Card game and Its Origin in India

Are you an ardent fan of playing cards? Card Games are played in different countries and there is a various genre of the same. The origin of the card games differs from one country to another and contradictory history behind the same sounds very interesting. Playing cards are regarded as one of the favourites and common leisure time activity in Indian sub-continent. “Taash” is the Hindi term of cards and this term is quite popular in Indian Poker community. The popular card games include twenty-nine, Bridge, Rummy, Bluff and Rang. Let’s take a look at the interesting history that defines the origin of card games in India.

Introduction of the cards:

The card games are introduced by the Mughal emperors who were very fond of the game called – Ganjifa. This term is introduced from the Persian word – “ganjifeh”. The biography of Mughal emperor and founder of the dynasty, Babur has the mention of this game in a vivid way! This was introduced as a court game and the mention of lavish card sets are found as well. The cards were made of items like – ivory and tortoiseshell and were decorated with precious stones. The game gradually became famous among the commoners only when inexpensive cards made of palm leaves or wood were introduced.

Fable explanation:

The playing of cards in our country also has a mention in the fables. The card games are always connected with royalty and the females who resided within the King’s Chamber. A popular and funny story runs as follows – it is said that a queen was bored and irritated with her husband’s habit of pulling hair from beard. Hence, the card games were introduced to keep his hand busy and help her entertain herself and her husband.

The shape of the cards:

Unlike the rectangular shape of the cards played either in China and Korea, the Indian poker game or card games used round shaped cards. The materials used in making the card includes – ivory, wood, cotton, fibre, palm leaves and etc. The diameter of the cards was – 1 ½ to 4 ½ inches. Ten suits containing ten numeric and two court cards were the perfect representation of the cards. Soldiers, ships, demons, horses, women and elephants are found among the card suits. The arrangements of the card sets differed from one depending on the artisan who crafted the card. To pull the example one can say that Dashavatara deck of “Ganjifa” has different designs depending on the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu!

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