WORLD WAR II
U.S. planes were spades and Germany's were diamonds. Other decks contained trick cards that American POWs could moisten, pull apart and arrange into a map of escape routes out of Germany. Sorry, card sharks, not available yet.
Decks containing only the ace of spades were passed out to U.S. troops. They would display a card on their helmets to scare away the Viet Cong, who were thought to be superstitious about the card because fortune tellers considered it a harbinger of suffering and death. In this year's Iraqi deck, the ace of spades is who else? Saddam Hussein.
GULF WAR II
The U.S. Playing Card Co., based in Cincinnati, Ohio, won the exclusive rights to manufacture the authentic decks when the Pentagon inadvertently included the company's trademarked red-and-yellow Hoyle joker.