Who Invented Card Games?

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By Monica Bates

Card games have been played for centuries and are still popular today. But who invented them? Let’s take a look at the history of card games and the possible origins of their creation.

The Origins of Card Games

The exact origins of card games are unknown, but historians believe they were first played in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The Chinese used paper cards as early as the 9th century, with each card representing a specific value.

Card games soon spread to other parts of Asia, including India, Persia, and Egypt. In Europe, playing cards were introduced in the 14th century and quickly became popular among the wealthy.

The Possible Inventors

There is no one person credited with inventing card games because they developed over time. However, there are some notable figures who contributed to their evolution.

One theory suggests that early playing cards were created by Chinese courtiers during the Tang Dynasty. Another theory suggests that Islamic soldiers brought playing cards to Europe during their conquests in the 13th century.

Playing Cards in Europe

In Europe, early playing cards had suits that represented different social classes. For example, spades represented nobility while hearts represented clergy. The French eventually standardized the suits we know today: hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades.

Throughout history, playing cards have been used for gambling as well as entertainment. In fact, some countries even banned card games because they were associated with illegal activities.

The Evolution of Card Games

Over time, different types of card games emerged. Some were based on luck while others required skill or strategy. The most popular types of card games include poker, blackjack, bridge, and solitaire.

Today we can enjoy a variety of digital versions of classic card games or even new ones that have been developed exclusively for online play. Card games have come a long way since their early origins and will continue to be enjoyed by people of all ages for many years to come.


In conclusion, while the exact inventor of card games is unknown, it is clear that they have been around for centuries and have played an important role in history. From their early origins in China to their evolution in Europe, card games continue to be popular today. With the rise of digital gaming, card games will likely continue to evolve and remain a beloved pastime for generations to come.