Playing Card Myths
by Laird Wilcox.
Most likely because of their close association with gambling and fortune telling, playing cards have oftentimes been regarded as a moral and spiritual danger, if not outright evil. As a result, playing cards have been subjected to “vice” or “sin” taxes, having to pay “duty” and even prohibited by the church at varying times.
To counter-act these beliefs, Parker Brothers Toy Co. created a game called Rook, which used four different colors, and number cards, 1-14, in order to disguise the fact that people would still be using playing cards to play their game.
Needless to say there is a lot of misinformation about cards, so lets tackle some of these myths:
–One thing that got my attention is that diamonds were never actually diamonds, but in fact were originally ceramic tiles. The French extensively tiled their palaces which was a luxury at the time. So, they used them as a suit. But, no one wants to call the Jack of Diamonds the Jack of Tiles!
–Even though modern playing cards were derived from Tarot cards, Tarot cards were actually used to play games that were similar to bridge long before they were used in fortune telling and divination.
–The one myth I like is that you can’t buy your own cards. it’s bad luck. Someone else must make the purchase for you.
–Bicycle Playing Cards were once manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have since moved their operations to Ehrlanger, Kentucky. There are a league of magicians out there who believe that Ohio cards are better than Kentucky cards. U.S. Playing Card Co. issued a statement that there is no difference, and that the process is still the same. I tend to agree. (By the way, Ohio-made Bicycles have become a collectors item. Not a myth!
–The 4 of clubs or “the devil’s bedpost” was thought to bring blight to any who possessed it.
–If you drop a card during play, your next hand dealt will be an unlucky one.
–And of course “Aces and Eights” are considered an unlucky poker hand. The open debate is whether it was three aces and two 8’s, or two Aces and three 8’s when Wild Bill Hickok was dealt a full house, and was shot quickly there after.
More to come,