Here are some books and papers about asian playing cards :
Korean Games with Notes on the corresponding Games of China and Japan
Writen by (1858-1929), published in 1895, (see his bio here
This book describes the card games played in China in the late 1800's, based on the collection of MR W.H. Wilkinson, owned by the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania (Pages 135 to 147).
Ostasiatische Spielkarten (East Asian Playing Cards)
Written by (1935-2002), (see his bio here
Published by the Hamburgisches Museum Fur Volkerkunde Und Vorgeschichte in 1969.
This book describes the east-asian cards found in this museum, written in German.
This book is available at various second-hand books websites.
The card games of asia and their cards アジアのカードとカードゲーム : 中国はカードゲームの故郷か
Written by published in 2000
A very rich description of card games of Asia, in Japanese.
This book is available on international bookshops websites.
This Vietnamese author from Hanoi has written a lot of books about games, here are 3 books about playing cards in Vietnam (in Vietnamese) :
Phong tục tập quán Việt Nam đặc sản Bài Lá (2010)
Bài lá ở Việt Nam Luật chơi (2011)
Bài lá ở Việt Nam Luật chơi (2003)
These books are available on Vietnamese websites.
Bí quyết bói bài tứ sắc
This book is about playing Tu Sac, written in Vietnamese.
Le To-Tom Jeu de Cartes Annamites
This paper, in French, written by (1882-1936) (website
), explains in details the rules of To Tom.
It was first published in Annam Nouveau
in 1932 and reproduced in Bulletin de la Société des Etudes Indochinoises
Tome XXVIII, N.4, 4e trimestre 1953.
Connaissance du Vietnam
Written by in 1954 (French language).
This book is about Vietnamese Culture, pages 243 to 246 are about playing cards.
Written by published in 2000
How to play the Nan Tong cards.
Written by published in 2010
This is a new edition of the book above.
Chinese Language papers
- 南通纸牌图案的文化内涵 by
- 从习字训蒙到大众娱乐 - 论蒙书"上大人"功能的历史演变 by
- 中国纸牌中图形符号的设计分析 - 兼谈对儿童益智游戏的创作启发 by
- "上大人"纸牌与戒毒 by
- 上大人纸牌和十七字诗 by
- 土家族上大人纸牌游戏的文化解释 —— 基于鄂西南来凤县百福司镇的田野调查 by 2009
This journal edited by the International Playing-Card Society (website) has published some papers relating to Chinese Playing Cards :
- The Late Ming Game of Ma Diao by Yale
- The 'Yezi Pu' (Manual of Leaves): A Card Manual for the Late Ming Period [1368-1644] by Yale
- Pan Zhiheng's 'Xu Yezi Pu' (Sequel to Manual of Leaves) - Part 1 by Yale
- Pan Zhiheng's 'Xu Yezi Pu' (Sequel to Manual of Leaves) - Part 2 by
- Chinese Money-Suited Cards by
- Modern Chinese Cards by Yale
- Mahjong(g) before Mahjong(g): Part 1 by Yale
- Mahjong(g) before Mahjong(g): Part 2 by Yale
Java and Malaya
The manners and customs of the Chinese of the Straits Settlements
Written by (1825-1891), published in 1879 (see his bio there
This book contains a whole chapter about the playing cards used by the Chinese in the Straits Settlements (Singapore/Malaya) and includes drawings of the cards (Pages 65 to 82).
Written by , published in 1941.
This book, written in Dutch, contains a full description, with images, of the Ceki packs with the names of the cards in the various parts of Indonesia.
Gambling games of Malaya
Written by published in 1955
This book describes the gambling games played in Malaya in the first half of the 1900's.
This book is quite rare. Some libraries can make digital copy of some pages.
There are books in Indonesian and Malaysian languages too, here are papers in English and Dutch.
- Some Notes on Malay Card Games by Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Vol. 45 pages 85-88 Archive.org
- Javanische Kartenspiele by Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 46. Jahrg., H. 1 (1914), pp. 45-48 Archive.org
- Bijdrage Tot de Kennis Der Chineesche Hazarden Kaartspelen by Tijdschrift voor indische taal-,land- en volkenkunde, Deel XXXI, Batavia-s'Hage, 1886
- Beschrijving van drie chineesche kaartspelen by Tijdschrift voor indische taal-, land- en volkenkunde, Deel XXVI, Batavia-s'Hage, 1881 pages 413-422 Archive.org