The ace of spades has been representative of many meanings dating back to the days when outlaws played cards for cash and often shot each other rather than lose the game. Today the ace of spades is referenced in metal songs like “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead and has a connection to the exploding popularity of online poker.
Not all the meanings of this playing card are dark and mysterious, however, it does represent some appealing qualities many ink lovers feel they must have.
History of the Ace of Spades
For body ink lovers, the ace of spades tattoo is representative of many things. Commonly referred to as the highest value playing card, it dates back to the 17th century and was viewed as a symbol of good fortune and good luck.
There is a dark side to this playing card, like when soldiers in the Vietnam War would paint the card on their helmets to strike fear in the Vietnamese. Those departed Vietnamese soldiers were often laid to rest with an ace of spades placed on them. According to Vietnamese symbolism, this dark card was symbolic of dying, death, and the afterlife.
The Ace of Spades Design
Body ink lovers today regard the ace of spades tattoo in different ways. It has deep-rooted links in the gang world, gambling, and with bikers. The most common depiction is the ace of spades on a playing card, personalized with a skull and other cards to make up the royal flush.
Gamblers hold the ace of spades near to their heart and often include other gambling symbols with the playing card like dice, poker chips, an eight ball, coins, dollars, and even cherries. In addition to this representing good luck, it does have the connection to death. The dead man’s hand is the aces and eights, along with depictions of flames, skulls, the joker, and a black rose.
Today’s Meaning of the Ace of Spades
Not everyone who gets inked with the ace of spades tattoo is a gambler or soldier, there are many other meanings that appeal to both women and men. In the end, it really represents what you want it to, but these are some of the more common associations.
The ace of spades is symbolic of either having or wanting prosperity, the need for power and dealing with the death of a loved one. While one with the ace of spades on their body is always hoping for good fortune, it can mean this person is willing to take chances in love, has a strong mental toughness, and really is fearless.
Having no fear of what the future holds appeals to gang mentality, but it also shows that the individual is not afraid to take risks in life.
So there you have it, the diverse and personal meanings associated with the ace of spades tattoo. One of the reasons many love this symbol is because it can represent both good and evil simultaneously. Although it has been symbolic of good luck for hundreds of years, it can also reveal a darker side when it comes to power, fearlessness, and death.
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