Secrets of the Playing Card

Secrets of the Playing CardPlaying cards are an everyday object used for gambling and game playing the world over. But the familiar deck of cards conceals hidden meanings that have links to secret societies and the occult.

Why are there four suits and why hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs? What is the significance of the picture cards? What is the meaning of the symbolism of the Tarot?

We look beneath the surface of the playing card and reveal an intriguing journey from their much disputed roots in China, Persia, and Egypt.

And we uncover the secrets of card design, investigating rumored Masonic links and the way the design has changed to mirror the cultures and beliefs of the people who used them through the ages.

What emerges is an extraordinary story that reveals the mysteries and meanings of the humble playing card--a history that is intimately entwined with the occult, voodoo, and man's fascination with mystical beliefs.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 7.11/10 from 18 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Fly Poster

    Is this one of those documentaries where they take the obvious, and milk it? I think so.

  • http://www.tyranid.co.uk tyranid

    It is quite an interesting topic you got here dude! I am so curios and so anxious to know, what is the secret of the Playing card.

  • Haus

    I got to 9:52 before I stopped caring.

  • Carole Ann

    Managed to watch almost half, learned where playing cards originated, not much more really, the man who is a card collector has some interesting information, otherwise an average doc. I think that playing cards even tarot cards, are different things to different people. The church would obviously take offense, not because they fear for the souls of their parishioner's, but because they would lose tithe money, one of the reasons the catholic church latched onto bingo in its church basements and so on, then at least they would profit from some of the gambling.

  • Seb

    I got 34 seconds......haha

  • http://www.firsttofold.com Nicholas Czuma

    I've always had a big interest in cards, but I never even thought of looking into their history.

  • mr savage

    actualy modern cards are based on the italian/roman cards that have been used for hundreds even thousands of years.
    the original suits were - dinare (gold coins), swords, clubs/wood and hearts. these were not divided into 2 colours, and only went up to 7 before picture cards of which there were 5.
    infact all of our modern games were played on these cards for instance 5/7 card poker, black jack etc...
    also the individual cards have some meanings for instance the ace (1) of clubs/wood is the death card and it usualy has a picture of an old twisted/sick, evil looking tree.

  • Cliff

    I got to 1:40. haha...I don't know what I was expecting but this wasn't it. :)

  • Niko

    Wow! what a complete waste of my time... Repetitive nonsense with no real answers. Wouldn't recommend watching.

  • Carl Hendershot

    Completed the show. It was worth watching. Started to get really interesting towards the end. I think most of the above people watching the show had A.D.D. . LOL. Its to bad that there is not more to the exact origin of cards. Give it a watch.

  • http://www.fyandl.blogspot.com MattyG

    Wow really intresting. Really opens the world up to people and we see the background. Very good if your into this kind of thing.

  • gero2006

    An interesting documentary. At times a very moving one (e.g. the playing cards left with abandoned babies). Also, now I know why the Ace of Spades is always so elaborate. Will bored my friends with my new knowledge next time we share a card game! Second half of documentary focused on Tarot playing cards and the meanings attributed to them by various occultists. I find the occult rather trivial but it appeals to some people - each to their own.

  • Karen

    A new topic; nice. Liked it.

  • liz

    I thought this was excellent. It was exactly what it claimed to be...a history of cards. The end about Tarot was the best. I especially was interested in the author of "Qabalah: A Magical Primer." I dis not care for the woman who was co-author of some book.

  • winston

    no such thing as the devil! lol. Why does the media perpetuate medieval myths and fairy tales like they're reality?

    One word: Religion. (also known as 'delusion')

    We have no more reason to believe in a god, or a devil, than we do in unicorns. If people are not bright enough to see that an all good god could not create a world with evil it, then they are simply morons. Why would loving god create hell, why would loving god set animals and man upon one another, its absurd!

    That doesn't mean that being and life and the universe are not profound and wonderful mysteries, they are, but do not look for meaning of it in ancient books that talk of a flat earth, and barbarism, but in your heart. In thought, in time, and nothingness. He says it better than I could: youtube - watch?v=BNIvQzryesY

  • casper

    This was a pretty good documentary, like MattyG says, if you're into this kind of thing. I especially enjoyed the latter half about the tarot. Quite interesting information regarding Thoth, I hadnt heard that before, I have heard of it being a way to study Quabbalah and of course divination. Regardless, it seems to be a very useful deck of cards. Divination is absolutely intriguing to say the least, there is no limit to the media that can be used.

  • Peihopa

    I enjoyed this documentary i found it interesting, though im not into the whole tarot card thing i think the history of the standard playing cards is cool. excellent.

  • Jerold

    Does anyone know the name of the music playing from 33:41 to 34:10?

  • Cat

    All in all, this is a nice summary of playing card and tarot history (as far as I can tell).

    I didn't care much for the reenacted scenes of historical situations, especially since they were repeated so often and didn't offer any additional information except some vague link to an earlier time.

    It's a pity that Pamela Colman Smith, the artist of the deck produced by Arthur Waite (today mostly known as the "Rider-Waite Tarot"), wasn't mentioned by name. After all, it's her illustrations that most modern tarot decks still draw on for inspiration.

    Finally, the "New Orleans Voodoo Tarot" that features prominently in the film, isn't only used by Voodoo practitioners nor is it used by all of them. That part therefore seemed a little overgeneralizing.

  • devlinwaugh

    yeah its funny how the English tell lies seems like the French had nothing to do with American Independence and were the main force.I find it even funnier when Americans were speaking in Scottish English and German and French accents as the event happed. the English accent you so confuse was not the base here it was the false facts,somewhat like American history books.It makes me laugh that Americans think that people arrived in 1468 and then started speaking with an accent it took 400 years!!!!!! a little more tbh but thought i would round it off.I bid you good day sir albert pina...