Historically, one of the most important designs is the one usually known as the Tarot de Marseille.
This standard pattern was the one studied by Court de Gébelin, and cards based on this style illustrate his Le Monde primitif.
Picture-card packs are first mentioned by Martiano da Tortona probably between 14, since the painter he mentions, Michelino da Besozzo, returned to Milan in 1418, while Martiano himself died in 1425.
He describes a deck with 16 cards with images of the Greek gods and suits depicting four kinds of birds.
However the 16 cards were obviously regarded as "trumps" as, about 25 years later, Jacopo Antonio Marcello called them a ludus triumphorum, or "game of trumps".
Special motifs on cards added to regular packs showed philosophical, social, poetical, astronomical, and heraldic ideas, Roman/Greek/Babylonian heroes, as in the case of the Sola-Busca-Tarocchi (1491) Fragments of two playing card decks from Milan (the Brera-Brambilla and Cary-Yale-Tarocchi), made around 1440, survive.
French tarot experienced a revival beginning in the 1970s and France has the strongest tarot gaming community.
Regional tarot games—often known as tarock, tarok, or tarokk are widely played in central Europe within the borders of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.
The document from January 1441 is regarded as an unreliable reference; however, the same painter, Sagramoro, was commissioned by the same patron, Leonello d'Este, as in the February 1442 document.
In 1765, Giacomo Casanova wrote in his diary that his Russian mistress frequently used a deck of cards for divination.
A variety of tarot designs exist and a number of typical regional patterns have emerged.
The first documented tarot packs were recorded between 14 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna when additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the common four-suit pack.
These new decks were called carte da trionfi, triumph cards, and the additional cards known simply as trionfi, which became "trumps" in English.
In addition, the tarot has a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool.