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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Why the pack contains the cards it does. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Face
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Well...interesting discussion You guys haveing here...really injoing reading this Smile
tgplano
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Mrmystic, excellent "article". Perhaps you can be the one to answer this question. I've looked but never found the answer. Why are playing card backs typically red or blue and when did this start.
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coupcoupdaddy
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Where did the four men on horses go?
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airship
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I've worked on developing a solitaire game based on the derivation of the arrangement of number spots on cards from those on dominoes: http://airship.home.mchsi.com/simple.htm#sixes_suck
Reading this thread inspires me to speculate that there might be a card trick in there somewhere as well. Hmmm...
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Bill Palmer
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I've always enjoyed "The Soldier's Almanack" or "The Gentleman Soldier's Prayer Book," but I have personally found it maudlin.

I would really like to see someone tell the story and end with one of the following two endings:

"So the old magistrate said, 'Soldier, that's the biggest load of horsepuckey I have ever heard in my life. You were playing solitaire in church. You know the punishment for that. Marshall, take this miscreant out, put him up against the wall and shoot him."

Or.

"So the old Magistrate said, 'nice story. By the way, I do some card work, myself. Let me see the deck.' And he laid out three rows of seven cards and said, 'Think of any card you see. Now tell me which row it is in.' "


Posted: Jul 6, 2006 3:03pm
-----------------------------------------------
Quote:
The pack is essentially based on the calendar with a card for each week in thirteen sets of four cards to represent the thirteen lunar months of a year. Taking the Jack as eleven, Queen as twelve and King as thirteen, there are three hundred and sixty four pips; the Joker was added to represent the 'missing pip' to make up the number of days in a year. For a time, decks had only one Joker and some producers included a second Joker to signify a leap year. Half of the cards are black to signify that half of the earth is in darkness representing the first element of time.

Not true at all. Nope. Never. There are only two pips on each of the court cards. The statement has been corrupted by the misinterpretation of a word. The German word for the value of a card is "Wert." Somewhere, this statement about the pips must have originated from a German statement about the Wert of a card, or from an English statement about the value. That's the only way the Gentleman's Amanack will work. The fact that the Joker is an American invention from the 1800's indicates that the part about the pips is a very recent addition to the older story.

As for why the deck contains the cards it does, it's all regional. Go to Germany, and you will find cards that have completely different suits -- acorns, leaves, bells and hearts. Some packs have only 40 cards. Spanish cards have suits that are similar to the tarot. They, too, have only 40 cards. Then there are pinochle decks that have 48 cards, each card being repeated.

And here is one thread that may help with some of this nonsense.
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......&forum=2
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houdini
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If anyone remembers Tex Ritter, He recorded a song called a deck of cards. Briefly a guy carries a deck of cards into a church and explains about each card, suit, number of cards per suit. etc . It is probably on youtube somewhere.
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Bill Palmer
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That is "The Soldier's Almanack," redone. Google it and find the text. You will realize that Tex pinched it. It's been around for at least 2 centuries. Some date it as far back as 1788.

T. Texas Tyler wrote the modification of it that you mention.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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