- This deck is the Sarde. It is from the Spanish regional style of Italian playing cards. The Size of the Deck is 3 1/2" x 2". Although played throughout Italy, it is most commonly played in the Sardinia region.
This deck of cards is an authentic deck of Italian playing cards. Italian playing cards most commonly consist of 40 cards (4 suits from 1-7 and 3 face cards). The three face cards in each deck are the King, Cavallo (calvary man) and Fante (Infantry Man), except in the French region which uses a Queen instead of a Cavallo.
Italian playing cards first appeared in the late 14th century when each region within Italy was a separately ruled province. There is no official pattern for the country of Italy and each region uses its own type of playing cards. In fact, there are 16 accepted patterns of Italian playing cards divided into 4 Regional styles: Northern Italian, French, Spanish, and German.
The Spanish style decks are primarily used in the southern half of the country including the island of Sicily. They feature the Spanish style suits of coins, cups, swords and batons (also known as clubs). There are 40 cards in each deck. This regional style features a full range of colors. The images are full with ornate details and the use of shading gives the playing cards a life like appearance. The actual card sizes tend to be wider than the northern Italian cards, but are still a little smaller than their US counterparts.