Queen (playing card)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The queen is a playing card with a picture of a Queen on it. In many European languages, the king and queen begin with the same letter so the latter is often called dame (lady) or variations thereof. In French playing cards, the usual rank of a queen is between the king and the jack. In tarot decks, it outranks the knight which in turn outranks the jack.

In several card games, including the middle eastern Trex and French Barbu, the queen is a major card to avoid taking, with each queen taken inflicting a penalty on the player. Similarly, in Hearts, the queen of spades is to be avoided, and is called a variety of unsavoury names.

In the Paris pattern, each court card is identified as a particular historical or mythological personage as follows:

Queens in the Paris pattern (portrait officiel)
Hearts Diamonds Spades Clubs
Image:Queen of diamonds fr.svg
Image:Queen of spades fr.svg
Image:Queen of clubs fr.svg
Judith,
Biblical figure
Rachel,
Biblical figure
Pallas,
an epithet of the goddess Athena
Argine,
an anagram of Regina (Latin for "queen")

Cultural references

Regarding the anonymous nursery rhyme, "The Queen of Hearts" (published 1782), Katherine Elwes Thomas claims, in The Real Personage of Mother Goose, that the Queen of HeartsTemplate:Clarify was based on Elizabeth of Bohemia. Benham, in his book Playing Cards: History of the Pack and Explanations of its Many Secrets, notes that French playing cards from the mid-17th century have Judith from the Hebrew Bible as the Queen of Hearts.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Queen (playing card)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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