of kings, queens, and jacks. Although there is great variation among the other three styles the majority have the following characteristics. Spanish suits are clubs, coins, cups, and swords with courts of king, caballo (horse knight), and jacks, or knaves.

They often have suited cards from 1 to 9, while the courts rank 10, 11, and 12. Italian suits and faces are the same as those of Spanish decks, but often include the ten between the nine and the jack. German decks have suits of acorns, leaves, hearts, and bells with face cards of king, ober (upper), and unter (lower).
2. When the four suits we use in the US were first developed in the Fifteenth Century, clubs, with their clover-like shapes, represented which socio-economic group?

Answer: peasants

In his scholarly work, "A History of Playing Cards", Roger Tilley credits Etienne de Vignoles, better known as the knight La Hire, with creation of the four suits as we know them in America. Since clover was often fodder for swine, the club suit became associated with swineherds, representative of the peasantry.
3. The Knight and Hero of France, La Hire, who had been a military commander in the Hundred Years' War, was a close friend of Joan of Arc. He was also credited with inventing the French card game "piquet", and, like Joan, was represented in ancestors of today's American cards as a face card. Which card represented La Hire?

Answer: Jack of Hearts

The practice of naming court cards was common in early French decks. Although standard American decks do not label their courts, specialized decks today, especially those printed for special occasions, often use specific individuals in their courts. For example, a Kennedy Kards deck, published in 1963, features President Kennedy and the First Lady as King and Queen of Hearts, with Vice President Johnson as Jack of Clubs, along with others in the rest of the courts.
4. Of the four kings labeled on the earliest French playing cards and who have become associated with the traditions of our modern decks, only one can be linked to the rule of France. Who was this iconic figure crowned "King of the Franks" in 768 and "Emperor of the Romans" by the Pope Leo III on Christmas Day, 800 AD?

Answer: Charlemagne, or Charles the Great

The Latin form of Charlemagne's name was Karolus Magnus, and he was known in German as Karl der Große, both meaning "Charles the Great." He was a Frank, which was a Germanic tribe, so modern Germans also claim him as sort of a founding father, so to speak, who ruled from his capital of Aachen, which is in Germany today, not France.

He was a member of the Carolingian Dynasty, which is included in any list of French monarchs.
5. Unlike the rest of the deck, the Joker did not originate in Europe, but in America as immigrants brought their card games across the pond. Originally referred to as "Best Bower," which German-born card game can we give credit to for this wild card?

Answer: Euchre

The term "Bower" originated in German card games like Skat and Euchre in reference to the Jacks, which were known in German as "Bub" or "Bauer," the latter German for farmer. In Skat, the Jack of Clubs is always the deck's highest card, whereas in Euchre and Five Hundred, the declarer of trump designates which Jacks are Bauers, so that if Hearts is trump, the Jack of Hearts is the "Right Bauer" and the Jack of Diamonds is the "Left Bauer."
6. The diamond suit originated in France under the term "carreau" (Karo in German) meaning tile. Which social class did this suit originally represent?

Answer: bourgeoisie

The diamond-shaped tiles represent the tile floor of a church chancel, where wealthy patrons could often have themselves buried in medieval France, where card suits originated.
7. Which of the following was NOT one of the kings traditionally believed to be represented by playing card kings?

Answer: Pericles of Athens

Rather than Pericles, who is considered by many to have been the greatest of Athenian rulers, the French gave the nod to Alexander the Great, the Macedonian King and conqueror of the known world of his day. Of the four, David ruled by far the smallest area, but no doubt earned his place on the French playing card "Mount Rushmore", so to speak, for his status as an ancestor of Christ.
8. Spades, which still resemble spear points, originally represented which feudal class?

Answer: nobility

The spades in the early French decks corresponded to the swords of the Spanish and Italian decks. The military forces of the Middle Ages were the knights, who made up the nobility, since even kings were knights first.
9. Like the hearts in the German playing card pack, the heart suit that developed in Fifteenth Century France represented which segment of the population?

Answer: churchmen

The churchmen are the clergy, which made up the First Estate in pre-Revolutionary France. The hearts in German and French playing cards correspond to the cups in Spanish and Italian decks. The cups would represent the Holy Grail, while the hearts would represent the blood of Christ.
10. Although Hera was the Queen of the Greek gods, she is not traditionally considered to be one of the queens in the deck of cards. That would be another goddess, represented by the Queen of Spades, who is also sometimes associated with Joan of Arc. Which warrior goddess would that be?

Answer: Pallas Athena

The other queens from the early French Rouen pattern include Rachel, Argine, and Judith. Rachel and Judith are Biblical characters, although the Book of Judith only appears in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles. Rachel was the favorite wife of Jacob, while Judith killed the Babylonian commander Holofernes to save the Jews from the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar. Rather than represent and actual person, "Argine" seems to be an anagram of "Regina," the Latin word for queen.
Source: Author shvdotr

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
7/18/2024, Copyright 2024 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us