Although we have not added any new stock to our website since 2011, all the items listed and displayed here are still available for purchase. Most of them are offered at 2011 prices! To place an order, please contact us via our contact page with a list of what you would like to purchase. We will then confirm availability and propose various options for payment. If you have specific “wants” for items not shown, please submit a list. You never know – we may still have an example of the very pack you are looking for!

About us

R. Somerville (Playing Cards) has now been in business for nearly 30 years (established February 1981 as R. Somerville of Edinburgh) during which time we have built up a large range of cards and considerable expertise about playing cards and Tarot cards of all kinds. After 18 years of successful trading in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, we decided to close our shop to concentrate exclusively on mail order. Since September 2000 all business has been conducted by mail order only from our new base in the south of France.

We are probably the world's most comprehensive dealers in modern playing cards and Tarot cards with a range of around 2,500 different packs which we sell by mail order to collectors and card players all over the world. Our range of books on playing cards and related subjects is also listed in the catalogue. If you find the whole range a bit daunting, there's general information and advice on a page called 'How to find what you are looking for' (see Help on the menu banner above). Enquiries for specific items which may not have been advertised are always welcome. Trade enquiries will also be considered.

We have now been offering cards for sale on the internet for approaching fourteen years (we first went live in November 1996), and the current searchable catalogue is the result of the second major rebuild since our first faltering internet steps! Quite a lot of our stock does not yet have complete catalogue details, for which we are sorry, but we are trying to get as much as possible listed and illustrated in a basic format and will then fill in more details as time and resources allow. Please bear with us!

R. Somerville (Playing Cards), 12 Place du Palais des Evêques, F-31420 ALAN, France

Alex Roberts at Eurologic IT Ltd is the designer and programmer who made this website work for us. He is highly experienced in writing active websites using ASP and ISAPI DLLs in conjunction with ADO, JavaScript and DHTML. He is also capable of providing high-level design input, of generating all necessary graphics and using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to maintain design/branding control across web applications. And he is very experienced in managing websites day-to-day under IIS 4 (NT4) and 5 (Win2000), including HTTP, FTP and SMTP services, and at providing guidance for setting up secure and failsafe web hosting arrangements.
Visit his site to see reference websites for a broader idea of what he can do. If you do contact him, please mention that you were referred to him by

Click here to start at the beginning of our catalogue.

This page last updated: 25th November, 2017

What is the difference between Tarot cards and Fortune-telling cards?

Tarot cards for fortune-telling usually (but certainly not always) have the same number of cards as Tarot packs for the game of Tarot. They are normally suited but are primarily intended for fortune-telling, divination, meditation or whatever rather than for playing one of the versions of the Tarot game. Generally they are the same size or bigger than cards for the game of Tarot.

Fortune-telling packs come from a different tradition, either the gipsy type - which traditionally were hand-made and had simple pictures of subjects such as a letter, a baby, a house, etc., etc. - and originally no titles (though nowadays titles tend to be added) or the more formal Lenormand type (created by Mlle Lenormand) which usually had either suits or text and then the same kind of pictures as the gipsy type but more formally and elaborately drawn. A third type are simply like ordinary playing cards but with mottoes or rhymes added somewhere, e.g. in an insert or round the borders of the cards. Fortune-telling packs are generally smaller than Tarot packs, both in size and in the number of cards (often 36 or 52 as opposed to 78).

In recent times, many one-off packs have been devised for fortune-telling which don't really fit in to any of the existing categories - they tend to be larger and to have their own booklets expounding the theories of their creators. Often they are called "Tarot" even when they are not - probably because they are easier to market that way. Many of these one-off fortune-telling packs - mostly published in France and Italy - have a relatively short life and may only exist in one language, often being sold by small and obscure publishers.

All tarot and most fortune-telling packs are listed in the tarot & fortune telling section of the catalogue though there are sometimes a few which are listed in the General section as they are primarily playing card packs which can also be used for foirtune-telling. Look in the General Catalogue under fortune-telling packs in the "subject or theme" or "type of pack" listings.