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Anglo-American playing card

A standard Anglo-American deck of playing cards is composed of 13 ranks in each of 4 suits, plus 2 jokers, for a total of 54 cards. The suits used are the French suits of spades (♠) and clubs (♣), which are black, and diamonds () and hearts (), which are red (four-color decks can occasionally be found, but they are rare). In each suit there are 10 spot cards, each of which is identified by the number of suit symbols (pips) it shows, and three court cards (also called "face cards") of the Rouen design that carry highly stylized depictions of persons.

Modern playing cards carry index labels on opposite corners (sometimes all four corners) to facilitate identifying the cards when they overlap. The 1-spot card of each suit is called an ace, and in many games is given the highest rank. It carries the index label "A". The next highest rank in most games is the court card called the king, followed by the other court cards, the queen and jack (also called "knave"). They carry index labels of "K", "Q", and "J", respectively. Finally, the remaining spot cards ranking numerically from 10 (highest) to 2 (lowest). Their index labels are simple numerals. The 2-spot card is often called a deuce, and the 3-spot a trey.

When giving the full written name of a specific card, the rank is given first followed by the suit, e.g., "Ace of Spades". However, standard shorthand notation lists the suit first, e.g., "♠A".

There is no standard ranking among the four suits, though many games do specify such a ranking. For example, the game of bridge ranks the spade suit highest, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs.

One of the two jokers is often more colorful or more intricately detailed than the other, but this feature is not used in most common card games. The design of jokers is not standard, and many manufacturers use them to carry trademark designs. In many card games the jokers are not used.

It is also common practice now for the Ace of spades to bear special markings that include the manufacturer's name and date of production. This practice began under the reign of James I, who passed a law requiring an insignia on that card as proof of payment of a tax on local manufacture of cards.

Until August 4, 1960, decks of playing cards printed and sold in the United Kingdom were liable for taxable duty and the Ace of Spades[?] carried an indication of the name of the printer and the fact that taxation had been paid on the cards. The packs were also sealed with a government duty wrapper.

500, and some other games, require extended standard decks with extra spot cards (in the case of 500, 11's, 12's, and red 13's).

See also Tarot cards, Playing cards, and Card games.

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