Poker, Blackjack, baccarat etc. maybe the trending Card games today, birthday card gaming that you see today has evolved over several generations, almost a millennium.
Most primitive sort of card game was thought to have been invented in the Qing Dynasty of China. However, back then, it used to be wooden or metal Dominoes instead of cards. These were later changed into paper with the advent of papermaking in China. Slowly the concept of playing cards moved across Central Asia to Korea, where it underwent a change. Korea is supposed to be where playing cards got the concept of suits. Not the modern King, Queen, Jack imagery of the playing cards, the highest form of these cards was the general. Later on, due to wars or otherwise, the intermixing of cultures brought playing cards to The Western world through Persia to Europe. The arrival of the playing cards into Europe was during a convenient time when people were beginning to prosper with both money and more time to spare. Playing cards was the most convenient way to pass leisure time with friends and family.
The most famous game in the 1800s was a game called Poque, a primitive form of Poker developed by the French. However, it is not clear if it had the same rules as today, and if it even had 52 cards begin with. From early references, it is clear however that the game had simpler hand ranking systems than today.
The game 21 was widely popular in Europe, and it had spread to America by then. It soon became quite trendy in America, and it was the Americans that replaced the name 21 with Blackjack. Although we do not know what the oldest rules for Blackjack were, it is evident that it was quite different from the Blackjack that we play today and that the Americans were responsible for most of the changes included in Blackjack. For example, it was the Americans that brought the rules regarding how the display, and the most attractive payout of Blackjack: the bonus two players who get an ace of spades and a black Jack.
The US is also credited with inventing the Joker card. It first appeared in the game of Juker which later came to be known as Euchre. By the 1880s the joker card came to be presented with the jester and clown imagery that we see today.
Card games have come a long way over the past 1000 years, and it makes you wonder how something as small as a playing card game can have such a rich history. Just goes to show how much we are oblivious to the things around us and how much we choose to ignore the history behind everything. Next time you play Poker, try to appreciate how many years it took to develop it.