10 Reasons to Perform with Tarot Cards

This post explores 10 reasons why you should consider adding tarot cards to your show. Learn how to make your routines stronger and more engaging.

10 Reasons to Perform with Tarot Cards

Most mentalists, including myself, perform routines with poker cards in order to demonstrate feats such as, mind reading, rapid memorization, clairvoyance, and other various powers of the mind. In fact, I can’t recall seeing a mentalism show where a poker deck wasn’t used to demonstrate one of these special abilities.

While poker cards are a convenient tool for the mentalist, I have found that tarot cards play much stronger and are more engaging for audiences. Over the years, I began substituting tarot cards in routines that are usually performed with a poker deck. And now, I almost always prefer to perform a show with a tarot deck instead of a poker deck.

So, why might a tarot deck be a better choice for your mentalism show?

Here are 10 Reasons to Perform with Tarot Cards

  1. Like amulets, tarot cards are inherently magical objects that are usually familiar to an audience. Your knowledge about them improves your credibility as a mentalist.
  2. Unlike poker decks, the tarot isn’t associated with trickery, sleight of hand, gambling, or magicians.
  3. The tarot has an intrinsically fascinating history that you can use to educate your audience.
  4. The tarot also has many folkloric, occult stories which can be presentationally engaging.
  5. The detailed imagery within the cards can inspire many presentations that are personalized and relatable to your audience.
  6. You can use the tarot to divine the future and give character readings which allow you to create participant-focused presentations.
  7. You expand your audience reach by appealing not just to people who enjoy mentalism but to a wider audience who are interested in broader topics, such as metaphysics, spirituality, UFOs, the occult, and other similar topics.
  8. The tarot is for adults and is taken seriously. This means that your performances will have a greater personal impact and you are more likely to be remembered.
  9. In some areas the tarot can create controversy. This can be advantageous in your promotional material.
  10. Unlike playing cards and mentalism, which traditionally challenges the audience to discover a method, the Tarot has an intrinsic, non-adversarial appeal which fosters a positive, meaningful, and even healing relationship.

I’ve posted free routines here on The Unseen Arts to get you started using the tarot in your shows. This includes my Invisible Tarot Deck, Tarot Stop Trick, and A Matching Pair.

When you read these routines, you will see how I’ve taken card tricks and changed the presentations to reflect the tarot. In fact, I’m sure that you can think of several routines that you perform right now with a poker deck, that you could switch for a tarot deck.

Once you have the routine you’d like to perform, you only need to familiarize yourself with the tarot and create a presentation that fits into your act. Here is a book list that will help get you started.

Tarot Book Recommendations
Do you want to learn how to read the tarot? I’ve compiled a list of my favorite books to help you start your journey to tarot mastery.

I’m always looking for card effects that work well with the tarot. Do you have any routines that you’ve modified for the tarot?

Let me know in the comments below or in our Discord chat room.