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Playing Cards

Card Games in Tudor England

Playing cards was a normal part of upper society diversion in Tudor England. Families and their guest would often retire to the withdrawing room, or parlor, to play and listen to music, and play charades, dice games, and board and card games. On Christmas day, working men and women and servants were also able to engage in indoor and outdoor games, and card playing was no exception.

We believe that card playing began in England in the 1400’s, as there is no mention of playing cards in any 14th century works. Popular card games included: Primero, Noddy (played mostly by gamblers), All fours, Piquet (also known as Cent) and Maw (popular in the court of King James I).

Try playing two of these popular games. They are quite challenging!







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