reading tarot

Tarot card deck size: How many cards are in a deck?

Last Updated: May 20, 2022

There are many different versions of the Tarot card deck, and each one can have a different number of cards. The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck, for example, has 78 cards in it. But some decks may have as few as 22 cards, while others may have up to 110! So how many cards are in a typical Tarot deck?

tarot card spread on wood

How many tarot cards are in the Rider Waite Smith?

Most Rider Waite Smith Tarot decks have 78 cards. It is made up of 22 Major Arcana cards, originally put out as trump cards or triumph cards, and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana cards represent bigger themes and life events, while the Minor Arcana cards represent more day-to-day issues. 

The Minor Arcana is split into four different suit groups: wands, cups, pentacles, and swords. Each of these suits has 14 cards in it including a Page, Knight, Queen and King for a total of 56 cards.

How many tarot cards are in a Thoth deck?

Most Thoth decks have 78 cards. It is made up of 22 Major Arcana cards, and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana cards represent big life events like the Rider Waite Smith tarot, while the Minor Arcana cards represent more day-to-day issues. 

The difference between the Thoth and the RWS decks comes from the originator of the deck, Aleister Crowley. He added an extra card to the Major Arcana, which changed the meaning of some of the other cards. 

Interestingly, female artists created the imagery for both these decks, with Lady Frieda Harris for Thoth and Pamela Smith for the Rider Waite deck.

How many tarot cards are in a Marseilles deck?

The Marseille deck is one of the oldest Tarot-style decks, and it has a very different look from more modern decks due to originally being printed with woodblocks. It has 78 cards, made up of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards. 

The art in the Marseille deck is very simple; it’s known as a pip deck, and the cards are easy to read. An example of this is the Eight of Swords, which shows Eight swords on the card (and not a woman in the centre of an illustration).

How many cards are there in an Oracle deck?

This answer completely depends on the artist! There are some decks like the Ethereal Orbs deck I use in monthly readings that have 44 designs, others that have hundreds. It truly depends on the theme the artist is exploring with you, and

As you can see, the number of cards in a Tarot deck can vary quite a bit! So if you’re wondering how many cards are in a typical Tarot deck, the answer is that it depends on the deck you’re using based on the artists’ interpretations. 

Rider-Waite-Smith, Thoth, Marseilles, and general oracle decks are some of the most popular choices for diviners, and each one has a different number of cards. Do you have a favourite Tarot deck? Let me know on social media! 

I love to discover new decks with you. Until next time, happy reading!

LB

Written by Lizzie

I love curating divination experiences for those invested in spiritual growth with secular honest vibes. I am that witch you come to for these honest, interesting and beneficial divination experiences!

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