Shàng Dà Rén Cards (上大人牌) are a type of Chinese playing card. The deck is constructed from a set of 24 cards, each one bearing a character from a traditional Chinese text that was used to practice calligraphy. A full deck contains multiple copies of each card; usually four, giving 96 cards total.
The standard version of the text can be interpreted loosely as:A[p. 272]
has taught three thousand students
of which seventy became virtuous scholars.
A young student like you
should study from eight or nine sages
should learn how to be benevolent
and hence understand courtesy and manners.
In most versions of the cards, the first of each set of three characters is highlighted in red. In some versions, the second character is highlighted in green.
Fú Lù Shòu Pái 福祿壽牌
This is a variant of the Shàng Dà Rén cards where the final three characters are replaced by the characters 福祿壽 (‘fortune, prosperity, longevity’).
Steinmüller, Hans (). ‘The Moving Boundaries of Social Heat: Gambling in Rural China’. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute vol. 17 (2), : pages 263–280.