The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published July 03, 1996 Updated July 11, 2023

Playing cards in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Spanish Suited Add to Collection
Playing cards in the Dominican Republic

Playing cards in the Dominican Republic

Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Hispaniola in 1492, and it later became the major launching base for the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean, as well as the American mainland. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island, whilst Haiti occupies the west.

The Spaniards were fond of gambling and brought their dice, cards and recreational games with them. Early 16th century Spanish playing cards would have been available in Santo Domingo, similar to those discovered in Peru, and Spanish playing cards would have been used for the next 250 years or longer, until French-suited cards were introduced.

Spanish playing cards from c.1500-c.1800

Above: Spanish playing cards exported to new Spanish colonies from c.1550 onwards. Cards like these would have been in use for the first 200-300 years or so after the first Spanish settlers arrived.

Cards commonly found for sale today include the ubiquitous "Briscas" Spanish-suited playing cards, made in Spain, Hong Kong or China, and which turn up in souvenir shops in most Latin American countries, as well as tourist souvenir packs like those illustrated below.

Dominican Republic souvenir playing cards © A.F. Dominican Republic souvenir playing cards © A.F.

Above: Souvenir playing cards from the Dominican Republic, unknown manufacturer, made in China. The ace of spades and jokers have the initials A.F.© and the plastic box has "Republica Dominicana" printed on the lid.

Dragon Cards by Francisco Flores Spanish National Cards by Felix Solesio
avatar
1,432 Articles

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

1816 Spanish-suited deck by J.Y. Humphreys

Spanish-suited deck by J.Y. Humphreys

A rare Spanish-suited deck published by J.Y. Humphreys, Philadelphia, c.1816.

P. Buscaglia: Spanish-suited cards

P. Buscaglia: Spanish-suited cards

Spanish-suited cards published by P. Buscaglia, Mele & Genova.

1460 XV Century Spanish-suited playing cards

XV Century Spanish-suited playing cards

XV Century Spanish-suited playing cards with moorish influences

1850 Bertschinger y Codina

Bertschinger y Codina

Fantasy Spanish-suited playing cards by Bertschinger y Codina (Barcelona), c.1850.

1850 Alphonse Arnoult Spanish-suited pack

Alphonse Arnoult Spanish-suited pack

Luxurious Spanish-suited pack made by Alphonse Arnoult, Paris, France, c.1850.

1814 Clemente Roxas double-ended Spanish pack

Clemente Roxas double-ended Spanish pack

Double-ended Spanish-suited playing cards published by Clemente de Roxas in Madrid, 1814.

Antoine de Logiriera

Antoine de Logiriera

Archaic Spanish-suited playing cards published in Toulouse by Antoine de Logiriera (1495-1518).

1490 J. Deluy  c.1490s

J. Deluy c.1490s

Archaic Spanish-suited cards produced by J. Deluy c.1490s.

1910 Wüst Spanish pattern

Wüst Spanish pattern

Wüst Spanish pattern c.1910 advertising Cuban ‘Tropical’ beer.

Hermanos Solesio

Hermanos Solesio

“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.

1994 Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards appear to depict Spanish conquistadors © 1994.

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

1897 Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

Naipes ‘El Leon’ manufactured by Federico Hidalgo (Barcelona, 1897-1899).

2009 Naipes ‘La Criolla’ by Anabella Corsi

Naipes ‘La Criolla’ by Anabella Corsi

Inspired by an archaic Spanish pattern formerly used in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries.

1875 Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, c.1875.

1970 Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir by Heraclio Fournier, c.1970.

1951 Martínez de León

Martínez de León

Bull-fighters pack published by Hijos de Heraclio Fournier, Vitoria (Spain) with artwork by Andrés M...

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s....

2008 Foto Joker

Foto Joker

'Foto Joker' Spanish playing cards for Matera Color Laboratory, 2008.

El Jokey by Piatnik, 1990s

El Jokey by Piatnik, 1990s

‘El Jokey’ Spanish-suited pack by Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, 1990s

1978 Philishave

Philishave

Spanish-suited advertising deck for Philishave electric razors.

1995 Baraja Canaria

Baraja Canaria

‘La Auténtica Baraja Canaria’ was published in 1995 by Justo Pérez as an expression of the history a...

1888 Jaime Margarit - Recreo Infantil

Jaime Margarit - Recreo Infantil

'Recreo Infantil' children's educational cards published by Jaime Margarit, Palamós (Gerona) c.1888....

1710 Benoist Laius

Benoist Laius

Spanish playing cards such as these were used in those parts of France where certain games were enjo...

1993 Baraja Edad Media

Baraja Edad Media

Baraja Edad Media, fantasy Spanish-suited medieval playing cards published Mas-Reynals, Barcelona, 1...

La Española Classic

La Española Classic

‘La Española Classic’ is a traditional ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack and is produced in several ...

Joan Barbot

Joan Barbot

Joan Barbot, San Sebastian c.1765-1810.

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards.

Navarra, XVII Century

Navarra, XVII Century

Facsimile of 17th century Spanish-suited playing cards produced by Erregeak, Sormen S.A., Vitoria-Ga...

Cartes Catalanes

Cartes Catalanes

Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenees region of Southern France.

Copag Baralho Espanhol

Copag Baralho Espanhol

Copag Baralho Espanhol / Naipes Español.

Chaudsoleil Wine

Chaudsoleil Wine

Chaudsoleil Red Wine advertising playing cards from Morocco.

2010 Dengue

Dengue

Dengue prevention playing cards. Juego de 40 Naipes. Material para la prevención del Dengue, Ministe...

1990 Baraja Digital

Baraja Digital

Baraja Digital by Naipes De La Cigüeña, 1990.

Agostino Bergallo

Agostino Bergallo

Agostino Bergallo Spanish pattern made for South American countries

Giuseppe Cattino

Giuseppe Cattino

Playing cards manufactured in Italy by Giuseppe Cattino and Paolo Montanar for Spanish markets.

Naipes del Salitre

Naipes del Salitre

Playing cards recovered from the Northern Chile saltpetre workers. The cards are mostly from Spanish...

Pedro Bosio, 2

Pedro Bosio, 2

Cards of the Spanish National Pattern manufactured by Pedro Bosio, Genova (Italy) during the 18th ce...

Pedro Bosio

Pedro Bosio

Cards of the Spanish National Pattern 'Money Bag' type manufactured by Pedro Bosio, Genova (Italy) ...

1980 Naipes ‘Baccarat’

Naipes ‘Baccarat’

An example of the typical version of the Spanish Catalan pattern which is widely used in South Ameri...