top of page

Kipper Cards - Lenormand copycat?

The Kipperkarten are still a lesser known entity than the Lenormand cards. It is one of those decks / systems that you generally stumble upon after finding a love of Lenormand, but is Kipper a Lenormand copycat and why bother if you already have a system you love?

Kipperkarten - Hauptperson
Kipperkarten - The Kipper Cards

I remember the days of the "Lenormand wars", if you don't then think yourself lucky! You can just enjoy your deck blissfully and without much attention. To those of you that do remember the days and maybe came out a little bedraggled, you won't be surprised to hear that Kipper had the same reception in the divination world. Camps fighting for "traditional ways" versus "modern ways" of reading - but thats OK because whatever floats your boat is what you should go with! The Bavarian Kipper Reading Method is considered to be the "go to" for the Kipper Cards if you want to follow the traditional route and if you scroll down below you will understand why - but if you wanted to pick a deck up and just go for it Lenormand stylz then do so!

What are Kipper Cards?

Kipper cards are a 36 card system (just like Le Petit Lenormand in that respect - or at least the version of Lenormand that "stuck" with the world was 36 cards - let's not forget the 52 card decks of the same era also called Lenormand - hmmmm not talking about Le Grand Jeu - thats a whole extra blog!)... wow that became convoluted quickly! Anyway, Kipper are a similar small system that was released around a similar time (mid to late 19th Century). Let's look at their similarities:

Lenormand & Kipper share:

  • 36 Card Decks

  • Created and released in Germany

  • Two People Significator cards for the Querent

  • Grand Tableau style reading

  • Include images that relate to life areas

  • Original instructions include the Method of Distance style reading

That is where the similarities end.

Lenormand versus Kipper the differences

Lenormand = Emblems

Kipper = Scenes

First and foremost, whilst we have simple emblems on the Lenormand cards, the Kipper cards show scenes of "every day life". As a system, the Kipper cards lean towards the Zigeunerkarten (Gypsy Cards) style of imagery, allowing the reader to delve into a scene to interpret an answer, rather than the simplistic emblem. It is considered to be a "situational deck" i.e. each card shows a situation that is then read in accordance with the "situations" shown on the cards around. The Person significators are applied in the same fashion as a Lenormand read to represent the querent and their partner, but the cards have an added "directional quality" in their nature. We are, as readers, free to follow the flow of the images, creating a storyboard style read. Combinations of cards are indeed used by modern readers, but the generational readers, in the area in which the Kipper deck was released, tend to opt for a more free flow of directional cues which affords the reader more information on any given situation.

Let's take the Fatality card as an example. It relates to the Coffin card in Lenormand in that it does offer a doom and gloom scenario - whether that be ill health, endings or the ultimate ending of death. However, the directional cues of the coffin within the Fatality card (and it's additional imagery around) also offer more information as to what is actually happening! With placements around the card allowing us to see:

  • What is ending

  • What is transforming

  • What caused this situation

  • The effect of the situation on the querent

  • and ... what in the querent's life is being effected the most!

That is a LOT of information afforded the reader! We do not have to combine cards, or even spend too much time on a narrative - the information is presented before us as we lay a spread. Making Kipper Cards a tool that make predictive accuracy really super easy (they are doing our jobs for us in fact!).

Kipper = No Religious Symbology

Born at a time in which fortune telling was frowned upon (at best and prosecuted at worst) the Kipper Cards look more like a movie board (or a game board) than the Lenormand deck. To hide a read within a game board and tell the future without appearing to read the future was the aim, hence the cards look more like a comic book than a deck of playing cards.

Kipper = No playing card inserts

Unlike Lenormand, Kipper cards do not have playing card inserts. Mainly due to the move away from "traditional" forms of fortune telling. No astrology, no woo and just simple every day situations (which still apply to our lives today). Let's not forget that it is clear in the original Lenormand instructions that the playing card inserts are NOT to be used in the interpretation of a prediction, in fact we know that they were only on the cards so the person with the game could play French or German style card games - nothing more! Hence they were seen as superfluous for the Kipper cards with it not being released as a playing card game - just simply a deck of Wahrsagekarten (fortune telling cards).

Lenromand vs Kipper - the GT

The standard Lenormand Grand Tableau is considered to be the 8 x 4 + 4 format (for those reading with the Game of Hope techniques then the 6 x 6 layout). Kipper however, is most often read in the 9 x 4 format. this is because of the movement within the imagery, the line of fate (the four cards at the bottom of a Lenormand GT) are entirely missing. That is because we simply do not need them in a Kipper read, the tableau is completely symmetrical affording the reader a clean flow through the directional cues.

Lenormand or Kipper - which does it best?

Well, let's be honest - it entirely depends on the readers abilities! Every single fortune telling system (we are not talking oracles!) is as strong as the next as long as the reader knows their stuff. I personally use Kipper Cards and Lenormand Cards in every client read (sometimes even mix them especially with the Siren's Song Lenormand & Kipper set), the Kipper cards win on any interpersonal relationships read though, we have more than just our querent cards - we have people representing the older generation and the younger generation and interpersonal relationships are EASY PEASY to see! With the deck being situational, we also have a lot of scope when it comes to life's matters of arguments, career progression and financial status etc, just like the Fatality card highlights above, we are never left wondering "what is going to happen" for it is laid clear for us to see with very little wriggle room (especially when reading for ourselves which is notoriously hard for some readers) - we cannot deny the placements! Both do their thing the BEST (just as Tarot does its thing the best!). I believe with the Lenormand, Kipper Cards and Tarot in your tool belt every single life prediction can be seen, the straight and honest truth about the future AND explanations on why it will happen and when. Kipper has also the added luxury of timings, when using the Bavarian Kipper Reading Method you can easily predict when a situation will happen, how long it will persist AND how convoluted the situation is! In short - if you LOVE a system, you will predict accurately if you learn it well!

Kipper Card Resources


Kipper Card Decks

Rainbow Kipper:

Sirens Song Lenormand & Kipper:

Fin de Siecle Kipper:

Kipper Card Books

The Card Geek's Guide to Kipper Cards:

Sirens Song Lenormand & Kipper Set:

Kipper Card Courses

Certification / Endorsement:


bottom of page