A playing card is a typically hand-sized piece of heavy paper or thin plastic. A complete set of cards is a pack or deck. A deck of cards is used for playing one of many card games, some of which include gambling. Because they are both standard and commonly available, playing cards are often adapted for other uses, such as magic tricks, cartomancy, encryption, or building a house of cards. ---------------------------------------- The front (or "face") of each card carries markings that distinguish it from the other cards and determine its use under the rules of the game being played. The back of each card is identical for all cards, usually a plain color or abstract design. In most games, the cards are assembled into a deck, and their order is randomized by shuffling.-------------------Rouen courts are traditionally named as follows: the kings of spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs are David, Charles (Charlemagne), Caesar and Alexander, respectively. The knaves (or "jacks"; French "valet") are Hector (prince of Troy), La Hire (comrade-in-arms to Joan of Arc), Ogier the Dane/Holger Danske (a knight of Charlemagne) and Judas Maccabeus (who led the Jewish rebellion against the Syrians). The queens are Pallas (warrior goddess; equivalent to the Greek Athena or Roman Minerva), Rachel (biblical mother of Joseph), Argine (the origin of which is obscure; it is an anagram of regina, which is Latin for queen) and Judith (from Book of Judith). Parisian tradition uses the same names, but assigns them to different suits: the kings of spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs are David, Charles, Caesar, and Alexander; the queens are Pallas, Judith, Rachel, and Argine; the knaves are Ogier, La Hire, Hector, and Judas Maccabee. Oddly, the Parisian names have become more common in modern use, even with cards of Rouennais design.---------------------------There are theories about who the court cards represent. For example, the Queen of Hearts is believed by some to be a representation of Elizabeth of York - the Queen consort of King Henry VII of England. The United States Playing Card Company suggests that in the past, the King of Hearts was Charlemagne, the King of Diamonds was Julius Caesar, the King of Clubs was Alexander the Great, and the King of Spades was the Biblical King David. However the Kings, Queens and Jacks of standard Anglo/American cards today do not represent anyone. They stem from designs produced in Rouen before 1516 and by 1540-67 these Rouen designs show well-executed pictures in the court cards with the typical court costumes of the time. In these early cards the Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts and the King of Diamonds are shown from the rear, with their heads turned back over the shoulder so that they are seen in profile. However the Rouen cards were so badly copied in England that the current designs are gross distortions of the originals.---------------------- Other oddities such as the lack of a moustache on the King of Hearts also have little significance. The King of Hearts did originally have a moustache but it was lost by poor copying of the original design. Similarly the objects carried by the court cards have no significance. They merely differentiate one court card from another and have also become distorted over time.