The Minchiate Tarot deck

Written by  on November 16, 2015 

Minchiate is an early 16th century card game, originating in Florence, Italy. It is no longer widely played. Minchiate can also refer to the special deck of 97 playing cards used in the game. The deck is closely related to the tarot cards, but contains an expanded suit of trumps. The game was similar to but more complex than tarocchi.
The Minchiate deck consists of 97 cards. Like in other Tarot decks, there are 4 suits of 14 cards each, but unlike any other game, Minchiate features 40 trumps (“Tarocchi”) and the Fool (“Matto”) is not a trump but plays a special role which will be described later.
The 4 suits are: Cups (“Coppe”), Coins (“Denari”), Swords (“Spade”) and Staves (“Bastoni”).
Cups and Coins are called the Red Suits (“Rosse”), whereas Swords and Staves are being referred to as “Long” (“Lunghe”) or sometimes “Black” (“Nere”).
In the long suits, cards rank as follows from highest to lowest: King (“Re”), Queen (“Donna” or “Regina”), Knight (“Cavallo”), Page (“Fante”), 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (Ace).
In the red suits however, the order of the numerals is reversed: King, Queen, Knight, Page, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ,8, 9, 10.
The Ace of Coins is sometimes called “Sole di Campagna” and the Page of Coins “Fantina” (female page), but they don’t have any special value in the game. The only cards of the ordinary suits having a counting value are the Kings, anyway.
The 40 trump cards consist of: [1] Papa Uno (Pope No. 1) or “Bagatto”, “Giocoliere” (“Pagat”, “Juggler”), [2] Papa Due or “Granduca” (“Grand Duke”), [3] Papa Tre or “Imperatore” (“Emperor”), [4] Papa Quattro or “Imperatrice” (“Empress”), [5] Papa Cinque or “Innamorato” (“In Love”), [6] sei or “Temperanza” (“Temperance”), [7] sette or “Forza” (“Fortitude”), [8] otto or “Giustizia” (“Justice”), [9] nove or “Ruota della Fortuna” (“Wheel of Fortune”), [10] dieci or “Carro” (“Chariot”), [11] undici or “Gobbo” (“Hunchback” or “Time”), [12] dodici or “Impiccato” (“Hung Man”), [13] tredici or “Morte” (“Death”), [14] quattordici or “Diavolo” (“Devil”), [15] quindici or “Casa del Diavolo” (“Devil’s House”), [16] sedici or “Speranza” (“Hope”), [17] diecisette or “Prudenza” (“Prudence”), [18] dieciotto or “Fede” (“Faith”), [19] diecinove or “Carità” (“Charity”), [20] venti or “Fuoco” (“Fire”), [21] ventuno or “Acqua” (“Water”), [22] ventidue or “Terra” (“Earth”), [23] ventitre or “Aria” (“Air”), [24] ventiquatro or “Bilancia” (“Libra”), [25] venticinque or “Vergine” (“Virgo”), [26] ventisei or “Scorpione” (“Scorpio”), [27] ventisette or “Ariete” (“Aries”), [28] ventotto or “Capricorno” (“Capricorn”), [29] ventinove or “Sagittario” (“Sagittarius”), [30] trenta or “Cancro” (“Cancer”), [31] trentuno or “Pesci” (“Pisces”), [32] trentadue or “Acquario” (“Aquarius”), [33] trentatre or “Leone” (“Leo”), [34] trentaquatro or “Toro” (“Taurus”), [35] trentacinque or “Gemelli” (“Gemini”), [36] Stella (Star), [37] Luna (Moon), [38] Sole (Sun), [39] Mondo (World), and [40] Tromba (Trumpet or “Last Judgement”).

Share Button

Leave a Reply