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Originally ships were made out of small rectangular pieces of paper, bored sailors would often peel them off the top of the ship and play games with them. However, often the ships were sealed, so the sailors had to use knives and swords to retrieve the cards; this is where the term 'cutting the deck' comes from. An entire level of the ship was made from 52 rectangles, because ships frequently had to be moved across land, and the cards were marked for easy assemblage later.

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