From Russia with love … playing cards

I recently ordered a very interesting Russian deck consisting of 36 cards from Europe but not from Russia.

I’d like to share a few of the cards for you to see the unique concept of playing cards. They are a really fun deck. There were no instructions in the box. I don’t understand the Russian language glyphs on the back of the box so I can’t tell you who manufactured the deck.

The Courts and Aces have different images upright and reversed. It is easy to figure  the Angel (upright) or Devil (reversed) interpretation by looking at the image. 

Spades – crowns within spades in pips (not shown)

Ace of Spades below shows a lady holding a lizard. There is an angel in the upper right hand corner. The only meaning of lizard symbology that I know is regeneration.  The reversed cards shows a female with boxing gloves.  Ahhhh  “the devil made me do it”. She looks like she could kick some a**  🙂  As far as being connected to the Ace of spades reversed it probably means you’ll have to defend your position.

The angel image (upright)

Diamonds – stack of many money

Diamonds suit

Hearts- hearts with arrow

Hearts suit

Clubs- weapon (not shown )

The B on the card is the valet or Jack. Reversed. Notice the Devil in the right hand corner. Reading this card would be a ‘bad’ or negative meaning. Looking at this reversed Jack it looks like he could be a womanizer liking to have a few drinks or more (holding bottle in hand).   🙂

Reversed – Devil

Upright B (valet or Jack) Notice the Angel in the right corner.  Reading this card  would be  a ‘good’ or positive meaning.  The Jack is hold a lovely bouquet of flowers and sporting a fancy jacket.

Upright – Angel

The Aces and Courts are easy to figure out even if there are no instructions included with meanings. The suits images in the pips can also be identified by stacks of money, hearts with arrows, spades containing crowns and clubs containing weapons. 

Most likely the skat meanings could be used for the pips or some other system which only has 6-10, Aces & Courts. One other thing to mention is that the 6’s have devils in the center for both upright and reversed. The other pips 7-10 do not have these little devils.

It is interesting to note how different cultures illustrate playing cards as different cultures have many meanings for certain words important in that culture. For example: Hispanic = family,  Italian = love,  Eskimos = snow.

One thought on “From Russia with love … playing cards

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