List of Meanings for Playing Card Tarot

Updated on January 23, 2018
theraggededge profile image

I'm a professional tarot reader, but when I don't have a tarot deck with me, I can use a deck of playing cards to provide a useful reading.

If you are looking for a quick guide to reading playing cards like tarot cards, then you’ve found it. By necessity, this list of playing card interpretations is short and to the point. However, if you take each as a kernel of an idea, you should be able to build on it. Take into account the circumstances of the person asking the question. Try to combine the meanings of two cards to come up with a third. Use your imagination and tap into your intuition.

You might want to go deeper and learn the structure of tarot as it applies to playing cards; I have another article, How to Read Tarot With Playing Cards that breaks down the basic elements so you can read any card for any question. By the way, reading cards of any kind to obtain information, is also called ‘cartomancy’.

A note about these playing cards. The cards used to illustrate this article are Ghost playing cards by Bicycle. They are a little confusing because they are mostly black with just elements of red to differentiate Hearts and Diamonds. They are excellent quality and, like all the Bicycle decks, good for cartomancy.

Playing card interpretations: use the Jokers if you want to
Playing card interpretations: use the Jokers if you want to

The Joker

It’s entirely up to you whether you include the joker/s or not. The Joker is the playing card representative of the tarot Fool. Keeping it simple, the Fool is numberless; he is the unformed consciousness that journeys through the tarot, undergoing transformation, self-understanding, challenges, and generally educating himself via those experiences. Personally, for a quick playing card reading I’d leave it out.

However, should you choose to include, either one or both, then the meaning assigned is: taking a risk (positive), doing something foolish (negative), innocence (unknowing). Which of those interpretations you select depends on the question.

Playing Card Tarot Meanings: Clubs
Playing Card Tarot Meanings: Clubs

The Suit of Clubs

Clubs are the equivalent of the tarot suit of Wands. They represent action, passion and inspiration. They are associated with fire.

  • Ace of Clubs: Spark of inspiration, passion. A new love affair, the idea for a business or life-change.
  • Two of Clubs: Planning, delays, waiting for the signal to move.
  • Three of Clubs: You’ve done all you can, hard work pays off.
  • Four of Clubs: Celebration, rest, stability, pause.
  • Five of Clubs: Competition, petty arguments, fights, not working in harmony.
  • Six of Clubs: Success, victory, good exam results.
  • Seven of Clubs: Standing up for oneself. Defending your viewpoint.
  • Eight of Clubs: Events moving quickly, getting organized (fast), possible pregnancy.
  • Nine of Clubs: Stressed, but unbowed. Determined to finish the task/fight.
  • Ten of Clubs: Responsibilities, weighed down, burdened but almost at the end of the project/life-stage.
  • Jack/Knave of Clubs: Feckless charmer. Passionate affair. Individual unable to focus on one task.
  • Queen of Clubs: Passionate, enthusiastic, fun. Career woman.
  • King of Clubs: Leader, always aware of the larger picture, not good at details.

laying Card Tarot Meanings: Hearts
laying Card Tarot Meanings: Hearts

The Suit of Hearts

Hearts are the same as the tarot Cups. They represent emotions, feelings, fulfillment, and, of course, love and loss. Hearts are associated with water.

  • Ace of Hearts: New love, beginnings of a deep connection, conception.
  • Two of Hearts: Mutual attraction, love, friendship.
  • Three of Hearts: Celebration of friendship, a girls’ (or boys’) night out, end of an emotional cycle.
  • Four of Hearts: Emotional stability, possible low-level depression; unaware, or deliberately ignoring the positive aspects in life.
  • Five of Hearts: Loss, sadness, depression, grief.
  • Six of Hearts: Childhood, nostalgia, memories, the past revisited, an old flame appears.
  • Seven of Hearts: Feeling-based choices, indecision, going astray.
  • Eight of Hearts: Leaving, splitting up, change of direction.
  • Nine of Hearts: Fulfillment, understanding that solitariness is not loneliness, contentment.
  • Ten of Hearts: family, love, achievement of emotional peak.
  • Jack/Knave of Hearts: A person who is in love with being in love. Romantic suitor, short-term love affair.
  • Queen of Hearts: Someone to turn to; she offers emotional support, a listening ear. Watch out for darker undercurrents; she may have problems of her own.
  • King of Hearts: Kindly counselor, gives wise advice based on experience. Possible alcoholic or addict of some kind.

Playing Card Tarot Meanings: Spades
Playing Card Tarot Meanings: Spades

The Suit of Spades

Spades are equivalent to the tarot suit of Swords. They are connected to thought and communication. All the activity that goes on in our minds; ‘head stuff’. Spades are associated with air.

  • Ace of Spades: Flash of insight, revelation, realization, understanding, idea.
  • Two of Spades: Reluctance/refusal to acknowledge the truth, withdrawal. Possible communication difficulties.
  • Three of Spades: Breakdown in communication; misunderstanding leading to a rift, fight or break-up.
  • Four of Spades: Recovery, recuperation, time-out.
  • Five of Spades: Deception, bullying, walking away from a disagreement. Resistance or non-resistance.
  • Six of Spades: Moving on, a change of direction, travel; putting the past behind you.
  • Seven of Spades: Theft, recovery of property or abstract quality (confidence, self-esteem, etc.). Subterfuge.
  • Eight of Spades: Feeling there’s no choice, backing oneself into a corner, can’t see the way out—although the solution is right there in plain view.
  • Nine of Spades: Nightmares, repetitive thought, problems, anxiety, depression.
  • Ten of Spades: Endings, mental breakdown, the only way is up. New beginning.
  • Jack/Knave of Spades: Someone on a mission. Single-minded individual. Clever, sarcastic, intelligent.
  • Queen of Spades: Truth seeker, efficient person. She cannot put up with indecisiveness or stupidity.
  • King of Spades: Professional, good at his job, highly motivated and intelligent. Advisor, lawyer, accountant, writer.

Playing Card Tarot Meanings: Diamonds
Playing Card Tarot Meanings: Diamonds

The Suit of Diamonds

Diamonds are equal to the suit of Pentacles in tarot. They relate to the material word; all that we see and touch. They cover such areas as money, work, practical projects, homes, etcetera. Diamonds can also represent the practical aspects of relationships. Diamonds are associated with earth.

  • Ace of Diamonds: Prize, gift, new home, new project, new job.
  • Two of Diamonds: Balancing the budget, time management. Juggling resources.
  • Three of Diamonds: Focus on work. Honing skills, teamwork, collaboration.
  • Four of Diamonds: Guarding resources, not socializing; holding oneself apart from society.
  • Five of Diamonds: Needing help, destitution, lack of money, loss of job.
  • Six of Diamonds: Charity, offering/receiving help, supporting another financially.
  • Seven of Diamonds: Materially well-off yet spiritually dissatisfied. Looking for a possible new direction.
  • Eight of Diamonds: New job, change of career, improving skills, undergoing training or teaching.
  • Nine of Diamonds: Material and spiritual independence. Satisfaction, happy in solitude.
  • Ten of Diamonds: Family, inheritance, traditions, family business, social gatherings.
  • Jack/Knave of Diamonds: Hard worker, loyal person, hidden attributes.
  • Queen of Diamonds: Home lover, nest-builder, mother, female leader.
  • King of Diamonds: Businessman, achievements through hard work. Enjoyment of luxury and fruits of own labor.

If you have any questions, please do ask in the comments, however please know that I can't interpret your readings for you.

Remember that you should never make an important decision based on what you see in the cards. Tarot readings are for entertainment only.

Questions & Answers

  • How do I do a reading? How many times do I shuffle the deck?

    This article is simply a reference for the card meanings. To learn how to do a reading, you need to read these articles:

    https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/How-to-Re...

    https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/Playing-C...

  • I have drawn the Five of Cups tarot card as the intentions of my boyfriend. Does this mean our union is not to be?

    Not necessarily. The cards respond to the energies around you, so it's possible that either you or he will (or have already) experience some kind of emotional challenge.

    Having said that, if it turned up for me in a reading for one of my clients, I would advise them to prepare for the possibility of the ending of the relationship. It's still just a possibility though. The cards can't take into account the fact that people have free will and can change the direction of their future.

  • I have found three or four playing cards lying in my path. They were all clubs: The Ace, the King, the Nine, and one more I forgot because it was the first one and I didn't pick it up or pay much attention. But believe me the next three showing up had my full attention. It all happened within a two or three week time period. What could this possibly mean?

    If you read the cards as a spread, they mean you should be looking out for new opportunities and, at the same time, persevere with existing projects or situations that will soon be resolved. There is the possibility that you will be called on to lead a team or demonstrate leadership qualities in some way.

    It's wonderful when these things happen. I wonder if someone dropped a deck of cards and whether other people noticed them too.

  • How do I shuffle playing cards for a tarot reading?

    You shuffle the cards in the same way you would if you were playing a regular game. Everyone tends to have a preferred way of shuffling, so go with whatever you feel comfortable with.

    Here are some ways of laying out the cards for a reading: http://hubpages.com/fortune-divination/Playing-Car...

© 2018 Bev G

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    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      5 months ago from Wales, UK

      I have to admit to being confused about what you are asking. Are you using playing cards or tarot. And What are 'prints'?

      Whatever the answer you felt will be the right one for you.

    • profile image

      Pollypop147 

      5 months ago

      Hi, I'm completely new to using playing cards as tarot readings. I started with my question which was how my partner feels towards myself and a past wanted love which never took off properly. I used my Ryder-Waite tarot and for me I pulled out The king of prints followed by seven of spades. For the other female I pulled page of prints and the Ace of hearts! I just 'felt' the answer? Or am I wrong? Please can someone help me clarify the meaning. Thankyou

    • profile image

      priestessleslie 

      8 months ago

      wow we learn new things every time you turn around, thanks Bev.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      8 months ago from Wales, UK

      Have fun, Kari :)

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      8 months ago from Ohio

      I didn't realize you could do a reading with a pack of cards. Now I need to go find my cards. Thanks for the explanation!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      8 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou Bev. =)

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      8 months ago from Wales, UK

      Thanks so much, Louise. Feel free to ask me anything. There's lots of info on my blog: tarot-study.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      8 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Thanks for another interesting hub. I enjoy reading them, and always learn something. I'm going to buy a deck of tarot cards now and learn more!

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