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A Brief History of the Joker Card

Joker Card is the extra card that you usually encounter in a modern deck. It is believed to have originated during the 1860s by American players who were looking to introduce a trump card for modifying the rules of the game. The card has also been known by several names such as Best Bower and the Jolly Joker. There were no jokers earlier in the eastern card decks. In the Japanese deck, an extra card featured a demon but it was used in quite a different manner as Joker is used these days. Although the origin of this card is not quite clear, it has undoubtedly become immensely popular and has found a place in the standard deck of cards.

A Brief History of the Joker Card
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The origin of the name of Joker Card

As per several scholars, the name of the extra card evolved from the Juker, a German name which was used in Euchre game in Germany. The term joker was first mentioned in a book published during 1886, Euchre: How to Play it. There is yet another theory where the name had been derived from Poker and this has been mentioned in an American book published in the year 1875. Both Poker and Euchre spread all through America during the same time. Hence, it is not easy to distinguish when exactly the term was coined and embraced into the modern deck. During the 1880s, the Joker was represented as a clown or court jester. Joker is also similar to the Fool present in the tarot deck. The Fool has been a part of the tarot deck since the 1400s. However, the Joker is more of a recent addition to the deck of cards.

No concrete evidence about the origin of Joker Card

It is believed to be more of a coincidence that the term Joker has originated from the game Euchre. This is because the term ‘joke’ was already prevalent during the time. American players introduced the concept of joker and trend picked up fairly quickly. The suit was followed by British card manufacturers during 1880s. Joker card often features a unique design with the company’s brand imagery. This could also include the logo or an architectural or floral motif. It was only then, the Joker became universally adapted.

Indulge in an interesting game of cards at Chelsea Palace

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Blog Name: A Brief History of the Joker Card

Posted On: 16/11/2018

Author: Robert Bowron

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