Normal playing cards usually come in four flavours, or suits: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades. They have been in use since around 1470, when French card manufacturers redesigned the German system using leaves, acorns, hearts and bells.

In some games the order of the suits does matter, but the order differs from game to game. For example, in Preference the order is (ascending) spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts while in Contract Bridge it is clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades.

Most decks also contain two or three jokers. It's not entirely clear when jokers were introduced, but it seems to stem from when german immigrants introduced the game Euchre to America. Euchre used a special card which eventually became the joker.