10 Nicknames for Ace Cards




Simply because of its resemblance to the fruit- and nothing to do with the ubiquitous, allegedly “must-have” mobile handset of those who still have jobs in City Trading.






Puppy Foot


Originated in America in the early 1900’s, based on the resemblance of the club single image to the underside or footprint of a small dog. As you can see from this- there’s something wrong with the number of claws on the paw!





The Death Card


Also known as the Spadille, it is generally considered to be the highest value card in the deck. An unpleasant practice grew up in 1967 during the Vietnam Way, when some US soldiers were filmed putting the Ace of Spades in the mouths of killed Vietcong  NVA/NLFsoldiers. There was no evidence that this practice caused fear and loathing in the Vietnamese, although it was reputed to have raised the morale of US soldiers. Some US soldiers tucked the card into the webbing of their helmets, as a macho symbol and as an anti-peace movement gesture.

More recently, in 2003 a deck of most-wanted Iraqi playing cards issued to US soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom, each card had the picture of a wanted Iraqi official on it. Saddam Hussein got the nickname “Ace of Spades” as his was the face which adorned that card.






The Tax Card


The spade design arose from England in the 1600s, when James I (Originally King of Scotland, and successor to Queen Elizabeth I who left no heir) and later Queen Anne, imposed laws requiring the Ace of Spades to bear an insignia of the printing house. A stamp duty (tax) was extended to playing cards in 1711 by Queen Anne and lasted until 1960.


European governments also placed heavy taxes on packs of cards. A deck could not be sold unless it had an official tax stamp, which showed that the duty had already been paid. Playing card manufacturers placed the tax stamp onto the ace of spades, the highest available card in a deck.


Even after the tax stamps were no longer used, the manufacturers continued to design the ace of spades larger and different from the other cards because players had become use to the large size of the highest ranking card. Besides the poker cards, the ace of spades are the most selected playing cards of collectors. The tradition has carried on until today and the ace of spades usually has a different design from the rest of the deck along with the name of the manufacturer.




Pig’s Eye


This was originally an expression the card game Bridge for the Ace of Diamonds. Most people to think it’s just a reference to the fact that pigs have notoriously small eyes for the size of their heads!




The Death Card


I hear you say “What?? Surely we’ve already had that- the Ace of Spades!”. But if you were in the Cosa Nostra you’d know that the Ace of Diamonds was the Mafia’s calling card for death. How come?


By 1930 an out-and-out war had erupted between the most powerful Mafia chieftains: Masseria and Maranzano, representing Sicilians from eastern and western regions of Sicily, respectively. Under Masseria was his underboss, Lucky Luciano, as well as other well-known gansters; Vito Genovese, Frank Costello, Joe Adonis, Albert Anastasia, Carlo Gambino and Willie Moretti. With Maranzano were Joe Profaci, and Joseph Bonnano. Luciano reached a secret agreement with Maranzano to end the war by killing Masseria.


Luciano invited his boss Masseria (see photo)  to share a bounteous and succulent afternoon meal at a Coney Island restaurant. Masseria regarded Luciano like a son so he didn’t bother to bring his bodyguards. After the meal they began playing cards. At one point Luciano made a trip to the washroom. Several gunmen— entered the restaurant and blasted the life out of Masseria. When Luciano returned, he found Masseria clutching an Ace of Diamonds; which thereafter became a Mafia symbol of death).








American Airlines


Two aces- AA= American Airlines.




Exxon Valdez


The big 1989 oil spill. Since if you go swimming in it you get a lot of black in your eyes! This is especially true if the person throwing down the big Exxon Valdez is semi drunk and playing erratically as the captain was charged with being impaired at the time of the accident! Also works with Ace and King in these two suits.




Joe Louis





Because if you go into the ring with Joe Louis you will come out with two black eyes!






Visine is a brand of eye drops produced by Johnson & Johnson who acquired Visine, along with Pfizer’s entire consumer healthcare portfolio, in December 2006. The advert for Visine says “Gets the red out”.

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