What To Ask Before Getting Your First (or Twentieth) Tarot Deck

Disclaimer: If you are wondering, this is actually part of a question asked to me over on my Tumblr a long time ago, but this information is so useful I decided to add it to this blog! Also, while the title may say Tarot, this can go for any divination tool or deck including Lenormand, Oracle, Runes, and so on.

When getting a new deck, it being the first, second, fourth, or fortieth, there is a bit of a thought process I go through. There is no such thing as a “perfect beginner deck” because like all decks, all readers are different! The reason for this, I ask myself a few questions prior to purchasing a new deck!

There are a few things you got to look for when you are getting your first deck, or even a new one:

  • Am I comfortable with the artwork?
  • Is there any reviews on said deck?
  • Is it within my budget?
  • Is this a scenic or non-scenic deck? Do I want a (non)scenic deck?
  • Who is this deck for?

Now I am going to go into each of these questions and why it is important to ask them.

Am I Comfortable With The Artwork?

This is a very important question. If a deck’s artwork is too creepy, childish, vibrant, soft, or anything that you do not want, you will struggle to connect with the deck. If you are uncomfortable with the images, chances are you will not be comfortable reading with said deck; for a beginner deck, or any deck, that will not be a good choice for you. Also, in terms of artwork, for a beginner deck try to avoid fandom decks, especially if you plan to rely on the images. I say this because for fandom decks, usually the artist slapped a character on a card because it “looks cool” and not because the character relates to the card in any way whatsoever. Later on down the road if you want to get them because you know the meanings already or simply because “hey they look cool. I may never read with them, but they look cool!” then by all means buy them and support the artist! For your first deck, however, I recommend you stay away.

Is There Any Reviews On Said Deck?

If there is, look at the reviews! See if anyone had similar vibes to the cards (if not, that is also totally okay!) or why they gave the deck the review they did. Are the cards heavy? Easy to shuffle? Simple and practical questions like this people seem to not ask, but are important nonetheless. Do your research!

Is It Within My Budget?

Friend, do not go broke over a tarot deck. Please. As beautiful and promising that crazy expensive deck is, don’t go broke for it. Stick to your budget, and don’t use the “five-finger discount” no matter how tempting. (it is a myth that your first deck must be stolen or gifted)

Is This a Scenic or Non-Scenic Deck? Do I Want a (Non)Scenic Deck?

This is very important. If you plan on heavily relying on the scene of a deck, make sure to avoid non-scenic decks. Also find out if the deck is similar to the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. Many decks are similar to this deck in terms of meanings, imagery, and so on. If you plan on strictly working with this version due to the fact information on it is readily available for you, go ahead and make sure that the deck is RW compatible. 

For a non-scenic deck, it could be just the pip cards (Minor Arcana 1-10) that are non scenic, so if you wish to try it, go ahead! I, personally, cannot speak much for non-scenic decks due to the simple fact I do not use them often. However, I do use playing cards for cartomancy so all I can really say is memorization is key with this deck.

Who Is This Deck For?

Is this deck for you? Others? Both? This is important to think about. If this is a deck you wish to use to read for others, even if also yourself, make sure the artwork is also appropriate for others to see. Are the “bad” cards (death, devil, tower, anything someone can see and freak out) too dark or too harsh of an image? Is there nudity? Make sure all members of the reading is okay with this deck and the images. 


Due to this, this is why I will not give a list, because they are all different! I hope this information helps you find what you need in a deck, however!

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