Tarocco Piemontese

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The Fool.

The Tarocco Piemontese (Tarot of Piedmont) is a type of tarot deck of Italian origin. It is the most common tarot playing set in Italy, much more common than the Tarocco Bolognese or the Tarocco Siciliano. The most common Piedmontese tarot games are Scarto, Mitigati, Chiamare il Re, and Partita which are played in Pinerolo and Turin.[1]

This deck pattern was derived from the Tarot of Marseilles but was made reversible for modern game playing.[2][3] It consists of 78 cards: a trump suit of 22 cards, numbered from 0 to 21, and four 14-card suits of swords (spade), batons (bastoni), cups (coppe), and coins (denari). Each suit has a king (re), queen (donna), knight (cavallo) and jack (unlabelled), cards numbered from 2 to 10, and an unnumbered card with an elaborate suit symbol which acts as the 1. Trumps and most pip cards have indices in modern Arabic numerals (for trumps, cups, and coins) or Roman numerals (for swords and batons). Unusually, in most games trump 20 outranks trump 21 (this may have been influenced by Bolognese games).

The order of the trumps, in most games played with this pack, is:

  • the Angel "l'angelo" (20),
  • the World "il mondo" (21),
  • the Sun "il sole" (19),
  • the Moon "la luna" (18),
  • the Star "le stelle" (17),
  • the Tower "la torre" (16),
  • the Devil "il diavolo" (15),
  • Temperance "la temperenza" (14),
  • Death "la morte" (13),
  • the Hanged Man "l'appeso" (12),
  • Strength "la forza" (11),
  • the Wheel of Fortune "rota di fortuna" (10),
  • the Hermit "l'eremita" (9),
  • Justice "la giustizia" (8),
  • the Chariot "il carro" (7),
  • the Lovers "gli amanti" (6),
  • the Pope "il papa" (5),
  • the Emperor "l'imperatore" (4),
  • the Empress "l'imperatrice" (3),
  • the Popess "la papessa" (2),
  • and the Pagat "il bagatto" (1).

The Fool "il matto" (0) is played in the classic manner: it can beat nothing, but can always be played to a trick, relieving the holder from the obligation to follow suit.

The order of the cards in swords and batons is king, queen, knight, jack, X, IX, ... I.

The order of the cards in cups and coins is king, queen, knight, jack, 1, 2, ... 10.

This deck is not related to the non-tarot Piemontesi deck which uses French suited hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. As such, their cards are not interchangeable.


  1. ^ David Parlett, Oxford Dictionary of Card Games, Oxford University Press (1996) ISBN 0-19-869173-4
  2. ^ Mann, Sylvia (1990). All Cards on the Table. Leinfelden: Deutsches Spielkarten-Museum. pp. 33–34. 
  3. ^ Tarocco Piemontese at the International Playing-Card Society. Retrieved 19 February 2016.