Very similar to an oversize deck of playing cards, a deck of tarot (Tar-oh) cards has several distinguishing features. The first is that tarot decks are usually much thicker, with 78 or more cards compared to a standard deck's 52. The exact size of the deck varies, as different deck authors choose different cards to include.
Instead of four equal suits, the tarot has five suits, or, more accurately, four suits of "minor arcana" plus one suit of "major arcana". The four suits are typically wands, cups, swords, and coins, although variations in name and theme are common.
The minor arcana usually have 14 cards in each suit, and the major arcana suit usually contains 22 cards. The minor arcana suits include "small cards" numbered ace through ten, and four royalty or face cards (also called "court cards"): the page, knight, queen, and king. As with the names of the suits, the titles of these four may vary. Some decks have them as princess, prince, queen, and knight, for example. In the major arcana, also known as the "trumps major," or simply "trumps," each card has its own title and theme; there are "Strength", "Death", and "Judgment" cards, among others. Roman numerals are often used for major arcana numbering. The Fool trump was unnumbered in the earliest Tarot decks and there was disagreement about its position in the sequence, but in modern decks, it is typically numbered zero and placed at the beginning of the series.
Most tarot decks are heavily illustrated, with each card displaying a tableau demonstrating the card's subject, either literally or thematically. This is most direct in the major arcana, which mostly have standard names and meanings.
Tarot cards are best known for their use in divination, but they have been used to play games since medieval times. Zarcana and Gnostica and any others in Category:Tarot deck are Icehouse games that use tarot cards.