Card games that use the standard 52-card deck have remained consistently popular through the decades. In 2020, the card game market generated an estimated total revenue of $5.6 billion –– and experts predict that said market’s revenue will grow to $6.8 billion by 2026. It appears to be the case that card games’ status as classics dictates that they’ll never truly go away (and will in fact only get more popular).
One of the most popular card games of all time, as you’re likely well aware, is poker. A staple in casinos, on cruises, and in basements and bars around the world, poker is popular for its exciting, high-stakes gameplay. And with its rich history, complex mechanics, and recognizable visual symbols, poker can also be a great source of tattoo inspiration. In this post, we’ll go over a brief history of poker, then touch upon a few different poker ideas you can try out as ink.
Card games have been around since the 1300s. However, no references to the game of poker appeared until the early 1800s. One of the earliest versions of poker was poque, a card game that was often played in French American territories, such as Louisiana. It later became a favorite among soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and spread to Europe when the U.S. Minister to Great Britain, Colonel Jacob Schenck, explained the rules to the British Court –– even printing a private rulebook for Queen Victoria.
Many years later, the 20th century saw the introduction of the hole-card camera, an invention that enabled television viewers to see each player’s face-down cards. This made it easier to televise poker tournaments. In 1970, poker icon Benny Binion established the World Series of Poker, an exclusive tournament reserved for the best poker players in the world. The WSOP became an annual event, and helped to catapult the popularity of poker worldwide.
Poker Tattoo Ideas
Because poker is a highly competitive game, poker tattoos often represent success, power, good fortune, and ambition. You can also draw more meanings from the different elements of poker, such as specific hands, card suits, individual cards, and even poker chips. With all of that in mind, we’ve listed a few interesting poker tattoo ideas below:
Poker is all about getting the best hand. Naturally there are lots of different card combinations poker players can make, but according to standard poker hand rankings, the strongest five-card hand is the royal flush. Composed of an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suit, the royal flush is the rarest possible card combination in poker. A royal flush tattoo can symbolize success, victory, and power.
Card Suit Symbols
If you want something more minimalist, you can go for a tattoo of your favorite card suits. Each card suit carries a different meaning. Spades, which are the highest-ranked card suit in poker, can sometimes represent justice and destiny. Diamonds rank second, and represent courage and energy. Hearts naturally represent love, but can also symbolize youth or family. Clubs, the lowest ranking suit, can stand for wealth and maturity.
Another subtle poker tattoo design you can consider is a single poker chip. Poker chips are often used in casinos to represent players’ cash in games. Poker players use chips to bet, and thus demonstrate confidence in their hands (or bluffing ability, of course). Thus, having a poker chip tattoo can represent a dedication to victory. Not to mention it can take on a number of different specific designs, which gives you some ability to be creative with the look of the tattoo.
Your Favorite Card
There are fifty-two cards in a single poker deck. Among them, there might be a card that carries personal meaning –– be it a lucky number, or your favorite face card. The queen of hearts card is particularly popular with women since it can represent femininity, power, and love all at once. Another popular tattoo option is the ace of spades, which is the most powerful card in the deck (at least in poker and many other games).
The game of poker provides a wealth of different tattoo ideas. Whatever you choose, make sure you understand what getting a tattoo entails. And to ensure the best results, select an artist with the right tattooist license. Then, follow the right steps for tattoo care to keep your tattoo looking fresh for the long term.