How Many Cards in a Deck?

March 9, 2021


A card game, whether game-specific or traditional, is any game that is played using cards. There are so many varieties of card games available, including interesting series of games that are related to poker. In this article we will answer the question – How many cards in a deck?

Card varieties keep coming up, to an extent where traditionally played games have found their way to international contests.

Cards are played with a pack or deck, all identical in shape and size. Each of these cards have 2 sides; the back and the face. When playing cards, the back side is supposed to be indistinguishable. While the faces in poker can be unique, some can be duplicates. Each player knows what comprises his or her deck of cards.

Today, we’ll take you through all matters playing cards, as we answer how many cards in a deck?

How Many Cards in a Deck?

The 52 cards deck is the most commonly played poker game. Made up of four suits, each containing 13 cards, there are 52 cards in total.

These cards are usually ranked from the lowest to the highest as number 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jack Queen King to Ace. When playing cards, suits are all of equal value with the Ace being the only playing card that can be used both as low cards (as the deuce or 1, below 2) or as a high card (ahead of the King).

The player’s overall card value in a 52 cards deck is determined by the individual’s ranking hand (for standard poker it is 5 cards)


Four Different Suits for Playing Cards in a Standard Deck

A standard 52 cards deck usually has four suits: hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. Each of these suits has 13 cards, which would mean that there are 13 diamonds, 13 hearts, 13 clubs and 13 spades. Hearts and diamonds are red, while suit clubs and spades are black. 

Each rank in a standard deck of poker playing cards is made up of 4 cards, one in each of the suits. As such, there are 4 tens, four nines, and the list goes on like so.

The Jack Queen King cards are all face cards, which would mean that each suit contains 3 face cards, with the deck having 12 face cards all together.

Let us look at the different suits to details:

♠️ Spades

Spades are one out of the four suits in a standard 52 card game. The card symbol is an upside down black heart that has a stalk down at its base.

The spade symbolizes the halberd or pike, two weapons from the medieval era. Taking a closer look, you will notice that the spade is quite stylized in shape, almost looking like a spearhead facing up, as the bottom widens two arcs sweeping towards the middle to form some sort of foot.

In the 52 cards game, spades are usually black in color. However, some modern decks like Skat feature green spades

♣️ Clover

Also known as clubs, clovers are another suit used in playing cards in the standard 52 cards deck. This suit corresponds to Acorns in the German Deck Bay.

The symbol has its original name as ‘Trefle’ which means clover in French. The card symbol features a lover leaf that is three-leafed. Clubs, the English name, is derived from the Italian-Spanish card suit Bastoni.

Different game varieties rank clovers differently; in Bridge, they are the lowest ranked suit, while in Doppelkopf and Skat, they are the highest suit in value. Clovers are black in the 52 card game.

♥️ Heart

While playing cards, the Hearts feature as a key suit in both the German Deck and French Deck.

The hearts is an interesting suit that was invented back in the fifteenth century in Germany as a supervisor from a huge pool of trial suit symbols as a way to replace the Latin suits.

The symbol is shaped as a type of cardioid, with its bottom ending in a sharp point. The suit is drawn with the tip coming down as the cardioid faces up. Generally, 52 card decks have red colored hearts.

♦️ Diamonds

Diamonds are the only suit that was not derived from German deck. The diamond symbol is usually lozenge in shape, looking like a parallelogram sitting with one of its tips.

The four equal sides are usually rounded, with the vertices placed like a square, which makes the symbol appear like an asteroid. Diamonds in a 52 card deck are usually red, unlike in a game like Bridge.

The Extras in a Deck of Playing Cards

While a regular 52 cards deck has four suits, each with thirteen cards, there are other cards usually referred to as extra cards. A common one here is the joker. Let us delve into deeper details about the joker:

🃏 Joker

Standard 52 cards decks usually contain at least one additional card other than clubs, diamonds and hearts.

When playing cards, designated jokers depict the traditional court jester. There are very few cards that employ the use of jokers, and in instances where they are used, they differ from game to game.

For instance, in Canasta, the joker is used as a wild symbol, replacing any natural card. The joker was invented to act as the highest valued trump in Euchre as a sort of glorified jack, and not as the descendant of the ‘fool’s Card’ in Tarot

Ranks of Poker hands

In poker, the players are required to form sets of playing cards, with the set containing 5 cards. Each hand has its own unique rank.

When you are playing cards, the hands are compared against other hands in the game in order to decide the pot’s winner. In high value games such as Seven-Card Stud and Texas Hold ‘em, the winning one is the one that is highest in rank.

The opposite is true for low value games such as Razz, where the winning hands are the lowest ranked. When it comes to games that are high-low split, both the lowest-ranking and highest-ranking hands win, although the rules apply differently in ranking the poker cards. Various combinations such as clubs diamonds and hearts or diamonds, hearts and spades.

Below are the different ranks of poker hands:

  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Royal-Flush
  • Straight-Flush
  • Five-of-a-Kind
  • Full-House
  • Four-of-a-Kind
  • Two-Pair
  • High-Card
  • Pair

Let us look at some of these ranks in detail:

Five of a Kind

This is made up of five cards all from one rank. One great example is the five-of-a-kind threes (3♥ 3♦ 3♣ 3♠ 3). The five of a kind hand ranks higher than the straight flush, but it can only be used when you add a wild seeing as there are only 4 cards from each suit per deck.

A Straight Flush

A straight flush has 5 playing cards in a sequential rank. It ranks above four-of-a-kind and below a five-of-a-kind. One example here is the (Queen♥ Jack♥ 10♥ 9♥ 8♥) Queen-High Straight Flush.

Four of a Kind

Also known as quads, the four-of-a-kind, has 4 cards from one rank and another card from a different rank. It ranks above the Full House and below the Straight Flush decks. A good example here is the four-of-a-kind nines (9♣ 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ Jake♥).

The most popular Decks of Cards Games

For a millennium, cards have existed in numerous forms right from their Far East origin. As trading spread globally, decks of cards got to the West, as the French owned the 52 cards 4 suits game that is enjoyed today.

While different nations and cultures apply different systems to play games, the 52 cards game is the one that is widely used. For centuries, friends, strangers and families have convened over campfires, around bar tops and dinner tables to play some of the world’s most adored card games such as:

  • Texas Hold ‘Em
  • BlackJack
  • Hearts
  • Gin Rummy
  • Solitaire


As a popular card game across the globe, BlackJack deserves a slot here. As a matter of fact, BlackJack happens to be the most widely enjoyed casino game, especially given the fact that it is quite easy to learn and fast to play.

In BlackJack, a player plays against the dealer as opposed to competing against other players. While there is more nuance to it, the deal here is to get as close as possible to 21 without going past that.

Any player who gets closer to number 21 as compared to the dealer ends up winning. If the dealer gets there first, the player loses. 

How Many Cards in a Deck – FAQ

How many cards in a deck?

A standard deck has 52 playing cards in a deck in total. The cards come in 4 card suits (spades, hearts diamonds and spades), each made up of thirteen cards.

How many cards are there in tarot decks?

The standard and somewhat modern tarot deck has its basis on the Piedmontese or Venetian tarot. It is usually made up of 78 cards categorized in two groups; the minor arcana (with 56 cards) and the major arcana, (also called trumps and it has 22 cards).

How many hearts do regular decks of cards have?

A standard 52 card deck has 13 cards per suit, including diamonds, hearts and spades

How many face cards do regular decks have?

In total, face cards are 12 ( Jack Queen King), and numbered cards such as (2 3 4 5)are 36. After drawing the first card, there will be 11 cards remaining and 51 left over cards from the decks

How many spades are in usual decks of cards?

A standard 52 cards deck that has 4 suits has 13 cards per suit. As such, there will be 13 cards for each diamonds, hearts and spades suits.

How many Clovers are in decks of cards?

There are 13 clovers in a regular 52 card deck game, alongside clubs diamonds and hearts.

How many diamonds are in a card of decks?

There are 13 diamonds in total in a standard 52 card game of cards, which is how the spades clubs diamonds hearts combination leads to a total of 52 playing cards.