How to Choose a Tarot Deck

If you are new to reading tarot cards, choosing a deck of your own can be overwhelming. There are so many options! And there are many things to consider in the process. You might be tempted just to pick out any old deck and get started, but don’t rush this. In this post, you’ll learn how to choose a tarot deck that’s right for you.

Should I buy my own deck?

First of all, there is a superstition that you have to be given a tarot deck. You can’t buy your own. Um, yeah that’s a load of, er, manure. I bought my own first deck and you can, too. If I had to wait to be given a deck, I’d still be waiting. Feel free to buy your own deck. One that suits your purposes.

Or if you are feeling extra superstitious, pick out your deck and then add it to your Amazon Wish List, so a friend or family member can buy it for you. And just like that, you’ve gotten around the issue and still got the deck you wanted.

What does your intuition say?

This is the very first and most important consideration. Scroll through some tarot decks on Amazon. Look at the artwork. Are you drawn to a certain deck? Does it speak to you? Then you should pay attention to this feeling. The universe is trying to tell you something.

How are you going to use the cards?

What are you looking for? Do you want a personal deck? Are you buying cards to use in a professional capacity (becoming a tarot reader) ? Or is this for a party? By the way, offering tarot readings at a party, will make you extremely popular with your friends. I highly recommend it and it’s a terrific way to get some practice in.

Consider this when making your decision. If you want a professional deck, you’ll need to find a durable deck that can stand up to being used many, many times and handled by lots of people. For a party, you might want to pick a festive deck (for a Halloween get-together), or even a funny deck. If it’s for your use alone, choose one that speaks to you and don’t worry about what anyone else wants.

How are the aesthetics?

How pretty are the cards? Is the artwork gorgeous? For example, the Wild Unknown deck is absolutely beautiful. I enjoy a pretty deck of cards because I think it adds something to the process when you see beautiful images in your hands. I recently purchased the Witches Tarot because the images were just so gorgeous and I couldn’t resist a little witchy boost to my tarot readings.

Different decks for different purposes

So, what kind of readings will you be doing? In my experience, most tarot readings are about love and relationships. That’s just me. For example, the Romantic Tarot is a great option. If you are doing sexy readings you might consider a deck like the Casanova Tarot or even the Tarot of Sexual Magic.

Quality Matters

I’ve purchased inexpensive decks before and the cards have torn within three months. Ugh. Essentially, this was just money down the drain. If you are thinking of purchasing a cheap deck, keep this in mind. You don’t have to buy the most expensive one, but consider how often you will be using them and how durable they need to be. The natural oils in your hands will rub off on the cards and it takes a toll after a while. Decks that have been used often have tears around the edges and the designs have worn off from being handled so much.

Digital or Physical Cards?

If you are starting out, you might want to consider digital cards instead of physical cards. I have the Galaxy Tarot app on my phone and Kindle,  and they are great for a quick reading.  I’ve also used the Trusted Tarot app in the past.  But I miss having the physical cards in my hand. Somehow, I just feel more connected to the deck. Maybe because I have the tactile sensation of flipping through the cards. But if you are a techno pagan, this is a terrific option. Plus, you won’t have to worry about them wearing out.


Let’s face it, the Rider Waite deck is not the most diverse deck in the world. If you are looking for a more representative tarot deck there are plenty of options. You might want to try the Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot.  Or you could try Tarot de St. Croix. Or the Modern Witch Tarot. All of these have more diverse figures depicted.

My Two Cents

If I were a newbie, I’d go with the Rider Waite Deck simply because it’s a classic and there are so many resources out there for how to read and interpret this deck. It’s a great place to get started. Once you are familiar with reading tarot, then I would branch out to other types of decks.

Now, this doesn’t narrow the choice down significantly. There are mini cards you can toss in your bag, or a giant Rider Waite deck you can see from space. Or you could go with “prettier” Rider Waite style cards like the Radiant Rider Waite tarot deck.

Or you could select a Rider Waite style deck like the Everyday Tarot Deck.

Break your deck in

And once you’ve made the decision to buy a deck, you’ll need to use them a lot to get a feel for your cards. It’s almost like you are bonding with them. Try some of my daily tarot rituals until you get comfortable with the cards. Whenever I get a new one, I play around with them until I feel like I “know” the cards and they “know” me as well.

If you already purchased a tarot deck, how did you make your decision? And if you haven’t yet bought one, which ones are you considering? Tell me in the comments!


how to choose a tarot deck

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