Playing Cards Bring About A Wide Array Of Benefits and Help Improve Brain Skills
Playing cards are often played for fun with a touch of gambling, but there is more to it than meets the eye. When playing for entertainment, the educational benefits of playing card games like Spades are some of the best you can get, all while developing thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.
If you have not played Poker or BlackJack in a long time, maybe it’s time that you’d reconsider. Of course, you don’t have to sit all day long doing nothing but play cards; just an hour or two with your buddies (or your family) will do to acquire the benefits. But before discussing the wonderful perks brought about by playing cards, let’s take a brief look at its rich and exciting history.
History of the Playing Cards
The playing cards is a Chinese invention. Su E, a Tang Dynasty writer, made the first mention of a card game when he described Princess Tongchang (the daughter of Tang Emperor Yizong) playing the “leaf game” with members of the Wei clan.
Ouyang Xiu, a scholar that lived during the Song Dynasty, claimed that playing cards and card games emerged at least since the mid-Tang Dynasty (from 618 to 907) and linked their invention to the concurrent development of using sheets of paper as a writing medium. Before then, the most common mode of writing was using paper rolls.
Playing cards first appeared in Europe in the 1370s, most likely in Italy or Spain, and almost assuredly as imports or valuables of merchants from Egypt’s Islamic Mamluk dynasty. The first European cards, like their originals, were hand-painted, making them a luxury item for the wealthy. King Charles VI of France was said to have paid 56 sol Parisien, or equivalent to 252 grams of gold, for a hand-painted deck. That’s equivalent to almost $15,000 in today’s monetary value!
The modern deck of cards has also undergone a pretty radical transformation. In fact, there is nothing “normal” and traditional about the Bicycle cards you probably have in your home. Our current playing cards morphed into a deck of 52 with four suits in red and black and two Jokers over hundreds of years and across many countries.
Indeed, the most important aspects that defined today’s deck were created by the amalgam of culture and people that playing cards passed through on their way to what it is today.
Astounding Benefits of Playing Card Games
Most people view card games as something that breaks the ice and possibly a vehicle of fun and learning. You yourself probably have not given it much thought, but there are actually a great deal of advantages in playing card games.
Consider some of them:
- Improves Ability to Handle and Evaluate Emotions
Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to notice, control, and assess emotions. Some suggest that it is an inborn skill, but the truth is that it can be learned, developed, and improved. Of course, some people may be instinctively good at certain aspects of emotional intelligence, the same way that a person may be good at math and another in linguistics. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that it can be acquired, and therefore, can be enhanced.
According to studies, challenging scenarios that repeatedly play out in card games put your emotional intelligence to the test. You’d end up being better at controlling your emotions while avoiding being too high or too low. Overall, emotional intelligence is a tremendous skill that enables us to discover how to better communicate with the people in our lives while getting a better hold of our emotions.
- Improves Social Relationships and Strengthens Bond Between Friends and Family
Online relationships are a need nowadays, but living solely in the virtual world could lead to bouts of depression and other mental health problems. The answer is to create relationships with real people using real, human-like interaction.
Card games are an excellent way to break the ice in a gathering of people where a conversation could otherwise be uncomfortable, unpleasant, or stiff. A game of cards can relieve the burden of trying to make conversation and gives a focal point for timid and awkward people. It’s far easier to talk about a game you’re both playing than it is to come up with a fascinating conversation. That’s how card games make it easier for anyone to have improved social skills.
Furthermore, card games allow more bonding time for families. It will enable each family member to get to know one another better while providing an opportunity for family members to have fun and laugh together. This way, each has a chance to put each member’s fine qualities into focus. There aren’t many family conflicts that can’t be resolved with some bonding time.
- Teaches Everyone To Be Positive
Have you ever played card games and lost five, six, or seven times in a row? Losing is never a good feeling, but the reality is that we all fall down many times in our lives. We have experienced rejections and failures, but one thing that we can do is just keep fighting. When playing cards, everyone quickly learns it’s more about celebrating the small joys and others’ successes over our own.
- Excellent Way to Calm Down and Relax
After a long day, you’d only want to sit and relax. But nowadays, it’s all about skimming through Facebook or Instagram feeds. Does it truly help you relax and find peace? The answer is, of course, NO. In fact, it makes anxiety worse! All social media does is incite obsession. On the other hand, playing a card game can help you relax.
When playing a card game, you’re focused on the rules, the cards in your hand, and what the other players are doing. You don’t hear your boss yelling at you or your co-worker complaining about how small the pay is. The bottom line is that playing cards leave no room for other troubles, even for a couple of hours. In this sense, playing cards can give a good distraction from your daily concerns and a very effective way to calm down and relax.
- Augments Cognitive Skills
Cognitive skills are the fundamental abilities that your brain uses to think, read, learn, recall, reason, and pay attention. They collaborate to move incoming information into the knowledge bank you use daily at school, work, and in life. Cognitive skills are important to survival and must be enhanced at every opportunity.
What better way to improve those skills than during childhood! Card games are simple enough to introduce to kids; in return, they can boost cognitive skills like memory retention, spatial awareness, and pattern recognition.
Playing cards have existed for over 1,500 years, gained popularity over millennia, and still show no signs of slowing down. While most people play Solitaire, Gin Rummy, or Blackjack simply to socialize and pass the time, card games are proven to improve a diverse set of mental abilities. It is also an excellent way to relax, ease the mind of tension, and cut out everyday anxieties.
Unfortunately, playing card games now takes a back seat to digital entertainment. Still, if you exchange your game apps for a standard deck, even for a few hours, the advantages are as substantial as they have always been.