Ever since the first day that man started to exist in the world, he has always been trying to find different ways to entertain himself, and so many different types of sports and games have been invented for this purpose. One of the oldest such games is playing cards. As China is one of the oldest countries around, they were playing cards as early as the 10th century, using paper dominoes.
It wasn't too long before other countries caught the fever! During those days, cards had pictures, which were drawn or painted by hand, and these cards were only affordable by the wealthiest people. During the 1400s, Europeans were involved in the evolution of cards by having cards with carvings and wood, and thus began the craze in Europe.
It was the French who started the practice of having hearts, diamonds, club and spades on cards, which are the norm in today's cards. This gave a simple look to card, which made it popular among a larger section of people. The French made cards easier to manufacture, which made them cheaper and affordable. Soon, the Americans and Europeans embraced the French 'style' of cards.
New innovations over the years have served to improve the looks and quality of cards, and card playing, some of which was courtesy of Americans. Card playing became popular in America during the 1800s; this is why you often see cowboys in the wild west playing mostly cards as a form of entertainment. Any problems were settled with a game of cards, and mavericks earned through playing cards and winning money deals. Saloons and bars often had facilities to play cards, in addition to serving alcoholic beverages. The creativitiy of Americans was central to the design of cards, such as the rounded edges, the twin - heads on the cards, the hard glossy coating so that shuffling was easier and the cards lasted long, and the 'Joker' card that we find in a pack!
Businessmen used the popularity of cards to market their business by advertising their business on the back of the cards. The main manufacturer of playing cards during that era was Russell and Morgan. In addition to the popularity of playing cards, bicycles and unicycles, a new invention at that time, became popular. As R & M was starting up the 'playing cards' business, the management asked the staff for suggestions for a name for the cards, and one of them suggested 'bicycle'. Bicycles, being the 'it' thing those days, became the name for the extremely popular cards, found in 1887. Its cards are well known for high quality. "Bicycle" was born on 1887. And today the Bicycle is the most popular brand of playing cards in the world; its red and blue back color is identified with quality playing cards.