Home Discussion Forum How can I use regular cards as tarot cards?

How can I use regular cards as tarot cards?

What do the cards mean and what are some spreads I can use?
Thanks 🙂


  1. You can’t. There are fortune-telling schemes that involve regular poker decks, but they are not Tarot. It would be missing the Major Arcana, and would have three court cards (King, Queen, Jack) instead of four (King, Queen, Knight, Page or Princess).
    So buy yourself a real Tarot deck if you want to learn Tarot.

  2. Tarot cards are playing cards. One may play card games with Tarot cards as well as the conventional 52 card deck and one may also tell fortunes with both conventional playing cards and the Tarot.
    Divination is possible with any deck of cards. Cartomancy is the name for a wide variety of card based divination which includes the use of conventional playing cards, Tarot cards, or purpose built oracle decks such as Angel cards. It is also possible to practice divination with dice or any other item capable of producing randomness. However it would not be correct to call a reading with conventional playing cards a “Tarot reading” To do a Tarot reading, by definition, one needs a Tarot deck. It is also a gross over-simplification to always equate Tarot with divination as that is not the only use nor is it the original use of Tarot cards. People also play games with Tarot cards.
    Properly understood, the Tarot is essentially a variant deck of playing cards. Playing cards appeared in China long before Tarot cards. Shortly after the introduction of playing cards to Europe, the Tarot began to appear in northern Italy to be used for a card game similar to Bridge or Spades. The Tarot was not originally designed for divination. Not only was the Tarot originally designed for card playing, there are people today mostly in continental Europe playing card games with Tarot cards. The European Tarot cards for these games often differ in appearance from the type of Tarot cards used for divination. In recent years, the internet has made it possible for those outside Europe to discover actual card games played with Tarot cards.
    Prior the use of Tarot for divination, people used the conventional playing card deck for cartomancy. The popular meanings often given to certain Tarot cards originated with the meanings often given to conventional playing cards. Whether one uses Tarot for game playing or for divination, the Tarot is still a variant deck of playing cards. Prior to the 1960’s it was actually much more common to use the conventional playing card deck for divination than it was to use the Tarot for this purpose.

  3. There’s a book called The Cartomancer’s Key by Talia Felix, which has spreads and the method for reading with Playing Cards. Here’s the card meanings from the book:
    HEARTS: indicate affection and contentment.
    King.–A good-hearted, emotional person; melancholy and frustration.
    Queen.–A loving and lovable person; devotion.
    Jack.–A well-liked person, as a friend or relative; admiration and respect.
    Nine.–The Wish Card. It is the sign of happiness and success.
    Eight.–Material goods; also, friendliness.
    Seven.–Lovesickness and similar distress.
    Six.–Unexpected good luck.
    Five.–Jealousy and envy.
    Four.–A fortunate change of position.
    Three.–A lack of prudence and tact.
    Two.–A warm partnership.
    Ace.–An introduction.
    DIAMONDS: indicate financial concerns.
    King.–A successful or wealthy person; success or wealth.
    Queen.–A gold-digger; greed or flirtation.
    Jack.–A fickle person; a matter that should not be relied upon.
    Ten.–Prosperity and fulfilment.
    Eight.–Material goods.
    Seven.–Gossip, scandal, or arguments.
    Five.–Unexpected but generally good news.
    Four.–Fine living.
    Three.–Renown, not necessarily positive.
    CLUBS: indicate hard work and competition.
    King.–A high-minded, honest person; wisdom and virtue.
    Queen.–An intelligent, understanding person; confidence and help.
    Jack.–A generous, trusty friend; a sure and dependable matter.
    Nine.–Gain and achievement.
    Eight.–Confusion and contention.
    Six.–Investment or loss of money.
    Five.–New things or people.
    Four.–A warning against falsehood and double-dealing.
    Ace.–Good news.
    SPADES: indicate unhappiness and strife.
    King.–An ambitious and ill-tempered person; wrath.
    Queen.–A sad, unscrupulous person; desperation.
    Jack.–A well-meaning, lazy person; shiftlessness.
    Nine.–Trouble; illness, especially mental.
    Seven.–Sorrow and loss.
    Six.–Small changes; a minor stroke of luck.
    Four.–Misfortune, but not lasting.
    Three.–A journey.
    Ace.–A terrible tragedy.

  4. I have used regular cards as Tarot cards. Keep in mind, though, that it IS the same as Tarot cards, ONLY there are no Major Arcana, and no Knights. Everything else is the the same, including the Tarot meanings for its particular card.
    Clubs are Wands
    Hearts are Cups
    Swords are Spades
    Diamonds are Pentacles
    Without the Major Arcana in them, the reading will seem very everyday and basic. “I see a tall dark man!”
    I use The Bed You Lie In Spread. You draw four cards and put each corner under the others until it looks like a bed. Then you read them all together for a snapshot picture.
    Have Fun!


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