The actual origin and worldwide dissipation of the humble playing card is lost in the mists of time. And the number of games it is possible to devise from a simple bundle of painted cards is quite astonishing. Books upon books have been written on the subject.
It is amazing to think that in our present day world of electronic games, computers and numberless other modern media games, chess, mah-jong and patience all remain permanent fixtures. Even featuring on a lot of those same new media!
Theories and fables concerning the origin and worldwide dissipation of the deck of cards abound throughout the world.
Some tales tell of itinerant Gypsies, originating from Greece or India, spreading the word as they traveled the world.
There are some vague allusions, though no conclusive evidence, of card-games having been known in Rome, and therefore the Roman Empire.
Games can be of skill or of chance, fortunes have been won or lost on the turn of a card.
Toward the end of this article there can be found one game involving a chess board and men and another for a game of football, both using playing cards.
I post them here in their innocent entirety, the product of many a magical childhood.