Deck of Cards

In a modern deck of cards, which King is the only one without a mustache?

And the answer is: Hearts.

Photo Credit: Great Bridge Links. 

Unlike his counterparts, the King of Hearts doesn't have a mustache. One theory is that he used to have one, but lost it during a printing mishap, and the mistake has remained for generations.

While the game of cards is an ancient pass time, cards as we know it today are a result of around 500 years of slow adaptation and evolution. The French invention of the set gained traction in the 17th century and accounts for the version we generally use today.

At that time, playing cards were stamped using wooden stamps. Each card was carved by hand, copying the previous design. Over time these wooden blocks would be worn down, making the drawing less and less vivid. When copying the cards, manufacturers began to skip the mustache due to its fading visibility. It is likely for this reason that King of Hearts looks a bit like the sword is emerging from his head –  originally he had an axe, but as the cards began to change in manufacturing the point of the axe head disappeared and the handle turned into a dagger.

Photo credit: Wikimedia. 

Cards have served as a source of culture and game of friendly competition throughout the world. They have even been practiced to the extent that some common game phrases have entered English lingo. To name a few: "on the cards," "play your cards right," "not my strong suit," and "ace up your sleeve" are all terms from the table that we have adapted to a broad range of meanings.

Cards have even been praised in song. A 1940s country song called "Deck Of Cards" demonstrates how a pack of playing cards is this character's "Bible, his almanac, and his prayer book." Listen below.


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