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Cartomancy is fortune telling or divination using a deck of cards. Forms of cartomancy appeared soon after playing cards were first introduced into Europe in the 14th century. Practitioners of cartomancy are generally known as cartomancers, card readers or, simply, readers.

Cartomancy using standard playing cards was the most popular form of providing “fortune telling” card readings in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In English-speaking countries, a standard deck of Anglo-American bridge/poker playing cards (i.e., 52-card, four suit set) can be used in the cartomancy reading; the deck is often augmented with jokers, and even with the blank card found in many packaged decks. In France, the 32-card piquet playing card deck was, and still is, most typically used in cartomancy readings, while the 52-card deck was, and still is, also used for this purpose. (For a piquet deck, start with a 52-card deck and remove all of the 2s through the 6s. This leaves all of the 7s through the 10s, the face cards, and the aces.)