What Do the Suits in a Deck of Cards Represent?

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The suits in a deck of cards represent different stations in society in 15th-century France. In the 1480s, these particular symbols were introduced in playing cards. Before that, cups, swords, batons and coins were popular. They were replaced by bells, acorns, hearts and leaves, which were green and red.

The French design has endured for centuries. The hearts represent holy men, the church, and virtue. Diamonds are the symbol of vassals, men who became archers. Hence, the diamond is pointed like an arrowhead. Clubs, which resemble clover, signify shepherds. Spades, created to look like the point of a lance, represent knights.