The exact time and person responsible for the creation of Tarot cards is not exactly known although it is widely recognized that it was some time in the first half of the fifteenth century, somewhere in northern Italy, when someone made the first deck of tarot cards.
This first set included many of the characteristics that appear on a normal set of playing cards: that is, numbered cards from 1 to 10, as well as four suits, court cards, page, knight, and king. In addition though, the deck had extra cards which included a queen added to each of the courts.
The 22 special cards added were known as the Major Arcana. These extra 22 did not belong to any suit and their artwork included symbolic pictures and characters such subjects as the Emperor, The Wheel of Fortune, Death, the Devil, and the Moon.
The cards were originally used to play a new type of card game that was very similar to bridge. This game had 21 of the special cards serving as permanent trumps. These could be played regardless of what suit was led, and outranked all the ordinary cards. The game became known as the Game of Triumphs and was popular especially among the upper classes of society.
In time the game spread through northern Italy and many parts of France. And as the game reached other countries, different variations of the pictures displayed on each tarot card eventually evolved. In some cases even the ranking of the trumps was changed. It was not long before the game spread across the world with various transformations in their pictures.
During this time devotees of the occult arts in Europe began to regard the Tarot and the mystical, if not magical meanings in the symbolism of the cards. Their devotion towards the cards inevitably led them to develop tarot as a divination tool, of which we know them today -- for tarot card readings. Undoubtedly, the symbolisms in the cards added an extra aspect to the whole deck and allowed a reader to have even further insight into the person they performed the reading for.
Tarot in Our Subconscious
Tarot offers many different subconscious meanings as the pictures on the cards have undergone many changes depending on the artists who developed each set. Though various designs have appeared over the centuries, the basic premise of tarot remains the same and the cards are still popular in unraveling the mysteries of life.
Today there are countless different decks available and you should get a feel for them and use the set you feel most comfortable with. It is through your relationship with the cards that you develop mental pictures, feelings, and ability to gain knowledge, and thus able to interpret them accurately. No particular set of tarot cards have a history of achieving better results. This is up to you through practice and your connection with the cosmic that will develop as you continue to use them.