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Depending on the type of palmistry practiced, and the type of reading being performed, palmists may look at various qualities of the hand, including the shapes and lines of the palm and fingers; the color and texture of the skin and fingernails; the relative sizes of the palm and fingers; the prominence of the knuckles; and numerous other attributes of the hands.
In most schools of palmistry, hand shapes are divided into four or eleven major types, sometimes corresponding to the classical elements or temperaments. Hand shape is believed to indicate character traits corresponding to the type indicated (i.e., a "Fire hand" would exhibit high energy, creativity, short temper, ambition, etc. - all qualities believed to be related to the classical element of Fire).