Playing Card Joker Collecting

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Playing card jokers

A collection of the best images of the joker, jester, troubadour, harlequin and clown character. Find sources for collecting "swap" playing card jokers with other collectors and find gift ideas for the joker in your life.

The history of the joker playing card is the history of the fool or jester from the middle ages in Europe. But the role of the trickster is as common as the modern late-night talk show host, or the artists of comedy and parody in ancient Greece.

Wear these jokers to your next tournament, personalize them as your business card or send a joker note card to your favorite "player". Find a selection of the best looking t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, Mardi Gras costumes and other interesting accessories for playing card games of every kind.

Buy single joker cards - "Swap" cards for collectors

eBay is the best place to start a joker collection. You can choose from a wide selection of single cards, called "swap jokers" on many different online auction websites. After you have raided all the decks of cards in your house for the joker cards, shopping on auction websites is a great way to get started with the hobby at a low cost. Bids typically start at 99¢ for swap jokers, and for "card-backs" that are sold for the image on the back of the card (animals, flowers, etc.)

You can also use eBay to see how much other people have paid for jokers. First, do a search from the eBay home page for »swap joker card«. Then, click the "completed listings" checkbox located in the column at the left side of the page. You need to login to your eBay account in order to see this very helpful option.

Playing Card Encyclopedia - Standard reference book for the hobby

The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards
The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards

Over 3,000 illustrations of playing cards and information about card makers in the Unites States.

The American Playing Cards Supplement and Price Guide, Second Edition was printed in 2004 with updated information.

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Source: author's collection

Joker Playing Card Poster
Classic European Joker Playing Card
12 x 16" poster print at

This is the first joker card that started my collection, from a deck of cards given to me at the "horn hut" in the mountains over Zermatt Switzerland. Now you can find hundreds of joker images online and connect with other collectors from around the world. Many of the cards in my collection came from a wonderful seller in Australia who sold them on eBay in lots of nine jokers.

The joker costume consists of the three pointed hat often with bells at the ends. The bells may be repeated along a scalloped edge of the jester's coat and on the tips of curly toed shoes.

The common fool wears the raggedy clothes of a peasant, a harlequin might wear the diamond-checkered pattern in bright alternating colors, and the roving troubadour is dressed in the clothes of a huntsman or traveler.

The Joker in the Batman comic books, has a very distinctive look in the TV series, graphic novels and movies.

Jesters, harlequins and troubadours

Traditional court jester

The traditional court jester appears during the middle ages in Europe, Asia and Persia. Playing cards were popular in Europe by the early 1400s with "court cards" featuring pictures of notable Kings and other royalty. But the first deck of cards with jokers was printed many years later, about the year 1870 for the game of euchre.

Do you collect jokers?

Joker Collectors

  • I'm just getting started
  • Yes, I have a pretty good collection (how many cards?)
  • The images are cool, but I don't keep the jokers
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The Jolly Joker

A troubadour with the three pointed cap playing a horn. This particular symbol is part of insignia for the Shriners, a group associated with the Freemasons, and driving around in little cars on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Buy this jester on a t-shirt or the ROJ MUGS.

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Plastic Joker Black t-shirt

Another classic joker card that come two to a pack in a standard deck of playing cards.

Playing Card Games Poll - Joker lover or wild card?

Are you a joker or a card player?

  • Collecting joker playing cards is my hobby
  • Only when there's one card missing in the deck
  • I wear the joker when I roll. Tattoos, patches, fuzzy dice.
  • Wild cards - I'm a player
  • They're just sitting in the box right now
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Origin of the Joker Card

More in this Series

Recommended Hubs

What do you think of these jokers? - Tell us your wishlist for other joker gifts 14 comments

TapIn2U profile image

TapIn2U 4 years ago

I'm not a good card player but I have always been fascinated watching people play. You have some very artistic joker designs here and I enjoyed watching the videos, too. Great job on this lens! Sundae ;-)

FanfrelucheHubs profile image

FanfrelucheHubs 4 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

From time to time I find cheap vintage playing card deck in attic sale and resell the jokers on eBay. There is a real collector market indeed. I didn't get rich from that, but it makes some little pocket change. I understand collector's love for them, they are fun and whimsical.

Timewarp profile image

Timewarp 3 years ago from Montreal

Cool artwork and info, blessed this lens!

jimmyworldstar 3 years ago

I like that first picture and black and white pictures of jesters. Is there an explanation why they wear their costume and have the three pointed hat with bells?

Ilonagarden profile image

Ilonagarden 3 years ago from Ohio Level 1 Commenter

I find myself fascinated by jokers!

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 3 years ago

The Fool in Tarot is very important to me, i think of him as a type of Jester.

anonymous 3 years ago

Was here a while back and you sure have developed this gem....playing the angel card today...and I'm not a joker!

DeniseAlvarado profile image

DeniseAlvarado 3 years ago from Southwest


anonymous 3 years ago

I love these jokers and what a great idea for a lens!

KarenCookieJar 3 years ago

I wish you could do more with jokers in actual card games. I've never played one that actually uses the joker cards!

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 19 months ago

Lovely lens! The fool is my symbol. :)

dotpattern profile image

dotpattern 19 months ago from West Village, New York City Hub Author

@Gypzeerose: Thanks bloomingrose! Is that the tarot card or the playing card joker?

Nikki 9 months ago

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you dsegin this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?Plz reply as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

Open 9 months ago

Your ponstig lays bare the truth

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