Tarot Card Game Rules: A Beginner’s Guide


Tarot cards, often associated with fortune-telling, have a lesser-known but equally fascinating use in the form of a trick-taking game. This guide delves into the rules and strategies of the Tarot card game, offering a compelling journey through its mechanics and enjoyment. Whether you’re a seasoned card player seeking new challenges or a curious newcomer eager to explore, this how-to guide illuminates the path to mastering the traditional game of Tarot.

Understanding the Basics of Tarot Card Game

The game utilizes a 78-card Tarot deck, comprising 56 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana cards. The objective varies, but it generally involves accumulating points through capturing cards in tricks. Players need to adapt their strategies based on the ever-changing dynamics of the game.

The Deck Composition

  • Minor Arcana: Divided into four suits (Cups, Swords, Coins, and Wands) each consisting of 14 cards.
  • Major Arcana: 22 trump cards, each with unique symbolism and hierarchy.

Setting Up the Game

To begin, players must agree on the version of Tarot being played since rules can vary widely. The most common variants are three-player and four-player games. Deal the cards clockwise, with each player receiving a specific number based on the game’s variant. The remaining deck forms a stockpile for drawing cards.

Playing the Game

Gameplay revolves around the strategic play of card hands, where players aim to win tricks by playing higher-value cards. Understanding the hierarchy of cards and the role of the Major Arcana trumps is crucial.

Gameplay Mechanics

Phase Description
Dealing Cards are dealt to all players, with the remainder forming the stockpile.
Bidding Players bid to determine the taker, who will try to accomplish the game’s objective.
Playing Beginning with the player to the dealer’s left, cards are played in a clockwise direction.
Scoring At the end of the round, scores are calculated based on the tricks won.

Winning Strategies

Success in Tarot card games often hinges on strategic forethought and adaptability. Knowing when to play your trumps and conserving powerful cards for critical moments could very well tip the scales in your favor.

Tips for Dominating the Game

  • Keep track of trumps played: This can give you an advantage in judging when to play your high-value cards.
  • Assess your hand wisely: Your initial hand can greatly influence your strategy, whether to play offensively or defensively.
  • Bid appropriately: Overbidding can be risky, so ensure your hand supports your ambition.


While the Tarot card game may initially appear daunting due to its complex rules and the mystique surrounding the cards themselves, it offers a rewarding and strategic experience for those willing to delve into its nuances. Like any game, practice and patience are key. Gather your deck and step into the world of Tarot gaming, where every card has a story, and every game is a journey.

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