Card playing is a game. Only a game? No, not 'ONLY' a game, it 'IS' a game, and this has to be kept in mind to understand the Tarot. Games exist everywhere, they are not restricted to human beings. Who has never seen playing puppies together, with their mother, or maybe they were playing with yourself? I did it many times, these small dogs really love to play. And they learn rapidly. And that is what it is all about, learning. Playing is an important part of the education of any living creature. While playing, you learn to survive. And the better you are in the game playing phase of your life, the better chance you have on a long live.
Games can have different objectives. Let us explore some of them:
Education. This is the primary and most important function of games. We play games to learn, to acquire knowledge, to train ourselves.
Pleasure. Games can be amusing, just the thing you need when you have plenty of time on a rainy day. For some solitary games, you require skill. And it is fun if you remark your skills growing. Some games can even obsess you for some time. Most puzzle games, construction games (assembling something is also a game) and many solitary card games are in the “playing for pleasure” category.
Pass time. Almost the same, but now the objective is not pleasure but killing the time. Who has never solved a crossword puzzle in a train to make the time shrink.
Competition. Games can also be challenging, to compare your force with others, to show that you are the strongest. This kind of games is not restricted to children. The stronger you grow, the better you become. Most sports fall in this category. You want to know who is the best, you want to compare your skills with those of other people. Honor is the only thing you receive. We call them sport, but they are still games. The highest level of sport are the Olympic Games, games, aren't they?
Money. When competing, one can make money if you are better than the others. When you get money, it is because you were better than other people. Top-sport falls in this category. Poker also falls in this category. Even without having good cards, if you bid skillfully, you can bluff other people away and win the jackpot. So, you need some skills. Many card games do not depend on chance only, they require certain skills. And the first seed of skill is what you get when, as a child, you are using the game for fun.
Others. This was just a short list. Games can be used for many other purposes, bringing people together, self-knowledge, divination, group development, name it, games can be used in many situations.
Games are important in our life, we are using more time for gaming than we can imagine. Card playing is an oriental invention. In China, people played card games, long before Charlemagne was born. So let us dive in the history of card playing, to see how it all began, and how the old oriental games were at the cradle of the Tarot game.