Hanson Roberts Tarot Deck Review

By insightful | Tarot Deck Reviews

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.

Reviews of this deck:

A little ‘soft and fluffy and cartoon like’ for me. i don’t use the basic RWS ones because of the cartoon element. But like you said they are kid friendly, would maybe be good as a first deck.

I love the Hanson Roberts deckI was given it as a gift, a copy that’s as old as me! It’s perfect when you want a smaller deck for whatever reason, the images appear “simple” but actually have an awful lot of depth if you spend some time with them, they’re approachable, querents love them. It is a bit of a RWS clone, but it’s also a nice alternative. It can also be a bit cutesy, the kid in the 10 of cups is so adorable it makes you want to pinch yourself, but I think that’s part of the appeal imho

t’s quite a nice deck. The art is coloured pencil which works very well. The cards are smallish and bright. It’s. A rider Waite clone so it’s no trouble to read with. It’s also non threatening and I would not hesitate to use it especially for younger or nervous questioners. Mary Hansen Roberts also did the artwork on the whimsical tarot which is one of m all time favourite decks. Please let us know what you think when it arrives, but I feel it will hold its own in your collection.

Hanson-Roberts deck is beautiful and soft…it gives me a warm fuzzy…had a reading done with this deck years ago and I just had to have it…it is small, just right for my small hands. I love the size, wish all decks were this small. I know, then it would be hard to see the detail in some other decks..but for the Hanson-Roberts it is perfect. Always gives me great readings..works well for the ‘Love’ questions

is in my top ten decks to get again if I ever lost everything and had to start over. When I first began reading professionally, many years ago, I used it, and it was the source of AMAZING breakthroughs for me in terms of tarot fluidity and understanding. The “cuteness” of it is deceptive. It’s got a LOT of meat on its bones and after almost 30 years of working with tarot it still has a lot to say to me. That, alone, means everything if you ask me.




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(11) comments


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.


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

Marie Claire

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.


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.


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

    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.

Laura Meeds

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.

Alison Doubleday

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.

Mary Steen

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

    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..


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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