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The Difference Between Tarot Cards and Playing Cards

The Difference Between Tarot Cards and Playing Cards

Everyone who has ever heard about tarot card reading must have been asking themselves what is the difference between tarot cards and playing cards.

The difference between tarot cards and playing cards is quite huge. Tarot contains 22 additional cards with a number and an individual name; they do not depend on suits and are called Arcana. In these additional 22 cards is the whole authority of the Tarot card reading.

Divination on ordinary playing card deck is perhaps the simplest thing you can think of. A deck of 36 playing cards is sold at every corner. Again, there are only 36 cards, not seven dozen, as in any of the Tarot card decks.


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Tarot card decks, unlike other card oracles, have a strict compositional and logical structure. This is a very harmonious and balanced guessing system related to astrology, alchemy and numerology. By compositional structure we mean a certain number of cards; strict division of the deck into Major and Minor Arcana cards, 4 suits, numerical and court cards. The logical structure of the deck is understood as a definite connection between the cards: each suit has a sort of gradual development. Considering this or that card, you can always say with a certain degree of probability what preceded this situation and what follows it – each card of the deck contains information about the previous and the next.

But, does it make sense to tempt fate with playing card deck? Or is such “fortune-telling” just one of the means of clever gypsy women, in whom both a stack of white sheets will show a “state house” and a long road?

Origin Of Cards

Understanding Divination With Cards

The centuries-old history of the existence of fortune-telling on playing cards speaks, rather, about the effectiveness of such fortune-telling. However, today there are skeptics who recognize only tarot readers, but do not believe in the reality of predictions in the playing cards reading.

Various divination methods were invented a long time ago. Even when a person did not even know how to read and write, he used various symbols to predict his future. One of the most common divinations, due to its simplicity and originality, became fortune-telling on cards.

Playing cards, if you follow the basic version, were already known in the 12th century in East Asia. Cards came to Europe from there. The first mention of cards in the European world appeared, according to some data, in Spain, on the other – in France. Initially, it is understandable, the cards were used for playing solitaires, i.e. for a good time. But then they noticed that they can be used to predict the future. Thus, various methods and types of fortune-telling on cards began to appear. Guessing in this way is the simplest and the results are fairly accurate.


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Playing cards is one of the eldest predictive systems, which many people use today. Such a deck is simpler than a Tarot deck, however, fortune-telling on playing cards is no less exciting and very effective. They are wondering about love, career, and the future; they can ask any question and get a very specific, comprehensive answer. It is supposed that guessing on the playing deck is quite simple. This is true and not true …

Indeed, everyone can master it. However, firstly, in order to correctly interpret the spreads, you need to learn a whole layer of information, moreover, of a rather special nature, and secondly, working with playing cards, as with Tarot, requires adherence to a number of conventions plus a developed intuition. Meanwhile, fortune telling on playing cards online allows you to get the same result, but with the application of a minimum of energy and time.

What Are the Differences and Similarities Between Tarot Cards and Playing Cards?

If you compare the playing deck and Tarot cards, you can see a number of characteristic features inherent in both. So, most researchers agree that four suits of the playing deck and four arcana of the Tarot have the same nature.

In addition, both of them, according to one of the opinions, designate four elements, which, as is well known, occupy not the last place in divination.

However, the differences between these two options are much more striking.

  • In the playing deck, there are no 22 cards of the Major Arcana that are in any Tarot deck.
  • In the playing deck, unlike the Tarot, there is no “Knight” card.
  • Each Major Arcana card in the playing deck is represented by a total of nine cards (no cards from 1 to 5).

Thus, fortune-telling on ordinary cards becomes a somewhat simplified version of the traditional practice of the tarot. But here there are some peculiarities.

A Few Rules of Fortune-Telling on Playing Cards

Fortune Telling With Playing Cards

In such a seemingly primitive form of fortune telling, like fortune telling on playing cards, it is surprising that its rules and requirements have been formed. Even a person far from the predictive practices, probably heard about some of them.

  • The deck must be completely new, not played yet, purchased specifically for fortune telling, and not for gambling. “
  • The fortune telling deck is strictly forbidden to give to someone.
  • The purchased deck should ideally be made of paper, not plastic.
  • The deck is shuffled in front of the hand.
  • After shuffling, some of the top cards are removed towards the heart.

These are only basic rules. For each fortune-teller, they have their own, without following the rules, a deck of cards simply will not answer the question. Someone reads a special prayer, someone concentrates and meditates, according to the principle of meditation on the Tarot.


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Whether to believe or not in fortune-telling on playing cards, this is for you to decide.

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