### 78 cards - 78 points

Posted:

**18 May 2014, 09:37**A full tarot deck consists of 78 cards. According to the classical rules they have a combined value of 78 points to be divided among the (originally 3) players. 52 points are contributed from the whole card values of 0-4 points, plus 1 point for each won trick, which was absorbed into the cards as 1/3 point each. So each card has a value from 1/3 to 4 1/3 points, and their sum is 78.

There is no compelling reason on behalf of gameplay why it should be this way. The vast majority of point trick games have different card number and points to score, including most modern tarot games (e.g. French tarot has 78 cards and 91 points; Austrian 54-cards tarot has usually 70 points; etc.).

But it's also higly unlikely that this has been a coincidence.

So, how did it come that tarot has 78 card worth 78 points? Are there any hypotheses? Evidence?

(I have my own - entirely speculative - hypothesis, but will wait before presenting it - maybe this topic has already been settled.)

There is no compelling reason on behalf of gameplay why it should be this way. The vast majority of point trick games have different card number and points to score, including most modern tarot games (e.g. French tarot has 78 cards and 91 points; Austrian 54-cards tarot has usually 70 points; etc.).

But it's also higly unlikely that this has been a coincidence.

So, how did it come that tarot has 78 card worth 78 points? Are there any hypotheses? Evidence?

(I have my own - entirely speculative - hypothesis, but will wait before presenting it - maybe this topic has already been settled.)