How To Choose a Tarot Deck: A Definitive Tarot Guide

The question that how to choose a tarot deck may at first seem simple, there are several aspects to consider when picking the deck that’s right for you.

Choosing a Tarot deck is a deeply personal endeavor, however, many people believe that the first deck should be given to you as a gift, not bought yourself. If this isn’t your first deck, though, the main things to consider are the intuitive feeling you get when looking at and holding the deck, how much you resonate with the imagery/colors and the price and size of the deck.

We’re going to take you through the ultimate guide to picking your own Tarot cards and all the aspects you should consider before deciding.

Establish a Connection with the Deck

The Tarot is all about feeling and intuition, and this applies more than ever when choosing which deck is right for you. Whether you’re looking at buying a new deck, or simply deciding which one to use for a particular reading, you must tune into how you feel.

In today’s world, you may likely buy Tarot cards online, which can make this part more difficult. However, doing research and looking into individual blog reviews or YouTube reviews is a great way to view some of the imagery and get a feel for which deck you are drawn to.

choose your own tarot cards

Choose a Tarot Deck That Reflects You

As Sarah Potter, a well-regarded Tarot reader, once said, “Select a deck that you find yourself in and that offers the right mirror”. While it is possible to build a connection with your deck and this will happen as you use it, there will come a deck that immediately hits you with a sense of recognition – this is what to look out for.

The Tarot is a tool of reflection. Any reading, whether for yourself or someone else, will have elements of yourself and your story weaved throughout. All readings are done so through the lens of the reader – you – and all interpretations of the message are channeled through your experiences and beliefs.

So, choosing a deck that feels deeply personal will help you to better understand the messages being given.

Assess the Theme and Characteristics of the Deck

Explore The Imagery of the Cards

If you don’t have a connection to the imagery or words used on the deck, it will make doing a successful reading difficult.

Everyone has their preferences – some will love the look and feel of faeries and woodland nymphs, some will like the classic Rider-Waite imagery, and others may prefer more cartoon-style imagery, for example, the Crystal Unicorn Tarot Cards. There’s even a Star Wars Tarot deck on the market, so truly something for everyone.

Look around and get a feel for what’s available – we have a handy comparison table towards the end of this article and a catalog of decks to browse on our website here.

Do You Like The Feel of The Deck?

The fundamentals of the deck are also important:

  • Do you like the size of the deck in your hand?
  • Do you like the feel of the card stock?
  • Are the cards matte or glossy?
  • Do they come in a nice display box?

While these aspects of the deck are somewhat superficial, they’re still an important part of your experience with the cards. You’re less likely to pick up and use a deck that doesn’t feel good in your hands, so make sure to consider this when choosing yours.

Can You Sense Meanings/Messages From The Imagery?

This is truly one of the most important parts of choosing a deck – can you actually decipher any messages?

If you don’t resonate at all with the imagery depicted then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to create any meaningful interpretations. Go with your gut – you’ll often find that messages start coming to you straight away when you find an art style you connect with, so if this happens take it as a clear sign that it’s meant for you.

Check the Creator of the Tarot Deck

There are many creators of Tarot decks and some are more proficient in the art than others. While it is not essential that the creator is someone you’ve heard of or is well-known in the world of Tarot, it is important that you feel that they’re responsible and have a deep understanding of the importance of the craft.

We recommend searching the author to get some quick information, Google or YouTube are your friends here, to find out some background information.

The standard number of Tarot cards in a deck is 78, so if you want a classic layout make sure to look out for this number – if the creator has used a different Tarot system then this is something you need to be aware of (in reality, Tarot can only be 78, so anything other is not really Tarot).

Is the Size Usable and Are They In Your Budget?

Fundamentally, when deciding the best tarot cards to buy the price of the deck will of course have a bearing on your desire to purchase them. Some Tarot decks can go for hundreds of dollars, whereas others you can pick up for little more than a couple of cups of coffee.

We recommend choosing a deck that’s made of good quality cardstock so that they last longer. Below we’ve done a short round-up of some popular decks to give an indication of price range and the types of reader they would be best suited for.

Deck NamePrice (at time of publishing)Size (in/cm)Good for…
Rider-Waite$19.984.96 x 2.91/12.6 x 7.4Beginners who want to learn the basics
Light Seer’s Tarot (Large Tarot Cards)$14.994.75 × 2.75/12 x 7Those who love cartoon-style illustration
The Wild Unknown Tarot~ $227.7 x 5.1/19.5 x 13 (box size)Those who love animal imagery
Modern Witch Tarot Deck$13.493.46 x 5.28/8.8 x 13.4Wannabe witches who love bright colors

Our Recommendations for Tarot Decks

The best recommendation when looking for a Tarot deck for beginners is to choose something with a lot of symbolism. This will make it much easier to interpret the meanings without having to look at the handbook, as you can use your intuition to suggest what the symbols are trying to say.

The Rider Waite Tarot Deck

tarot cards in a deck

It’s impossible to create an article on the Tarot without recommending the classic Rider-Waite Deck for beginners. Created in 1909, this is considered by many to be the original interpretation of the Tarot and has sold over 100 million copies.

This deck will help you get to grips with the themes and stories behind each card in a grounded way, meaning you can branch out and ascribe your interpretations to more modern Tarot decks confidently.

The Wild Unknown Tarot Cards

how to choose tarot cards

The Wild Unknown Tarot is an incredibly popular deck that, due to its plentiful symbolism, makes it a great one for beginners. It has a slightly dark undertone to it thanks to the scratchy pencil drawings, but the animal characters help to bring it to life.

The Easy Tarot Deck

choose tarot card

This is a great one to choose if you want to get really clear on how to use the cards and what they mean. It comes with an in-depth guidebook and the images on the cards are very clear and bright, making them fun to use.

Final Thoughts

The beginning of your journey with a Tarot deck is a special time of opportunity and intrigue. The best advice to give when choosing your own tarot cards is to trust your instincts and choose the deck that most calls to you. When you do this, you’ll create a connection that will enable clear and accurate readings every time.

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