This subject has baffled me for years. when did playing cards originate? But more than that, what is the story behind one eyed jacks, and the suicide King? and the origin of gameplay.
Maybe this will help a little. Cecil explains the origins of the suits:
Doesn’t exactly answer the OP, but it might be a start.
Check out: http://www.pagat.com/ipcs/history.html .
Among other things, this site says: “The earliest authentic references to playing-cards in Europe date from 1377, but, despite their long history, it is only in recent decades that clues about their origins have begun to be understood. Cards must have been invented in China, where paper was invented.”