While cards were taxed and the tax stamp often appeared on the ace of spades because it was the first card in a package,   this does not mean to suggest that only the ace of spades was taxed.  The entire deck was taxed when it was sold, and the decks were sealed (often with the tax label) so there was no way to remove an ace of spades, anyhow.  "Not playing with a full deck" is a modern phrase like "a few beers short of a six pack" or "A few sandwiches short of a lunch bucket".                                           Louise Graybiel 7-6-2004

Lacking the required intelligence, as a card game being played with a card missing
.                                                                                                                                                                       The Phrase Finder

A woman was reporting her car as stolen, and mentioned that there was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone and told the guy that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.                                     Lots of Jokes

Go to Sheckler  "OLD DEFINITIONS"