Difference between Tarot and Oracle Cards
By Rebecca Rodriguez - July 1, 2023

Tarot and Oracle cards are distinct from each other. However, this is not readily known as you can incorporate them into the same readings and spreads. So, what are the differences?


The tarot (known initially as trionfi and subsequently tarocchi or tarocks) is a deck of playing cards that have been used in various regions of Europe from at least the mid-15th century to play card games such as Italian Tarocchini. In the late 18th century, French occultists began to make intricate claims about their history and purpose, which resulted in the creation of bespoke decks for divination via tarot card reading and cartomancy. As a result, there are two sorts of tarot packs: those used for gaming and those used for divination. However, certain earlier designs, such as the Tarot de Marseille, originally designed for card games, have already been utilized for cartomancy.
An oracle deck is a set of cards that provides insight and perspective on our daily lives. They may display images, and the individual dealing with them has more leeway in interpreting their significance.

Tarot vs. Oracle

In its most common form, the tarot deck contains 78 cards, divided into four suits of 14 cards each (the additional court card in each suit being the Cavalier, Knight, or Horseman) and 22 symbolical picture cards as atouts or trumps. Swords, cups, coins, and batons are the four suits. In contrast to tarot decks, oracle decks can include any number of cards. Furthermore, although tarot cards include a Major Arcana and a Minor Arcana divided into suits, oracle decks do not. There are no guidelines.

Tarot cards have similar meanings as well. Most decks are Rider-Waite variants, and they all have common motifs. The artwork and photographs may be entirely different, but the meaning behind the card is frequently extremely the same. So, in the case of Tarot cards, a common topic goes through most of the cards, but Oracle cards do not have a similar theme. Because oracle cards are less organized, they might be a more enticing alternative for beginners.

Comparison Chart
  1. Typical set number of 78 cards
No specific number or cards
  1. Used for divination and revelation
Used to provide insight and direction
  1. Common themes and meaning
Meanings relate specifically to the diviner