Playing cards are pieces paper or similar thin material marked with distinguishing motifs used for playing card games. The deck of 52 French playing cards is the most common deck of playing cards used in the real world, and elements of it are also common in the Final Fantasy series. The standard 52-card deck includes thirteen ranks of each of the four French suits: clubs (♣), diamonds (♦), hearts (♥) and spades (♠). Each suit includes an ace, a king, queen and jack, and ranks two through ten. Anywhere from one to six (most often two or three) jokers are added to commercial decks, as some card games require extra cards.
Besides playing card games, the cards are also sometimes used for fortune-telling. This is known as cartomancy. In English-speaking countries the most common form of cartomancy is tarot card reading. Tarot Cards is a recurring accessory in the series that boosts one's proficiency in magic in some way.
Final Fantasy games also have dedicated card games that appear as minigames and collectibles in the game's world. Final Fantasy trading card games have also been released by Square Enix, the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game being the most notable. Cards have also appeared as weapons associated with the Gambler class.
Setzer can throw cards at his foes for damage. He has three card-type weapons: Cards, Death Tarot and Final Trump. Cards are ranged weapons, meaning he will do full damage with them from the back row.
Setzer Gabbiani is a traveling gambler who flies his airship, the Blackjack, around the globe. The Blackjack is named after the card game of the same name, also known as Twenty-one. The airship itself has blackjack tables in its casino. According to supplementary material, Setzer's hobby is "playing solitaire."
Joker is an enemy encountered on the plains outside Gold Saucer and North Corel. It looks like a demonic jester, as out of convention, joker cards tend to be illustrated as jesters. They use five different card-based attacks. They draw a random card upon the player party, and depending on its suit, various effects can happen. Club deals Earth-elemental damage. Spade is a physical attack. Heart casts Cure on the party. Diamond is a Gil Toss-style attack. Joker may inflict instant KO.
The player can collect Triple Triad cards and use them to challenge characters in the world to play Triple Triad. The cards modify into items, and depict enemies, Guardian Forces and player characters.
The Card Club members are named after the French suits of cards from the standard real world 52 card deck: Jack, Knight Club, Princess Diamond, Prince Spade, Queen Heart, Master King and Magician Joker. The Queen of Cards may likewise be named after the queen card.
Final Fantasy IX has two card games: Tetra Master and blackjack. Tetra Master is a card game similar to Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII where the player collects cards and uses them to challenge people in the world to play.
Blackjack is a minigame based on the real-world Blackjack card game. The game can be accessed at the The End screen as an Easter egg. The jack card is a Wraith. The queen card is Shiva. The king card is the Fat Chocobo.
The Lady Luck dressphere dons revealing dresses with playing card symbols. Yuna's dress has a black spade, Rikku has a black club, and Paine has a red diamond. Yuna's and Paine's cards correspond to their respective card suits (Spades and Diamonds), but Rikku's cards have spades. In battle Yuna and Rikku simply hold on to their cards, but Paine can make her cards orbit around her (during ATB-gauge filling) and, in her victory pose, the cards fly around her body up to her open palm.
Final Fantasy X-2 doesn't have equippable weapons, but Lady Luck uses the cards to attack.
It is implied that Leblanc's outfit is a Lady Luck dressphere, as the mark on her chest is a heart and her fanblade is comparable to the fan of cards used as the dressphere's weapon. She doesn't use the Lady Luck's abilities, however.
The card games at Serendipity can be played in Sazh's Story: Heads or Tails? DLC. Serendipity Poker works the same way as standard poker, where players can stake Casino Coins if they think they have a better hand than the other players, or bluff to make the other players think they have a better hand than they actually possess.
Chronobind is played using a standard deck of 52 cards, and a "clock" with one hand and thirteen positions numbered 1 through 13 clockwise. In this game, Ace = 1, Jack = 11, Queen = 12, and King = 13. Suits are irrelevant. Players make increasing bets with each round and the goal is to strategically bide time, then swoop in when the pot is large enough. The longer one waits, the more one stands to win... or lose.
The cards depict the three deities of the world: Pulse, Lindzei and Etro, with writing on the cards in Etro script. Pulse's card reads "Gaze held aloft, his strides bring ruin," referring to Pulse's wish to destroy the world to open the way to the unseen realm. Lindzei's card reads "Commanding from his throne on high. The Solemn Ruler," referring to his role as the creator of Cocoon. Etro's card reads: Tears falling for her fallen mother. The Veiled Goddess," referring to Mwynn.
The game reuses the playing cards from Final Fantasy XIII-2, which appear as background elements. Both games were originally part of the same subseries, Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy, but Final Fantasy XV was distanced from it after being rebranded.
In the second segment of Platinum Demo – Final Fantasy XV, it is possible to find a playing card of a king showing Pulse's l'Cie brand. The cards have numbers written in Etro's script. Though the card is from Final Fantasy XIII-2, the theme of the card befits Final Fantasy XV, with the eclipse of the sun and the moon, and the king looking similar to the True King on the painting of the prophecy at the Hall of History.
The jack card that appears on the floor of the tent on havens, and in the hotel rooms when the party is playing, and also appears the scene with the camping equipment strewn around child Prompto in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto, has two Lindzei l'Cie brands. The cards are missing from the tent when the player camps in Chapter 10.
Tarot de Bennstat is an artefact discovered on errands. It depicts tarot cards hand-painted by a well-known artist. It is said to be the only deck of its kind, and to be stolen from Lesalia's National Museum of Art.
Class Zero cadets' names are values of playing cards, excluding the two "outside" members Machina and Rem. Within the real world military, particularly in the ranks of the United States, playing and tarot cards are sometimes used in individual platoons and companies in lots of the draw for the sake of good luck and foresight, especially if in the face of an oncoming war or mission, and for psychological readiness in the face of the unpredictability of battle.
Ace wields cards as his weapons, and the collector's edition of the HD remake came with a physical set of Ace's cards. The backs of his cards have a symbol that resembles Etro's gate. The Final Fantasy Type-0 Kōshiki Settei Shiryōshū Aku no Hishi art book has an unused card design for a queen card.
Various unofficial/counterfeit versions of Final Fantasy-illustrated playing cards exist, but Square Enix has also released official Final Fantasy-themed playing cards. A Final Fantasy Tactics themed deck was released as part of the Square Millennium Collection: Final Fantasy Tactics Character & Job Playing Cards.
The chocobo playing cards feature original illustrations by Toshiyuki Itahana, and include 52 playing cards and 2 Jokers. Decks celebrating the 25th (Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Playing Cards) and 30th (Final Fantasy Transparent Playing Cards) anniversaries have also been released as merchandise.