hist-games: Baraja Espanola

Jane & Mark Waks waks at comcast.net
Sat Jan 14 08:31:32 PST 2006


Huette von Ahrens wrote:
 > What he
> actually
> bought was a deck called Baraja Espanola.

After a little more digging around: it looks like "Baraja Espanola" 
simply refers to the most common Spanish-suited deck. Some of the online 
sources claim that it is directly descended from the Tarot, but I have 
no idea whether that's true or not.

You can certainly play a large number of games with the deck -- while 
modern American games tend to use the full 52-card deck, there are many 
games (especially earlier games) based on reduced decks of this size or 
smaller.

As for whether it's particularly closer to pre-1600, my instinct is not 
really. It's a direct descendent of the period Latin decks, but doesn't 
seem necessarily "closer" than the standard international deck is to its 
Anglo-French forebears. Neither style has changed all *that* much over 
the centuries -- many details have changed, and obviously the artwork 
has gotten more precise, but the basic motifs in both cases are still 
fairly close to their ancestors. (All that said, my expertise is 
definitely not the cards themselves; I'm mostly game-focused...)

				-- Justin





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