Finding the right tarot deck for you is a deeply personal and important journey. As an avid tarot reader myself I know first-hand that there are just so many things to consider.
How do the pictures appeal to you? Can you easily decipher the cards’ meanings? Will you be using your deck for personal or commercial use?
The good news is that not only the number of tarot enthusiasts is growing, but with it, also the number of beautifully designed decks.
The issue though, is that there is no one place that has made it easy to find popular, trending, and available decks that are on the market for sale right now.
This is what I’ve set out to do with this article, to make it easy and effortless to find the best tarot deck that resonates with you and your wishes.
The majority of the reviews are done by me personally, but in case I didn’t have the deck, I’ve asked the help of my readers to review them with me.
Table of Contents
THE BEST TAROT DECKS OF ALL-TIME
If, after looking at all our favorite decks here, you’re unsure about which deck to choose, keep reading. Below the list, you’ll find some tips on how to choose a tarot deck that resonates with you.
And don’t worry, I wouldn’t give much thought to the old myth that you should never buy your own tarot deck, we’ll debunk that myth like true MythBusters.
Now, without further ado, our highest ranking Tarot Decks list of all-time!
1. Rider-Waite Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
The Rider-Waite tarot deck is considered the gold standard in the tarot community. First drawn in 1909 by Pamela Colman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite, this deck offers vibrant and classic interpretations of each major and minor arcana card.
You might be able to say that this is the world’s most popular tarot deck. It’s the classic Tarot deck that has been a favorite of beginners as well as expert tarot enthusiasts and I don’t think it is going to be thrown off its throne anytime soon.
Smith’s vibrant drawings transformed the standard tarot deck and it still remains one of the best tarot decks in any collection. I highly recommend this deck if you’re completely new to tarot because most of the tarot card meaning descriptions are based on this tarot deck.
2. The Wild Unknown Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
The Wild Unknown tarot deck is a full card deck that embodies magic and mystery. The cards are mainly black and white (so if you’re looking for a colorful tarot deck, go for another one like the Modern Way Tarot or Mystic Mondays deck), but have beautiful colored details.
The deck comes with a detailed and easy-to-understand guidebook to help you learn the ins and outs of readings, as well. It contains not only the meanings of the cards but also easy tarot spreads and things like how to shuffle the cards.
The art of this guidebook is so beautiful, that the book itself makes it worth buying this tarot deck (I even love the font!).
Because of the detailed book, I would even recommend this deck for beginners who aren’t up for the standard Rider-Waite tarot deck (just keep in mind that the court cards are named differently, but you will get used to this pretty fast).
Because of the detailed book, I would even recommend this deck for beginners who aren’t up for the standard Rider-Waite tarot deck (just keep in mind that the court cards are named differently, but you will get used to this pretty fast).
3. The Modern Way Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
With the Modern Way Tarot deck, the creators set out to come up with a modern and more intuitive take on the traditional Rider-Waite tarot cards.
They kept the symbolisms almost identical while putting more emphasis on important elements, making these tarot cards easier to understand and use.
Even more so because it comes with a 194-page Tarot guidebook that includes an introduction to tarot, simple instructions to get started for beginners, tarot spreads for advanced readers and all the 78 tarot meanings for easy referencing.
This set contains 80 high-quality Tarot Cards including the 22 Major Arcana Cards, 52 Minor Arcana Cards, and 2 Limited Edition Modern Way™ cards, printed on thick and durable card stock but light enough to easily shuffle and hold.
The Modern Way Tarot cards are all based on the original Pamela Colman Smith designs but recreated for the 21st century. You’ll find a perfect balance of vibrancy and minimalism, from lively colors and strong contrasts to the powerful use of elements and shapes.
4. Mystic Mondays Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
Mystic Mondays is a tarot deck that was designed with the modern reader in mind. The depictions are bright and colorful and feature stunning holographic edging as you can see here:
This deck strikes an amazing balance between minimalism and colorful vibrancy and is great for everyday use. It is not surprising that this deck is voted this among the top decks, and with its positive vibes that invite you to start your day right.
5. Modern Witch Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
Overly impressed. That describes my feeling when I first had this tarot deck in my hands. Illustrator Lisa Sterle has given the symbolism of the traditional Rider—Waite deck youthful, fashionable characters and items from our modern lives. It’s inclusive and brings fun and fresh air to a reading.
It is kind of like the Rider-Waite deck, but then with a modern twist. This makes it a good alternative for tarot beginners who don’t want to start with the traditional Rider-Waite deck.
Not only the artwork is impressive, but it’s also clear that there’s significant attention to detail with the entire product. The deck itself feels solid to handle, the cards are thick and glossy and the little white book that is included is small but comprehensive.
It has quickly become my favorite working deck and therefore it is included in my top five.
6. Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
With the Ethereal Tarot Deck, the creator Matt Hughes has taken the traditional Ride-Waite deck and mixed it with inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement. This way it features more traditional-looking illustrations with a modern distinctive twist.
The colors in the deck are very soft and put across gentle energy. While I understand what others say about finding the gold stamping to be a bit bright, I personally think it gives a beautiful touch to the otherwise subtle artwork. And it makes your readings just a little bit more interesting!
7. The Spark of Joy Printable Tarot Deck
I’m so excited to share this one with you! It is the first tarot deck that I’ve developed and I decided to share it with my community so that everybody can print it at home and start using it right away!
The Spark of Joy Tarot deck consists of 78 printable cards painted with a mixed technique of watercolor and ink. Interpreted and designed to convey the ideal archetypes of the Tarot with a colorful twist, this printable Tarot deck is perfect for both beginning and expert Tarot readers.
It is created with the highest quality in mind so that when printing it at home, you can use this deck over and over again. Interested? Click here to get it via my Etsy store!
8. Forest of Enchantment TarotVIEW PRICE
The Forest of Enchantment Tarot deck is a gentle yet stunning reimagined tarot deck of the archetypal dark woods of fairytale, folklore, and mystic legends.
The 288-page guidebook by Lunea Weatherstone, Your Path Through the Enchanted Forest, is included in the simple yet pretty box set.
I personally love the animals, trees, birds, witches, elves, fairies, and flower blossoms on the cards. However, it must be noted that the conventional titles of the Major Arcana have largely been discarded in favor of more thematic names such as The White Hart replacing The Fool, The Enchanter becoming The Magician, Black Shuck taking over as Death and The Fairy Wind replacing The Chariot, among a few.
The Minor has been altered as well however the meanings of the cards still align with commonly accepted Rider-Waite Tarot meanings. The guidebook also includes a chart that details all the changes to titles.
This Rider-Waite-Smith-based deck, entwined with magic, will suit a beginner or more seasoned tarot reader. At the same time, it is gentle enough to appeal to young tarot enthusiasts and could be suitable for professional psychic readers, who prefer less conventional decks.
9. Santa Muerte TarotVIEW PRICE
The Santa Muerte Tarot deck was designed around the Day of the Dead. The Santa Muerte Tarot deck is loosely based on the Waite-Smith tarot, and unsurprisingly shows skeletal beings rather than humans positioned in the much familiar tarot scenes.
For this reason, it works as a powerful tool for readings driven by the mysticism surrounding this day.
The card stock is a good combination of light yet sturdy, flexible yet resistant with a fine glossy finish. They have a fair weight and rounded corners with clean edges which should help resist the ever-so-common chipping and peeling.
The 128-page guidebook comes with instructions in English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese.
10. Everyday Witch TarotVIEW PRICE
This Tarot deck is simple, practical, and fun to use, especially accessible for new Tarot readers who are seeking to practice or learn Tarot. It is based on the classic Rider-Waite but updated with modern witched, bringing a friendly approachable style with a positive vibe to it.
Some of our readers are disappointed with the card stock while others mentioned it makes shuffling the cards like a dream.
However, what the thin cards might lack, the book makes up for. The 254-page book and artwork in it are amazing; the book itself is in full color and printed on heavy glossy paper, and each card is reproduced full size next to the text.
Overall, the Everyday Witch is a stunning deck full of positive energies, serious intent, and a light heart for every Tarot use.
Modern witches will love this deck and experienced tarot readers will find this deck easy to master, thus a top 10 recommendation for this deck.
11. The Fountain Tarot Card DeckVIEW PRICE
The Fountain card deck is a wonderfully crafted, modern tarot deck. The accompanying guidebook, containing 112 pages of meanings and reversals, offers in-depth interpretations that are great for first-time readers.
The Fountain Tarot is an incredible re-envisioning of a classic tarot deck, bringing the traditional archetypes and symbology of tarot into a contemporary context.
The back of the Fountain Tarot cards is as well-thought-out as the card images themselves. The suits and court cards are standard; the only significant difference is the presence of the extra “Fountain” card.
This set is a perfect gift as these 79 silver-gilded cards with original oil paintings and die-cut rounded corners come with the guidebook in a holographic shimmer box with magnetic closure and lifting ribbon.
12. Golden Tarot of MarseilleVIEW PRICE
A Tarot de Marseille deck is a must-have deck for any serious tarot collector or enthusiast. Based on a Swiss deck created in 1751 by Claude Burdel, this version retains the look and feel but with more natural color shading, enhanced colors, and gold impressions on every card.
Although this deck might not be for everyone, it’s a style of deck that still retains its popularity in Europe. This is why the booklet that comes with this deck is translated into five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.
The illustrations have been recolored to great effect and it presents some innovative ideas with his treatment of the Pips and Court cards.
This deck could easily be used by Tarot readers from all levels of experience and in my humble opinion a deck one must have besides the classic Rider-Waite.
13. Crow Tarot Card DeckVIEW PRICE
Crow Tarot invites us to fly through the veil and connect with our intuitive powers while paying homage to the energy of the crows and ravens. This is a beautifully illustrated and satisfying deck, as the images encourage intuitive interpretation and are overflowing with meaning and connection.
The cards and 88-page guidebook come packaged in a solid cardboard box with a lift-off lid, printed with images from the deck. If you are drawn to these dark messengers then this is clearly the right tarot deck for you, and that of many of our rave-ing voters!
14. Mystical Manga TarotVIEW PRICE
The mystical manga deck captures the beautiful style and spirit of Japanese graphic novels of Manga. The exquisite artwork really brings each Archetype of the Tarot to life.
The Mystical Manga makes you want to step boldly onto the road of adventure and discover what mystical opportunities lie ahead.
This fun, easy-to-use deck is based on the Rider-Waite and comes with a helpful guidebook by Barbara Moore. Whether you’re a tarot enthusiast, manga fan, or both, Mystical Manga Tarot speaks to your inner child and delights your soul.
15. Spiritsong Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
Spirit song 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.
16. Star Spinner TarotVIEW PRICE
I love this Tarot deck because of its world where fairies play, mermaids yearn and more of these beautiful creatures are drawn from a wide range of stories, myths, and fairy tales. It contains 81 full-color cards and a 160-page guidebook and makes a perfect gift for tarot collectors and enthusiasts.
The Star Spinner Tarot reinterprets classic tarot for a more inclusive, diverse, LGBTQ+ way to explore Tarot in the modern world. It was about time a Tarot deck like this would enter the market, and I’m grateful that Trung Le Nguyen did so. He’s a Vietnamese American comic book artist and illustrator and his work explores diaspora stories and LGBTQ+ themes.
17. Golden Art Nouveau TarotVIEW PRICE
The gold-foil details of this outstanding deck perfectly complement the elegant designs and gracefully curved lines of the classic art nouveau style.
Whether you’re reading for yourself, for friends, or for clients, this deck provides all the insights and wisdom of traditional tarot with the addition of a stunning visual presentation.
If you want more in-depth information about this deck, check out my Golden Art Nouveau Tarot Review post.
18. Tarot NefertariVIEW PRICE
This Egyptian-inspired deck recreates the symbolisms so loved by Nefertari. The typical two-dimensional Egyptian artwork is given incredible life and luminosity by the rich, patterned gold foil background.
Drawing upon the fascination and mystery of Egyptian culture, this is a popular deck translated into multiple languages making it accessible for beginners and experts alike from all countries and backgrounds.
19. The Linestrider TarotVIEW PRICE
The Linestrider tarot deck is the perfect combination of modern and minimalistic, yet detailed. Each card depicts modern and vibrant images along with well-known catchphrases and archetypes.
If you resonate with colorful and minimalistic art, these cards will enhance your readings in powerful ways.
20. The Hoodoo TarotVIEW PRICE
Celebrating the complex American Rootwork tradition, The Hoodoo Tarot integrates esoteric and botanical knowledge from Hoodoo with the divination system of the Tarot.
Structured like a traditional Tarot deck, each of the 78 cards (and guidebook) features full-color paintings and elegantly interprets the classical Tarot imagery through depictions of legendary rootworkers past and present.
In keeping with the roots of Hoodoo, this powerfully illustrated tarot deck is organized along the lines of an extended family. Elders comprise the Major Arcana, the family inhabits the court cards, and the rest of the Minor Arcana reflects the community and mundane life.
With use, I think they will discover layers of insight into their personal lineage, regardless of their ethnicity.
21. Cat TarotVIEW PRICE
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. It comes with a guidebook on how to get the most out of your cat’s wisdom.
22. The Wonderland Tarot DecksVIEW PRICE
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.
23. The Good Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
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.
24. The Golden Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
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.
25. The Hermetic TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
26. Deviant Moon Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
The Deviant Moon tarot deck is inspired by childhood dreams. Its playful depictions appeal to the reader’s imagination.
The extremely talented artist 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, definitely an addition to this stunning tarot deck.
27. Affirmators! Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
Affirmators! offerings into the realm of daily tarot card reading. Your belief in magic or Tarot is not a pre-requisite for doing a tarot card reading with these cards. Pull a random card and reflect on its message, or challenge yourself to read a more complex spread, they try to make it very accessible for everybody.
The tarot cards are larger than I expected, but they are easy to shuffle, which is nice. The artwork is incredible and having such vibrant, yet detailed pictures help beginners interpret the cards better.
Highly recommend it as a gift for your friends or family members who are looking to start with the Tarot.
28. Housewives TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
29. Chrysalis TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
30. The Muse Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
Are you looking for a unique, creative, and colorful tarot deck that definitely stands out of the crowd? If so, look no further and get inspired by the Muse tarot deck with its bright symbolism and powerful energy! I just have two words for this tarot deck: ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.
Although the suits have different names Emotions (Cups), Inspiration (Wands), Voices (Swords), and Materials (Pentacles), that doesn’t mean that the cards have different meanings than your average tarot cards.
It took me a few readings to get used to the names, but now the cards resonate so well with my intuition.
The deck comes with a detailed guidebook that not only contains the card meanings, but also poetry, and word prompts to offer insight into your readings. So there’s not only art in the cards. Get ready to spark your creativity and ignite the Muse within!
If you want to read more about this deck, check out my article with a complete Muse deck review here.
31. The Morgan Greer TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
32. Arcanum TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
33. Angel Tarot Card DeckVIEW PRICE
The Angel Tarot card deck is a pretty light and easy-to-digest collection. The full-card compilation includes images of unicorns, mermaids, and fairies.
34. The Gilded Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
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.
35. Osho Zen TarotVIEW PRICE
The imagery on these cards is beautiful and very evocative. Unlike most decks I’ve run across over the years, Osho-Zen has a silly, yet intelligent sense of humor in its illustration of so-called negative cards like “exhaustion” and “schizophrenia”. I think part of the objective behind the humor is to not take everything too seriously.
On the other hand, these cards have been used to convey the teaching of the now-deceased Zen Master, Osho. As such, the cards’ meanings are described in a way that makes you feel you’re being lectured, and often certain concepts or actions seem like statements that not many people would agree with unless you’re an Osho Zen supporter.
Overall, it is up to you to decide if this deck and its creator fits your beliefs and associations. For me, it’s one of the few decks I bought for the art, and for that, it deserves great praise, as each card is a stunningly beautiful piece of artwork.
36. The Dark Wood TarotVIEW PRICE
This deck is the key to your shadow side, to a quest through darkness and into the light that reflects your hidden talents and personal power. Dark Wood Tarot is a traditional Rider-Waite-Smith-style deck, but it arrives with an extra dose of darkness.
It comes with an accessible guidebook that helps you how to embrace the gifts of the tarot and integrate them into your life.
One important note; the cards are very thin and some of our readers mentioned the edges started to peel and corners are chipping away from the back after only a few uses.
Although my cards are fine (I have not used them much), it’s sad the cards are made with bad-quality paper material that does not reflect the beauty of the artwork.
37. The Robin Wood Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
The Robin Wood deck is a Rider-Waite derivative deck but with some pagan/Wiccan-flavored twists. The deck is well-known amongst tarot readers because of its beautiful and vivid artwork. It contains rich information encompassing Kabbalah and Astrology without any of it being obvious.
One side note: there are some reports that the cards of the last edition were too thin and that the quality was below standard. So check that out first!
38. Kawaii TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
39. Tarot of Sexual MagicVIEW PRICE
Shhhh…some readers told me they use this deck as a magical tool to harness and manipulate the passionate, wild, sexual, and playful energies…
However, be warned, this is an adult-only Tarot deck. It includes all kinds of sexual situations – some light-hearted (the fool strolling past a fornicating couple) and some darkly foreboding (a few cards with lovers being watched and the watcher does not appear happy).
This is a very inventive deck and does carry a certain energy. That being said, I’m not sure when you would use such a sexually charged deck for readings. The companion booklets for this deck come in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German) so you can even share them with your foreign partner in crime!
40. Game of Thrones Tarot Card SetVIEW PRICE
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, presented in a gorgeously illustrated gift box.
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.
41. ShadowScapes Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
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.
42. Revelations TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
43. Neo TarotVIEW PRICE
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 and fresh approach to self-care, healing & empowerment.
44. Tattoo TarotVIEW PRICE
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.
45. The Light Seer’s Tarot DeckVIEW PRICE
With over 1000 “backers”, this tarot deck was successfully launched via Kickstarter in 2018. Since then, it is one of my favorite tarot decks because of its modern and beautiful aesthetic artwork.
The creators of this deck revamped the traditional tarot archetypes and symbols in a contemporary, bohemian, and intuitive style.
The cards are full of expressive people and symbols and express the light and shadow sides of our natures. This makes the Light Seer’s deck easy to resonate with and that’s why I use this deck over and over again.
46. Celtic Tarot Card DeckVIEW PRICE
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.
47. The Illuminated TarotVIEW PRICE
The Illuminated Tarot deck consists of 53 ornately decorated cards. While most modern decks only 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.
THE BEST TAROT DECK: HOW DID YOU DECIDE?
Whether your tarot interest is just blossoming or you’re ready to launch your tarot business, I wanted to have a list of tarot decks (find the tarot card meanings list here) that covers everything, so that you will find a deck suitable for your situation.
Whether you’re looking for the most classic of decks, want a popular modern deck, or need a cheap pocket-size or printable Tarot deck for the on-the-go, we got you covered.
However, the question remains: “How do you decide what is the best Tarot Deck?”
I’ve asked tarot readers from all over the world about their go-to tarot decks, talked to many of the experts in the field, and collected many, many votes from our readers.
After contemplating for a few days, I’ve come up with a ranking system that is relevant in today’s market and reflects the current popularity beautifully. It takes into account relevancy, popularity, age, reader’s feedback, and actual sales. While I can’t share my exact algorithm, it looks something like this:
SCORE = VOTES * RATINGS * # OF REVIEWS * SHIPPED DECKS
The beauty of working with the algorithm is, that my list will always be up-to-date, regardless of whether we keep adding more and more Tarot decks over time. For now, I’m super stoked for you’ve checked out my list to find a deck that’s PERFECT for you!
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 for sale 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 classic 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 empty-handed. 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 instead of Tarot 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.
If you’re more into Oracle Decks, my article about Angel Cards is a must-read!
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.
2. Explore the Imagery Of Each Tarot deck Card
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 the front and center imagery that must be individually interpreted? Tarot decks are known for both their ability to predict the future and their 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
If you are new to Tarot, you may prefer to start learning with the most popular Tarot deck, the Rider-Waite deck. This is the go-to for most tarot readers starting out for a few reasons.
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 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 Modern Way tarot 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 deck 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 tarot cards list 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 I 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 then, 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 the Modern Way Tarot cards (which is a modern Rider-Waite take created for this century) 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 properly and safely. Keeping them in the box is the best option, but you can also wrap them in silk or put them in a Tarot deck bag. Below is our favorite selection of boxes and bags.
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.
Tarot Card Deck Boxes
Here is my favorite selection of beautiful (mostly wooden) boxes to store your Tarot cards!
- Mysterious Design - Our design is based on astrology, and we use hot stamping process to emboss the...
- Material - Made of comfortable PU leather with purple felt liner inside for better protection tarot...
- This sculptural box with lid measures 5.25"L x 3.75"W x 2"H. The inner dimensions measure 4.75"L x...
- The box can used for multi purpose. You can use it to keep precious stones, watches, keepsakes,...
- Single deck standard size tarot card deck case with magnetic closure. Fits Most Standard Size Tarot...
- Made from soft, grey pu leather with a lighter grey felt-lined interior for a premium feel.
Tarot Card Bags
Sometimes it is much easier to put your cards in a bag to keep them shiny and new, especially when on the road. That’s when I prefer to use a bag for my cards, that I bring with me (almost) everywhere. Here are the most popular tarot card bags on the market right now.
- 6 Diverse Styles: the tarot card bags are designed with 6 different patterns, including the sun,...
- Proper Size: the size of the tarot bag measures approx. 18 x 15 cm/ 7.1 x 5.9 inches, proper size...
- Designed with Proper Size: each moon makeup bag comes with a size of approx. 23 x 17 cm/ 9 x 7...
- Trustworthy Material: these crystal pouch bags are crafted by quality canvas material, which is soft...
- Moore, Barbara (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
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, as I described in my article on how to clear and cleanse your tarot deck, but white sage and crystal cleansing are two favorites.
GETTING YOUR FIRST TAROT 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.
SOME FINAL WORDS ON THESE DECKS
Now that we have gone over some of the best tarot decks for sale in 2023, you should have an idea of what is out there.
Just to be completely transparent with you, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you (to learn more, click here.)
The beauty of all these different Tarot decks out there, and there are literally thousands, is that there’s one for everybody. You will find tarot decks for people of any age, any taste, any design, 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 tarot decks and sets of all time.
No matter what you choose, the best part is, there is always a new and fresh option right around the corner. And we’d love to hear which one is your favorite deck so feel free to leave a comment below!
Amber B says
I would really love your review on the Disney villan deck! The cards look amazing and from they way they are described, they feel amazing too. One thing I cannot stand is a deck that feels weird and is hard to shuffle. I bought the Mystical Medleys deck without reading any reviews and the cardstock is horrible. But, I do like the imagery. I have smaller hands too so, I cannot even shuffle them even more so with the horrible cardstock. I also have the Forrest of Enchantment deck but it was something I bought off Etsy and it ended up being a bootleg deck. So, I never got the accompanying book. I’m just Leary about buying more now and have been taking my time. I do like Quarter Press over the Garden wall pocket edition.
Oooh, I haven’t tried out that deck! Will have a look 🙂
Linda B says
Thank you for the wonderful article. It was great to see so many new and different decks. When I started reading years ago, the selection was much more limited and everyone read with the Rider Waite deck. I was wondering if you could help me. Years ago, I used a unique deck of cards that had five suits – they were not the typical cups, wands, swords, and pentacles. They were five completely different suits and there were five of them with very different aspects and not the usual major arcana. The pictures were depicted in circles and the original intention of the creators had been that the cards should be circular. I knew one of the original creators of the deck and she told me that the publisher printed them on rectangular card stock because it was an easier process and more familiar for people to handle. They were unique and I achieved very astute and accurate readings with them. However, after two marriages and several moves, they became lost and I am trying to find them anywhere. Unfortunately, my friend has since died and I can’t remember the name of the deck and I wondered if you were familiar with it. It was published about 25-30 years ago.
I’m currently using two decks, Thoth and the Mucha deck by Lo Scarabeo with good results. I have always loved the artist Mucha and really like the artwork used for the major arcana especially.
Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the tarot deck you described, but I will definitely keep an eye on it. If I see a deck that matches your descriptions, I will let you know. Have a beautiful day????