The Eight of Spades

IMG_0314In my Christmas stocking on Christmas Day’s morning, I found a box of playing cards, ‘The Famous Sporting Britain Illustrated Playing Cards’ to be exact (produced by Heritage Playing Card Company). It was with eager hands I opened the little box to see how many different illustrations there would be showing a rowing scene. I expected to find an image each for the Henley Royal Regatta, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, the Wingfield Sculls, the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race and the World Professional Sculling Championships – all being good representatives of British Rowing. To my dismay, I found only one card with rowing! Far down in the pack of cards, as an eight of spades, was the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race with an illustration from 1872 by Gustave Dore.

IMG_0327The description of the sport read: ‘Rowing is probably one of the oldest spots in the world – developing out of the “need for speed” of human-powered boats both as means of transport and as vessels of warfare.’ (Actually the word ‘developing’ was spelled ‘dveloping’.)

Among odd British sports, I think, in the pack are Baseball, Hopscotch, Marbles, Rat Baiting and Trapball.

The two Jokers are Dancing and Sack Race.


  1. Eight is a sign of infinity, and the two circles joined represent man and God joining together. Eight also represents great karmic balance of power. For some Eight is associated with wealth. Also, In the metaphysical cards of life, all cards with an Eight exude power, but the Eight of Spades is the “Eight of the Eights”, much like a rowing Eight if considered the fastest and strongest boat.  Strong-willed and determined, this Eight can move mountains if it suits them. So Goran, there may only one rowing card in the deck but it is probably a very apt one, Louis Petrin

    • Dear Louis ~ thank you for setting me straight on the Eight of Spades. I am not much of a card player (obviously), so this was useful information for me, and other ‘non-card sharks’. Cheers, Göran

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