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Each suit contained ten pip cards and three court cards, called malik (king), nā'ib malik (viceroy or deputy king), and thānī nā'ib (second or under-deputy).The thānī nā'ib is a non-existent title so it may not have been in the earliest versions; without this rank, the Mamluk suits would structurally be the same as a Ganjifa suit.They are dated to the 12th and 13th centuries (late Fatimid, Ayyubid, and early Mamluk periods).The Topkapı pack originally contained 52 cards comprising four suits: polo-sticks, coins, swords, and cups.

Packs of 56 cards containing in each suit a King, Queen, Knight, and Knave (as in tarot) were once common in the 15th century.As cards spread from Italy to Germanic countries, the Latin suits were replaced with the suits of Leaves (or Shields), Hearts (or Roses), Bells, and Acorns, and a combination of Latin and Germanic suit pictures and names resulted in the French suits of This may account for why the English called the clovers "clubs" and the pikes "spades".In the late 14th century, Europeans changed the Mamluk court cards to represent European royalty and attendants.The two latter suits had Water Margin characters instead of pips on them Despite the wide variety of patterns, the suits show a uniformity of structure.Every suit contains twelve cards with the top two usually being the court cards of king and vizier and the bottom ten being pip cards.

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