The online playing cards store of R. Somerville (Playing Cards)

Privacy Policy & Cookies

We are committed to protecting your privacy. Under no circumstances will we pass on information about you to any other organisation or person.

We collect information about you for two reasons: first, to process your order and second, to provide you with the best possible service. The type of information we will collect about you includes:

  • your name
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address
  • credit/debit card details

When you supply us with such information by completing forms on our website, it is understood that you are permitting us to use this information only in order to process your order.

Clearly, some of this information is essential for us to send your order and some of it is useful in case there is anything which needs to be clarified. You may choose to withhold information in the latter category such as your telephone number and/or email address (type n/a in the appropriate box on the form) but if you do so and there is any difficulty with processing your order, we may have to cancel the order. (We are a small organisation and simply cannot afford the time and expense of writing and posting letters to clarify details of orders.) Furthermore, if you withhold your e-mail address, you will not get confirmation of receipt of your order or notification of its despatch. We do not recommend withholding such information and reiterate our pledge that we will not pass any personal information to any other party outside R. Somerville Playing Cards.

It is not our current policy to send circulars by e-mail to customers or anyone who has had contact with us. At present, we post news and information about newly arrived stock and recent changes to our website on our newsletter page. (Click "Home" above and then select "Newsletter".


This site uses cookies - small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping carts, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics.

As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or taking a look at either www.cookiesandyou.com or the About Cookies website (www.aboutcookies.org) both of which offer guidance for all modern browsers.  There is more information on the Information Commissioners' website here: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies/

If you have any questions/comments about our privacy policy, please contact us.

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

Click here to start at the beginning of our catalogue.

Last Updated: 24th May, 2018

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.