Do Mormons really ban playing cards from the home?

Tired of repeat Go Fish games, I was shamefacedly teaching my younger daughter how to play poker. I didn’t have much success; she kept giggling when I tried to explain what a “flush” is.

What’s interesting is my first instinct was to use Rook cards — the ones with a bird — to teach her a variation of poker. I couldn’t find any in the home although I’ve seen them around. Rook cards, you could once find a deck in every active Mormon’s home. I grew up with them and we played “gin rummy” with Rook cards on many family home evening nights. It got me wondering: Are playing cards still mostly banned in LDS homes? We have a deck; although rarely used, I finally used it for the poker game with the daughter … I stressed no gambling!

Growing up, conventional playing cards were banned in my home. We only used Rook. One only had to open up “Mormon Doctrine” to see why my parents banned the cards. It reads, “Members of the Church should not belong to bridge or other type of card clubs, and they should neither play cards nor have them in their homes. By cards is meant, of course, the spotted face cards used by gamblers. To the extent that church members play cards they are out of harmony with their inspired leaders. Innocent non-gambling games played with other types of cards, except for the waste of time in many instances, are not objectionable.”

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