Are There Any Tarot Card Games?

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By Ralph Torres

Tarot cards have been around for centuries and have been used for various purposes, including divination and spiritual guidance. However, many people are unaware that there are games that can be played with tarot cards. In this article, we will explore the history of tarot card games and how they are played.

History of Tarot Card Games

While the exact origin of tarot card games is unknown, it is believed that they originated in Italy during the 15th century. The first known reference to tarot cards being used for gaming purposes was in a sermon given by a Franciscan friar in 1450. The game quickly spread throughout Europe and became particularly popular in France during the 18th century.

Types of Tarot Card Games

There are several different types of tarot card games, each with its own set of rules and variations. Some of the most popular include:


Tarocchi is a trick-taking game played with a standard deck of 78 tarot cards. The game is typically played with four players, although it can also be played with three or five players. Each player is dealt a hand of cards, and the goal is to win as many tricks as possible.

Tarot Nouveau

Tarot Nouveau is another trick-taking game that is similar to Tarocchi but uses a different deck of cards. The deck consists of only 54 cards, with the major arcana cards removed. The game is typically played with three or four players.


Tarock is a family of trick-taking games that originated in Austria and Germany. The games are played with a special deck of 78 tarot cards that includes an additional suit called trumps or tarocks. The goal is to win tricks and collect points.

How to Play Tarot Card Games

The rules for tarot card games can vary depending on the specific game being played. However, there are some general guidelines that apply to most games.

First, the cards are shuffled and dealt to the players. The number of cards dealt can vary depending on the game. In some games, each player is dealt a hand of cards, while in others, there is a common pool of cards that players draw from.

Once the cards have been dealt, players take turns playing cards and trying to win tricks. The player who wins a trick leads the next round of play.

The game continues until all of the cards have been played, and then points are tallied up based on the rules of the specific game being played. The player with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.


While tarot card games may not be as well-known as other types of card games, they have a rich history and are still played by many people today. Whether you are looking for a new type of card game to try or want to explore the history of tarot cards further, these games offer an engaging way to learn more about this fascinating tradition.