Cards, gambling, and literature, with particular reference to the Eighteenth Century
Originating probably in China, playing cards are first mentioned in Europe towards the end of the Fourteenth Century. The earliest records in Spain (1371) and Switzerland (1377) are followed by a number of others in the 1380s, particularly in Florence, Paris and Regensburg. As references to cards frequently appear in laws and acts against gambling, the importance of card games and the diffusion they had reached can easily be understood.
From the Continent, cards were introduced into England towards the beginning of the Fifteenth Century. The English denomination of spades and clubs, employing the original Spanish or Italian terms …
Carraro, Laura Favero. "Gambling and literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=456, accessed 20 January 2017.]