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Published July 03, 1996 Updated May 02, 2022

Playing Cards in Honduras

Honduras shares a long tradition with Spain in the field of playing cards.

Honduras Spanish Suited

Playing Cards in HONDURAS

COLUMBUS landed in Honduras in 1502, the Spaniards completing the conquest of the country in 1522. Thus Honduras shares a long tradition with Spain in the field of playing cards. The Spaniards were fond of gambling and brought their dice, cards and recreational games with them. In 1583 one Alonso Martínez de Orteguilla was authorised to administer the manufacture and sale of playing cards in New Mexico (which included Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras). Any local production was effectively suppressed and cards supplied from Spain or Mexico.


Above: throughout the 16th - 18th centuries packs were imported from Spain or Mexico, following Spanish taste and traditions of the day.

In 1821 the states of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua achieved independence from Spanish rule and formed the Central American Federation until 1838, when the independent Republic of Honduras was established. There has been some local production, following Spanish designs, but most playing cards are imported into Honduras.


Left: pack made in Honduras based upon the Spanish Catalan pattern, and with a slightly modified ace of coins so that the Honduras flag is shown draped behind the Spanish one.

Dragon Cards by Francisco Flores Spanish National Cards by Felix Solesio
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator 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.


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