Ace Cards [How Many in a Deck, History, and Value]

A standard deck contains 52 cards with four ace cards. Each suit; diamond, hearts, clubs, and spades, has its individual ace. This means that there are a total of four ace cards in a standard deck of cards.

In a deck of playing cards, the highest value is given to the ace cards. They can also have the lowest value depending on the card game.

A full deck of cards has four ace cards. Therefore, since there are four suits in a deck of cards, each suit has an ace card. In other words, there is an ace spade, ace heart, ace club, and ace diamond.

An ace card is not a face card because there is no face or person pictured on it. The King, Queen, and Jack are considered the face cards since they depict a King, a Queen, and a Jack on its face. All cards in a deck of cards do not depict a person on their backs.

Read on to learn more about ace cards, their characteristics, a bit of their history, and other trivia that you may not know about them.

What Are Ace Cards?

ace cards

Ace cards can either have the highest or lowest value in a deck of playing cards, depending on the game being played. Each suit has an Ace; therefore, there are a total of four aces cards-ace a heart, spade, club, and diamond.

Ace cards are playing cards that are part of the standard deck of cards. The ace cards in a standard French deck have a single suit symbol such as the club, spade, diamond, and heart.

The symbol is located in the middle of the card. Sometimes the symbol is large and with ornaments just like the one in the ace of spades.

The ace card has the highest value in a card deck. A full deck of cards has four aces. There is an ace card for the club, diamond, spade, and heart suits. Ace cards are not considered face cards because they don’t bear the image of a person. Face cards are those that depict the King, Queen, and Jack.

The Standard Deck of Cards

There are 52 weeks in a year and 52 cards in a deck. We have four seasons per year and four suits in a deck. Adding all the face values of a deck of cards, including the Joker, you will get the sum of 365 1/4. So this number represents the total days in a year.

A common or standard deck of cards has a total of 52 cards. There are four suits in a deck of cards. Each of these suits is composed of 13 cards. There is an ace card in every suit.

How many aces are in a deck of cards? Since there are four suits in a deck of cards and an ace in every suit, there should be a total of four ace cards in a deck.

The four suits that constitute a deck of cards are Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades.

How many aces of hearts are in a deck of cards? There is one ace of heart in the Heart suit.

How many aces of clubs are in a deck of cards? There is also just one ace of clubs in the Club suit.

How many aces of diamonds are in a deck of cards? There is just one ace of diamonds in a Diamond suit.

How many aces of spades are in a deck of cards? There is only one ace of diamonds in the Diamond suit.

A Brief History of Ace Cards

The word ‘ace’ was taken from an old French word ‘as,’ which was also taken from the Latin ‘as.’ This word means ‘a unit,’ which is how the Romans called their small coins. The original word refers to one side of a die that has only one pip or black dot.

It had the lowest roll of the die with only one pip and became associated with bad luck during the Middle English period, which started in 1066 up to the end of the 15th century.

This term was later associated with playing cards. But in a deck of cards, the ace was regarded as the highest playing card.

Ace of Spades Cards

Of all the ace playing cards, the ace of spades is the most decorated. The ace of spades acquired a special status during King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England.

These two nobles required that the printing house symbol that made them be printed on the ace of spades.

The emblem was required to identify the printing house. It also meant that the new stamp tax was paid if the spades’ ace had the symbol printed on its face.

In 1960, this requirement was no longer enforced, but most playing card makers continued the tradition. In other countries, the stamp and decorations are commonly found on ace cards.

They usually print the symbols in hearts, diamonds, and clubs because they have more blank spaces.

Value of Ace Cards

In general, ace cards are not number or face cards. They are considered just ace and may have different rules associated with them depending on the game the cards are being used. For instance, all cards have a face value except for the Jack, Queen, and King. All counted as 10.

An ace card can have a value of 11 unless it would give the dealer or a player a score that exceeds 21. In such a case, the ace will be given a value of 1. In other words, an ace can be lower or higher by 1 count to the King, Queen, and Jack, depending on the card gameplay.

Trappola Game

The ace started with a higher value than the King when the Trappola game was invented.

Additionally, in ace-ten games such as Sixty-six, Pinochle, and Brusquembille, the ace dragged the 10 along to the top, making its ranking as A-10-K. In the 17th century, they were still making “King high” card games such as Cribbage.


In the game of poker, hand ranking is the most fundamental concern. Players form called hands or a set of five playing cards. Every hand has a rank. They are compared against the rank of other hands involved in the game to determine who will be the winner.

Then, the cards are ranked from high to low starting from:

  • 2-10
  • Jack
  • Queen
  • King
  • Ace

An ace can be the highest card, but it can also be the lowest card when completing a straight.

Cards are typically compared using their ranks and then by suit. For instance, if you use the ‘reverse alphabetical order’ ranking, the ace of clubs will rank higher than any king. However, it is still lower than the ace of a diamond.

The ace card is marked A and has a numerical value of 1. In card games played where one rank is higher than the other, the ace has the highest value. It can outrank even the King. However, in games played using the numerical value, the ace is commonly counted only as 1.

How the Value of Ace Was Promoted?

The modern usage of ‘ace high’ has developed gradually. Before they became popular in Europe, card games were available in suits with reverse rankings. In the Chinese card game Madiao, the suit of coins was inverted. The highest in this suit is the 1 of Coins.

In India, Persia, and Arabia, the Ganjifa card games were played. The pip cards of one-half of the suit were reversed. This made the 1 card ranked just below the lowest card. This convention was brought and accepted by the Europeans in their Trionfi, Maw, and Ombre card games.

As time went on, the rankings became more progressive. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Trappola card game introduced the ace as the suit’s highest card. In the 17th century, “King High” games such as Cribbage were still being played.

Eventually, many games were developed, such as blackjack and poker, which allowed the players to select the ace card’s value. They started giving it a high or low value depending on the game being played.

Highest Valued Ace Card

In a deck of playing cards, the highest valued ace card in the deck is the Ace of Spades. The actual value of this card depends on the card game being played. It varies from game to game.

You can also see the high regard given to this card by its ornate design. These design embellishments sprang from the 17th century during James I. This potentate decreed that the ace of spades should bear the insignia of the printer of the card.

This idea of Stamp Duty was imported and enforced by Charles I in England. This persisted up until 1960. In 1711, Queen Anne extended this ruling to playing cards. This ruling lasted up until 1960.

A particular ace of spades cards became very valuable in 2003. At that time, the U.S. military issued Iraqi playing cards to U.S. soldiers participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. These decks of cards became the most-wanted playing cards during those times.

The ace of spades in those decks of cards bore the image or picture of Saddam Hussein. This fallen dictator was nicknamed “Ace of Spades” by the U.S. soldiers who used these cards in playing their card games.

Going back to numerical values, in card games based on arranging the order series, the ace card may count either low or high such as in the rummy card game. The ace can also count high and low in a card game with a “round-the-corner” sequence like the Q-K-A-2-3 card game.

In games based on numerical value, the ace is typically counted as 1, like in the game cribbage. But in games based on superiority ranking, the ace card is counted the highest and outranks even the King. Most trick-taking games are based on superiority rankings.

Other Things About Ace Cards You Need to Know

The standard deck of cards is also known as the French deck. It has a total of 52 cards which are divided into 13 ranks. Numbers give the ranks. They start from 2 to 10, the Jack, Queen, King, and the Ace.

There is a particular card game with a ranking that is called “ace high.” In this kind of card game, the rank of ace is higher than the king. In other game variations, the ace can either rank low or high.

How Many Aces?

In a standard French deck of cards, there are four ace cards. There are four suits in a card deck. They are diamonds, clubs, spades, and hearts. That gives four of everything, including the aces. Of the four aces, two are reds, and the other two are blacks.

One of the red aces belongs to the diamond suit, and the other belongs to the heart’s suit. The spades suit has one black ace, and the clubs’ suit has the other black ace. When you are at a card table, your chances of picking the black ace from the standard card deck is 1/26.

Face Cards in a Deck

There are a total of 12 face cards in a standard deck. A face card is one that has a face in it instead of a number. Thus, the King, Queen, and Jack are face cards.

how many ace are in a deck of cards

Each suit has face cards. Therefore, you will also have four face cards for every suit in a standard card deck.

In other words, the standard deck of cards has four face kings, four face jacks, and four face queens.

Is Ace a Face Card?

All ace cards do not have faces in them. Therefore, ace cards are not considered face cards. They also don’t have numbers in them. Their actual count depends on the card game being played. These conditions place ace cards on a special class of cards.

Conclusion: Ace Cards 

The highest value in a deck of cards is given to the ace cards. They could also have the lowest value. It all depends on the card game being played.

How many ace cards are in a deck of cards? There are four ace cards in a standard deck of playing cards. All playing cards have four suits where each suit has an ace card. In other words, there is an ace card for the spade suit, diamond suit, heart suit, and club suit.