JOKER OF THE PACK
Artist: iSAW – with thanks to Amin Rokhide
The Joker is an additional card to the standard four suit deck of cards – clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.
The Joker was invented in the early 1860’s and originated in the United States during the American Civil War. It was created as a trump card to have the upper hand in the game of Euchre.
In a modern deck of playing cards there are usually two jokers. The Joker has been adopted into many other card games where it often acts as a wild card that can symbolise rank or power within the game being played, such as an all powerful trump card that beats other cards, a skip card forcing another player to miss a turn, a despised card of the lowest ranking, a sought after card of the highest value and a wild card that can be used to represent any other card. The Joker is the only card that can also be different in its appearance whereas the other cards needs to be set to denote their exact value or rank.
How the Joker is viewed in some games played today:
Euchre – as the highest trump card
(Gin) Rummy – a wild card that can be used as a rank or suit card to complete a hand
Poker – a wild card to complete a straight or flush
War – beats all other cards
Crazy Eights – a skip card playable on top of any other card that forces the next player to lose a turn
Throughout the centuries, playing card games has been a simple form of entertainment, and still is today, but nowadays it can also be used in making serious amounts of money too. Therein lies the inventiveness of different games of the humble deck of playing cards, with the beauty of the Joker being the most versatile card of the lot.
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