Aces, Pip Cards, and Court Cards of the Tarot

All new tarot readers are told that the major arcana are the most important cards in the deck. Whereas there is definitely truth to that it is not a case of “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The reason is that although they undoubtedly have a major influence on a reading it is a bit like saying the world is black and white. The world, of course, is anything but and is instead a million shades of grey.

This is where the cards of the minor arcana come into their own because they provide the shades of grey to the major arcana’s blacks and whites.


  • Tarot Aces
    • Each suit of the minor arcana starts with an ace.


  • Tarot Pip Cards
    • The pip cards are the cards within the Tarot that are numbered 2 to 10.


  • Tarot Court Cards
    • The court cards of the Tarot are the pages, knights, queens, and kings.


Why It Is Important to Know What Each Value Is About

Although it is possible to go straight to the individual meaning (for example) ¬†for the 9 of Cups that in itself is not going to tell you what the nines are fundamentally about. It’s not wrong to go straight to the meaning but you will have a better grasp of the card itself if you have taken the time to learn what the value of each card in the suits indicates.

You will often see it said that the cards of the tarot tell a story and that is absolutely true. The major arcana tells the story of the fool’s journey from beginning to end. In much the same way each card within the minors also tells a story. That story starts with an ace and to a degree ends with the 10.

The difference between the story that each arcana tells is this.

The major arcana tells a story that is cyclical in nature and once that cycle is complete it starts over with a new journey. Each stage of the Fool’s journey can be considered a chapter within a book.

The minor arcana tells a story too but each card can be considered a short story in its own right rather than a chapter in a novel.

Knowing what each card value is about will help you as a reader to understand the meanings and definitions given for the individual cards themselves. In a nutshell you will have a better understanding of where that meaning is coming from.