St. Balthasar’s connection to playing cards is based on the Middle Ages’ belief that the Magi, or three kings who visited the child Jesus, came from Persia, Africa and Egypt. According to tradition, the name of the Egyptian king was Balthasar. It was believed that gypsies came from Egypt and were notorious for their card tricks. St. Balthasar. who lived in the first century, became the patron saint of card manufacturers, and by extension, card players, blackjack dealers and anyone who has a run of bad luck playing cards. While the word magic comes from the word “magi,” the three kings were not magicians or sorcerers because their religious laws prevented them from dabbling in the supernatural.
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