Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified : 25 May 2012
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It was not until recently that the origins of such ephemeral things as playing-cards were the subject of rigorous research. History has left us some fascinating puzzles to sort out, with clues waiting to be pieced together from records of tax collectors, trade directories, church proclamations banning idle diversions and uncut sheets of cards found inside ancient books taken to be rebound. While some of the basic facts about the history of playing-cards have been clearly established, many others are still matters of speculation and debate. Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about playing-cards are available here. On the other hand you may try to solve some questions from our collection of unsolved problems.

The card shown in the right-hand column is taken at random from our gallery.

The pages were originally located at and have been generously offered a home by the International Playing-card Society

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Many people have contributed to this site over the years. Thanks to Wolfgang Altfahrt, Gunther Anderson, John Berry, Ron Decker, Thierry Depaulis, Peter Endebrock, Sil Horwitz, Kenji Ishimatsu, Dilys Henrik Jones, John Lafler, John McLeod, Melissa Norsten, Max Ruh, Daf Tregear.

Scans have been contributed by John Lafler, Alberto Pérez González, Daf Tregear.