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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Naipes Casino

Naipes Casino Estilo Español Spanish suited playing cards manufactured by Justo Rodero.

Justo Rodero joker

Justo Rodero Naipes Casino

"Naipes Casino" was produced in a Spanish-suited version (40 or 48 cards), plastic coated version, in Anglo-American style and in special gaucho-style editions.

Over the years the company evolved, and changes in the company's name and address can be seen printed on the four of cups which are a helpful, approximate, dating guide.

Justo Rodero Naipes Casino, c.1955 Justo Rodero, Naipes Casino, c.1955

Above: "Naipes Casino Estilo Español" standard Spanish suited playing cards manufactured by Justo Rodero, c.1955. It is not known when this design was first published by Justo Rodero, but maybe sometime during the 1930s. The logo on the four of cups shows a large four-storey building with clouds just behind coloured in green, red, yellow and blue. The company address is given as Rio de Janeiro 935. The Ace of Coins features a crowned female bust inside a wreath above two cornucopias full of fruit, all resting on a plinth, with flags draped behind. This is the typical version of the Spanish Catalan pattern which is used in South American countries, especially Argentina and Uruguay.

Justo Rodero Naipes Casino, c.1960

Above: "Naipes Casino"; the details on the four of cups now give the company name as Justo Rodero e Hijos S.R.L. with a capital value of $300,000, the factory address as Rio de Janeiro 935 and an additional address at Avda Angel Gallardo 136/40, Buenos Aires. The logo image is uncoloured. In all other respects the cards are identical to the earlier example. The date of this edition is estimated as c.1960.

the four of cups was usually left outside the wrapper so that the tax stamp could be inspected. A provision was made in the box for the four of cups to slide out.

Justo Rodero Naipes Casino four of cups, c.1960
Justo Rodero Naipes Casino four of cups, c.1960
Naipes Casino by Justo Rodero SRL, c.1961

Above: these decks by Justo Rodero e Hijos S.R.L. have the date 1961 printed on the control slip. These are boxes of "Naipes de 2ª Calidad", i.e. "seconds". The 50 Centavos brown inland revenue tax bands [Decreto 18.235: 1944-1964] were affixed outside the box as there was no wrapper inside the box. The tax bands quote the capital value of the company as $900,000 whilst the boxes still read $300,000.

The random numbers printed on the lower part of the fours of cups are manufacturer's control numbers and their exact meaning is unknown, but may be related to accounting of the inland revenue tax.

In around c.1965 the company name changed to Justo Rodero e Hijos S.A.I.C. with the factory address at Rio de Janeiro 935 and the sales office at Avda Fco Beiro 3855/59, Buenos Aires.

Naipes Casino, c.1975-95

Sometime after this the address changed yet again to Av. Dorrego 611/25.

Editions of Naipes Casino can be found with any of the above company names and addresses inscribed on the four of cups or the box, alongside other brands such as Naipes Brisca, Naipes Casino Celuplastic, Naipes Casino "SideCar" and Naipes Habana.

Naipes Casino, c.1980

Above: "Naipes Casino" c.1980. The address is now given as Av. Dorrego 611/23, Buenos Aires.

Naipes Casino, c.2000

Above: Naipes estilo Español Casino Celuplastic, c.2000. 48 cards + 2 jokers in Box.

Naipes Casino Sidecar, c.2006

Above: Naipes Casino "Sidecar" Celuplastic, c.2006, 48 cards + 2 jokers in Box. "Sidecar" is a former Fourvel brand.


By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.