What is a Face Card in a Deck of Cards? [Face Card Meaning]

What is a face card in a deck of cards?
What is a face card in a deck of cards?

You may have heard the term “face cards” used before concerning certain types of cards in a deck of 52 cards.  If you were wondering what a face card is, I’ll answer that as well as other related questions in this post.

What is a Face Card in a Deck of Cards?

In a deck of 52 cards, there are two types of card values.  These are the number cards (or non-face cards) and the face cards (also called royalty cards or court cards).

There are 4 suits in a deck of cards, and each of these suits has one of each of 13 different value cards, which go from Ace to King.  Those value cards are

  • Ace
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Jack
  • Queen
  • King

The first ten cards are all number cards, with the Ace representing the number 1 in a deck.  The face cards are the cards that take the place of the 11, 12, and 13th cards of the value cards.  That is, instead of 11, 12, and 13 cards, instead those cards are represented by a Jack, Queen and King, respectively.

So, the face cards in a deck of cards are the:

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  • Jack
  • Queen
  • King

Why are they Called Face Cards?

The Jack, Queen and King of each suit are called face cards because each of them has a picture of a royal person, with a face.  This is in contrast to the non-face cards, which are all number cards and only have pips on them (pips are the small images of each suit).

See also  How Many Cards are in a Deck Without Jokers?

They can also be called royalty cards or court cards since the Jacks, Queens and Kings represent royalty.

How Many Face Cards are in a Deck?

There are 12 face cards in a deck of 52 cards.  This is because there are 4 suits, the Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades.  And there are 3 face cards, the Jack, Queen and King.  Each suit gets one of each face card.

So, this means that each of the 4 suits has 3 face cards in them.  This means that 4×3 gives us 12 total face cards in a deck.

See How Many Face Cards are in a Deck of 52 Cards?

What are All the Face Cards in a Deck of Cards?

In a deck of cards, the 12 face cards are the:

  1. Jack of Hearts
  2. Queen of Hearts
  3. King of Hearts
  4. Jack of Diamonds
  5. Queen of Diamonds
  6. King of Diamonds
  7. Jack of Spades
  8. Queen of Spades
  9. King of Spades
  10. Jack of Clubs
  11. Queen of Clubs
  12. King of Clubs

Is the Ace a Face Card?

No, the Ace is not a face card.  The Ace is actually a number card and takes the place of the number 1 in a deck of cards.  This is still represented by the Ace card having exactly 1 pip on the middle of the card.  (Every number card has the number of pips it represents in the middle).

The face cards all have pictures of people on them, each with a face, hence the name “face cards”.  The Ace is not one of these cards.