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The number of cards in a deck
The number of cards in a deck

22/12/2023 18:00

The number of cards in a deck

Card games are considered ancient entertainment for those who master the balance between luck and strategy. Still, you've probably wondered at times, "How many cards are actually in a deck of cards?". Therefore, let's dive into the world of cards and discover how many cards are really in a deck!

A full deck of cards featuring the PepperMill Casino logo.

The origins of the card game

The origin of the card deck is not entirely clear, but it is generally believed that cards originated in China in the 9th century. The first records of card decks date from this time, and early decks were probably made of wood or bone.

In the 14th century, card decks spread to Europe, where they quickly became popular. The first card decks in Europe were similar to Chinese decks, with four colors and 10-13 cards per color.

In the 16th century, jokers were added to the deck. Jokers were originally intended as playing cards, but they were soon used as wildcards.

In the 19th century, card decks with 24 or 32 cards were also introduced in some countries. These card decks were intended for faster and simpler card games.

Today, there are many different types of card games, with different numbers of cards and different rules. The most common card deck in Belgium is the standard 54-card deck.

A standard deck of cards

The most common type of deck used in casinos and living rooms is the standard 52-card deck. This deck is divided into four figures, also called suits: hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. Each suit has thirteen cards, ranging from the numbers two through ten, followed by the jack, queen, king and ace.

A standard deck of cards is commonly used in games such as poker, blackjack, and baccarat. The number of cards in a standard deck is carefully designed to provide a balanced and exciting playing experience, maximizing the chances of different combinations and outcomes.

The jokers

In addition to the 52 regular cards, a standard deck also contains two jokers. Jokers have no value and can be used as wild cards in most card games. This means they can be used for any other card.

Why 52 cards?

There is no single answer as to why a standard deck of cards consists of 52 cards. There are several theories about the origin of the number 52. One possible explanation is that the number 52 corresponds to the number of weeks in a year.

Special deck of cards

Besides the usual standard deck, there are also special card games with different numbers of cards. For example, games such as Pinochle are played with 2 decks where the cards are two to nine are removed from each of the four suits, thus a total of 48 cards.

In addition, there are card games that use multiple decks. Blackjack is a good example of this, where casinos often shuffle multiple standard decks together to make strategies such as card counting more difficult for players.

Number of cards in blackjack

In blackjack, one to eight standard decks of 52 playing cards are used. Therefore, since the jokers are not used, there are 52 cards instead of 54 cards. So, for example, if one deck is used, there are a total of 52 cards in the game. If multiple decks are used, the total number of cards is multiplied by the number of decks. For example, in a game with eight decks, there are 8 * 52 = 416 cards in total.

Number of cards in baccarat

When playing Baccarat, six to eight decks of standard playing cards are usually used. Each deck consists of 52 cards, since the jokers are not used. So, for example, if six decks are played, there are a total of 6 * 52 = 312 cards in play.

The number of cards may vary depending on the casino and the specific rules being followed, but the use of multiple decks is common in baccarat to make card counting more difficult for players.

Number of cards in poker

The number of cards in a poker game can vary depending on the specific type of poker being played. However, most popular variations such as Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud and Five Card Draw are played with 52 cards. While in some cases Short Deck Poker is played with a deck in which cards 2 through 5 are removed, resulting in a total of 36 cards.

In all these variants, the cards are divided among different hands, and the number of cards can vary depending on the specific game and the stage of the game (e.g. preflop, flop, turn, river in Texas Hold'em). Therefore, it is always best to consult the specific rules of the poker game you are playing to know how many cards are used.

Why is the number of cards important?

The number of cards in a deck is not a trivial detail. It directly affects the dynamics and complexity of the game. In poker, for example, the probability of getting certain hands is directly related to the number of cards in the deck. Players must adjust their strategy based on the available cards and the odds of getting winning combinations. Online, the random number generator provides a random card to be drawn.

For casinos, determining the correct number of cards is essential to offering fair and exciting games to their players. Carefully calibrating the game conditions adds to the excitement and challenge for players, and it makes each card game unique.


The next time you wonder how many cards are in a deck, remember that the number is not only a practical aspect, but also a crucial element that contributes to the charm and complexity of card games. Each card tells its own story, and each deck houses a world of possibilities. So select your favorite card game at PepperMill Casino and dive into the enchanting world of cards!