Introduction:

Playing card games are one of the most popular activities in the world. Millions of people play hundreds of different types of playing card games every day. For non-native speakers of English, the problem is not how to use or play cards, but how to say the names of the different playing cards in English. Not knowing their names could be a big problem if you are playing a card game with English speakers or on the internet.

In this online exercise on Names/Vocabulary of Playing Card Names, we will look at the English names of the different playing cards and some essential vocabulary which is connected to playing cards.

Click here to see our other exercises on Poker & Card Games Vocabulary.


Exercise: Playing Card Vocabulary

In the following conversation, two work colleague (Peter and Juan) are talking about the English names of playing cards.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Juan:'You like to play cards?'

Peter:'Yes, now and again. Why do you want to know?'

Juan:'I'm unsure what the different names of cards are in English. When we go to the casino next week, I don't want to look stupid.'

Peter:'Well, first of all a packet of 52 cards is called a deck of cards. In a deck of cards each card has one of 4 different symbols on them, two of the symbols are red and two of them are black.'

Juan:'Is one of the black symbols that looks like one leaf of a plant called a spade?'

Peter:'That's right, spades do look like a leaf of a plant. The other black symbol, which looks like a clover or a small plant with three leaves, is called a club.'

Juan:'I know that one of the red symbols which looks like a heart or a symbol of love is called a heart, but what is the other red symbol called?'

Peter:'The red symbol on cards which has a shape with four straight lines like a square put pointing up and down is called a diamond.'

Juan:'There's a name in Spanish for all the cards in a deck or pack which have the same symbol (like all the hearts) on them.'

Peter:'You mean the 13 cards in a deck which have all have the same symbol on them, like diamonds or clubs?'

Juan:'Yes.'

Peter:'Each is called a suit. There are four suits in a deck of cards, the suit of diamonds, the suit of hearts, the suit of clubs and the suit of spades.'

Juan:'I know what the names of the cards with numbers on them are called (like the 'ten of clubs' or the 'five of spades'), but there are some playing cards with pictures of people on them which I don't know the names of. What is the name of the card with the old man with a beard on it?'

Peter:'A card with an old man with a beard is called a King. A card with a picture of a woman, is called a Queen. And a card with a picture of a young man without a beard is called a Jack. For example, the King of hearts or the Jack of clubs.'

Juan:'And what is the name of the cards that have only one diamond, spade, heart or club in the middle of the playing card, that have the letter 'A' in two of the corners of the card?'

Peter:'A card with the letter 'A' in the corner is called an Ace. For example, the Ace of hearts. There are also another 2 additional cards in a pack of cards which are not in any suit (e.g. suit of diamonds) and have a picture of a funny and strange man on them. Each of these two cards is called a Joker.'

Juan:'Like in Batman?'

Peter:'Exactly.'



Quiz: Names/Vocabulary of playing cards

Below is a photo/image of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe matches each photo/image. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1.   A card with this symbol is called a          

Spade:
(noun) This is one of four symbols on playing cards (the others are diamonds, hearts and clubs). When you want to say what card you have, you say 'the' then the number/name of the card (e.g. a 10, a Queen etc...) followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol (e.g. 'spades'). For example, 'the seven of spades' or 'the Ace of spades'. In Spanish: "pica".

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Spade:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. This is called a          

Suit:
(noun) A 'suit' is the name for all the cards that have the same symbol on them. So, all the cards in a deck/pack that have the symbol of a diamond on them, are called the 'suit of diamonds'. In a 'deck' of cards there are four 'suits' (diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades) and 13 cards in each 'suit'. In Spanish: "palo".

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Suit:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. This card is called an          

Ace:
If you want to say what symbol/suit (e.g. heart, club etc...) the 'Ace' is from, you say 'the' then 'Ace' followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol/suit (e.g. 'spades'). For example, 'the Ace of spades'. In Spanish: "as".

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Ace:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4.   A card with this symbol is called a          

Diamond:
This is one of four symbols on playing cards (the others are spades, hearts and clubs). When you want to say what card you have, you say 'the' then the number/name of the card (e.g. a 10, a Queen etc...) followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol (e.g. 'diamonds'). For example, 'the two of diamonds' or 'the Queen of diamonds'. In Spanish: "diamante".

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Diamond:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. This card is called a          

Jack:
(noun) All the cards that have pictures of people on them (Jacks, Queens & Kings) are called the 'face cards'. If you want to say what symbol/suit (e.g. heart, club etc...) the 'Jack' is from, you say 'the' then 'Jack' followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol/suit (e.g. 'hearts'). For example, 'the Jack of hearts'. In Spanish: "jota".

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Jack:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A card with this symbol is called a          

Club:
(noun) This is one of four symbols on playing cards (the others are spades, hearts and diamonds). When you want to say what card you have, you say 'the' then the number/name of the card (e.g. a 10, a Queen etc...) followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol (e.g. 'clubs'). For example, 'the two of clubs' or 'the Queen of clubs'. In Spanish: "trébole".

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Club:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. This card is called a          

King:
(noun) All the cards that have pictures of people on them (Jacks, Queens & Kings) are called the 'face cards'. If you want to say what symbol/suit (e.g. heart, club etc...) the 'King' is from, you say 'the' then 'King' followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol/suit (e.g. 'diamonds'). For example, 'the King of diamonds'. In Spanish: "rey".

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King:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8.   A card with this symbol is called a          

Heart:
(noun) This is one of four symbols on playing cards (the others are spades, diamonds and clubs). When you want to say what card you have, you say 'the' then the number/name of the card (e.g. a 10, a Queen etc...) followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol (e.g. 'hearts'). For example, 'the two of hearts' or 'the Queen of hearts'. In Spanish: "corazon".

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Heart:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. This card is called a          

Queen:
All the cards that have pictures of people on them (Jacks, Queens & Kings) are called the 'face cards'. If you want to say what symbol/suit (e.g. heart, club etc...) the 'Queen' is from, you say 'the' then 'Queen' followed by the preposition 'of' and the plural name of the symbol/suit (e.g. 'clubs'). For example, 'the Queen of clubs'. In Spanish: "reina".

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Queen:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10. This card is called a          

Joker:
(noun) This is the name of the two (and sometimes four) non-playing cards that are found in a deck/pack of cards. In some cards games, they use the 'Jokers' as playing cards. In America, it is sometimes called the 'bug'. In Spanish: "comodín/joker".

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Joker:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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11. Each of these is called a          

Deck:
This is also called a 'pack' of cards (especially in Britain). In theory, a 'deck' or 'pack' of cards includes the 52 playing cards and some additional non-playing cards (normally two 'Jokers' or two 'blank'/'white' cards). In Spanish: "baraja/mazo".

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Deck:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.