5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

9 Sure-Fire Ways to Select a Tarot Deck That’s Right for You

By August 18, 2016Tarot Basics


Whether you’re a Tarot beginner or a seasoned expert, choosing a Tarot deck can be incredibly overwhelming.

There are literally hundreds of different Tarot decks to choose from, all with their own symbolism, energy, stories, mythology and artwork.

So, where do you begin? How do you sift through the vast array of choices to find your perfect Tarot deck?

Here are 9 sure-fire ways to select a Tarot deck that’s perfect for you.

1. Look for a Personal & Intuitive Connection With the Cards

The absolute number 1 way to choose a Tarot deck is to find one that you personally and intuitively connect with.

Your best friend might rave about the Wild Unknown deck, but if every time you go to do a Tarot reading with those cards you break out in a sweat and go blank, then it’s not the right deck for you.

And if your Tarot teacher swears by the Rider Waite deck, but you’re totally in love with the Fairy Tarot Cards, then go with the Fairy Tarot Cards.

If you’ve got a new age shop or bookstore nearby, go to the store and handle all of the Tarot decks that are on display. What energy do you pick up from the deck? Is there a personal connection between you and the Tarot cards?

And if you’re looking to purchase your Tarot cards online, then do a quick Google search and look through the card images to see if you’ve got a connection.

Go with your intuition!

2. Explore the Imagery of Each Card

Take a good look at the Tarot cards within a specific deck. Go through them one-by-one or, if you’re viewing them online, find as many images as possible via Google or even Instagram (just search for #fountaintarot, for example).

What is your first reaction to the images? Do you like the colours and patterns appeal? Are you drawn to the images and the artwork? Are there other variations of the deck that are more appealing? For example, I much prefer the Radiant Rider Waite deck over the usual Rider Waite deck for its bright colours.

Also, can you look at the cards and start to get a sense for the meaning of each one? Look at both the Major and Minor Arcana cards. In some decks, like the Tarot de Marseilles, the Minor Arcana cards do not have the same kind of imagery and ‘story’ as the Rider Waite deck, for example.

It’s important to view as many of the cards in the deck as possible as I’ve known some Tarot decks to have a handful of gorgeous cards, but the rest of the deck has not been as visually appealing.

3. Consider Your Experience Level

If you are new to Tarot, you may prefer to start learning with the most popular Tarot deck, the Rider Waite deck. It’s easy to understand, the imagery is straight-forward and practical and there is a huge amount of information available for this deck.

On the flipside, if you are more experienced or you’re looking for a new challenge, then you may choose a deck like the Thoth Tarot deck for its complexity and depth. Or a more abstract, mythical Tarot deck like the Shadowscapes Tarot.

Of course, don’t be limited by thinking that if you’re new to Tarot, you can only read with the Rider Waite deck. You need to also consider if you have a personal connection with the cards.

banner-community4. Decide If You Want to Go Traditional Or Modern

Are you fascinated by the old, traditional Tarot decks like the Tarot de Marseilles, the Visconti Tarot, or the Original Rider Waite Tarot deck?

Or are you drawn to the modern (and often independent) Tarot decks such as the Wild Unknown, Fountain Tarot or Starchild Tarot?

Personally, I LOVE the new Tarot decks that are emerging right now. The artwork is beautiful and the imagery is relevant for modern times. (When was the last time you saw a Knight roaming the streets?!)

Image45. Check out the Little White Book

Most Tarot decks will come with a book explaining the artwork and the Tarot card meanings. However, some decks have more information than others. And some may have no information at all!

If you prefer knowing exactly what a card means and why, then make sure you check out the Little White Book that comes with the deck to see if it gives you what you need. Or, if the accompanying book isn’t enough, look online to see if there is a blog or an eBook that explains the cards in more detail.

On the other hand, you might be quite content discovering and interpreting the Tarot cards via your intuition and energetic connection, in which case, having no book might just be a blessing!

6. Find a Size That Fits

image6Different Tarot cards come in different sizes. You’ve got to choose the size that’s right for you.

Giant Tarot cards may be great for group Tarot readings or parties. Regular Tarot cards may be better for face-to-face client readings or personal readings. And mini Tarot cards are perfect for fitting into your handbag for a Tarot reading on the go.

This is particularly important for when you handle and shuffle the cards. If the cards are too big or too small, they may be too clumsy for you or your clients to handle. So, before selecting a deck, handle the cards and practice shuffling them.

7. Consider How You Want to Use the Tarot Cards

Think about what kinds of Tarot readings you want to do and how you want to connect with your Tarot cards.

Are you trying to find peace and calm in your life? Then the Osho Zen Tarot may be the perfect deck for you.

Do you want to connect with your inner goddess? Then consider the Mythical Goddess Tarot or the Goddess Tarot decks.

Have a passion for earth-based ritual and practice? Then check out the Druid Craft Tarot Deck.

The beautiful thing is that there are so many Tarot decks from so many different backgrounds, you can find a deck that’s perfect for your personal needs and desires.

And if you’re professional Tarot reader, consider having a number of different Tarot decks on hand, depending on what is best suited energetically for your client and situation.

8. Check for Quality

Most Tarot cards will be of a good thickness to ensure that you can continue using them for many years.

However, there may be some cheaper reproductions that are not high quality and the cardboard may tear easily or become damaged much more quickly. Best to avoid these cheaper types if you are planning on using the Tarot cards regularly.

9. Don’t be Afraid to Buy Your Own Tarot Cards

There’s a rumour going around that Tarot cards should only ever be gifted to you and that you can’t buy your own.

Well, phooey!

I would much prefer to purchase a Tarot deck that I know is a perfect fit, than wait around for someone to give me a deck that may be just totally ‘off’. So don’t be afraid to buy your own Tarot deck rather than waiting for someone to give one to you.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from dropping a few hints at Christmas or birthday time about the decks that you love the most…

Ready to Find Your New Favourite Tarot Deck?

You’ll find most Tarot decks on right here. Or check out your local new age shop or bookstore.

And if you want to find out which Tarot decks are the most popular amongst real Tarot readers, then join the Biddy Tarot Community and connect with your Tarot tribe. Inside the Community, you can talk Tarot with 100s of aspiring Tarot readers. Plus, learn how to read Tarot with confidence with our monthly Tarot training webinars, downloadable resources and the Tarot 101 course. Join today!

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  • ursula says:

    love your website and all the advise and help you give have only started with the tarot ,your site is brilliant thankyou

  • Maria says:

    I have 2 decks so far, the very beautiful Gilded Tarot, and more recently bought the Ramses: Tarot of Eternity. When I got my first one about 8 years ago, I noticed it immediately and was pulled in. On a whim I was compelled to go out and get a specifically Egyptian themed tarot, so I ended up taking a liking to the Ramses Tarot, which has a more strait-up masculine vibe than the softer feminine Gilded.

  • Eileen Jones says:

    Thanks for the information you provide it was so useful as i have only just started to read the cards, after joining a circle . I have the Rider-waite also the Lord of the rings, the ones I have seen are a Dragon set and I really want to get them, after reading what you have written, I now feel I should buy them. Thanks xx

  • It took me a very long time to find one that I could truly connect with on the symbolic level. When I finally did, I had to get it on eBay, because it was no longer for sale through other channels. This deck is the Vikings Tarot produced by LoScarabeo and created by Manfredi Toraldo & Sergio Tisselli. I still use that deck for all my professional readings I do have three other decks (Crystal Visions, Rider Waite and Téa Silvestre’s Tarotic story prompt deck), and I might use one of them for readings one day. But I could never get a good feeling for the Rider-Waite.

  • Danielle says:

    I just finished reading this and I am greatly interested in learning how to use and read tarot cards. They have always interested me in many ways. This was very interesting to read and will help me chose what deck to get when I finally get the chance to buy one.
    This has been very helpful thank you! 🙂

  • tatiana says:

    hello brigit, i appreciate your page but the link to your recommended list of 10 of the best Tarot decks is no longer on. is it possible to refresh it somehow? thank you!

  • Ana says:

    Thank you for this information! Some Tarot decks are really wonderful … and yes, it is so important to feel well with the deck you are using. I have been using mostly the Universal Tarot deck (by Roberto de Angelis) which has very similar depictions as the Rider-Waite Tarot, but I also love the Tarot de St. Croix deck. 🙂

  • Angel says:

    Some very nice advice here. I have bought all my decks, but one (that one was a gift). Though I also collect, my collection is based on decks I know that I will use overall. I can appreciate the art in various decks, but for me, to enter my collection, has to be one that speaks to me and I know I could read from it too. Currently doing my learning journey with the Gilded Tarot as well (saw it mentioned in comments here), and I am very happy with it.

    Paz y amor.

  • Linda Thompson-Mills says:

    Once again you have presented us with an article with common sense, practical information we can immediately put to use. I have been collecting decks for 25+ years, and had I read this article first, I wouldn’t have ended up with decks I THOUGHT looked appealing, but once opened were totally unreadable. In other words, I would have done more research. There is one last thing I would like to mention that was not addressed in the article, and that is “art decks.” There are many amazing decks available that are not easy to read, but are so incredibly beautiful that they may have a place in your readers’ collections. I call them art decks. I spend quality time with these decks just enjoying them as I would a beautiful coffee table art book. Thanks again, Brigit!

  • Thanks for sharing these great tips for picking favourite decks. I love the artwork on the cards in the mini cards photo. Do you know the name of that deck?

    • Ana Hering says:

      This is a VERY late reply but the name of the deck is Tarot Nova. It comes in two versions: one, with tiny foldout cards and the other with regular sized cards. 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    What is the name of the deck in the picture for number eight, the one with the image of a leopard for the magician? I felt an immediate connection with it as soon as I saw it and I feel like I need to buy that deck!

  • Betsy says:

    I’d love to know what deck is in the first picture. It’s gorgeous!

  • Nea says:

    Whats the picture of the deck in the very top, it got my attention (with the title), I’m really curious to know its name, i fell for it
    Thanks in advance!

  • Madeline Barone says:

    I have a problem. I LOVE the Anna K deck but the image and meaning for the Two of Wands is very different from the traditional meaning. The image is perfect for her meaning : a man sitting at a crossroads looking very dejected because he cannot make a decision. Anna’s meaning: Can’t decide, numbed, under great pressure…..Question, should I just go with this meaning? Traditional meaning very different: Bold, Courageous, Personal Power, etc. DO I just hope the traditional meaning will come up in another card or, is her meaning the one that is supposed to come up? Thank you for all your wonderful information and help.

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