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How Many Black Cards Are in a Deck of Cards?

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

There are 26 black cards in a standard 52-card deck, also called a French deck of cards, divided into two suits, 13 spades and 13 clubs.

Assuming you’re just as interested in odds as we at OddsJam are, you want to know how many black cards there are in a deck of cards if you ended up on this page. Well, the short answer to that question is 26 and sometimes 27. 

A standard deck has 52 cards. These 52 cards are divided into two colors, red and black, which are further divided into four suits — hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs. There are 13 cards or ranks within each suit, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, jack, queen, king and ace. 

However, whenever you buy a new American deck of cards from a company such as Bicycle, it often contains 54 cards, the standard 52 cards as well as two jokers, one is colored and one is black. For this reason, the correct answer to the question could technically be 27, though 26 is the more practical answer.

Bicycle is one of the few companies that has been producing playing cards for more than 130 years in America, without importing the materials to produce them from other foreign countries. Although this is just a little fun fact, one might wonder where playing cards come from.


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Where do Playing Cards Come From?

In the history of mankind, people from all layers of society have played thousands of different card games all over the globe. Despite loads of studies, we still don’t know the exact source of playing cards, however, we do have substantial evidence to state that they originate from China.

The images on playing cards often represent a particular culture and era. A certain clothing style, decorations or symbols on a playing card give us a good idea of ​​where the playing card originates from. 

Still, many different theories persist about when playing cards were really first invented and where they exactly come from. It is therefore quite possible that there are card games that we know nothing about.

It is currently accepted that the origin of playing cards is somewhere between the seventh and 10th century AD. During this era, the Tang Dynasty reigned in China and this was a time of peace and prosperity. It is seen as the golden age of culture in ancient China. 

Many inventions were made, including the first printing press that worked with blocks of engraved wood. This made it possible to print hundreds of exactly the same decks of cards and the same game could be played by more people. Researchers on the history of playing cards conducted an extensive study back in 2009.

This study was done on playing cards produced with this technique and researchers think that people back then played a card game called Yezi Ge. They also suspect that the cards were used as a kind of paper dominoes. The playing cards were moved after throwing dice or used as a bet themselves. 

To put it in perspective, it probably looked more like a board game where the cards were laid out, like the tiles in Mahjong. The same study does mention a Chinese arrest form from 1294. During this arrest, players playing Yezi Ge were arrested for playing an illegal card game.

The History of Playing Cards – From Europe to the U.S.

Most experts agree on the era when playing cards first arrived in Europe. A prominent philosopher and co-founder of the International Playing-Card Society (IPCP) has even come up with an exact year: 1377. 

In the last decade of the 14th century, there was a lot of interaction between European countries (especially Spain and Italy) and the Islamic world. Most notably in the form of Crusades from Christian European countries. It is plausible that the first playing cards ended up in Europe during a war with the Mamluk Empire of Egypt.

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Whatever the exact moment may be, when playing cards hit Europe in history, they became wildly popular. In the beginning, playing cards were mainly something for the elite. This was because playing cards were often painted by hand at that time and considered very valuable. 

The different playing cards of the Mamluk were sometimes even indistinguishable from each other due to their elaborate decorations. Christopher Columbus is said to have brought a deck of these playing cards from Spain to the United States in 1492 AD during his voyage of discovery.

Why Are There 52 Cards in a Deck of Playing Cards?

How in history decks of playing cards in the United States have become as we know them today, that is, with four suits and 52 cards, no one knows for sure. 

In the theory where the European Crusaders got their hands on the Mamluk cards. It is assumed that a deck of Mamluk cards had 52 cards. However, no more than 48 cards have ever been found and these are from three different sets.

There are many theories that go into why there are 52 cards and four suits in a French deck of playing cards. The most plausible theory is that this type of deck links to the calendar. 

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People studying the matter say that the two colors represent day and night. In this theory, the four suits should indicate the four different seasons. Each suit has 13 cards. This corresponds to the number of lunar cycles in a year. The 52 cards in the entire game are a reflection of the number of weeks in a year.

Some historians have suggested that suits in a deck of cards were intended to represent the four classes of medieval society. Cups and chalices (modern hearts) may have stood for the clergy; swords (spades) for the nobility or the army; coins (diamonds) for the merchants; and sticks (clubs) for farmers.

Speaking of suits, where do you think these come from?

Where Do the Symbols or Suits on Playing Cards Come From?

The symbols or suits on playing cards allegedly come from Latin suits. Potentially inspired by tarot cards, European card makers in the 14th century began using swords, clubs, cups and coins as the color symbols on their playing cards. Also known as “Latin suits,” these images can still be found on some Italian and Spanish playing cards to this day.

What Do Clubs and Spades Mean in a Deck of Cards?

The clubs or clovers are associated with luck and opportunity, although those are not too important in nature.

An “upside-down spade” on a playing card is essentially a heart. It symbolizes rebirth or renewal. (Not the ace of spades, however, which symbolizes bad luck.) Spades are a suit when playing cards, and an upside-down ace means bad luck. Other theories state that spades refer to the winter season as they symbolize a shovel.

What Do Diamonds Represent on Cards?

In a nutshell, the meaning of the diamond card is a representation of progress, dedication, ethics and stability. The diamond symbol stands for the component air. 

Which Symbol is the Highest in Cards?

When applying suit ranking, the most common conventions are Alphabetical order: clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts and spades (highest). This arrangement is used in the game bridge. Alternating suits: diamonds (lowest), followed by clubs, hearts and spades (highest).

What Is the Probability of a Card Being a Black 10? 

In certain probability experiments, such as drawing a card from a deck, there is an outcome set with 52 possibilities. An event such as “drawing a black 10” is then part of that outcome set (there are four 10s, of which two are black). Every event comes with a certain chance. The following probability rules apply here:

  • The probability of an impossible event (nothing from the outcome set) is 0.
  • The probability of a certain event (the complete set of outcomes) is 1.
  • If G is an event, then P(G) is the probability of that event and 0<P(G)≤1.

The complementary rule:

If non-G is the negation of event G then P(non-G) = 1 – P(G). You call non-G and G complementary events.

The sum rule:

If the events G1 and G2 are not mutually exclusive, then P(G1 or G2) = P(G1) + P(G2) – P(G1 and G2).

You see that for two mutually exclusive events G1 and G2 the rule: P(G1 and G2) = 0 applies

Example 1

  1. A complete deck consists of 52 cards, 13 cards of each suit.
  2. You randomly draw one card from such a deck.
  3. Calculate the probability of the card being a black 10.


There are 26 black cards in the deck, 13 spades and 13 clubs, and there is a 10 of spades and a 10 of clubs in the deck. Therefore the probability of a card being a black 10 is 2/52 or 1/26. 

Applying the probability rules described above we can answer all sorts of questions like:

How Many Black Face Cards Are in a Standard Deck of Cards?

There are six black face cards in a standard deck of cards without jokers if jack, queen and king are counted as face cards or there are eight black face cards when aces are counted as face cards as well. 

The chances of drawing a black face card from a complete and untouched deck of playing cards is therefore 6/52 or 8/52. If we disregard the aces, the chances of drawing a black face card from a full deck of cards are 2.55%. Not counting aces as face cards brings us to this question:

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Is an Ace a Face Card?

Simply put, no, an ace is not a face card because it doesn’t have a face of a jack, queen or king on it. There are only 12 face cards in a deck with six of them being black and six of them being red, further divided into three face cards of each suit. 

How many Spades are in a Deck of Cards?

There are 13 spades in a traditional 52-card deck of playing cards. Each deck of playing cards as we know them today has four suits: hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades and 13 cards of each rank being 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, jack, queen, king and ace.

How many Queens are in a Deck of Cards?

There are four queens in a deck of cards, one for each suit. There is a queen of diamonds, queen of hearts, queen of clubs and a queen of spades in each 52-card playing deck.

Are Jokers Counted in a Deck of 52 cards?

No, jokers are not counted in a deck of 52 cards. As we mentioned before in this guide, whenever you buy a new deck of cards it often consists of 52 cards, 13 of each of the four suits, hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades, plys two additional jokers, one is colored and one is black, making up for 54 cards in total.

How many Red Cards are in a Deck of Cards?

There are 26 red cards in a regular deck of cards or 27 if you count the colored joker as another red card. These 26 red cards are divided into two suits, hearts and diamonds.

How many Aces are in a Deck of Cards?

There are four aces in a 52-card deck of playing cards, one for each suit. There is an ace of diamonds, an ace of hearts, an ace of clubs and an ace of spades.

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The most popular card games are poker, blackjack, baccarat, solitaire and bridge. For several decades, card games have enjoyed increasing popularity again. This is largely due to the rise and spread of the internet and mobile gaming. 

In the past, if you wanted to play a game of cards, you always had to look for one or more opponents, unless you wanted to play solitaire on your own. But nowadays it makes no difference what you prefer to play because thanks to your smartphone and the internet you can play cards wherever and whenever you want, and there is definitely no shortage of opponents.

As a result of this trend, it is obvious that as an analyst you can get the most reliable data to find out what the most popular card games in the world are in the casino industry. It is in their best interest to know exactly what their visitors want. 

They keep a close eye on the data of the games played and switch quickly if new or unexpected trends arise. You might think that a casino should mainly rely on slots, roulette and betting, but card games are an indispensable part of their gambling offer.


The absolute most popular card game globally is poker. The internet has made this exciting game accessible to the masses not only in the western world but also in Asian countries. The game is immensely popular online. 

Here on OddsJam, our experts take a closer look at the available variations such as Texas hold ’em, five-card draw, three-card stud and so on. There is also a type of slot machine game that begins to appeal to more and more people, which is called video poker.


Blackjack also appeals to the imagination of online players all over the world. As with poker, the game is interesting because it is not purely based on chance. These rules are also relatively easy to learn; the game is very similar to the traditional Twenty-One or Vingt-Un. 

There are quite a few blackjack variations like double exposure and pontoon, but not as many as poker. An additional reason why blackjack does well in casinos is that the house edge is often relatively low and players love good odds.

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The popularity of baccarat in casinos is generally strong, but especially peaks when a new James Bond movie hits the big screen. It’s his favorite game after all. Viewers will love to follow how “Lady Luck” is never far from 007’s side in blockbusters such as Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only and Golden Eye.


It is a misconception to think that casinos do not benefit from offering patience in their range. The introduction of Microsoft Freecell in 1995 demonstrated that players don’t necessarily need to have real cards in their hands to enjoy playing on their own. 

The luck factor that is so prominent in poker, blackjack, and especially baccarat has much less impact when you play solitaire. According to insiders, Freecell’s software is even programmed in such a way that every game is always solvable. Perhaps the biggest difference is that all card games offer a certain level of excitement, but solitaire is also relaxing at the same time.


Bridge is an exciting and challenging card game that you play with a partner. Bridge is often played at a club or card room, but it can also be played at home with friends. Bridge is popular all over the world and you can also play it online at any time, against anyone. It is also played competitively as a sport in many countries and states. A game lasts about seven minutes and usually, 24 games are played during a bridge competition.


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