Some of the cards at my usual haunt, the Airport Bridge Club, have illustrations on the back and, because there’s a part of me that thinks they look better if they’re all pointing in the same direction (i.e., upright) I’ve taken to sorting them out that way.
That’s gotten me wondering about the faces of the cards. In practice, they’re practically palindromic – pretty much the same no matter which end is up. It’s certainly the case with the face cards. All the Kings, Queens and Jacks can be flipped and it makes no difference. They look the same either way.
But on many of the other cards, not so. Look at the Aces. Except for the Diamond, they can be right side up or upside down. The Spade, Heart and Club symbols all have tops and bottoms.
Among the even-numbered cards, only the 2, 4 and 10 are palindromes in Spades, Hearts and Clubs. In the design of the 6 – two vertical lines of three symbols – the middle ones point up. Same with the 8, which has two more spots in the center of the card, one up, one down. With the Diamonds, of course, it doesn’t matter.
When it comes to the odd-numbered cards, all the Spades, Hearts and Clubs have a definite upside and downside. Two of spots on the 3 point one way, the third points in the other direction. Same situation with the single center spot on the 5, 7 and 9.
You’d think the Diamonds once again would the exception, but not this time. It’s that center spot. Did you ever notice that it’s not always in the middle? It’s offset toward the top on one of the Diamonds – the 7. Pick up some cards and see for yourself.