One of the earliest games in which we know the rules is Madiao, a trick-taking game, which dates to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
Using paper money was inconvenient and risky so they were substituted by play money known as "money cards".
Playing cards even competed with devotional images as the most common uses for woodcuts in this period.
Most early woodcuts of all types were coloured after printing, either by hand or, from about 1450 onwards, stencils.
In his book of accounts for 1392 or 1393, Charles or Charbot Poupart, treasurer of the household of Charles VI of France, records payment for the painting of three sets of cards.
professional card makers in Ulm, Nuremberg, and Augsburg created printed decks.