Hanson Roberts Tarot Deck Review

I love the art of Mary-Hanson Roberts, the colors are much softer and the figures more appealing than the Rider-Waite. The deck’s images and symbolism closely follow the Rider Waite Deck. This deck is ideal for a beginner. One of the other things I love about this deck is that it is small, which makes it easy to handle for smaller hands. This deck is also good for younger readers as it contains no revealing nudity. When I took an online tarot class we had a lesson on divining tools and methods and I decided to give tarot a try again when I found this deck.

This Deck was published by US games in 1984. Currently still in production and found at a relatively good price point.

by Mary Hanson-Roberts


The deck includes a pamphlet by Stuart Kaplan. He describes and explains the major arcana, describes the minor arcana, and gives upright and reversed interpretations for all cards. There is an introduction to the tarot and to this deck, the Celtic Cross spread, and a brief guide to doing readings.

There is also a title card, and a card with a self-portrait of the artist titled “To all believers,” which is displayed in the cut-out window on the front of the box.


Suits:  Swords, Rods, Cups, Pentacles


Court cards:  King, Queen, Knight, Page

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    1. mariee says

      I like this deck for 2 reasons: love the softness of the pencil used in the artwork & the size, which makes it very easy to shuffle.

    2. the collector says

      I just pulled this deck out last night and remembered how accurate it is and how much I love it

    3. Marie Claire says

      I used the Hanson Roberts when I was part of a local tarot study group and found I really learned a lot from that deck. A good thing, because I couldn’t stand the artwork on the RWS and the Hanson is much softer and rounder.

    4. McGee says

      I just recently purchased this tarot deck. These cards are much easier for me to read. I think it is a great beginners deck. I usually can see pretty clearly what message the cards are holding when I do my readings (only for myself at this point). There are quite a few cards that frequently pop up for me and I am starting to remember what they mean, although that changes a little upon the circumstance.

    5. Lee says

      I think in the long run, I’ll end up using the Hanson-Roberts deck since I understand it’s smaller – the size of a regular deck of cards and might be easier to handle for me since I have problems with pain in my hands. The images and color on either one of these decks is so beautifully well down.

      • Susan Villa says

        I have the same problem because of the severe arthritis in my hands. Try the small boxed set, ‘Tarot To Go’. It’s low cost and has a mini- Hanson’Roberts deck. The book isn’t very good but the deck is well worth having if you have a hard time shuffling. Saves on spread space as well.

    6. Laura Meeds says

      Hanson Robert… basically depicts the “common” Rider Waite images, but with a little bit of a difference. Sometimes the people look a little out of proportion – but the deck “grows” on you after you get used to it. The Courts are some of the best I’ve seen. (A great Queen of Swords – by the way – which is the card that comes up in almost every one of my readings for myself.

    7. Alison Doubleday says

      I use this deck since it is easy to catch the meanings since its is like the RW . It is in the Waite style, but the
      images are so much richer (my humble opinion only!). The only card that bugs me in this deck is the
      Magician. He looks like a leftover from the disco era.

    8. Mary Steen says

      I like the Mary hanson deck a lot but is it me … or does the lady draw/paint BIG heads, especially on the cards that depict children?

      • Marie claire says

        Your right… they have a Disney look to a lot of the characters, large eyes, soft colours, you can tell she use to do comic books. I wouldn’t call it my favorite but I tend to use it if my client is really stressed or nervous. I find the softer characters tend to have a calming effect..

    9. LAR says

      I’ve used the deck a few times, mainly with the Celtic Cross spread, but have always felt blocked, or like I was trying something too complicated right off the bat. Does this make sense, or do I just sound lazy?

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