J is for Joker


Here we are at day 10 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge, and we are at letter “J” and J is for Joker. 

Modern packs of playing cards are made up of 52 standard “suit” cards and 2 jokers. Whilst playing cards have been around for centuries the joker is a relatively modern addition.

jokerCards for playing games have been made since the early Tang dynasty in China in the 9th century and jokers made their appearance in the 1860s to enhance a game called “euchre”. Their purpose was to be the highest trump card and there were two available, one red and one black.

Since their inclusion they became incorporated into many more card games as wildcards, or to replace cards that had gone missing from the original deck (a frequent occurrence in my family when I played cards with my brothers as a kid!). My favourite game with my brothers was “Old Maid”, in which the joker was the card to be avoided at all costs.

Jokers are often depicted as being some sort of harlequin, or jester, in Elizabethan court costume but different brands of cards have their own variations and often include trademarks in their designs. The Australian “Queen’s Slipper” brand uses a Kookaburra on their joker cards, probably because its call is very similar to the human laugh.

kookaburra-joker-2

 

It is thought that the design of the joker stems from the tarot cards which originated in the 15th century. The black and the red jokers corresponded to the Fool and the Magician respectively, representing two different aspects of human nature.

cards

Advertisements

About Pam Smith

I am a Christian and currently exploring vocation. I am a writer, I conduct a brass band, I am an avid reader and when I'm not doing any of those things I crochet with a fierce passion. I am mum to two fantastic young adults, celebrating my Silver wedding anniversary in 2016 with my husband. I recently gained my Bachelor of Arts with honours.
This entry was posted in A-Z April 2015 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to J is for Joker

  1. There is an Australian Geographic set of cards that uses the Platypus in a yin-yan configuration for the backs which is a rather nice design also.

    Like

I'd love to hear your view, please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s