Do you know how many face cards are in a deck of playing cards?

If you’re curious or just need a quick answer, here’s what you need to know:

A standard deck of playing cards contains 12 face cards.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what face cards are, their history, and their significance in different card games.

We’ll also explore some interesting facts and trivia about face cards that you may not know.

What are face cards?

Face cards are a term used in playing cards to refer to the Jack, Queen, and King cards in a deck. They are also sometimes known as picture cards, court cards, or coat cards. These cards are usually the most ornate and detailed in a deck, with intricate designs and symbols.

The use of face cards in playing decks can be traced back to the 15th century in Europe. The designs of these cards have evolved over time, with different countries and regions having their unique styles and symbols. In the French deck, for example, the Kings represent historical figures, while the Queens represent mythological and religious figures. In contrast, the German deck uses animal symbols for the court cards.

The face cards in a deck often have intricate designs and symbols that hold different meanings. The Jack, Queen, and King cards usually depict figures in different costumes and poses that represent different aspects of society or culture. For example, the King of Hearts is often depicted with a sword through his head, symbolizing his sacrifice for love. The Queen of Spades often holds a scepter, symbolizing her power and authority. The Jack of Diamonds often holds a moneybag, symbolizing his wealth and status.

Each face card also has a specific rank and value in the game. In most games, the Jack is worth 11 points, the Queen is worth 12 points, and the King is worth 13 points. These cards are often used in games such as poker, blackjack, and bridge, where they hold different values and tactical advantages.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and symbolism of face cards in playing decks, check out for an in-depth look at the evolution of playing cards and their designs.

Face cards in different card games

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards, each with its own unique value and suit. However, there are only a limited number of cards that are considered face cards. These face cards typically include the King, Queen, and Jack, and are often used in various card games to represent different values.


In the game of Blackjack, also known as 21, face cards are valued at 10 points each. This means that a King, Queen, or Jack drawn in combination with an Ace card will result in a “Blackjack” or a total of 21 points, the highest possible hand in the game.


Poker is a card game that has many variations, but the most common version played in casinos and online is Texas Hold’em. In this game, face cards are also valued at 10 points, but their main purpose is to help players form winning hands such as a pair, three of a kind, or a full house.


Bridge is a popular card game that requires four players in two partnerships. In this game, the ranking of cards is different from other games, with the Ace being the highest and the 2 being the lowest. Face cards do not have any special value in Bridge, but they are used to help players remember which suit is trump.

Other card games

There are many other card games that use face cards in different ways. For example, in the game of Hearts, the Queen of Spades is considered a penalty card, while in the game of War, face cards are used to break ties. In some games, such as Rummy, face cards are simply worth their face value.

Interesting facts and trivia about face cards

  • Why are face cards called court cards?

Face cards, also known as court cards, are called so because they depict members of a royal court. The King, Queen, and Jack cards were originally called Knaves. However, to avoid confusion with other cards, the name was changed to Jack. The face cards are the most ornate cards in a deck, and their design has evolved over the centuries.

  • The King of Hearts

The King of Hearts is the only king in a deck of cards without a mustache. This is because early card makers did not want to cover up his face, which was considered the most important part of the card. Additionally, the King of Hearts is sometimes referred to as the “suicide king” because, in the design of some decks, he appears to be stabbing himself in the head with a sword.

  • The Queen of Spades

The Queen of Spades is often referred to as the “black queen.” Her design is based on Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. In some decks, she holds a scepter, symbolizing her power and authority.

  • The Jack of Diamonds

The Jack of Diamonds is often referred to as the “laughing boy.” His design is based on the knave in the Italian deck of cards. In some decks, he is depicted holding an axe, which symbolizes his role as a woodsman.

  • The Joker

The Joker is not part of the standard deck of cards. It was first introduced in the United States in the 1860s as a wild card for the game of Euchre. The Joker is typically depicted as a court jester, and its design can vary widely from deck to deck.

For more information about playing cards, you can visit, a comprehensive website about card games and playing cards.


Now you know how many face cards are in a deck of playing cards and have learned more about their history and significance.

Whether you’re a serious card player or just enjoy a casual game with friends, face cards are an integral part of the deck and add to the excitement and challenge of many popular card games.

So next time you’re playing cards, take a moment to appreciate the unique design and symbolism of these iconic cards.

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