Early History of Playing Cards (Simon Wintle, 1996)

For those interested in the history of playing cards, this article is a beautiful introduction to the matter.


In the aftermath of invention of paper and printing, playing cards also appear for the first time in China, in the 9th century. Travelling across Asia and the Middle East, by the 14th century they reach Europe. Soon after their first appearance in Europe they face several bans by authorities across the continent. But nothing stops them becoming an immensely popular means of pastime, be it for purposes of games, gambling, fortue-telling, and conjuring.


The article was published on The World of Playing Cards, a website including an incredible collection of playing cards from all centuries and a wide range of written sources on the subject. Here is the link to the article, and below is a pdf copy.


Happy reading!


Early History of Playing Cards & Timelin
Adobe Acrobat Document 5.4 MB