French tarot (about 1650) Romane regional pattern Soviet Union commemorative pattern British 'Happy Families' deck (late 1800s) Japanese 'Uta Karuta' deck German Hofämterspiel (about 1460)

Chinese Tung Kwan pattern Italian Minchiate (about 1730) international 'Uno' deck English 'Underground Posters' deck 19th century fashion French deck East German fancy 'Skat' deck Chinese 'Mah Jong' deck

versione Carte da Gioco - il sito italiana

For almost one thousand years, in every part of the world, playing cards have been one of the most common pastimes. As a collectable item, instead, they are indeed less popular.
An amazing number of different varieties exists, surely many more than even the most experienced card players would ever imagine. There are decks with special illustrations in place of the usual courts, but others, used in some parts of the world, also have different suits in place of the ones most people are accustomed to.
And some decks do not even have suits: according to the games they were created for, they may have numbers, or other special illustrations.

These pages discuss in depth most topics concerning playing cards, with a particular interest for their history, and the many patterns used in different countries, the obsolete ones as well as the varieties still used. The picture galleries, organized by type and by geographical distribution, present several examples of the varieties extant, providing at the same time an extensive description, yet easily understandable also for first-timers.

To explore the website, simply click on the small playing card-shaped icons, and enjoy your visit!

historical and
general notes


The Fool &
the Joker





...feel like changing subject?

why not give these other websites a try

Andy's Home Page Virtual Roma Teach Yourself Italian