How to Adapt a Card Deck to Play French Tarot

Two Parts:Adapt an Unmodified Card DeckAdapt a Modified Card Deck

You want to play French Tarot but you do not have a Tarot deck? Continue reading and you will know how to adapt a card deck or the points of the game to play this fun game. On the first method you will find out how to adapt the points to the deck. On the second one you will find out how to adapt the deck itself. Normally, buying several decks with the same back.

If you do not know how to play French Tarot, after reading this article you will be ready to start reading the rules and play.

Part 1
Adapt an Unmodified Card Deck

In this method you will learn to adapt a card deck, not the deck itself, but the necessary points to play French Tarot with a card deck, a Latin one or an English one.

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    Choose a card deck, the one you prefer.
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    Count the cards your deck has.
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    Calculate the necessary points. For that it is mandatory to do a rule of three. For instance, if you know that a Tarot deck has 78 cards and 91 points do simply as follows:
    • If for 91 ---- 78 // for x ---- 40. Now you only have to multiply the first number of the first formula by the second of the second formula and then divide it between the second one of the first formula. That is (91*40)/78=46'6. You can round it up or down.
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    Continue doing rules of three for all the points. For example, with three Oudlers you need 36 points. How many points would you need in a card deck of 40 latin deck?
    • If for 36 are 78 how many are (x) for 40 cards? 36 ---- 78 // x ---- 40. Repeating the formula of step three, we have that (36*40)/78=18'4. Hence, if you have three Oudlers' in a card deck of 40 cards, you need to have 18'5 or rounded.
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    Repeat the step four with all the points. For the Poignée it may be that you want to adapt another method because they are more in the original card deck of Tarot so it does not make so much sense to announce Poignée with three cards so you can choose to announce it with the half of your cards being Atouts. Give fixed points, because this ones are not multiplied by the contract and you are done.
    • You can also choose to announce simple, double or triple with 1/3, 2/3 or 3/3 of Atouts in your hand. Get the imagination flying.
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    Calculate the point per card. Knowing previously that in a card deck of 40 cards there are 46'6 total points and having adapted the quantity of points per Oudlers now you only have to give points to the cards to make all fit altogether. For instance, the Kings can do 3 points each one, the Knights 2, the Jacks 1 and the others 0'5 —including the non Oudlers Atouts (all except the King, 7 and 1 o spades or bastos)— in the case it will be the latin deck. If they do not fit because you have more points you can modify the points of the cards until you get them fixing and leave it like that, and get the points a little above 46. Remember that it is only to have fun and you do not need to break your brains thinking.
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    Do the Atouts now. As you know if you know how to play French Tarot the Atouts suit is as in spades —trumps—, i.e. , that is a suit that can win to any other suit unless it is a superior Atout. Hence, you need to get one of the suit of the card deck acting as Atouts. With 40 cards you will be taking the bastos suit —spades— as Atouts, being that the one of bastos or AsAce—, if it is english deck, it is the Petit, the 12 of bastos or spades' King it is the equivalent to the 21 and the 7 of the same suit the Excuse.
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    Learn how to play French Tarot because the rules are the same as in the original game.

Part 2
Adapt a Modified Card Deck

In this method, you will not have to adapt the points so leave the mathematics aside. Here, you only have to spend some money; it depends of the quality of the card deck you want.

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    Get several card decks with the same back. For instance, if it is a standard English deck and you get two it will be enough to adapt it. In total you will have 55*2=110. 52 normal cards and 3 jokers for each card deck. If you adapt a latin card deck you will need:
    • To buy four without 8, 9 and 10.
    • To buy two with 8, 9, and 10.
      Image titled 8, 9, 10, J baraja póquer española
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    Modify the cards to have exactly 78 cards.
    • English standard deck.
      • Use four of the jokers of the deck to simulate the Cavaliers (Knight), now you will have Roi (K), Dame (Q), Cavalier (Joker), Valet (J). Do it for example writing a big C done with a permanent maker or in a corner of the card if you do not want to ruin your card. You can mark the card simply with the suit, assuming you will know that the Joker represents the Knight. Try to avoid pressure on the card when writing, you will guess which card it is if you apply a lot of pressure on it.
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      • Use another of the Jokers to represent the Excuse writing on the card a big E in a similar way as you have done with the Cavaliers. You can leave the Joker unwritten because you will know that the one without letter will be the Excuse.
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      • Set aside an entire deck with Roi (King), Dame (Queen), Cavalier (Joker), and Valet (Jack) and 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. One for each suit of the card deck.
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      • Use the 21 cards of the rest of the cards to have the Atouts writing similarly numbers from 1 to 21 without applying a lot of pressure on it to do not know wich card it is.
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    • Latin deck.
      • Use cards from another card deck to simulate, writing on it, the Dames, 8, 9 and 10 —not the Sota —Knaven (10 in latin deck)— that will be used as the Valet— if it is the case that you do not have them.
      • Use the 21 cards of the rest of the cards to have the Atouts and the Excuse.
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    Confirm that you have 78 cards.
    • 14*4 —one for each suit— = 56
    • Plus 21 Atouts. 56 + 21 = 77.
    • Plus 1 Excuse. 77 + 1 = 78.


  • Remember to indicate, in the case of the Knights or Cavaliers the suit they are for example with a big heart or spade.
  • Remember that in the latin deck we have the Sota numbered with the 10. Not to be confused with the card number 10. That is, to play with the latin deck of the second method you would have: Rey, Dama —created with the rest of the cards—, Caballero —Spanish Horse— and Sota (Jack or Valet), and numbers 10, 9 and 8 —created if you do not have them— [···] 1.
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  • Remember that it is of big importance that the back —the back side of the cards— of the cards are of the same pattern or design because like that you will not have any idea of what cards are. That means that if someone adds an Atout suit with another pattern you will know instantly how many Atouts the people playing have or do not have.

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Categories: Games | Card Reading