The exact origin of the tarot is not known, but it is thought that they originated from somewhere around India and were brought to Europe with the Gypsies. The earliest known deck seems to have appeared around the fourteenth century.
During the Renaissance, the tarot was a part of a growing interest in the studies of the mystic arts, such as Qabbalah and alchemy. The tarot saw a revival in the nineteenth century and has been enjoying popularity ever since.
The modern day deck of playing cards is believed to have come from the tarot. The face cards of the tarot deck are the King, Queen, Knight, and Page (where in some decks, the Knight and Page are known as the Prince and Princess, respectively). As the modern day playing card deck began to evolve, the Knight was dropped and the Page became the Jack.
The suits of the tarot are related to the suits of playing cards. The suit of spades is equivalent to the tarot suit of swords, and diamonds corresponds to pentacles. The clubs equals the tarot suit of wands or staves, and the hearts corresponds to cups in the tarot deck.