What Is The Meaning of a Spade Tattoo? 50 Design Ideas

It’s always interesting to wonder about the meanings of people’s tattoos. After all, it’s something that they’ve decided to get inked onto their body forever, so it must be significant in some way. While some tattoos only have individual meanings, some tend to be universal, such as the spade tattoo.

The spade symbol is most well known as one of the suits in a deck of cards. The symbol has a long history, originating in the French military as a symbol for the nobility. This long history has allowed it to develop several different meanings, and depending on how it is tattooed and what other symbols accompany it, the meaning may vary.

The bast majority of the time, a spade tattoo symbolizes luck. However, as you’ll discover in the rest of the article, there are many alternative meanings. Some of these include thieving, death, violence, and indecision.

What does a Spade tattoo symbolize?

There are three primary meanings that a spade symbol is associated with: luck, death, or power. This is because the spade initially came about as a reference to the military and war.

A spade tattoo can have many different meanings, and you’ll need to ask the person that has the tattoo to be sure of it. However, a couple of standardized meanings come along with spade tattoos.

The first and perhaps most common reason that someone will get a spade tattoo is that it’s a symbol of luck. They’re considered a lucky card to draw, and if you want to continue bringing good fortune into your life, why not get a spade tattoo?

In complete contrast to the first meaning, the second most common meaning for a spade tattoo is death. Why is this?

The word spade comes from the Italian word ‘spada,’ which means sword. The French were the first to begin using this symbol as a suit on decks of cards. It was meant to be the suit that represented the nobility as the shape of the spade resembled the heads of the spears that French knights used.

Due to its association with the military, it became a symbol of death and power. After all, it was used as a symbol of the weapons that the French were using to conquer nations.

If you think about it, death and luck both being associated with the spade makes a lot of sense. After all, if your army was going to win a war, death was going to occur, but you’d better be lucky if you wanted to win.

What if the card is upside down?

An upside-down spade is often meant to symbolize rebirth and resurrection, but to understand why you first have to know where the spade symbol came from in the first place.

The original meaning of the word ‘spade’ is a sword. It comes from the Italian word “spada.” It is a symbol of power and war, so not necessarily the most positive thing. The idea of putting spades as a suit on the deck of cards came from the French. The French first began using spades to represent the nobility. The idea being the shape of the spade was similar to that of the spears that knights used.

So, while the original spade symbol may represent war, power, and death, the upside-down spade represents the opposite of that. Plus, an upside-down spade creates a heart shape.

What do the 7 of Spades and 2 of spades represent?

Sometimes if you see a spade tattoo on a playing card, you’ll see it accompanied by the numbers 7 and 2. That’s because the 7 of spades and the 2 of spades both of significant spiritual meaning, and when they are used in tarot readings, they can be very defining cards.

The 7 of spades represents certainty. So if you were to ask for clarification when performing a psychic reading on someone, then draw a 7 of spades that would show certainty in some regard. So if you were making a decision and weren’t sure it was the right choice and you drew a 7, that’s a sign that you should go forward with that decision.

The 2 of spades represents indecision. If you’re struggling to make a decision, then you may draw a 2 of spades. It can also be a sign that you’re making the wrong choice regarding a decision you need to make.


What does a black ace of spades mean?

The most common symbolism behind a black ace of spades is luck. They are the most valuable card in the game, so naturally, if you want to attract luck into your life, it’s the card you would use for that.

Ace of spades was also used as a symbol during WWII to identify American soldiers. So another possibility is that this person knew someone who fought in WWII and is getting this tattoo to honor them.

These tattoos are also prevalent amongst those who gamble frequently. After all, if you draw an ace of spades, you have a good chance of winning the game. It is often seen tattooed as the playing card.

What does a 13 Spade tattoo mean?

As we’ve already covered, while spade tattoos were traditionally considered lucky, the origin of the spade symbol was one of death and war. After all, the spade is based on a weapon that was used to conquer kingdoms.

The number 13 has long been considered an unlucky number, an omen of misfortune. Combine that with the classic spade symbol, and you have a tattoo that is the epitome of death and destruction. It’s unlucky.

What does a spade tattoo under the eye mean?

Prison tattoos are common no matter what part of the world you come and they are often rich with symbolism. Some common prison tattoos are a three-dot triangle and a teardrop underneath one eye. The three-dot triangle represents the saying ‘mi Vida local, which translates to ‘my crazy life.’ It is often a tattoo that gang members get to express their way of life, living on the edge of what’s possible.

Prison tattoos have specific meanings. You can often tell a lot about a prisoner just based on what tattoos they have. For example, if you see someone with a spade tattoo under their eye, this means that the prisoner is a thief.

So, if you’re interested in getting a spade tattoo, or any symbol that is commonly used in prison tattoos, it’s wise to make sure that you’re not getting it in one of the typical ‘prison’ locations. After all, if you’re not a prisoner that wants to advertise that you’re a thief getting a spade tattoo under the eye will likely lead you to getting into situations that you’d rather avoid.

Spades combined with skulls

We’ve already discussed the origin of the spade symbol, that it originally meant sword and was modeled after French spears. With that being said, although it’s often meant to symbolize luck, it can be easy to see where the connection to death comes from. After all, wars kill people, and even if there’s triumph and luck, there will be some connection to death.

Due to the spade’s connection to death and war, it’s not uncommon to see it combined with skulls or other death-related symbols. While you’ll have to ask for the specific meaning of each individual’s tattoo, you can safely assume that it has something to do with death and destruction.


With a tattoo as ambiguous as a simple spade, the meaning can sometimes be confusing. However, some common meanings go along with spade tattoos. The most common meaning is luck; however other meanings include death, love, and decisions.

There are some negative connotations associated with the spade tattoo. A common prison tattoo is a black spade underneath the eye. This tattoo symbolizes a thief, so that’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when getting this tattoo.

Spade Tattoo Designs