How to Buy Tarot Cards

Curious if you can purchase your own Tarot deck? Are you wondering where you can even buy a Tarot deck? Unsure whether or not you can accidentally get the wrong one? What is the best deck for beginners? Read on…

This is the ultimate guide to Tarot decks, designed primarily to get you to the point where you are confident enough to purchase your own deck, without giving you too much information to scare you off! So, if you’re wondering where there are decks for sale, or if you're curious about whether or not you can buy your own deck, you’re in the right place!

 Art illustration: How to buy a Tarot card deck for beginners! You can purchase your own deck, do not confuse Tarot with oracle or Lenormand cards, get familiar with a Rider Waite Smith deck, and learn how to read the basics of Tarot, including the meanings.

Ever since I have been online teaching Tarot, I have been posted many questions by budding Tarot card readers, such as yourself. Usually, these queries are caused by issues around getting started with reading and owning a deck. Therefore, I am going to answer the most common questions I receive!

Can I Buy my First Tarot Deck?

There is quite a common belief that you cannot buy your own Tarot decks; they must be gifted to you for them to work. Because this is a question I am asked frequently, I am going to tackle it first.

Yes, you can buy your own decks, it honestly doesn’t matter. It is not weird to buy yourself your first Tarot deck, and your deck will still ‘work’ the same.

Many Tarot readers like to sit on Facebook and theorized where this myth came from, and many believe it is an idea which started with Romany Gypsies. As a Gypsy, I can categorically say that no we did not start the rumor that you cannot buy your own deck, because we do not believe in those types of superstitious. This belief is a European one.

Because I started reading Tarot as a child, my mum did, in fact, buy me my first deck (because I couldn’t buy my own). However, as an adult, I have bought my own decks (more than I would like to admit haha) and they work just fine.

 An example of the most loved cards in Tarot. From top to bottom: The Lovers, The High Priestess, The Magician, The Devil, Death, The Wheel of Fortune, The Fool.

An example of the most loved cards in Tarot. From top to bottom: The Lovers, The High Priestess, The Magician, The Devil, Death, The Wheel of Fortune, The Fool.

It is probably better to buy your own deck than it is to have someone give you one. You will have a stronger bond with a deck you have selected yourself. A deck you hunt down and find will feel special. Plus, there’s nothing worse than being stuck with a first deck you hate! Therefore, I recommend that you always buy your own first deck.

Where can I Buy a Deck?

Believe it or not, where there are books, there are Tarot decks. Also, where there is anything related to witchy stuff, crystals, and healing oils, there are Tarot decks. Therefore, when it comes to looking for Tarot decks for sale, you have two main options.

The most common place which you can go to obtain a Tarot deck, is anywhere you can buy a book. For example, Amazon, Barns and Noble, WH Smith, Waterstones, and even eBay all stock Tarot card decks. From most of these places, you have the luxury of either buying online or buying in store.

Another option for getting a Tarot deck is to go to your local mystical shop. Your nearest mind, body, spirit store will have Tarot decks for sale. If you’re unsure of where is the one closest to you, type something into Google like, ‘Local Psychic Shop’ or, ‘Mind, Body, Spirit stores near me’ and go from there.

These are the main places to buy Tarot decks in the UK, USA, and Australia. Therefore, I am assuming that pretty much across the world, you can get decks from these places such as Amazon or local witchy shops.

How Many Cards are in a Tarot Deck?

You must know how many cards are in a Tarot deck because this is how you will recognize it as a Tarot deck. There should be 78 cards in your deck. Some decks might include one or two extra cards which you can keep and mess around with, but as a general rule, your deck should have 78 cards. If it doesn’t include 78 cards, it is not a Tarot deck.

Which Tarot Deck is Right for Me?

To be honest, if you’re just learning and you have no clue what you’re doing, you should buy a Rider-Waite Tarot deck (sometimes called a Rider Waite Smith Deck). This is the most commonly used Tarot deck and is recognized as one. It has 78 cards and will be for sale pretty much everywhere where there are decks.

Your standard Rider-Waite deck will have a deep blue box with gold detailing. You can get Rider-Waite decks with different boxes, but if you’re super confused and worried, you’ll get the wrong thing, look for the Rider-Waite deck with the blue box and gold detailing.

 The Rider Waite Smith Tarot card deck. Here is one of the box designs. Some boxes will have The Rider Waite Magician or Fool on them. However, if in doubt buy the blue and gold pack!

The Rider Waite Smith Tarot card deck. Here is one of the box designs. Some boxes will have The Rider Waite Magician or Fool on them. However, if in doubt buy the blue and gold pack!

Once you own and use your standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck, you will become familiar with Tarot. When you own one Tarot deck, you will be able to recognize other decks. You will increase in confidence when it comes to the structure of Tarot, and know the difference between Tarot and other types of decks. Which brings me to my next point:

How do I Know that it is a Tarot Deck?

As I said, Tarot decks will have 78 cards. Also, it will have the words ‘Tarot’ written on the box. If it doesn’t specifically say that it is a Tarot deck, it will not be a Tarot deck. If it says, ‘Oracle’ deck then it is not a Tarot deck. Tarot decks are always called Tarot decks.

Which Cards Should be in my Tarot Deck?

There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck. The structure of your deck should look similar to a playing card deck with four suits - Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (Pentacles are sometimes called Coins, but they are the same thing). Just like playing cards, there will be Court cards, but instead of 3 Courts, there are 4 Courts.

So, you will have a total of 56 of these cards including the Ace of Wands, King of Cups, Five of Swords and so on. On top of these cards, you will have 22 ‘Major’ cards which do not appear in playing card decks. These cards together are what make up the 78 cards.

Confused? Don’t be! Here is a list of the 78 cards which should be in your deck:

Ace of Wands | II of Wands | III of Wands | IV of Wands | V of Wands | VI of Wands | VII of Wands | VIII of Wands | IX of Wands | X of Wands | Page of Wands | Knight of Wands | Queen of Wands | King of Wands

Ace of Cups | II of Cups | III of Cups | IV of Cups | V of Cups | VI of Cups | VII of Cups | VIII of Cups | IX of Cups | X of Cups | Page of Cups | Knight of Cups | Queen of Cups | King of Cups

Ace of Swords | II of Swords | III of Swords | IV of Swords | V of Swords | VI of Swords | VII of Swords | VIII of Swords | IX of Swords | X of Swords | Page of Swords | Knight of Swords | Queen of Swords | King of Swords

Ace of Pentacles | II of Pentacles | III of Pentacles | IV of Pentacles | V of Pentacles | VI of Pentacles | VII of Pentacles | VIII of Pentacles | IX of Pentacles | X of Pentacles | Page of Pentacles | Knight of Pentacles | Queen of Pentacles | King of Pentacles

0. The Fool | I. The Magician | II. The High Priestess | III. The Empress | IV. The Emperor | V. The Hierophant | VI. The Lovers | VII. The Chariot | VIII. Strength | IX. The Hermit | X. The Wheel of Fortune | XI. Justice | XII. The Hanged Man | XIII. Death | XIV. Temperance | XV. The Devil | XVI. The Tower | XVII. The Star | XVIII. The Moon | XIX. The Sun | XX. Judgment | XXI. The World

(Note: in some decks, Strength and Justice have switched around, but this still counts as a Tarot deck).

 As well as the Major Arcana, Tarot decks have four suits (Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles). The suits are numbered from Ace to ten. In addition, suits have Court cards (Queens, Pages, Knights and Kings).

As well as the Major Arcana, Tarot decks have four suits (Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles). The suits are numbered from Ace to ten. In addition, suits have Court cards (Queens, Pages, Knights and Kings).

You will notice that most decks are numbered in Roman numerals, not numbers. This is just tradition and is something you will get used to. And don’t worry, the cards all mean the same thing regardless of if you call them a II of Wands or a 2 of Wands.

There are cases where the Tarot deck designer has gotten creative and named their cards something different (for example, Prince and Princess instead of Page or Knight). For beginners, the renaming of some cards can be confusing. Therefore, this is why I recommend you stick to reading with a Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck until you get familiar and confident with the structure of Tarot.

What Should I do After I Buy my First Tarot Deck?

After you buy your first Tarot deck, you should learn some Tarot card meanings. Once you own a deck, learning the meanings is the next step to reading Tarot. You can learn some Tarot card meanings, on this website.

So, as a quick round-up here are the points to remember:

- You can buy your first Tarot deck yourself.

- You can buy a deck from places like Amazon or your local mind, body, spirit shop.

- There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck.

- If you’re a beginner, you should buy a Rider-Waite Tarot deck. It comes in a blue box with gold detailing.

- You’ll know it is a Tarot deck if it says ‘Tarot’ on the box and has 78 cards.

- Your deck will be made up of 22 special cards and 56 cards which look like playing cards, but the suits are called Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.

- In some decks, the suits, and Court cards may be called different things.

- Decks are traditionally numbered in Roman Numerals.

- Once you buy your first Tarot deck, you should learn the meanings.

So, that’s all for the Guide to Buying your First Tarot Deck! If you have just started learning Tarot and you have an interest in predicting the future, be sure to check out the free Predictive Tarot Meanings Guide below.

This guide is free and downloadable on mobile, tablet and computer!



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 Art illustration: How to buy a Tarot card deck for beginners! You can purchase your own deck, do not confuse Tarot with oracle or Lenormand cards, get familiar with a Rider Waite Smith deck, and learn how to read the basics of Tarot, including the meanings.