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Card games in India have become the showstoppers for every Diwali Party, every big weekend-long family get together and moreover in this pandemic era, playing cards have become the essential retreat that pulls us out from the strings of boredom and registers happy moments with friends and family. Card games are unanimously ruling different countries taking up different genres. This is so because of the difference in the origin of these games from country to country. However, tracing the path of how did Card game shape up in India, we do come to know that Playing Cards is not a modern fashion and that it was known to be a very common leisure activity.

Indians do not play cards, they play ‘Taash’. ‘Taash’ is the elegant term given to the cards that is prevalent in the Indian subcontinent. Also, since Cards/Taash is not new to the Indian culture, there is a History trace-down that should be considered. Let’s dig in the hole for the History of Taash.

The advent of the Card Games:

The early introduction to the card games dates back to the 16th Century when the founder of the Mughal Dynasty and the first Mughal Emperor of India, Babur marched towards the subcontinent. The Mughals were very fond of the game called ‘Ganjifa’. Ganjifa is derived from the Persian word GANJIFEH which particularly means playing cards. These were round-shaped vivid cards. Ganjifa was made popular among the masses then, as it was a game played in the court, by the officials and the generals when they had any celebratory win or just when the elites met up to spend some time. These cards were particularly popular because of the way it was light in terms of monetary admission making its way to the commoners.

A Place in the Folklores:

The playing of cards in our country also has a mention in the fables. Although the commoners talk about it, it was still a game played by the Royals and the ladies of the Royal court. It is said that as the ladies were smart and knew how to add productivity in their daily course, playing card thus has a very special mention in their routine. The deals and the ‘chaals’ were looked on as a sign of smartness and were quality of being a great strategist. The person who played a very good hand was hailed for his/her brains and intelligence.

There is an interesting take about the shape of the cards. Contrary to the traditional rectangular shape of the cards played that we know of today, the Indian poker game or usually the card games used to be round shaped cards. Till the time these cards were only made accessible to the royalty was the time when they were expensive and made up of ivory, had added jewels, intricate design etc. As it started reaching the commoners, the material was modified to suit the budget. The materials used in making the card included –, wood, cotton, fibre, palm leaves etc. The diameter of the cards was – 1 ½ to 4 ½ inches. It is found that the set of suits were a little from what we know of them today. Ten suits containing ten numeric and two court cards were the perfect representation of the cards. Soldiers, ships, demons, horses, women and elephants are found among the card suits. The arrangements and designs had a very prolonged influence of the culture and the place it was made. Consequently, there was no commonality in the playing cards then like we have it today.

Poker and Cards are instilled in our tradition for more than 500 years now. The face of the cards, the materials might have changed but the spirit remains the same. To sharpen the skills, to oil the intelligence, and moreover to brighten up the day in the difficult times. Join in with Poker Tempo to make these difficult times a little easier with game rooms and lots of offers and deals and assembled and brought to you exclusively for you.