You′ve been giving yourself tarot readings online but you don′t feel satisfied.

Then you went on to buy a tarot deck, one that you really connected with and love the artwork.

You unbox the deck, read through every word in the little white book. And you look at your deck.

You ask, ″So… What do I do now?″

Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Here′s the step-by-step guide to tarot reading for beginners.

What you will need for this is: A deck of cards. [Here’s the tarot deck I recommend for beginners.]

Here’s the full list, with elaborations in the rest of the post

  • Step 1: Know the question
  • Step 2: Find a spread
  • Step 3: Shuffle the cards
  • Step 4: Pick the cards
  • Step 5: Laying down the cards
  • Step 6: Interpret the cards

Step 1: Know the question

Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don′t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

–Alice in Wonderland

To do a good tarot reading, you need to have a question. Even if you′re doing a general tarot reading, you need to know that it is a reading that is general.

Other questions can be related to relationship, career, choosing between choices and many more.

Step 2: Find a spread

relationship tarot spread

Example of a tarot spread. Relationship Tarot Reading.

Once you have your question, you can choose a tarot spread suitable for your question.

A tarot spread is a layout for the cards with different positions having different meanings.

There are many spreads around the internet. If you search, ″[Your question] tarot spread″, there′s bound to be something related.

  • Popular tarot spreads include:
  • One Card spread
  • Past, Present, Future spread
  • 10-card Celtic cross, and more.

In my example, I use a Past, Present, Future spread to interpret my love life.

I will pick three cards with the first being the past, the second being the present and the third card is for the future.

Step 3: Shuffle the cards

With your spread ready, now it′s time to shuffle the cards.

For me, shuffling the cards is to randomize the cards. Some people say shuffling the cards cleanses the energy of the previous reading.

There are many ways of shuffling the cards. I′m showing you how I like doing mine.

Turns out the particular style I′ve been shuffling is the Hindu Shuffle.

While shuffling, I would think of my question and stop when I feel like I′m done.

Step 4: Pick the cards

You can do it many ways but what I like doing is shuffling the cards and picking it for each position.

Some people shuffle, cut the cards and start picking the cards from the top.

I personally do not like it as I feel that the querent has less role in the card picking.

For me, I would shuffle the cards and then fan it open. From there, I choose a card that stands out to me.

Step 5: Laying down the cards

Remember your tarot spread? Lay the cards according to the spread.

Some people like to lay down the cards covered because they find it distracting to reveal the cards too early.

But I like to uncover them as I go along so I get a general feel of what the reading is.

Step 6: Interpret the cards

Now′s the more difficult cards. Interpretation time.

I recommend not reading from your guidebook or the little white book.

Instead, follow your intuition. I break down the steps of how to learn the meanings of in this blog post.


That’s how you read tarot cards.

If you’re in Singapore, I run Tarot For Beginners workshops. Sign up to get info.

Categories: Learn Tarot


Sutton Turner · September 17, 2018 at 10:53 pm

I never knew to do a good tarot reading, you need to have a question. I am looking into learning how to use tarot cards. Thank you for the tips on reading tarots.

    YQ · October 8, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Sutton, thanks for commenting.
    You can still read tarot without a question, but I find that the answers can go all over the place without one.

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