Tarot has been historically played as a card games all over Europe since the 1400’s, even outside of Europe, it has seen quite a revival. Tarot card decks are quite popular with those that also do reenactment of the medieval ages or are part of such clubs. Tarot is also used widely for fortune telling and future telling by a variety of fortune tellers and for other esoteric reasons. Playing cards was a Chinese invention that was brought to Europe by the Mamluks in the late 1300’s. The decks that were used by the Mamluks didn’t change very much and was eagerly adopted by the Italians.
The suit cards that were used in the tarot were similar to the standard Italian playing cards and Queens were later added to the suit cards making them a 56 card deck. Along with these 56 card deck, the 22 allegorical trump cards were also added.
After the 1450’s, they became immensely popular and were also commissioned by the nobility. This led to richly painted cards in gold and silver also. The tarot game now quickly spread from Italy to other parts of Europe such as France, Switzerland and Germany and was immensely popular in the 16th and the 17th century. The rules that are now used for the tarot are believed to be first published around 1637 and later there were many books that showed how the game should be played.