A box of plastic-coated Hamilton Playing Cards.  A standard deck of playing cards contains 52 cards. There are usually 2 extra Joker cards which originated from an 1860’s card game called Euchre. These days the Jokers are not often used but are added to be used as a replacement card if any of the deck go missing.

The cards are split into 4 suits (2 red & 2 black): spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
Each suit has a: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen and King.

In different card games the Ace is ranked lower that the 2 and in others as higher than the King.

This set of cards was manufactured in the 1960’s by the United States Playing Card Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Each deck of card has a distinctive design on the back, in this case it is the orange and green maple leaf. This playing card company first produced playing cards in the 1880’s.

It is believed that playing cards first originated in China in the 12th century before being introduced to India, Egypt and then Europe. These days a deck of playing cards are sold at affordable prices and are plastic coated to prolong their life. Early playing cards were hand-painted, fragile, did not last long and so expensive only the wealthy could afford to purchase them.

Some of the games that you can play with a deck of cards include: Blackjack, Whist, Poker, Gin Rummy, Cribbage & Solitaire. Poker is the most popular card game played.


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More information:

Date 1960s
Material(s) CardboardPlastic
Item number MBPO114

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • What card games do you enjoy playing?
  • As a child if you won a card game were you awarded a button from the family button box as a prize?

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