Reading Playing Cards Spreads


Cartomancy, one of the oldest forms of divination, shares many similarities with tarot cards. A standard deck of playing cards is used in cartomancy and each card holds a special meaning.

Once you understand the meaning behind the suits and cards, you will need to select the spread to use for the playing card reading. In this article, you will learn about the most common spreads used in cartomancy and how to select the one that best suits the intentions for your reading.

Selecting a Spread

Selecting a cartomancy spread primarily relies on two factors – the complexity of the information you seek and the length of time allotted for the reading. Generally speaking, the more cards that are involved in a spread, the more insight you will receive about the situation.

However, using more cards is not always better. Using a large number of cards for a rather simple question can be overkill. It can complicate a situation that may have benefited from a direct, short answer. You will also want to keep in mind that the more cards that are involved in the reading, the longer the reading will take to complete. If the length of time involved in the reading is a concern, stick with a manageable number of cards. It is much better to fully explore the divination of a 3 card layout than to rush through a 5 card spread.

Preparing for the Cartomancy Spread

Before you begin laying the playing cards out into your desired spread, it is important to take time to shuffle the deck well. Think about the question at hand while you play with the deck. This will help the cards connect with you and absorb your energy. Once you have shuffled the cards, place the deck on the table in front of you. Cut the deck in half using your left hand and place the bottom portion on top of the top half. Now, you are ready to begin dealing the cards with your right hand into the spread you have selected.

One Card Cartomancy Spread

The most basic spread in cartomancy uses only a single card. However, you should not dismiss this spread for its simplicity. One card spreads are exceptionally useful for a quick reading to answer a direct yes or no question.

Before selecting your card, the first step is to choose the criteria that will be used to determine your answer. This criteria is usually based on the color or number value of the card. For example, you could choose to look at the color of the card, with red meaning yes and black meaning no. Alternatively, you could look at the value of the card. If the number is even, then the answer is yes. If the number is odd, the answer is no.

Once you have received your yes or no answer, taking a closer look at the card can provide more insight into the question at hand. The meaning associated with the suit and card you have drawn can help you understand the “why” behind the answer you received or offer other useful information about the situation.

Two Card Cartomancy Spread

Two card cartomancy spreads can be useful when you are trying to make a decision between two choices. By using one card to represent each option, you can see the outcome of both choices to determine which one you should select. A two card spread can also be used to compare two different aspects of a situation, such as the past and the future, the positives versus the negatives, or two people’s perspectives on a specific situation.

Three Card Cartomancy Spread (and Sometimes Four)

The cards really start to portray a story once you get to three card spreads. Not only will you look at each card’s individual meaning – now you will also start to investigate how the cards relate to one another.

The most common three card spread is read from left to right with the cards representing the past, present, and future. Sometimes a fourth card is added in to provide further insight into the future. In this four card spread, the third card would represent the near future and the fourth card would show the distant future.

The three card spread can easily be adapted to cover a wide variety of situations. For example, another commonly used layout uses the cards to represent the positives of the situation, the negatives, and a look at what is ahead. Three card spreads can be used to assess the status of a romantic relationship. The first card represents your perspective, the second card shows your partner’s perspective, and the last card gives information about the long term outlook for this partnership.

Five Card Cartomancy Spread

If you want a more in depth look into the situation at hand, you will want to use a five card spread. Start by imagining the face of a clock, moving clockwise. Place the first card at 12 o’clock, the second at 3 o’clock, the third at 6 o’clock, and the fourth at 9 o’clock. The final card rests in center of the spread. The cards are then read in the order they were dealt. The four cards in the circle discuss the progression of events you are asking about. The fifth card serves as the climax – the final outcome of the preceding events.

Get valuable insights into your future from playing cards. At Keen, we have a number of psychic advisors that you can connect with by phone, chat, or email for a cartomancy reading. Since 1999, Keen has been one of the most highly trusted sources for online psychic readings.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top