Is there an Issur of playing cards? I'm not asking about gambling, or Shabbos, I'm specifically asking if it is Assur to play a game of cards with playing cards that we have today. Are there specific Poskim who permit or forbid it?

This is not like this other question because I'm not asking about gambling.

  • If not gambling or shabbos what is left? Bittul Torah? Meishev Leitzim? Are those card specific?
    – user6591
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 1:09
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Halachic permissibility of playing cards (i.e., poker) for money
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 2:24
  • 1
    קרטן = שטן.....
    – sam
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 2:40
  • R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov (Kedushat Levi, Chanukah - "Yadua") strongly discouraged playing cards because he believed the images on them were associated with bad klipot.
    – ezra
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 5:42
  • See Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Chanuka 51:24 with footnotes
    – sam
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


The Taamei Haminhagim (849) quotes the Bnei Yissas'char that cards represent the Greek's impure spirit resting on the 36 cards, which parallel the 36 tractates in Shas.

It also said in the footnote that there was a Cherem against card-playing, with the explicit exception that it doesn't apply on Chanuka. And that exception was only to help quiet the evil inclination (So you don't have to stop cold-turkey, you can still play once a year...)

  • I thought there were 37 tractates of Talmud - but maybe there are different ways of counting
    – mbloch
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 4:42
  • @mbloch judaism.stackexchange.com/a/88822/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 5:14
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    Some decks had 36 cards (see Wikipedia) and he's probably referring to the deck he was most familiar with
    – b a
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 11:21
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    @ba Thanks for the info. I was sitting here thinking, "but I thought card decks had 52 cards..."
    – ezra
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 19:03

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