Tarot card games are some of the more complex games around. Not many people know this, but tarot cards ware not used for fortune telling at first, but rather for playing tarot card games. It was only later in tarot history that people started using them to predict the future and interpret the present, probably due to their mystical images.
Tarot cards have a rich and ancient history, dating back to at least fourteenth century Italy. A Tarot deck has four different suits which varied from region to region. Germans would use Hearts, Bells, Acorns and Leaves, for example, whereas Cups, Coins, Clubs and Swords were more popular in Spain and Italy. During the late middle ages these cards became popular throughout most parts of Europe. In addition to the four suits mentioned above there is a fifth suit of tarots and in tarot card games tarots are always trump. There are also more tarot cards than there are cards of other suits.
Unlike the more traditional modern fifty-two card deck, tarot playing cards have seventy-eight cards in total. Each suit has fourteen cards. These cards are the ace, then two through ten just like the modern deck, followed by the jack, the knight, the queen and then king. Please keep in mind that ten is actually the lowest card in tarot card games. The king is the highest, then follows queen, knight, jack but after jack the next highest card is ace, then two, then three and so on and so forth.
The tarot suit has twenty one cards in all, each with it's own unique identity. They are listed here in order of lowest to highest.
OK, let's get back to card games, this site is dedicated to them after all. Tarot games are played with special decks of tarot cards. These are not regular tarot cards and decks differ slightly from game to game. Also rules in a single game can differ a bit as well, so if you are playing with someone new, make sure that all players agree on the rules before hand.
Now that that's settled, let's take a look at some specific games...
Tarok is a really fun card game for 2-4 players that is played with a
special deck of tarot cards. It is kind of complicated, but if you put a
little time in to learning the rules you won't be sorry. This specific variation is most popular in Slovenia.
Find out how to play Tarok for 3-4 players!
Find out how to play Tarok for two players!
Grosstarock is probably the most interesting and exciting tarot games I know. To me it seems like a mixture of Tarok and Poker, more specifically, it reminds me of Chinese Poker. So what is so cool about Grosstarock and why is it like a mixture of these games? Well, it's played a lot like Tarok or any other similar tarot game, but it has a point system that makes players »put points into a pot«(kind of like betting in poker). So basically this game is really cool, if you want to play for real stakes, but are tired of poker.
So here we go, the rules for Grosstarock!
Partita is a simple tarot game from Italy. It's actually as simple as they come when it comes to tarot games, but you can complicate it as much as you want by adding signals.
Learn the rules of Partita!
Scarto is the most basic tarot card game around. You can't complicate it and anyone can learn how to play it within minutes. So let's see what it's all about...
Learn the rules of Scarto!
With tarot card games play generally proceeds in a counter-clockwise fashion, and is similar to that of euchre or bridge in that players must follow suit if possible. Following suit means that whatever suit is played in front of you, you must play a card of that suit if you have one. If not, then you have the option to either discard an off suit card or try to take the trick with a trump.
If you want to teach your kids about tarot card games, than this is what you are looking for. A simple tarot card game that will help anyone get familiar with these beautiful cards.
Have fun playing tarot card games!
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