The Card Suit Order: Keeping It in Your Head

Do you know the card suit order in poker? If not, don’t worry – this guide will help you remember! There are four suits in a standard deck of playing cards: Spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds.

Learning the card suit order is important so that you can play like a pro. We’ll also cover the historical card decks.

What is Card Suit Order?

What is the card suit order? The four French playing card suits that are commonly used in English-speaking countries are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.

card suit order

A suit is one of 4 categories into which the cards of a standard deck are divided. Each card has a symbol to indicate which suit it belongs to. In most cards, the suit symbol is printed in color.

The majority of card decks also have a rank for each card.

There may also be special cards that are not related to any particular suit. Each card has a rank for most decks. Some cards are not related to a suit.

What is a standard deck? 

In the Western tradition, a card deck is a set of 52 playing cards.

card suit order

There have been many types of decks that have been in use in Europe since the 14th century. All of them share these common characteristics:

  • There are only four suits in the deck: hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds.
  • The numbers indicate which cards are higher or more valuable.
  • There is no order between the suits in a deck of cards.
  • There is only one card of any given rank in any particular suit.

There are a variety of different deck types used in Europe, each with its own unique set of cards. The number of cards in each suit varies, as does the inclusion or exclusion of certain special cards known as Tarocks or Trumps.

What are trumps?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the game being played and the preferences of the players. However, in some cases, a specific suit may be considered more valuable than others.

What are special suits? 

Some games treat one or two suits differently from the rest. Spades is a simple example. It uses spades to act as a permanent trump suit.

Hearts is a point trick game where the object is to avoid tricks containing hearts.

The rules for hearts are fairly standard, but the rules can vary slightly. The queen of spades and two of clubs (sometimes also the jack of diamonds) have special effects that make all of the suits have a different strategic value.

Card suit order

Whist-style rules don’t require you to determine which card of two different suits is more valuable. A card played on a card from a different suit automatically wins or loses, depending on whether it is a trump.

In this instance, diamonds would be considered more valuable than hearts since they are worth more points.

When bidding systems are complex, bridge players have found it helpful to give names to all possible pairs of suits. There are three specific ways to split the four suits into pairs: by color, rank, and shape.

  • Bridge: Spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs (for bidding or scoring).
  • Five hundred: Hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades (for scoring and bidding).
  • Ninety-nine: Clubs, hearts, spades, diamonds.
  • Skat: Clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds (for bidding as well as determining which Jack beats which in play).
  • Big Two and Poker: Spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds (alternates by color).

Where suits don’t matter

Some games like blackjack completely ignore suits. In Canasta, only the color of the suit (red or black) is relevant. Hence, hearts and diamonds can be equivalent but not to spades and clubs.

Splitting suits in pairs

When bidding systems are complex, bridge players have found it helpful to give names to all possible pairs of suits. There are three ways to split the four suits into pairs by color, rank, and shape.

There are red and black suits for hearts and diamonds.

Major suits are shown by rank. The secondary colors are diamonds and clubs.

Diamond and spades are pointed suits while hearts and clubs are rounded suits.

If four-color decks are widely introduced, it is possible to replace the red/black distinction with pointed bottoms. Hearts and diamonds visually have sharp points downwards, while spades and clubs have blunt stems.

Adding more suits to the traditional Anglo-American card deck 

Many people have suggested expanding the Anglo-American deck to five, six, or more suits. They also proposed rules for expanded versions of popular games like rummy, hearts, bridge, and poker.

Historical card decks

Bridge was very popular from the mid to late 1930s. Austrian gamer Walther Marseille, Ph.D. came up with the idea for a fifth suit that was based on an invulnerable or “green” suit.

A book of rules for the fifth suit was published in Vienna, Austria in 1937. It was patented. A number of companies produced this fifth suit.

De La Rue from Great Britain created a Bridge deck in 1938 calledDe La Rue’s Five Suit Contract Bridge Playing Cards”. This deck featured cards that used gray-blue colored crowns, called “Royals”, as a fifth suit.

According to the rules published by Parker Brothers, credit should be given to Ammiel F. Decker for the creation of the rules in 1933. The fifth suit of “greens” was called “Blatter” or sheets.

Waddington’s of London developed a fifth suit with more detailed crowns, also known as “Royals” in 1938.

Three American decks included a green eagle as a fifth color. The deck was written by the United States Playing Card Company. There were green circles around the spikes.

The same Eagle was used by Russell playing cards but in a darker shade. The corners had no circle.

The third deck, which was published by Arrco in 1938, also used an eagle. The eagle is a powerful symbol of strength and freedom, making it the perfect choice for a deck of cards.

The Sextet Bridge deck is no longer in print. The United States Playing Card Company manufactured it. There are six suits, two red, two black, and two blue.

Parker Brothers designed a fifth-suit bridge deck called “Castle Bridge” in 1938. The fifth suit of Castles looked similar to a Rook in chess and was colored green. You can still find the rules on the Hasbro website.

You can find several of these out-of-print decks through online auctions.

Poker-sized Five Star Playing Cards were previously manufactured by Five Star Games. It featured a gold-colored fifth suit with five pointed stars. The court cards look almost identical to the Gemaco Five Star deck.

“Tripoley Wild” is a game that has a fifth suit and wilds that are from all four standard suits on a card. The deck is a part of a game box.

The input consists of five decks of playing cards, each with a different suit. The fifth suit features a complex pattern with colored circles in pentagrams with four traditional suits in a four-color pattern.

In 1895, Hiram Jones created International Playing Cards. A red color with crosses and a black color with bullets were added. Over the years, many card manufacturers tried other things.

They were experimenting with changing the colors of their cards. Civil War-era decks of cards, which were not very successful, are now being reprinted. Two new blue suits are Rackets and Wheels. The wheels are made from the design of a ship’s steering wheel and the racquets are crossed.

The Empire Deck is also out of print. It featured three red suits and three black suits. The Empire Deck introduced anchors in black and crowns in red like in the dice game Crown and Anchor.

Commercial card decks

card suit order

Stardeck is a commercially available five-suit poker deck that introduces “Stars” a fifth suit. Depending on the game, this fifth suit can be either red or black.

Don’t Quote Me is a five-suit deck that has single quotes. The cards are made of paper.

Five Crowns is a five-suit deck with stars and no revocation suits. There are no deuces in the deck.

The Deck of Shields has five suits. The fifth row of “shields” is blue.

Suit-and-value decks

Many games are based on a deck that has each card having a value and a suite (usually represented by a color). There is only one card for each value, but in many cases, there are several special cards.

Some examples include Mu and More, Lost Cities, Taunt, Rage, Schotten Totten, UNO, Oh-No!, and Skip-Bo.

More suited card decks

In the game Taj Mahal, each player is dealt a hand of cards with one of four different background colors. In a single round, all cards played by a player must be of the same color. The deck contains approximately the same number of cards in each color.

Players choose their color based on the contents of their hands.

Roodles, a card game published in the United States by A.J.Patterson and Flinch Card Co., is simple, instructive, and scientific. The deck contains 14 cards from each of the four suits: wishbones, horseshoes, shamrocks, and swastikas. On the card, the Joker was identified as “Roodles”.

These suits are all printed in black.

The Bottle Imp is a trick-taking card game in which players must follow the suit lead. If they are void in a suit, they can play any other card. The highest card of the other suit will win the trick.

There is also one suit with mostly low cards while the other has high cards.

The deck of cards is a special one. Traditional decks have suit and rank as classifications, but each card in a set deck has four classifications, each into one of three categories, for a total of 81 cards.

The classifications are not very helpful in terms of game structure.

Fictional decks

Many people have created decks that are not intended to be played seriously. The Double Fanucci deck is a Zork deck. It has fifteen suits, including the names Mazes, Books, Rain, Inkblots. Scythes, Plungers, Time, Lamps, Hives, Ears, and Zurfs.

The Cripple Mr.Onion deck consists of eight suits. It combines the traditional Anglo-American French suits and the traditional Latin suited suits.

The Discordian deck, which is a parody from the Tarot decks, has five suits that correspond to Discordian elements.

The Star Wars universe card game of Sabacc has suits of Staves, Flasks, and Coins. Cards are ranked from one to fifteen, plus two of the eight cards that have no suit.


When playing poker games, the card suit order is one of several categories that playing cards can be divided. Most often, each card has one of several symbols indicating to which suit it belongs; the suit may alternatively or in addition be indicated by the color printed on the card.