here and here), now I feel compelled. For those not familiar with the deck, or have no copy of it, you can see it on this link, page 142. On the right, you'll find a screen shot of the deck (the notes are from whomever put it on the web). Follow the link for the descriptions.
All told, there are 22 cards. Gygax and party are playing off the Tarot Arcana, which I posted just a couple days ago, but the names are, well, "creative." The names don't matter.
Let's break this down a moment, because the most important thing when making a decision like this is to know the odds.
There are 6 very good possibilities: the sun, the moon, the star, the throne, the jester and the fates. Arguably, depending on the DM, the two wishes may bite you on the ass, but then you should quit playing with assholes.
There are 5 okay possibilities: the comet, the key, the knight, the gem and the vizier. These are all positive but, when compared with the six above, they're so-so. Which would you prefer? A magic item and 50,000 x.p. or a magic item and a treasure map?
There are 6 cards that will make you go ouch: the talons, the ruin, the euryale, the rogue, the balance and the idiot. True, the "ouch" is relative, depending on what magic items you have and how much property you can lose. And hey, you'll survive with 4 less intelligence.
Arguably, you can include the void here, as well. I mean, what's a soul? It really depends on how the DM plays it. Chances are, your DM never brought up your soul before, so why does it suddenly matter now?
And equally arguably, the fool only makes you lose 10,000 x.p.; AND then you get the same odds as before. Slightly if your DM discards the fool card from the pack as dictated.
That leaves only 3 truly bad cards: the flames, the skull and the donjon. Everything else you recover from.
Out of 22 cards, half are perfectly good. 8 hurt, but you're basically fine. There are only 3 bad cards. That's only a 13.6% chance of pulling a truly bad card. And what happens? You maybe die and you maybe don't. Ultimately, a devil is just a monster you fight. The card implies that death might be defeated ~ and hey, what does that mean exactly, hm? None of us actually defeat death, but it takes a long time to lose. And however we might get imprisoned, we've got these great adventurers who just love rescuing people from prison.
With these odds, you'd be NUTS not to play. If gambling worked on these odds, Las Vegas would be a flat empty plain in Nevada.