clovers, tiles, and leaves

I think its high time I dropped some multiculturalism on you readers out there. Did you know that not everybody in the world does things the way American’s do? Shocking I know, but even when it comes to cards, there are cultural differences.

In my chosen profession, I have the good fortune of meeting more people from outside the US than most. My buddy is from Turkey. We recently got together with some other friends to play a little friendly game. As he began to dealt, we didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.

Apparently they have different names for some of the symbols on the cards. They still use the French suits (that is the name for the standard suit system we use). The heart is obviously still a heart. You can probably glean the others from the title; club is a clover (I honestly like that one better, it looks like a damn clover and I’ve maintained it should be called that multiple times in the past), spade is a leaf, and the diamond is a tile. He told us, in a very matter of fact way, that Americans are girly for calling it a diamond.

There are other suit systems besides this one. The two other major ones are the German and Latin. They use symbols like swords, acorns, and chalices – all manner of outlandish icons. How true that bussiness is I dont know. I just found that out from a quick google search which turned up this website. But I would imagine that the evolution of the playing card deck is probably an interesting one. I’ll have to read up on it and let you all know what I find.

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