jmd said:Looking at the manner in which children (and adults working with new additions to existing games) do play is precisely why I am suggesting the above.
The big difference between, on the one hand, the pips and court cards, and on the other, the atouts, is that there is a 'written on the cards' order with the former, but not with the latter.
If one looks at the Visconti, there is no reason to assume that the Lover(s), for example, 'trumps over' the Pope. In fact, one may suppose that if a value was implied, it would be the reverse, unless the depicted marriage was seen to illustrate 'love' (in which case, as the 'chief amongst [theological] virtues', it would also trump over even the Sun!).
Internal 'logic' suggests that for an early version of the game, the trumps are all equal with regards to play, with play-order determining winning hand.
Later, of course, this is not the case... but by then there is a determinate structure and ordering.
Earlier decks also had their complications. The number cards - as far we know it - hadn't numbers, but things to count. The courts had to be identified. Perhaps the whole card pictures developed for people who couldn't read numbers or any descriptions or at least not all of the people could do so. Johannes knew a deck, which had professions for the number cards
The Michelino deck had a sequence, Martiano da Tortona reported that. It's the first, from which know of. It's unlikely, that the trumps were all equal some years later.
Naturally also games existed, in which the sequence didn't play a role, but this doesn't say, that sequence games didn't exist. Johannes of Rheinfelden (1377) did know a sequence too and he found it a wonderful idea, cause he loved a hierarchy in the world.