The wild card concept is used in certain games to name the face of a die, the chip or the card that can replace another or that is applied to obtain some type of benefit. Jokers emerged in the second half of the 19th century and over time they became popular.
In today’s decks there are usually two jokers. The figure chosen to represent the jokers, as well as the color of the card, depends on each printer. The joker is generally represented as a jester or minstrel, although that choice may vary.
The use of the joker depends on each game. In the chinchón, for example, the joker allows you to replace any card. Because the goal is to keep as few points as possible, it is important to get rid of the wild cards as they add up to 25 or 50 points. On the other hand, in the trick, to name another card game, the jokers are not used.
In colloquial language, it is said that an element or individual is a wild card when they can fulfill multiple functions: “The young Venezuelan became the team’s wild card: he can play in defense, in midfield or even in the offensive sector”, “For the president, Gómez is a wild card: he has already held positions in four different ministries”, “This coat serves as a wild card since I use it both in formal events and in informal occasions”.
In the field of computing, this term is also used, although it is a symbol that can substitute for one or more characters of all possible characters in the system. Common wildcard characters used in this context include the asterisk, percent sign, underscore, and trailing question mark (‘*’, ‘%’, ‘_’, and ‘?’, Respectively).
It is important to understand that different wildcard characters can be used in each application; for example, while in DOS the asterisk is used to represent any number of characters (from one to the limit of the file name or its extension, within the possible characters according to the naming rules), in databases programmed in SQL the percent sign is used to substitute a character string from zero to the field boundary, and the underscore for only one. In regular expressions, on the other hand, the period is often used as a wildcard character.
In today’s operating systems, the wildcard is used in file searches even without the user being aware of it. For example, when we want to open a file to edit it in Photoshop, the program shows us the last folder we used and the files that respond to one of several formats present in a list: «*.png, *.jpg, * .psd “, etc.
A few decades ago, when operating systems did not have a graphical interface, you had to use a text command to find or list files with a specific extension; for example: ” DIR *.jpg ” is used in DOS to display all files with the extension “jpg” in the current directory.
Although many people do not know it, most Internet search engines also support the use of wildcard characters to represent words that we do not remember when we search. For example, in Google we can search “Mount * is the highest mountain in the world” if we have forgotten the name “Everest”, and we will get the desired results. This also works to substitute characters within a word.
In this particular case, it should be noted that Google’s technology is so advanced that it is not necessary to use a wildcard character, since its ” intuition ” allows it to hit almost all of our searches and it often seems to read our minds when it completes our sentences before we do.
In some countries, finally, the person who always seeks his comfort is classified as a wild card: “Juan is a wild card, you can’t expect much from him.