This is one of the most fun blog posts and videos I get to put together every year. Rounding up my favorite tarot decks for beginners means I get to collect and play with different decks, and it’s so much fun to see all of the new decks that are created every year.
This year, I’ll be talking about my favorite tarot decks for tarot beginners, so you’ll be able to find the perfect deck for you. Of course, The Simple Tarot Deck is one of my favorites, but it’s definitely NOT the only option. You can find out more in this video, or just keep on reading…
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Okay, let’s get this out of the way right now. I designed The Simple Tarot Deck specifically to help you learn how to confidently read tarot cards, right from day one.
The deck is color-coded, and has the tarot card keywords and tarot card meanings printed right on the cards. It comes in a Starter Kit with a paperback companion guidebook and a two-page printed tarot cheat sheet.
The Simple Tarot Deck is SUPER helpful when you’re learning the meanings of the cards and just getting started, but it’s not the only deck that I recommend for beginners.
Whether you want something with more complex artwork, geared toward your personal spiritual path, or are just looking for options, here are my favorites…
My criteria for a useful tarot deck for beginners:
- It’s based on the Rider-Waite-Smith traditional tarot card meanings and symbolism.
- It has a full set of 78 cards.
- The cards are illustrated with scenes or stories that relate to the card’s meaning.
- The Court Cards look like individuals and there are scenes or symbols that relate to their personalities.
- It’s reasonably priced. Your first deck doesn’t need to be expensive.
- It includes a useful and complete companion guidebook.
Now, on to the 2019 Roundup of the Best Tarot Cards for Beginners…
If you want the “classic” tarot deck
The classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck from US Games comes in many different versions and is easily available from Amazon or your local bookseller or tarot shop. It’s also your cheapest option, although the “little white book” that is included is completely worthless, so you’ll need to get a book that goes into the tarot card meanings more deeply.
But if you dislike the illustration style of that deck, other Rider-Waite-Smith-based decks with clear artwork will also work. I personally prefer the artwork style of the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot, and it comes with a fantastic full-length paperback guidebook for a very reasonable price.
Some other popular ones are the Gilded Tarot, which has very fancy artwork. It’s included in the Easy Tarot Boxset, which comes with a decent guidebook. The artwork on this deck is not to my taste at all, but many people love it and it reads clearly for beginners.
If you’d like a deck that aligns with your spiritual beliefs
Kat Black’s Golden Tarot has a strongly Christian-vibe, with many saints and other religious imagery on the cards. It’s an extremely beautiful deck, and you don’t need to be a Christian to read it.
If you are a practicing pagan or Wiccan, then check out The Druid Craft Tarot, The Robin Wood Tarot Deck, and the Wildwood Tarot. All three are based on the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, but bring in natural and pagan elements.
There are “witches” decks, like the Green Witch Tarot, the Everyday Witch Tarot, and the Witches Tarot, but they all stray a bit from the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith symbolism (especially in the Court Cards). So, I DO recommend these decks – they’re all great – but usually not as a first tarot deck for a beginner.
If you want a strikingly beautiful tarot deck
I LOVE the Morgan Greer Tarot Deck, but it’s got a very unique, borderless 1970’s block-print and porn-stache vibe. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but if you like the artwork here, you’ll LOVE this deck.
I’m also in absolute love with The Marigold Tarot. It’s breath-taking. Unfortunately, I don’t recommend this one for beginners, unless you’re willing to put up with a challenge in exchange for such beauty. It’s much harder to learn tarot using these cards – although they read beautifully if you are confident with your tarot card meanings and imagery.
There are new decks being published all the time, from big publishers like Lo Scarabeo and Llewellyn, and from independent artists like myself.
If you’re still looking for the “perfect” deck, check out Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and my favorite source for new decks – Indie Deck Review.
Just remember the rules. Look for a deck that’s:
- Based on the Rider-Waite-Smith traditional tarot card meanings and symbolism.
- Has a full set of 78 cards.
- Are illustrated with scenes or stories that relate to the card’s meaning. You don’t want a deck where the Four of Cups just has four cups on it, with no hints of what that means.
- Also, you’ll want the Court Cards to look like individuals with symbols that relate to their personalities.
- And make sure it includes a useful and complete companion guidebook.
Now, that’s only a few of my favorites, but it should be enough to get you started.
Now, I’d love to hear from YOU! Join us in our private Facebook Group (where it’s all tarot, all the time) and tell me all about your favorite tarot deck for beginners – and most importantly – WHY you think it’s such a great deck for someone just learning to read the cards. See you there!