The Lenormand is a set of 36 divination cards, named for Marie Anne Lenormand (1772-1843), with simple images – like the Rider and the Fox – and usually only one meaning. The Tarot has 4 suits and the major trumps; Lenormand makes no such distinctions, all 36 cards are in the same group/category. Whereas Tarot cards can hold different meanings in different readings, Lenormand meanings stay the same. That is to say: Tarot is often metaphorical, Lenormand is more direct.
As opposed to Tarot, the cards are not read individually, but rather in pairs (or even more cards together). This creates a message, almost like a movie, to be studied in order. Lenormand is also more about direct questions; “Will I get a raise this year?” whereas Tarot is often centered around spiritual growth. Don’t get me wrong, Lenormand can be used for spiritual questions as well, but it really shines in the mundane situations.
Another big difference is that there is no reading in reverse. If a Lenormand card is upside-down, it still has the same meaning. This is quite different in Tarot, where a reversed card gets a reversed meaning.
Also, when you study Tarot, a one card reading can suffice. In Lenormand the cards work together in such a way that you require at least two cards. 3 or 5 cards is common – there is even a layout called the Grand Tableau that utilizes all 36 cards to be read together!