The first deck of playing cards appeared as early as the 9th century, in Ancient China.

Since then, playing cards have been used for card games, magic tricks, solitaire games, and supposedly divination.

There is something so fascinating and mysterious about playing cards. Their history, their design, stories about card players and magicians.

Life itself could often be described as a deck of cards, or as a game in which you don’t always choose the cards you are dealt.

Here is a collection of 32 quotes about playing cards — including funny ones.

If you’d like to add your own quote, please do so by leaving a comment at the end of this page.

Best playing cards quotes

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.


Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well.

Josh Billings

Life is like a game of cards. Reliability is the ace, industry the king, politeness the queen, thrift the jack. And every day, as the game proceeds, you will find the ace, king, queen, jack in your hand, and an opportunity to use them.

Edgar Watson Howe

Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but, sometimes, playing a poor hand well.

Jack London

You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding. And my dear one, you and I have been granted a mighty generous one.

Cheryl Strayed

The cards always look different when it’s your turn to play them: loaded with subtly different possibilities.

Alastair Reynolds

Destiny plays its cards in a way that no one can comprehend.

Anurag Shourie

Inspiring playing cards quotes

God does not play dice with the universe. He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other player, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won’t tell you the rules and who smiles all the time.

Terry Pratchett

The key to success is playing the hand you were dealt like it was the hand you wanted.

Kaitlyn Walsh

A great social success is a pretty girl who plays her cards as carefully as if she were plain.

Francis Scott Fitzgerald

We draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first card and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made will shape our lives.

Amor Towles

Fate is the cards you were given when you were born. Destiny is what you do with them.

Gina E. Jones

One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.

Oscar Wilde

Cards are a means of bridging differences in age and habits, drawing children and parents, old and new friends together in fair and friendly competition.

Florence Osborn

One has a stronger hand when there’s more people playing your same cards.

George W. Bush

We cannot change the hand we are dealt, just how we play the game.

Randy Pausch

God deals us all different hands. How we play them is up to us.

Jeannette Walls

Has fortune dealt you some bad cards? Then let wisdom make you a good gamester.

Francis Quarles

Funny playing cards quotes

Just when you think you’re playing your cards right, God shuffles the deck.

Mark Sheppard

They say poker is a zero-sum game. It must be, because every time I play my sum ends up zero.

Max Shapiro

Cards are like living, breathing beings, and should be treated as such.

Dai Vernon

Trust everybody, but always cut the cards.

Finley Peter Dunne

Playing cards have the ability to cloud men’s minds, or to dominate them.

Ricky Jay

Marriage is a lot like playing cards. In the beginning, all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you’ll wish you had a club and a spade.


Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator.

Daniel Handler

Poker is a combination of luck and skill. People think mastering the skill part is hard, but they’re wrong — the trick to poker is mastering luck.

Jesse May

Playing cards quotes by Doyle Brunson

Doyle is a true poker legend. Not only did he play the game professionally for over fifty years — he was one of the very first players who actually studied poker.

He mastered the game very quickly and realized he could have a big advantage over his opponents, not just because of technical knowledge but also by being a psychologist.

In 1979 he wrote and published Super System, one of the very first books about poker strategy. As shown on the Hendon Mob, as of 2021 his live poker tournament earnings exceed $6 million.

Here are some of his greatest quotes and citations. To see the full list of his quotes, you check out this page.

It’s not the cards that you have that make you a winner or a loser.

Show me your eyes and you may as well show me your cards.

Everyone gets lucky once in a while, but no one is consistently lucky.

You don’t stop playing because you get old; you get old because you stop playing.

Some poker players drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.

When luck shuts the door, you gotta go in through the window.

Can you think of other quotes?

Thanks for visiting this page! Can you think of other playing cards quotes? Are there any playing cards quotes you absolutely love?

If so, please leave a comment below and share them with us 👇