We do not know what the origin but the first records date back to the tenth century or so, specifically in China. These were notes that reported three "semi", represented by ideograms.
In fact, some scholars believe that the first playing cards were actually notes, therefore, that served both as a game tool (poker) and by mail.
Probably also the domino evokes this same habit. It is not known how the cards have entered into Europe, but some witnesses speak of the presence of playing cards already in England in the thirteenth century. The fact that Petrarca, work on games of chance, does not mention playing cards, argues in favor of scholars in favor of the thesis that supports their absence at that time (1278).
In the works of other writers, like Boccaccio and Chaucer, there is no evidence in favor. Therefore, it is assumed that the word "cards" in works of the same period is no more than the result of errors of incorrect translations. It is assumed that the cards (today VideoPoker), very similar to modern ones, have arrived in Europe through the Egyptian Mamluks in the late fourteenth century.
These papers presented four suits: polo sticks, coins, swords and cups, and each suit contained ten numbered cards and three figures. Some evidence shows that this bunch is the evolution of a previous type, possibly through Persia came all the way from China and he has influenced the Mamluks.
Perhaps these same cards from the East have also influenced the Indian cards used in "Ganjifa" but some argue the opposite, that is, that were the Indian cards to give rise to the Chinese ones. Today with the extraordinary progress of technology, the same cards are used in the best online casino.