Why is the Spanish deck of cards like this?

Brisca, Chinchón, Escoba, Tute, Mus, Cinquillo … Who else and who has taken a card game to any of these games. It is rare the home that does not have one deck of cards with which to have a good time with family or friends. And it is that they have been, are and will be the creators of good times. Or does no one remember a summer afternoon singing 40 while waiting for the sun to set to go outside?

Fun companions

The card games They have been accompanying us for centuries. The experts do not decide on the origin of the first decks. Some place them in India and others in China and even Egypt. The truth is that in Spain there is already talk of playing cards in the Middle Ages.

What’s more, the current Spanish deck was the first to be played in Europe (always with four suits), since the German deck arose from it and the best known worldwide: the Frenchwoman with her diamonds, spades, clubs and hearts.

The Spanish deck

But the one that has always accompanied us in these parts is the one formed by the four traditional clubs: golds, cups, swords and wands. As a general rule, the Spanish deck consists of 48 cards, 12 per suit: cards from 1 to 9 and the three figures (jack, horse or knight and king) numbered as 10, 11 and 12. Although many of the decks lack the numbers 8 and 9, since many games do not need them, so they only have 40 cards.

The Mus (bigstock)
Woman playing cards (Bigstock)

The most typical cards

Although in your life you will have found all kinds of designs of the cards that make up the Spanish deck, you know perfectly well that one is the one that always prevails. We are talking about the one created by the company Heraclius Fournier, which has become the most used of all.

But who was it Heraclius Fournier? This man from Burgos settled in Vitoria in the mid-nineteenth century and started a printing press. There in 1877 he asked Emilio soubrier, a professor at the Vitoria School of Arts and Crafts, to design a deck of cards, which was the prelude to the current Spanish playing cards since it already had the classic figures that we all know. For this deck he received the bronze medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

Also, in 1889, Augusto Ríus made a redesign of the same that resembles it even more to the one we play today. And the success was such that even today many people find it strange to play with a deck that does not have that design.