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All hail the Queen! It’s a well-known saying, and queens have been revered and respected ladies of the monarchy for centuries. Perhaps the most popular queens of history are not those who ruled the physical lands, but those who rule in a deck of playing cards.
Do the Queens represent real figures?
After being introduced to the deck in the 1300s, the Queens took on personas of historical or mythical women in the 1700s.
The Queen of Spades Personality
The Queen of Spades was nicknamed Pallas Athena, the Greek Goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and warfare. She is powerful and authoritative, and stands next to the King of Spades as the most feared and powerful cards in the deck. Like Pallas Athena, the Queen of Spades is intelligent, independent, and incredibly resourceful.
The Queen of Spades is the ruler of the spades suit and therefore a natural leader. Fierce, determined, and talented, the Queen of Spades is not one to be trifled with.
How to Play the Queen of Spades
The Queen of Spades can often be an unlucky card, especially in Hearts and Old Maid. In the game of Hearts, the object of the game is to avoid points and not collect any tricks. The player who has the Queen of Spades during a match automatically gains 13 points which is not what they want. However, the Queen of Spades is also a powerful card to hold in this game because a player may not lead with any card in the Heart suit until the Queen of Spades has been played.
In Old Maid, a classic children’s card game, the object is to match and pair numbers. While played with a standard 52-card deck, one of the Queen cards is removed so there is one Queen left without a pair – the Old Maid. The person left holding the Old Maid loses the game. Traditionally, the Old Maid card is the Queen of Spades because she represents independence and power and may be more likely not to marry, a.k.a. the Old Maid.
The Queen of Hearts Personality
The most popular image of the Queen of Hearts to some people is the fearsome villain in Alice in Wonderland, however, the true Queen of Hearts is vastly different in personality. Associated with Judith, a biblical figure from the Old Testament, the Queen of Hearts is persuasive with charm and influence over others. The Queen of Hearts enjoys the finer things in life including art, food, and entertainment – not to mention love and family.
The Queen of Hearts leads with emotion, and therefore sometimes finds it difficult to focus and find balance between business and pleasure.
How to Play the Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts is not a great card to have when playing the card game Hearts where the object is not to collect any points, as all cards in the hearts suit are worth one point. Players want to discard all hearts, including the Queen, to avoid collecting any points.
Alternatively, the Queen of Hearts is an important card to hold in the card game Troika, another trick-taking card game in which the 5 of hearts is worth 5 points. This game is a suit-following game in which trump is selected by the highest bidder. Since the Queen of Hearts is a high-value card, it is a good card to have to collect the 5 of hearts and collect an additional 5 points.
There is also a raffle game named The Search for the Queen of Hearts where participants purchase raffle tickets and have the opportunity to select a face-down card from a board. In order to win the jackpot, a participant must flip over the Queen of Hearts at random.
The Queen of Clubs Personality
The Queen of Clubs is referred to as the “mother of higher knowledge” and is therefore associated with wisdom, law, and intuition. This Queen is the bossiest of the four, and she can be demanding and ill-tempered if not treated with the utmost respect. The leader of the Queens, she does not follow anyone else but takes charge on her own. This Queen is the only one not holding a flower in the traditional renderings.
The exact persona of this Queen is not entirely known, however the most popular theory posits that she was named Argine, an anagram for the word “regina” which is Latin for Queen. This theory certainly reinforces the Queen of Clubs’ position as the Queen of Queens.
How to Play the Queen of Clubs
The Queen of Clubs does not have a particular meaning in any card game, perhaps because she is powerful enough on her own. A high-value face card, the Queen of Clubs is a valuable card to have in any trick-taking card game, particularly one where trump can be chosen. For example, if one chooses the clubs suit to serve as trump, the Queen of Clubs is second only to the Ace and the King in order to take a trick. She is also valuable in any point-seeking game due to her high status and therefore high point-value.
The Queen of Diamonds Personality
Motivational, enthusiastic, and expressive, the Queen of Diamonds is an energetic Queen who craves new experiences. The Queen of Diamonds is creative and hard working and is able to gain wisdom from each of her new experiences. Associated with freedom, the Queen of Diamonds often goes through many different changes throughout her life including career, family, and love. She also has extravagant taste and a penchant for luxury, often depending on her King, the King of Diamonds, to fund her adventures.
The Queen of Diamonds is named after Rachel, however the exact Rachel is not entirely agreed upon. A popular theory is that she is named after Agnes Sorel, the chief mistress of King Charles VII of France, and whose pseudonym was Rachel. This would make sense as the Queen cards were first introduced in France in the 1700s. Agnes, like the Queen of Diamonds, had a strong influence on the king who often showered her with gifts and expensive jewels.
How to Play the Queen of Diamonds
Like the Queen of Clubs, the Queen of Diamonds has no particular meaning in card games other than those that feature taking tricks. As a high-value face card, she has the high probability of taking a trick and earning the player points.
The Queen of Diamonds is also an instant-win online lottery game in which participants can win a prize. The game is based on chance, and in order to win a player must select the Queen of Diamonds at random.
Ranking of the Four Queens
Based on the information gathered above, it’s clear that some Queens are more powerful than others. From least powerful to most powerful, the four Queens would be:
#4: Queen of Diamonds
The lowest rank is given to the Queen of Diamonds due to her low influence in games, and extravagant lifestyle.
#3: Queen of Hearts
While the Queen of Hearts is a valuable card in games, her emotional nature and sensuality could impact her ability to effectively reign over her kingdom.
#2: Queen of Clubs
This was a tough one. Although she is referred to as the ‘Queen of Queens’, her low value in card games cost her the number one spot. Plus, her origin is not completely known and therefore knocked her down.
#1. Queen of Spades
The number one spot goes to the fearsome ruler of the spades. Not only is she associated with the revered Pallas Athena, but she also has powerful implications in multiple card games ranging from trick-taking games to children’s games. There’s no doubt that the true Queen of Queens is the Queen of Spades, regardless what the history books say.
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