Finding the best tarot deck for you is a deeply personal and important journey. There are many things to consider such as how the pictures appeal to you, whether you can easily decipher the cards’ meanings, and if you will be using your deck for personal or commercial use. There are many tarot card decks to choose from, so you will certainly be able to find one (or many!) that works for you. Take your time and choose the cards that resonates the most with you.
Spiritualism and new age practices are on the rise worldwide. Although the oldest surviving set of tarot cards dates back to the 13th century, seeking advice through card reading is more popular than ever. Every day, millions flock to Google and Youtube to learn Tarot card meanings and download the hundreds of tarot apps in Apple’s App Store as a way to find guidance.
What’s interesting is that the crowd that is taking up tarot reading as a passion isn’t made up of just Wiccans and witches. Millennials from all races, religions, and economic backgrounds are embracing this ancient practice. Even rational, fact-loving Silicon Valley tech gurus are turning to card reading to learn more about their future.
Although this seems a little contradictory, many newbie tarot hobbyists are using the cards not for an occult-connection but as a tool for reflection and connection to their Higher Selves. They also see the benefits of tarot reading, such as improved decision making and clarity. The hardest decision they have to make? Which Tarot deck to use.
Our Reader’s Best-voted Tarot Decks
Whether your tarot interest is just blossoming or you’re ready to launch your tarot business, we asked over 5000 tarot readers (many of whom are professional tarot readers) about their go-to tarot decks. Check out their cosmic recommendations below.
If after looking at deck options you’re unsure about which set to choose, keep reading. Below the list, you’ll find some tips on how to choose a deck that resonates with you.
P.S. Don’t give much thought to the old myth that you should never buy your own tarot deck, we’ll debunk that like true mythbusters.
1. Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
The Rider-Waite tarot deck is considered the gold standard among the tarot community. This deck offers vibrant and classic interpretations of each major and minor arcana card. Although this deck originated in 1909, it still remains one of the best tarot decks in any collection.- VIEW PRICE -
2. The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck
The Wild Unknown is a full card deck that embodies magic and mystery. The deck comes with a detailed and easy to understand guidebook to help you learn the ins and outs of readings, as well.- VIEW PRICE -
3. Renaissance Tarot Decks
The Renaissance Tarot deck by Brian Williams combines the European Renaissance and Roman and Greek mythology. The cards feature images of gods and deities that correspond to their card’s meaning. If you know a thing or two about this period in European history, this could be an easy deck for you to understand and appreciate.- VIEW PRICE -
4. The Good Tarot Deck
The Good Tarot deck revolves around the present and positive outcomes. Rather than providing divination or fortune-telling, this deck offers an affirmation on each card rather than a meaning. The main aim of this deck is to express the highest good of all.- VIEW PRICE -
5. Cosmic Tarot Deck
The Cosmic Tarot deck illustrates unique, ornate designs inspired by familiar figures in our lives. This deck would be a good match for those who read more intuitively, as the literal and symbolic landscape of each card is ornate and detailed, but not always obvious to your average beginner.- VIEW PRICE -
6. ShadowScapes Tarot Deck
The ShadowScapes Tarot deck is a popular choice among many new-age tarot readers for its modern look and feel. The cards feature stunning watercolor illustrations. Anyone who is a fan of fantasy would appreciate and love this deck since the artwork models after the same theme.- VIEW PRICE -
7. The Gilded Tarot Deck
The beautiful and color-saturated imagery on the cards in The Gilded Tarot deck makes it stand out among others. It is based on the Riders-Waite deck, which gives makes it appealing for those who appreciate the traditional model but are looking for a more visually striking option to fit their needs.- VIEW PRICE -
8. The Mythic Tarot Deck
The Mythic tarot card deck is another option that shows Greek gods and goddesses. The collection originated in 1989 but has been reprinted almost every year since, so there are always fresh, new illustrations to choose from.- VIEW PRICE -
9. The Golden Tarot Deck
The Golden Tarot deck consists of imagery inspired by the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. The edges of each card are adorned with gold gilt and have rich colors that ring true to the time period they represent.- VIEW PRICE -
10. The Gaian Tarot Deck
The Gaian Tarot deck was created for those who believe in earth-centered spirituality. The cards depict wildlife, plants, and elements.- VIEW PRICE -
11. The Illuminated Tarot
The Illuminated Tarot deck consists of 53 ornately decorated cards. While most decks have 78, this option is modeled after traditional playing cards. The Major Arcana are combined with certain Minor Arcana cards, providing a more profound and all-inclusive reading.- VIEW PRICE -
12. Housewives Tarot
The Housewives Tarot deck is a kitschy one, packaged in a faux recipe book container. The artwork style is reminiscent of the fifties and depicts attitude, style, and fashion.- VIEW PRICE -
13. The Next World Tarot
The Next World Tarot encompasses a world where justice relies on love and respect – perfect for the modern-day new age reader!- VIEW PRICE -
14. The Hermetic Tarot
The Hermetic Tarot deck is unique in that it is illustrated only in black and white. It emphasizes the mystical and astrological senses of the Golden Dawn order.- VIEW PRICE -
15. The Practical Magic Tarot
The Practical Magic tarot deck is the perfect combination of modern, easy to understand and fun. Each card depicts modern images along with well-known catchphrases and archetypes. Tarot newbies love this deck!- VIEW PRICE -
16. The Morgan Greer Tarot
The Morgan Greer Tarot is another example of a reworking of the Rider-Waite deck. The characters on the card are shown in close up and are fairly easy to understand, making it a good first deck for a beginner.- VIEW PRICE -
17. Chrysalis Tarot
The Chrysalis Tarot deck focuses on a spiritual journey. The illustrations are otherworldly in nature and archetypes are meant to guide you down your spiritual path.- VIEW PRICE -
18. The Wonderland Tarot Decks
The Wonderland Tarot deck consists of illustrations based on Sir John Tenniel’s artwork in Alice’s Adventures and Through the Looking Glass. This deck is perfect for a beginner that is already familiar with the main characters in these stories. The archetypes of each character match up well to the meaning of the cards.- VIEW PRICE -
19. Revelations Tarot
The Revelations Tarot deck has imagery that is reminiscent of a stained glass window. The depictions are beautifully illustrated and double-ended, each displaying an upright and reversed image in the center of the card.- VIEW PRICE -
20. Sun and Moon Tarot
The Sun and Moon tarot deck offers a unique mashup of mythology and astrology. The resulting insight is easily accessible and grants valuable insight.- VIEW PRICE -
21. Deviant Moon Tarot Deck
The Deviant Moon tarot deck is inspired by childhood dreams. It’s playful depictions appeal to the reader’s imagination. The extremely talented artists Patrick Valenza combined his visions and childhood dreams in his Tarot deck but also released this fully illustrated book that takes you behind the scenes to peek at the creative process and artistic inspirations that gave rise to this popular tarot deck, definetly an addition to this stunning tarot deck.- VIEW PRICE -
22. Neo Tarot
The Neo Tarot deck comes as a deck and book combo. The book is attached to the cutout, exemplifying how much the duo belongs together. The direction offered in the book makes it perfect for beginners and is a beautiful approach fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing & Empowerment.- VIEW PRICE -
23. Kawaii Tarot
This cutesy interpretation of the traditional tarot deck brings a light and fun feel to any reading. It is visually appealing and meant to appeal to those who love all things kawaii.- VIEW PRICE -
24. Tattoo Tarot
The Tattoo Tarot deck is exactly what it sounds like: it depicts card characters as tattoos. If you are a body art fanatic, this one might be right for you. The set includes 78 cards of the tarot deck based on traditional tarot iconography, luxuriously packaged in a gift box with a stunningly designed 28-page booklet.- VIEW PRICE -
25. Cat Tarot
The Cat tarot is a fun and playful approach to the average tarot deck. As expected, each character is interpreted as a cat in this full-size deck. A very entertaining modern twist to the classic tarot that combines authenticity with a feline sense of humor, perfect as a gift for any Cat Lover. Comes with a guidebook on how to get the most out of your cat’s wisdom.- VIEW PRICE -
26. Mystic Mondays Tarot
Mystic Mondays is a tarot deck that was designed with the modern reader in mind. The depictions are bright and colorful and feature holographic edging. This deck strikes an amazing balance between minimalism and colorful vibrancy and is great for everyday use.- VIEW PRICE -
27. Angel Tarot Card Deck
The Angel Tarot card deck is a light and easy to digest collection. The full-card compilation includes images of unicorns, mermaids and fairies.- VIEW PRICE -
28. Santa Muerte Tarot
The Santa Muerte Tarot deck was designed around the Day of the Dead. For this reason, it works as a powerful tool for readings driven by the mysticism surrounding this day.- VIEW PRICE -
29. Celtic Tarot Card Deck
As the name suggests, the Celtic tarot deck revolves around Celtic mythology and tradition. If you are familiar with this, this deck will be much easier and more enjoyable for you to work with.- VIEW PRICE -
30. The Linestrider Tarot Card Decks
The Linestrider tarot deck shows breathtaking images that walk the line between ethereal and reality. The minimalist approach to illustration will do much to enhance your reading.- VIEW PRICE -
31. Herbal Tarot Divination
Each card in the Herbal Tarot Divination pack depicts a different medicinal herb. The idea of this illustration technique is to encourage the reader to base their reading off of intuition and knowledge of the herb in question.- VIEW PRICE -
32. The Fountain Tarot Card Deck
The Fountain Tarot card deck is a wonderfully crafted, modern tarot deck. The accompanying guidebook offers in-depth interpretations that are great for first-time readers, as well. The Fountain Tarot is an incredible re-envisioning of any classic tarot deck, bringing the traditional archetypes and symbology of tarot into a contemporary context. This set is a perfect gift as this 79 silver-gilded cards with original oil paintings and die-cut rounded corners come with a 112-page guidebook in a holographic shimmer box with magnetic-closure and lifting ribbon.- VIEW PRICE -
33. Robin Wood Tarot Decks
Each card in the wood-engraved tarot card is designed to look just like that – wood engraved. This is the perfect occult or mystical gift for the spiritual person in your life, that you can even custom-engraved with someone’s initials.- VIEW PRICE -
34. Bleu Cat Tarot
Bleu Cat Tarot captures antics and expressive body language of the Blue cat, playful and clear cards for a beginner and cat-lover alike. Using the gentle, knowing humor of a Siamese Cat’s daily life, the accompanying fun and easy guidebook offers cat-wise reflections of the pulled Tarot card that will tickle your fancy while teaching your the ways of the Ca(t)arot.- VIEW PRICE -
35. Arcanum Tarot
These cards are not only gorgeous, but they also photograph beautifully with realistic figures set among lush and magical landscapes and settings. The art is so detailed that if you are a beginner reader you will be able to figure out what the card means by the details in the image. Designed to connect the deepest parts of your soul to the highest realms of the divine, the Arcanum Tarot will show what you need to see in order to move forward toward your destiny and goals.- VIEW PRICE -
36. The Cosmic Cycles Tarot
The Cosmic Cycles Tarot deck is one of the best decks that represent today’s reality. The illustrations on the cards include well-drawn, diverse characters with a great representation of personality. This deck is currently in production and is expected to be ready for fulfillment late November/early December 2019.- VIEW PRICE -
37. Spirit De La Lune Tarot
Spirit De La Lune Tarot is an oracle deck that draws its interpretation from the cycles of the moon. It is easy to read and is unique in that the cards are all circle, so if you’re looking to switch it up a little without sacrificing ease of understanding and use, this is an option for you.- VIEW PRICE -
38. Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck
The Ethereal Visions Illuminated tarot deck features more traditional looking illustrations with a modern twist. This is a modern interpretation of the Rider-Waite deck.- VIEW PRICE -
39. Spiritsong Tarot Deck
Spiritsong tarot deck combines the ideas of divination and animal guide. The cards might depict a certain animal or an abstract idea or interpretation. Each animal was specifically selected based upon Shamanic and Native American symbolism, merging each animal’s unique power with modern day tarot practices. This pack is recommended for use by more advanced tarot readers.- VIEW PRICE -
40. The Green Witch Tarot Decks
Beautiful vivid imagery incorporated with old religion, present witchcarft practices, natural energies and the elements of the world. This Green Withc Tarot Deck opens up a channel between our spiritual being, plants, animals and the user of the deck. Stunningly illustred and guided by a book to easily interpretate the powerful symbols and energetic wisdoms of these cards to find the anwsers you need.- VIEW PRICE -
41. BONUS: Game of Thrones Tarot Card Set
This is only for the real GOT and TAROT lovers out there. What a perfect intersection of our two favorites. This deluxe box melds the tradition of the tarot with the deep archetypes of Game of Thrones with 78 masterly crafted cards and a 114-page hardcover 2-color booklet, presentaed in a gorgeously illustrated giftbox. Game of Thrones fans will indulge in this treasure trove of much-loved characters, scenes, and stories from the show that are symbolized through the cards and explained via the Game of Thrones Tarot Card Deck handbook. The perfect gift for any Game of Thrones lover to keep that dragon fire burning.- VIEW PRICE -
the old myth: Can you buy your first tarot deck yourself?
One of the main things that stop tarot enthusiasts from diving into Tarot reading is the old wives’ tale that says you shouldn’t buy your first tarot deck, but that it must be given to you. Although this is a mistaken belief that almost all psychic readers have heard of, it is nothing more than silly superstition.
Most readers believe that this myth comes from a time when tarot decks were not difficult to find, in some places, it was a crime to use them. Because they were sold on the ‘black market’ of the time, you would need to know the right person to get your hands on a set. Buying or attempting to purchase from the wrong person was dangerous. Thankfully, times have changed.
Now, you can and should buy your own set of tarot cards. Giving credibility to this myth is “the surest way to get a deck you don’t like. Or to be kept waiting,” says intuitive reader and author Theresa Reed. So drop that notion right now and shop your heart out.
How to choose a tarot deck that is right for you
Buying your first (or newest) deck is a super exciting process! It can also be extremely overwhelming because of the sheer number of Tarot decks available for purchase. When you add in the fact that each option has its own energy and artistic symbolism, the process of picking just one can become anxiety-producing.
This was the case for Sarah, who was new to tarot and wanted to expand her collection. Initially, she bought the class Rider-Waite deck and used it to learn all 78 tarot card meanings. While watching an experienced reader give a reading using two different decks, Sarah decided she needed a second set of cards.
An hour after walking into her local bookstore to buy another deck, Sarah left emptyhanded. It wasn’t that they didn’t have any tarot cards she liked–they had hundreds! She simply couldn’t decide on a new deck.
So, where should Sarah (or anyone looking for the perfect tarot deck) begin? Here are 8 of the best ways to select a Tarot deck that will take your readings to the next level.
1. Go with your intuition!
My number one rule when it comes to buying a deck of cards: your tarot deck must resonate with you. Like choosing a partner, selecting a tarot deck is all about personal connection! Just as you wouldn’t pick your wedding dress, husband, home, or vehicle-based on someone else’s opinion, the same is true of the cards.
Here’s an example. Many readers love oracle decks. They like that the cards have straightforward messages such as “You are born entrepreneur and your self-employment opportunities are endless” or “You are a spiritual teacher and have the ability to counsel others.” When they read with these cards, there are no surprises and the message is clear.
Other readers prefer decks with symbolism that have different meanings and must be interpreted through intuition. These spiritualists believe that how the reading falls and the cards that surround each one can change a card’s message. For this type of reader, an oracle deck wouldn’t feel right.
Go with your intuition. What energy do you pick up from the tarot deck? Is there a personal connection between you and the Tarot deck you are considering? The feeling is much more important here than logic.
2. Explore the Imagery Of Each Tarot deck Card
Write around 100-200 words about how the imaginary. Write that I view tarot as a form of art and we all have our own aesthetic preferences when it comes the type of art we prefer. Maybe you like minimalism, computer-generated, watercolor style, woodblock prints, black and white, etc. No matter what your artistic preference, there is sure to be a deck out there for you; it’s just up to you to find it.
Like many other people, I view tarot as a form of art. Most tarot decks contain very few words on the faces of their cards. What are front and center is imagery that must be individually interpreted? Tarot decks are known for both their ability to predict the future and beauty. This makes every reading unique, like a thumbprint.
We all have our own aesthetic preferences when it comes to the type of art we prefer. Some people frame pictures of blue dogs and hang them on their wall proudly while others might think it ridiculous to pay $25000 for a cartoon-like picture of a canine.
Maybe you like minimalism, computer-generated, or watercolor style while your best friend prefers woodblock prints, black and white, etc. No matter what your artistic preference, there is sure to be a deck out there for you; it’s just up to you to find it.
3. Keep in mind your current tarot level
For one, it is easy to understand based on the imagery alone. Take the Six of Swords for example. You can see just by looking at this card that one is (or will soon) be leaving a person, place, or situation behind. This is one of the major meanings of the Tarot, but it isn’t something that you have to know by memory. By simply looking at the card, most readers would be able to give the person they are reading for a solid understanding of what is happening.
Also, the Rider-Waite has been around for over 100 years. For this reason, there is more information available surrounding this deck than any other. When you are first learning to read cards, it can be reassuring to have lots of interpretation info available to read. Choosing a less-known deck makes studying all 78 tarot cards more difficult.
If the thought of this seems overwhelming to you, you may prefer a deck with clear, minimalist imagery like the Mystic Monday Deck. With this set, it is easy to connect with the symbols, allowing you to focus more on your intuition than pictures and pre-determined meanings.
Once you feel comfortable as a reader, you consider venturing out a bit. The Everday Witch is a cool option for those wanting to embrace the witch within. Animal lovers could try this fun Cat Tarot deck while those who like black and white might buy the Hermetic Tarot. Take some time to mull over cards from different sets and see which you feel most comfortable reading.
4. Do you want to Go Traditional Or Modern?
When it comes to tarot decks that are two types–traditional and modern. A deck doesn’t have to be one or the other though. I like to think of their design as a pendulum. A deck’s design can be traditional, modern or something in between. Again, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer here. It is all about personal preference.
Many traditional decks follow the Rider-Waite closely in both card names and designs. These are known as traditional or ‘clones’ and are preferred by many readers. They usually have more conservative images and a conventional feel. If you are reading for your grandmother, a traditional deck might be best. If you want to shake things up a little, consider purchasing a more contemporary setting.
Modern decks are quite the opposite. They use fresh, colorful imagery that is easy for our current generation to connect with. Some include more women, minorities, and symbols that aren’t a part of traditional cards. The Rider-Waite tarot deck is not for everyone–and that’s okay!
If traditional tarot decks don’t resonate with you, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t a powerful reader. Would we say that Picasso is less of a painter than another great because they didn’t use the same paint? Again, connect with your Higher Self and choose what feels right for you.
5. How Does the Deck Depict Your Favorite Card?
Keep in mind that purchasing a tarot deck isn’t like buying a new sweater. It takes a great deal of thought and consideration. Take time to look up the deck you’re considering and make sure that the artist’s interpretation of the cards that you love the most is spot-on with how you read these same cards.
Most of us have a favorite tarot card or one that we feel represents us well. I really love Strength and the Two of Swords, so I look for them in every deck I consider buying. The lion depicted on the Strength card is one that I really connected with. If he isn’t featured in a certain deck, I probably wouldn’t buy it. Take a moment to think about your favorite card. Which is the most important to you?
6. Find A Size That Fits
I have small hands. This is something I never really considered a problem until started reading tarot. Each card in the Rider-Waite deck is 6 3/4″ in height x 4″ in width. Standard Tarot card sizing is 2.75″ x 4.75″ (70mm x 121mm) which means the RW deck is a lot bigger than some other decks.
It wasn’t until bought a second deck that I realized my trouble shuffling my cards wasn’t my ‘clumsy hands’ as much as it was the size of the cards. Since them, I’ve gravitated toward decks with smaller cards that are easier for me to handle. Getting a real ‘feel’ for a deck is something that you should do as well.
Look at the sizing on the card packaging, do a quick Google search online, and practice shuffling the cards (if you have the opportunity.)
7. How are you going to use the tarot decks?
Tip number seven is a reminder that it is crucial to consider the types of Tarot readings you’ll be doing before actually committing to a certain deck. If you are simply wanting to read for yourself, you easily can find a deck that’s perfect for your personal desires. The Soulful Woman is a personal favorite because of its message of empowerment. The Love Your Inner Goddess is a deck I use a lot, as well. However, these aren’t my go-to cards for reading for others.
Energy is one of the main guides in an intuitive reading. Just as it guides us to different cards, it can also push a reader toward a certain deck. This is one of the main reasons that professional tarot readers usually have a number of decks on hand before they begin a tarot reading. The best reading I’ve ever received was with a reader who used two sets of cards at the same time. She used the traditional Rider-Waite first and then placed Dame Darcy Alice in Wonderland cards over each one as ‘confirmations.’ This offered a very unique and memorable meaning to the reading.
8. Check For Quality
Finally, you’ll want to ensure the cards that you buy are of high quality so that you can use them for years to come. While writing this article, I linked my personal knowledge of tarot with a great deal of research. Stumbling upon a deck that I thought to be the most beautiful of any that I’ve seen. I couldn’t wait to recommend them (and to buy a deck for myself.)
Continuing to Amazon to buy the cards and saw that they had a two-star rating. I quickly scanned the reviews to figure out why. The reason: buyers stated the cards were made of paper-thin card stock that easily bent and ripped. Although the design was beautiful, the manufacturer cut-corners during production. If this isn’t fixed, it will cost the creator dearly. No matter how beautiful the imagery is, it is best to avoid these types of decks if at all possible.
How to take care of your deck
Taking care of your tarot cards is just as important of a process as buying them. Below are a few important tips that can help you make the best of your deck and protect their energy as well (yes, this is a thing).
Storing your Tarot Decks
Find a place to store your cards. Keeping them in the box is an option as is wrapping them in silk or another fabric of your choice. You’ll want to make sure that they aren’t left out, especially for others to touch since allowing others to handle your cards can disturb their energy and make them unusable for reading.
Clean your Tarot Cards
Establish a cleaning routine for your cards. Because the energies of others can easily attach to your decks, you’ll want to use different sets of cards for private and personal readings. Regardless of what deck you’re using, when you are done with a reading you will need to cleanse them. The options for doing so are endless, but white sage and crystal cleansing are two favorites.
Getting your first deck
Hopefully, after reading this article you feel much more at ease (and excited) about buying a new deck than you did before. Remember that you are the one who will be using your cards day in and day out, so you’ll want to choose based on your intuition, artistic eye, and other personal preferences while still considering things like sizing and quality. Once bought, you’ll be able to start reading right away, but make sure to take care of them! If you do so, you’ll be able to use them for self-improvement and guidance for many, many years.
Now that we have gone over some of the top tarot decks of 2020, you should have an idea of what is out there. There are tarot decks that are perfect for people of any age, and from any walk of life. Whether you’re a beginning tarot reader or an expert mystic that gives daily readings, we got you covered with our ultimate list of the best-voted tarot decks for all-time. No matter what you choose, the best part is, there is always a new and fresh option right around the corner!