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Throughout history playing cards and card games have reflected us as a society much as art or music has They have survived for hundreds of years because of the pleasure in playing the game their use in gambling and their popularity with royalty The game arrived in Europe from Eastern Asia where it originated mostly through trade routs and migrating peoples The process of card making became an industry due to the wide spread appeal of card games in Europe The different suits described the social structure of the time Although the origin of playing cards is unknown most evidence indicates they originated in China Early playing cards were first printed during the Tang dynasty which was AD 618- 906 Early Chinese money and playing cards were identical and used inter-changeably Chess was thought to have been a respectable game where as cards were played by disreputable gamblers One theory put forward states that cards were invented in AD 1120 by emperor Seun-Ho to keep his concubines occupied when he was tired Another story claims that an Indian matron created them to keep her husband from pulling his beard out when he was frustrated Cards were first mentioned in detail in Switzerland by a monk named John of Rheinfelden he wrote Thus it is that a certain game called the game of cards has reached us in the present year namely 1377 What time it was invented or by whom I am ignorant How did cards arrive in Europe There are several theories on the subject The first one but leas t likely is they were brought back from China by the famous explorer Marco Polo This is unlikely because trade with China had ended long before John of Rheinfelden described cards as new Another theory is that cards were brought back from the east by returning crusaders who were not entirely devoted to reclaiming holy-land This is improbable because the crusades
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