Are Playing Cards Acceptable in the Bible?


Quite a lively debate has been raging between a person who believes there is NOTHING WRONG with associating with playing cards and another who believes that playing cards are just another ‘wile of the devil.’

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
–Ephesians 5:11

SO, which is it?

Are playing cards–which have been around for roughly 2400 years–a tool of Satan or are they merely clever distractions to while away the odd, unused minutes?

More importantly, does God’s Word have anything to say on the matter?

This discussion has been ongoing for what seems like FOREVER.  One person will lead with their best shot.  INSTEAD of fully answering that shot, the other person unlimbers one of their own.  The barbs get traded back and forth, NOTHING, it seems, ever gets decided, and the question–after MONTHS of intense conversations–remains pretty much UNANSWERED–each side remaining UNCONVINCED of the validity of the other.

We decided to offer readers the best couple of ‘shots’ EACH participant in this arena has offered up–as well as our OWN take on the matter.

1- Playing cards have been used for divination and divination is roundly CONDEMNED in God’s Word.

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch… For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD.”
–Deuteronomy 18:10,12

This is a STRONG argument–BUT, it does have a few flaws in it.

OUR TAKE: YES, playing cards HAVE been used by various tricksters as a form of divination–or revealing things about the future.  BUT, devining tricksters have used a NUMBER of ordinary objects to ply their craft.

STILL, a home which contains playing cards contains methods of divination which are still used today among the unwise.

IF a person wants to partake of divination, they can use any number of common items in a household–including playing cards.

2- PLAYING CARDS eat up time better spent talking to God or some other spiritual matter.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
–Old Saying

OUR TAKE: Satan is ALWAYS looking for idle hands or idle minds–and he uses them BOTH to further his evil.

Playing cards DO indicate idle hands.  And idle hands usually indicate an idle mind.  God’s Word cautions against devoting ANY time to ANYTHING that is NOT God. God’s Word also cautions against idle talk.

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
–Mark 12:29-30

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
–Matthew 12:36

Jesus ALSO advised His followers to stay busy–and staying busy does NOT include playing cards.

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”
–Luke 19:13

While PLAYING CARDS are not usually a primary source of idleness, they CONTRIBUTE mightily.

And now, for the OTHER side.

A- Playing cards are nothing more than a harmless distraction to help one from falling prey to bad thoughts. Better a playing card than something WORSE!

God’s Word doesn’t really have much good to say about distractions as a behavior.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
–1PETER 5:8

Perhaps this is why few Bible verses were used by this person–INSTEAD, he relied on many quotes of the world to shore up his points.

“I needed something—the distraction of another life—to alleviate fear.”
Brett Easton Ellis

“The most dangerous distractions are the ones you love, but that don’t love you back.”
Warren Buffett

(IF memory serves, this last quote was used with the observation that FEW love playing cards.)

“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.”

(AGAIN, trusting to memory, this was used to demonstrate how common distractions are.)

OUR TAKE: Is summed up by a quote from the world.

“Idle hands (which distractions USUALLY produce OR at least, indicate) are the devil’s workshop.”

B- IF someone wants to get involved in TROUBLE, they will manage to do so–whether they have access to playing cards or not.

OUR TAKE: While true, this says NOTHING about the goodness or badness of PLAYING CARDS.

God’s Word is NOT shy about declaring ANYTHING which distracts from God or God’s Worship as ‘foolish.’

Was the reader swayed one way or another by any of the arguments listed?

There were MANY other points from BOTH sides. God willing, we MAY address these in the future.

Our OVERALL assessment goes something like this: playing cards MAY NOT come directly from Satan–BUT, Satan is not unfamiliar with PLAYING CARDS.

WHAT does the reader think about the use of playing cards?

IS it a PATH one walks down to find Satan?

OR, is it a road to God?

It is not YET too late–although time is surely running out: there is still a LITTLE time to change direction (repent), place your faith (hope) for the future entirely on Jesus Christ and enter the kingdom of heaven.

DOES the reader believe he is saved?

Make Your Calling and Election Sure: End Times Survival

DOES the reader believe he is NOT saved?

Time is Running Out: Today is the Day of Salvation


“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
1 Corinthians 15:1-8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
-–Romans 1:16

MORE: Eternal Salvation Through Jesus Christ: Salvation Messages from End Times Prophecy Report

A Reminder: The Gospel is Simple

[Portions of this piece appeared originally in End Times Prophecy Headlines: May 24, 2023.]

MORE: Eternal Salvation Through Jesus Christ: Salvation Messages from End Times Prophecy Report


by Jeremiah Jameson
–with Mondo Frazier

image: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from

© Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report, 2012-23. © Mondo Frazier and End Times Prophecy Report, DBKP 2007-2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Author: Jeremiah J Jameson

End Times Prophecy Report - Publisher and author

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