French Card Game

The French card game

The French deck of cards is one of the oldest on the European continent and allowed the subsequent evolution towards other types of cards more popular in modern times, such as the English deck. It therefore has a great tradition and many different games. In For Cards Lovers we will present you with all kinds of information and games about the French card game.

History of the French card game

The origin of the symbols on the French deck is unclear. Some consider it to be an adaptation of the German signs. The acorns and leaves would have become clubs and spades respectively, while the hearts would have remained and the bells would have been replaced by diamonds, which would be the original French contribution to the symbols of the clubs.

Others believe in the influence of the Spanish card game and tarot. The shape of the chalices or cups would have led to hearts, clovers would have been a derivation of the leaves of clovers, spades would have replaced swords as a military sign, and diamonds would have replaced gold.

Whatever their origin, maps with French symbols were already in use in the first decades of the 15th century. Some even attribute their invention to the knight Etienne de Vignolles, better known as La Hire, who died in 1442.

Number of cards in the French game

The French deck of cards is a set of cards, composed of 52 units of four suits. Each of these suits is represented by 13 cards that start with the numbers 1 to 10 and the last 3 represent the figures of the nobility, the jack (V), the queen (D) and the king (R).

A curious fact is that the French deck of cards represents historical figures, which have changed over time, but still retain their own names, and is the first to include a female figure.

French Card Game Signs

The French deck has four different signs: Tiles, hearts, spades and clubs. The first two are shown in red and the other two in black.

It is believed that these representations are influenced by Spanish and German platinum, diamonds being the substitutes for gold and spades, spearheads, the substitutes for swords. The shamrock and the heart would come from the German bridge.

The main games of the French card game

With the French card game, you can play a variety of fun games. Among them are card games for individuals, pairs or groups, which can have very different objectives.

In this section, we present the most popular and funny games:

  • The basket

Canasta is a game that originated in Uruguay, from where it spread throughout the world in the 1950s. In a short time, it has become one of the great board games, played in all environments, cafés and meetings.

You need 108 cards to play, which is two full decks.

The goal of the game is to get 5,000 points in several games. These points are earned according to the value of the cards exposed in equal combinations of cards, and for the prizes obtained for these combinations.

There are different types of combinations and moves that give different amounts of points.

  • The eight lunatics

This game is great fun for children. Its objective is very similar to that of the ONE card game, as each player must get rid of all the cards in their hand.

At the start, each player is dealt eight cards and the remaining cards are placed face down on the table, with one face up next to the deck so that everyone can see them.

The one who has dealt the cards to the players is the one who has the first turn and must put the card that matches the number, letter, picture or number on the open card on the table. Each player does the same with the last open card on the table and if he does not have to put it down, he takes one from the deck that is face down and gives it to the next player.

Bibliography consulted

Forcardslovers was created by a group of card game enthusiasts. is a website where we share the meaning and the interpretation of cartomancy, as well as our favourite games with the different cards that exist in the world and, moreover, you can play online the card games of the moment. Enter and discover also different magic tricks to surprise your family or friends!