No one knows exactly when or where Tarot originated. Opinions vary but history suggests they may have come from Egypt, China or even India and that they were brought to Europe during medieval times by gypsies. Tarot was used as a fortune telling device and also for playing card games.
The tarot deck comprises of seventy eight cards, split into two parts called the major arcana and the minor arcana. The twenty two cards that make up the major arcana tell the story of mans journey through life and give us the 'colour' of the reading. The remaining fifty six cards are known as the minor arcana and these give the 'tone' of the colour.
Of course, there are many different ways of interpreting the cards so the best thing to do is get a feel for them yourself. As long as you stick to the basic principles when offering any kind of advice, you'll find them a very helpful tool. They were never meant to be used as a tool to manipulate or falsely advise anyone, Tarot is to be used as a friendly guide.