You Can Tell Your Future With Playing Cards

Posted on November 28, 2016

Many people view those who have the ability to read tarot cards, astrology charts, palms, and tea leaves with a bit of awe and of wonder - and rightly so. Exceptional readers have put a lifetime into studying their tools, having a strong code of ethics, and years of experience with readings. However, did you know that you don′t always need tarot or crystals or other metaphysical tools to be able to take a peek into the unknown? You can tell your own future with many everyday items.

One of the most popular every day divination tools are playing cards. Playing cards were derived from, and are very similar to, tarot cards. There are 4 suits in a deck and each suit has 13 cards. There′s an extra court card in the tarot, and also has 22 trump cards called the major arcana. However, playing cards can be read like the minor arcana of the tarot. It′s a skill that you′ll pick up very easily but takes a lifetime to master.

Related Article: How to Do Your Own Tarot Card Reading

The Meanings of the Cards

The four suits in a deck of playing cards all pertain to a different area of your life and even the timing of events. The suit of hearts deal with emotional matters and may foretell events in the summertime. Diamonds deal with money, material objects, the tangible, and when it comes to timing, they hint at the season of winter. Clubs point to friendships, relationships, matters that require action and springtime. Spades indicate a conflict or warning and resonate with the season of autumn.

Aces: New beginnings.

Twos: A choice needs to be made.

Threes: Things are falling into place.

Fours: Foundation and stability.

Fives: Be prepared for an important event about to happen.

Sixes: A lack of focus.

Sevens: Luck, this can be either good or bad, depending on the surrounding cards.

Eights: Fate, or destiny.

Nines: A conflict or decisions may be coming to a head.

Tens: Completion. endings, or fulfillment.

Jacks: Messages are coming your way.

Queens: Knowledge, awareness, enlightenment.

Kings: Confidence, self-assurance, ego.

The Joker: Some playing card readers include the joker and some do not. Whether you choose to do so is entirely up to you. I recommend it. The joker means that something unexpected and unpredictable is about to happen. It cautions you, no matter what the rest of the reading revealed, things could change in heartbeat, so be prepared!

Now that you know the meaning each suit and card, you need to apply your knowledge to interpret the message. Let′s use eights as an example. The eights mean fate or destiny. If you pulled the eight of hearts, it would mean something was fated in a relationship or your emotional destiny. However, if this was the eight of spades, then it could mean that a conflict or disagreement was destined to happen.

It takes careful study of the individual cards, along with a bit of thought and objectivity to put the interpretation together. The more you understand the meanings, the better you′ll be at seeing how they all fit together. Half of the art of a tarot card reading is storytelling. You will develop the skill of taking the message in the cards and applying it to your life and the situation you are consulting the cards to answer.

The Layout of the Cards

When you read playing cards, you′re going to lay them out in a pattern on a table or other flat surface. Your pattern is called a ‘spread′ or a ‘layout′. There are hundreds of different layouts to choose from. You can use the same spreads for playing cards as you do for tarot, or you might want to use something different. A simple place to start is to use a four-card spread. Shuffle your cards, ask them your questions, lay the four cards out one by one face down, and read them left to right.

Card #1: This represents the main theme of your question.

Card #2: This card is showing you the advantages you′ve got working for you.

Card #3: The next card shows you the challenges, or perhaps what′s working against you.

Card #4. The final card reveals the potential outcome of your question.

Pay close attention to cards that repeat themselves in a spread. In the above spread you′ve only used four cards. That means that if you get two of any card - two threes, two queens, two sevens - pay close attention. The numbers are trying to alert you and send a message.

Related Article: 3 Common Mistakes When Reading Your Own Tarot

Concluding Thoughts

You can tell your own future without having to be clairvoyant. With experience, you′ll start to become familiar with different playing card combinations and layouts. You′ll develop a real feel for what the cards are trying to reveal to you. Bear in mind that it′s not a quick fix. While you′ll be able to learn to read the cards immediately, it takes time, patience, and wisdom to become adept at card reading.

There are no hard and fast rules about reading your own cards. Do what feels comfortable and don′t get bogged down with details and thinking there is a perfect or correct interpretation of the tarot. Even the most experienced card readers will sometimes consult reputable professionals to get a second opinion. Approach the tarot with humility, respect, and the mindset that you will always learn something new with each reading.

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Charla Stone

Hi! I’m Charla Stone and I learned astrology and mysticism way back in the 1970s. I've spent the last four decades using the stars, tarot, runes, crystals, totems, and more to bring light and guidance to others. I’m just an old hippie at heart who has traveled the world to learn of its cultures. I’ve been published online and in print—which still rather surprises me, as this isn’t something I do, it’s just who I am! When I’m not writing or doing readings, I’m spending time in my garden or the art studio, or with my beloved dogs. Read More by Charla Stone

Tarot Cards & Their Meanings

The tarot is a series of 78 tarot cards used in fortune telling, psychic readings, and insight into past, present, and future events. These tarot card definitions help you understand how to interpret your tarot reading. Tarot cards are divided into 2 main sections—the major arcana and minor arcana—and further into 4 suits:

Before a tarot reading, the cards are usually arranged in a spread. A tarot spread is the pattern in which the cards are placed on the table to be interpreted by a tarot card reader. There are many different types of tarot spreads—entire books have even been written on the subject. Spreads can be as simple as a 1-card draw, or complex enough to use all 78 cards.

One of the most popular spreads is called the 3-card spread, which gives you answers to immediate questions about your relationships, career, and life in general.

A Brief History of The Tarot

No one knows for certain where or when the cards originated—some say the practice goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. What we do know is that reading the tarot cards gained notoriety sometime around the 18th century.

The tarot can be used for many different purposes. The archetypal images reflect your story back to you, and bring you insights on situations in the lives of those around you. Those same images make good meditation companions or provide you with a ‘thought for the day.’ You might even use the tarot as a writing prompt in a blog, or as inspiration in artwork. There is no limit to how these images can be used, you just need to decide what works for you and go for it.

Modern technology made it even easier to get daily readings, peruse different interpretations of the classical images, and connect with others who share your interest in the cards. Of course, before you can get really immersed in understanding the tarot, you have to know a few basics. They’re not difficult, and once you recognize them you can master the mysteries of the tarot.

The Major Arcana (Tarot Trump Cards)

The major arcana (trump cards) represent your journey through life, starting out as the innocent and carefree card representing The Fool (at number 0), and going through all your stages of life until you get to The World (at number 21). Each of the trump cards represents an important issue in your life and asks that you pay particular attention to this situation. As you get to know the Major Arcana, you’ll see that the first 11 cards represent your journey out into the world while the last 11 represent your journey into your own awareness.

The Minor Arcana

The minor arcana is a grouping of 56 tarot cards that acts as a support system for the major arcana. It's divided into 4 suits, much like playing cards, and each suit has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards. Traditionally, these court cards are called page, knight, queen, and king.

Some decks may use different titles for these figures but their meanings and their positions in the hierarchy of the court cards remain the same. Each suit of the minor arcana corresponds with a specific area of life, and each card has a meaning within that area. The number 1 is the first in a sequence (representing beginnings).

The numbered minor cards may have images on them, or they may just have ‘pips’ on them like playing cards, depending on the deck you're using.

Each suit of the minor arcana is also associated with specific signs of the zodiac.


Wands (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)


Pentacles (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Cups (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Swords (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

The tarot provides guidance that has stood the test of time. And as with any tool, the tarot needs to be used responsibly. The cards themselves are not good or evil—it’s how you use them that creates them a positive or a negative experience. After all, the tarot is just a collection of images and have no power on their own—it’s their mystery that allows them to endure. What wisdom do those images want to share with you today?