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Spade and Ace of Spade Tattoos: Meanings, Designs, and Ideas

Updated on April 21, 2017
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Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

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Spade tattoos aren't super mainstream, but they're still fairly popular among certain spheres. In fact, they're are commonly found among "lucky" tattoo designs. Often they are portrayed alone, but sometimes they're inked alongside other designs of a similar niche. The spade is often considered to be a powerful symbol, especially the ace of spades— which is the highest single card in many card games. It's the top dog—even more powerful than the queen and king of spades!

Whether you're inking a sole spade on your wrist or a playing card on your stomach, there are several cool ideas for you to toss around before you take the leap. While men and women both sport this lucky composition, men tend to gravitate towards it more than women.

In this article, we'll discuss the meaning and look at many unique design ideas for ace of spade playing card tattoos. With all of these awesome suggestions, hopefully, you'll find some ideas or inspiration for your next tattoo!

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Click thumbnail to view full-size

Versatility of the Designs

Is there a certain symbol or element that you would like incorporated with your spade design? Do you already have a body art piece that could use an additional symbol? Since the spade is so versatile, nothing is out of the question. They can be added to anything you want—butterflies, flames... if you can think it, you can ink it.

Common Symbols and Elements Included With a Spade:

  • jokers
  • skulls
  • cards
  • flames
  • dice
  • four leaf clovers,
  • horseshoes
  • cherries
  • sevens
  • leprechauns
  • ladyluck
  • ladybugs
  • grim reapers
  • Harley Davidsons
  • motorcycles
  • bio-mechanical
  • engines
  • cars
  • dice
  • poker chips
  • money
  • guns
  • daggers
  • swords
  • blood
  • candles
  • coffins
  • 13
  • other gambling oriented symbols

What do these symbols have in common? Many represent good luck. (But don't they represent death, as well? We'll get into this in the next section.) The point is, any of these lucky symbols can be associated and designed with the spade.

Ace of spade designs aren't quite as versatile, but they still can be included with all the lucky tattoo symbols mentioned above. Some people choose to get a tattoo of a single card, but many opt for an array of cards—usually a royal flush, or A, K, Q, J, and 10, all in spades.

The Death and Bad Luck Association

While luck is in high demand, the ace of spades also symbolizes death, which is why it is commonly seen with the death-oriented symbols listed above. The number 13 is also a close associate, since in may games, the ace is worth either 1 or 13. As you probably already know, the number 13 is considered to be bad luck. So, why get a tattoo that represents good and bad luck? Some people believe that this symbol breaks the cycle and reverses the bad luck. Others may just want to represent bad luck.

As you can see, you have many options. Ultimately, you can get this design with anything you want, but make sure to think about what this symbol means culturally and if you want all those associations to be related to you. Either way, take the time to view all the different pictures in this article—whether you go with the spade or not, this is a great way to gain ideas and inspiration for your next piece.

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Click thumbnail to view full-size

Ace and Spade Tattoo Meanings

  • Good luck
  • Good fortune
  • Need for power
  • Lady luck
  • Misfortune
  • Gambling
  • Death
  • Fearlessness
  • Risk taking
  • Good and evil
  • Mental toughness
  • Hardship
  • Trump card
  • Having or wanting prosperity
  • Power
  • Authority
  • All In

The spade and its ace are both symbolic to those who wear them. Both designs can symbolize both positive and negative attributes, simultaneously, making this a very interesting body art choice. Remember, though, your design will represent whatever you want it to, and no one can tell you differently.

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Before You Get Your Tattoo

Before you get your next ink, there are a few things that you should always consider. Just as you are now, take the time to research your design, making sure you know what it culturally represents. If I'm getting a new piece, I fully understand what that symbol stands for in the world.

Take your time and view as many designs as you can. The more ideas you look through, the better. You'll want to make sure that your piece is exactly what you want. When you find the right one, you'll know it. Until then, look through hundreds. Men and women that rush to get inked usually have regrets later on down the road. You don't want to go through the process of laser removal and cover-ups, right? All they do is cost more money and time. Make the right choice the first time.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please leave us a comment!

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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Lyric, these are great. Not something I would have thought of, but they really come across as fascinating, well done for another great tattoo hub! voted up and shared, nell

    • thelyricwriter profile image
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      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Hey Nell, thanks for the dropping by. Yeah, it is the type of tattoo that many are not aware of. Spade tattoos can be altered in many ways, giving you options, a cool choice for sure. Best to you gal and thanks!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      I think this is a very interesting hub. I don't have a tattoo, but certainly some of the younger people in my family do. I never knew a thing about the spade tattoo and this was interesting. Voted up!

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Thanks Pamela. Spade tattoos are not very popular, but have a demand. Find spade tattoos in the casinos a lot, power players, ect. Thanks for commenting and the visit. Take care.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 3 years ago

      Hi Lyric,

      I really like the first spade tattoo but if I was to get this tattoo it would be half the size.

      Voted up

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Hey Sueswan, thanks for checking out my spade tattoo article. LOL, that's a pretty good sized spade tattoo design, the artwork is good though. Hope you have a great day and thanks again.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

      The first picture of spade tattoo attracted me to this hub. You're a tattoos genius!

      Voted up, beautiful and interesting. Sharing in HP.

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Radhikasree, thanks for taking the time to comment, vote, and share. I love the first spade tattoo also, I've never seen such a beautiful design for a spade tattoo, very unique. Appreciate the kind words my dear, best wishes.

    • profile image

      Alex Nelson 2 years ago

      Hey im about to get my first tattoo and i really liked one of the tattoo's on this page and figured out of common curtesy i would ask if i can change it up a bit. It is the one that says fortune favors the bold

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 2 years ago from West Virginia

      Alex, of course my friend. Many of these tattoos were given to me for this very project. That was one of my main goals, to give others inspiration and help them modify their own tattoo designs. Just make sure you drop back by and share it with us all.

    • profile image

      Karthik 12 months ago

      Hi what would the meaning of K (Spade symbol) mean for a tattoo?

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