Origins and card playing roots
Tarot (aka Tarock or Tarocchi) is a type of deck created created in 15th century Italy for playing a trick taking card game. This card game is credited for introducing the ideal of a trump suit in card games. Many variants of this game have evolved over the years and they are still played in such countries as France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Denmark.
Birth of occult Tarot
The birth of Tarot as a divinatory art is credited to the 1781 publication of Antoine Court de Gebelin's "Monde primitif" which gave birth to the now discredited notion of Tarot's Egyptian origin.
Tarot cards in the UK and the US
In English speaking countries, where Tarot's card playing tradition is largely unknown, the Tarot is seen primarily as a divinatory art. A. E. Waite, author of spiritual and occult matters, supervised the creation of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck which has become the most well known Tarot deck in the UK and the US.