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You want to learn the tarot but you also wonder if you can do so if you hold off on getting a tarot deck. Instead, your idea of learning the tarot is by dusting off an old set of playing cards that you used when you played Go Fish when you were a child. The answer to that is no. You absolutely need a tarot deck if you want to learn to read the tarot. However, if you are an experienced reader and you wanted to have access to your set of cards while you are on the go, but your tarot deck is too large to carry – you can use playing cards as a substitute in that instance.

However, just know this fact. There are smaller tarot decks you can carry if you are on the go. These decks will fit into your purse if that is what you are concerned about. But if you prefer to carry your playing cards instead, then you can if you would like.

There are some things you must know about when it comes to substituting your tarot with playing cards. There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. There are 52 cards in a deck of playing cards. Playing cards do not include Major Arcana cards except for the Joker which is equivalent to the Fool. In addition to that, playing cards don’t include the Knights in each suit.

In other words, you are mostly reading by using the Minor Arcana in a deck of playing cards without the Knights. Therefore, the reading you would deliver to someone on the go by using playing cards would only be a reading that involves most of the cards in the Minor Arcana unless the Joker pops up.

There are four suits in a deck of playing cards as there are in the Minor Arcana of the tarot. They are Hearts, Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds. Hearts is equivalent to the Cups suit as it is represented by the water element. Spades are equivalent to the Swords suit as it is represented by the air element. Clubs are equivalent to the Wands suit and it is represented by the fire element. Diamonds are equivalent to the Pentacles suit which is represented by the earth element.

The court cards in a playing deck are the Jacks or the Knaves which are like the Pages of the Minor Arcana. Then you have the Queens and the Kings, but again, there are no Knights. If you are completely fine with doing a reading based on the limitations that a deck of playing cards brings when you compare it to a tarot deck, then go for it.

Besides, divination with the use of playing cards is just referred to as cartomancy. Cartomancy is divination by using cards which can be tarot cards, Lenormand cards, or any other type of oracle deck as well. However, the term is really associated with divination with playing cards. Let’s now talk more about the suits in detail, and then I will talk about the numbers of each suit. Then I will provide some examples.

Clubs Are The Same As Wands

The Clubs suit in the playing card deck is the same as the Wands in the Minor Arcana of the tarot as it is linked to the fire element. This suit is all about business, creativity, as well as relationships, and can involve intellect as well. Action, risk-taking, adventure, and competition is what this suit is all about. Whenever it is represented by something physical, it is all about inspiration, intuition, ambition, spiritual energy, and growth.

Spades Are The Same As Swords

The Spades suit is in the playing card deck is the same as the Sword suit in the Minor Arcana as it is linked to air. This suit is all about thinking, intellect, decision-making, writing, as well as studying, and taking action whether it is destructive or constructive. This suit can represent the assertion of power, being courageous, showing ambition, as well as dealing with conflict.

Hearts Are The Same As Cups

The Hearts suit in the playing card deck is the same as the Cups suit in the Minor Arcana of the tarot which is linked to water. This is the suit that is all about feelings, emotions, and intuition. If you look at feelings of joy, despair, sadness, and contentment, and so on, it is all in the Hearts suit. Relationships are the theme of this suit as well since that is what represents emotions of every kind there is around.

Diamonds Are The Same As Pentacles

The Diamonds suit in the playing card deck is the same as the Pentacles suit in the Minor Arcana of the tarot which is linked to earth. It represents all matters that are tangible, practical, material, and that includes health. What you see represented in this suit are matters that have to do with work, money, business, home, projects, properties, and relationships only from a viewpoint that is practical.

Now you know about the suits in the playing card deck and how they are similar to the Minor Arcana of the tarot. Let’s now talk about the numbering and court cards.

Numbering And Court Cards In The Playing Card Deck

What do the numbers mean in the playing card deck? You will see that the similarities are strong as they are in the Minor Arcana. Let’s start.

  • Aces – Always represent new beginnings or something that is brand new in general.
  • Twos –  This can represent balancing, or delays, or waiting.
  • Threes – There is a connection with this number, or it can even mean division or plans that did not work out.
  • Fours –  There is either a sense of stability or too much to the point of feeling stuck.
  • Fives – There are plenty of disturbances and changes but these disturbances can lead to venturing out and expanding.
  • Sixes –  All about harmony, or having the desire for harmony but this number is usually quite positive.
  • Sevens – This is the mysterious number or the number that makes you sit and think after an unexpected issue happened.
  • Eights – There is movement with this number or lack of it.
  • Nines –  This is the number that either represents satiety or growth.
  • Tens –  Always the number that represents completion, new beginnings, or brand new endings as well.

What about the court cards? The court cards in the playing deck can represent the personality or someone or actual people. The Jacks or the Knaves are the Pages, and the Queens and the Kings are no different from their representation in the tarot. For instance, the Queen of Diamonds is the same as the Queen of Pentacles. And the Page of Swords is the same as Jack of Spades, and so on.

You will see that there are plenty of similarities between playing card number and suit meanings and those of the Minor Arcana. For instance, the Nine of Clubs is very much like the Nine of Wands which means you are having to push forward no matter how exhausted you are. You are testing your endurance and strength. And with the Four of Clubs, this is a card that represents apathy or contemplation such as the Four of Cups. The Ten of Spades is the card that represents giving up and victimization and the Ten of Swords is all about bitter endings, so there are similarities with those.

If you want to know about the actual meanings of the cards in the playing card deck, then click here for more information. Either way, you know that if you want to read the tarot by using playing cards, you know that you can if you can read the deck by bearing the significant differences in mind.

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