Not everyone knows that tarot appears to have originally been created as a trick-taking game related to whist or bridge. It is still played today on the European continent, where it is called Le Tarot in France, Tarocchi in Italy and Tarock (or some variation of that) in Eastern Europe. Most people play with a specially designed double-headed deck with French suit markers and completely different trump illustrations featuring large numbers on them, as these decks are more conducive to game-playing (see here and here). You can learn more about the game at Tarocchino.com, which is the source of the following excellent video on the history of tarot and gaming. See also John McLeod’s website on Card Games, especially Tarot Games. You can download a reasonably priced shareware computer version of this game (with free trial period) in English or French for both Mac and PC at LeTarot.net. I’ve posted simplified instructions for playing the game here.

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