What are ‘Picture Cards’?
In any standard 52 card pack, there are twelve picture cards (14 when the jokers are included). These picture cards are the jacks, queens and kings of each suit. The cards are also known as ‘royal cards’ or ‘court cards’ because they represent members of the royal court. Picture cards usually feature intricate designs including a portrait of the character and a letter representing the card’s value.
‘Picture Cards’ Explained
‘Picture cards’ are the most desirable cards to hold in most games, because they carry the most value. The picture cards of a pack are usually the jacks, queens and kings of every suit – making a total of twelve. Sometimes the aces are included in the picture card set, although these are more usually listed with the number cards. If aces are included it is because the value of an ace is sometimes higher than the king, and an ace is part of the royal flush hand which usually beats all others. Jokers are also sometimes classed as picture cards because they also feature a character from the royal court: the jester.
Picture cards outrank all number cards between 2 and 10 in terms of poker hands unless the game is reversed to lowball rules. Ace beats a picture card, however. In blackjack, all picture cards have a value of ten. Pairs of picture cards are some of the best opening cards to hold in stud poker, with the chance of bettering the hand at the draw or the flop, and a strong chance of winning off the pair itself anyway. Picture cards are also among the highest possible draws at the start of a round, or when drawing for seats and places in a game, so they are very desirable to find at any stage of a poker game.