The ace of spades tattoo has a certain appeal to it, but the meaning that comes with it can be interpreted in a variety of ways.
This symbol was immensely popularised by Motorhead’s 1980 heavy metal hit song “Ace of Spades”, but it also went through another resurgence with the rise of online gambling.
To fully understand its meaning, we’re going to cover the rich history of this card in great depth.
The History of Ace of Spades
Card games were first created somewhere in the 17th century, and in the vast majority of card games, the ace of spades is the card with the highest value, although some exceptions exist.
Since it’s the card with the highest value, to get it during a game was always considered a sign of good luck.
But, the ace of spades also played an important role during World War II and the Vietnam conflict, where this symbol received a much more ominous connotation.
During WWII, American soldiers had a tradition of drawing the ace of spades card on their helmets as a lucky charm of sorts.
The drawing also had a purpose as a sign of recognition and helped the US forces avoid friendly fire.
Even though we most frequently used the ace of spades symbol among American soldiers, they also drew other card suits on their helmets, including the heart, club and diamond.
By the Vietnam war, the card had a new purpose, to instil fear.
A percentage of American soldiers adopted a grim tradition of placing the ace of spade card on top of fallen Vietnamese soldiers, so when their enemies saw the card on their comrades, they knew it represented death.
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The US forces also had a tradition of throwing thousands of cards on the field before a battle, which they purposefully did to introduce dread to their enemies.
As you can see, the ace of spade symbol is packed with meaning, but since it can represent both good fortunes and death, it can mean different things to different people.
This tattoo was originally linked to biker gangs, but nowadays, it has entered the mainstream and become culturally accepted.
Now we’re going to spend some time talking about everything the ace of spade tattoo can represent, and later down the line, we’ll also be discussing popular designs and combining it with other symbols.
The Meaning Behind The Ace of Spades
As we previously mentioned, the ace of spades has both positive and negative connotations.
But, since its positive meaning existed long before the negative, it will always remain the primary meaning of this card.
Therefore, the ace of spades tattoo firstly strides to represent good fortune, and it can also mean that the person who wears it isn’t afraid to take chances, either in love or in life in general.
This tattoo can also have a badass menacing connotation as it’s historically linked to biker culture, which probably has its origins in the Wild West when outlaws, miners and gamblers played dicey poker in the saloons.
Finally, because the ace of spade card was utilised in warfare to induce fear, it can also be a symbol of death, but it’s rarely tattooed for this particular reason.
The Ace of Spades and Other Symbols
Even though the ace of spade is usually tattooed alone, it can be a part of a more intricate design when it’s combined with other symbols.
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If you’re looking for inspiration, make sure to check out a lot of variations of the ace tattoo, as it will give you a better understanding of how you can incorporate this symbol into a design.
It’s always cool to arrive at a unique idea that will be only yours when tattooing popular symbols, as it will separate your ace of spade tattoo from all others.
A typical design of an ace of spade tattoo is just the card alone, but it can also have other elements, like skulls and other rebellious symbols.
Other playing cards can also accompany it, and it’s usually a part of a good hand, like a royal flush.
Since this card has an undeniable gambling connotation, it’s frequently depicted with other elements associated with games of chance. This includes dice, slot machine symbols, poker chips, gold bars, eight balls, cherries and any other symbol of that nature.
As it’s a symbol of good fortune, the ace of spades is also frequently tattooed with other good luck charms, such as four-leaf clovers, horseshoes and rabbit’s foot.
Finally, as the ace of spades can also signify death, it’s sometimes tattooed with other ghoulish elements, such as hellfire, pentagrams and skulls.
Before You Get an Ace of Spades Tattoo
Before you make a final decision, make sure to research the tattoo you’re planning to get thoroughly.
Even though cover-ups and laser removals are an option, it’s always better to be sure that you want to get the tattoo in the first place instead of regretting it later down the road.
Just as you should be certain about the design you’re planning on tattooing, you should also be sure about the style, as well as the artist you want tattooing you.
This way, you will have a beloved lifelong image adorning you, instead of feeling frustrated about it.