The practice of fortune telling, still popular today, grew out of beliefs in Renaissance magic and folklore. There are many ways to tell a fortune. Tarot card decks appeared as early as the 1400s; gaming was their first purpose. Soon, however, they became associated more with magic and mysticism, and eventually, fortune telling. Standard card decks evolved early too, and while their main purpose has always been gaming, they too are used for fortune telling. Perhaps the countless possibilities of cards in a shuffled deck led to this. Aware of the public fascination for learning about the future, European and American game manufacturers were quick to produce special fortune-telling card games. These were common in the late 19th century and can still be found today.
This McLoughlin Brothers fortune-telling card game was published in 1897. The box cover image shows a witchlike person; but the game is called "Eastern" and the cards bear Japanesque figures and printed fortunes. Simple printed rules explain the game involves a "leader" who reads fortunes to the other players.