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.
Using Playing Cards for One-Card Tarot Readings
When you have a pressing question, but no one to talk to nor a deck of tarot cards to consult, pick up a pack of playing cards. It’s true: You can get information, advice, and insights with plain old playing cards. In this article, we’re taking a look at reading playing cards for love.
When using the method described here, it's important that you stick to one-card readings. If you begin to combine cards, you will become confused. If you want to learn how to read with more cards, check out How to Read Tarot with Playing Cards. You'll need to learn the basic structure and how cards interact together. And, if you are determined to take it further, I also have a selection of playing card tarot spreads.
For now, here is a basic fast-answer system to your most pressing romantic questions.
How the Suits of Playing Cards Translate to Tarot
The art of reading cards is called 'cartomancy'—literally, telling the future with cards.
For a quick reference, the playing card suits equate to tarot cards as follows:
- Clubs = Wands: action and creativity—ideas, inspiration, and passion that cause us to act.
- Hearts = Cups: emotions, love—all the feeling aspects of life.
- Spades = Swords: intellect and communication—all that which goes on in our heads.
- Diamonds = Pentacles: material concerns—wealth, health, career.
Formulate a Love Question
Think about the question you want to ask. My advice is to avoid questions that will give you no useful information whatsoever, such as, “Will I meet my romantic partner this year?” What’s the point?
Instead, ask “What do I need to do to meet my romantic partner this year?” That gives you a piece of information that you can actually use to take positive action. It puts you in control instead of you thinking you are at the mercy and whim of fate.
So when formulating your question, try to avoid what we call a closed question. That means one that can be answered yes or no. You want to elicit as much information from your card as possible.
Examples of Relationship Questions to Ask Playing Cards
- What do I need to know about this relationship?
- How will I know my love when I meet him/her?
- What should I do to be ready for romance?
- What can the cards tell me about this person?
- What is the love energy surrounding me at the moment?
- What positive action can I take to find love?
- How can I make him/her notice me?
- I think I’m in love, can the cards confirm my feelings?
- I think he loves me, can the cards confirm my thoughts?
I’m sure you can think of a better one that applies to your situation.
In the next section I’m going to list out the general meanings of the card as they apply to love. It’s up to you to interpret them to fit your question.
The Suit of Clubs: Wands/Action
- Ace of Clubs: new inspiration, passion, intense love affair.
- Two of Clubs: delaying of plans, waiting for love, obstacles.
- Three of Clubs: you’ve done all you can for the time being. Patience.
- Four of Clubs: fruition, stability, consolidation (engagement, marriage, living together).
- Five of Clubs: competition, challenge, someone else fighting for attention.
- Six of Clubs: victory, you reach your goal and/or attain your desire.
- Seven of Clubs: standing up for your rights, going against the consensus.
- Eight of Clubs: things moving quickly, hurried marriage, pregnancy.
- Nine of Clubs: possible end of a relationship, rocky patch, inner strength required.
- Ten of Clubs: habit, boredom, determination to keep going.
- Jack of Clubs: unfaithful, immature man. Has many affairs.
- Queen of Clubs: passionate, possibly unfaithful woman, fun friend.
- King of Clubs: strong alpha male. Leader.
The Suit of Hearts: Cups/Feelings
- Ace of Hearts: new, overflowing of love, deep attraction, initial feelings.
- Two of Hearts: mutual attraction, love blossoming, connection at a soul level.
- Three of Hearts: fun, friendship, celebration, lightheartedness.
- Four of Hearts: turning inward, mild depression, missing love opportunities.
- Five of Hearts: emotional challenge, difficulties, loss, despair, break-ups.
- Six of Hearts: reunions, reconnection, reconciliation.
- Seven of Hearts: choices, indecisiveness, inaction.
- Eight of Hearts: solitude, walking your own path, leaving a relationship.
- Nine of Hearts: independence, self-sufficiency, love of self, happy right where you are.
- Ten of Hearts: family, emotional fulfillment, long-term love.
- Jack of Hearts: romantic, immature young male, serial relationships.
- Queen of Hearts: romantic female, good friend, emotional support.
- King of Hearts: gentle male, supportive, someone to trust.
The Suit of Spades: Swords/Intellect and Communication
- Ace of Spades: new idea, sudden realization/understanding, clarity, truth.
- Two of Spades: unwilling to face the truth, unable to reach out.
- Three of Spades: miscommunication, misunderstanding, relationship problem.
- Four of Spades: rest, recuperation, solitude, reassessment.
- Five of Spades: betrayal, lies, misled, duped. Giving up, walking away.
- Six of Spades: moving on, recovery, travel, hope.
- Seven of Spades: acting alone, taking back control, regaining confidence.
- Eight of Spades: thinking you’re trapped, unable to progress, self-deception.
- Nine of Spades: nightmares, overwhelmed, problems.
- Ten of Spades: ending, divorce, trauma, new beginning.
- Jack of Spades: intellectual, focussed, clever youth.
- Queen of Spades: highly intelligent, influential female. Sometimes indicates ‘the other woman’.
- King of Spades: professional, intelligent, mature man. Usually highly qualified and authoritative.
The Suit of Diamonds: Pentacles/Practical Matters
- Ace of Diamonds: relationship enters new phase. New home, project or other practical matter.
- Two of Diamonds: adjustment, balance, getting used to each other.
- Three of Diamonds: focus on work, creating and building relationship.
- Four of Diamonds: unwilling to compromise, repression, meanness.
- Five of Diamonds: financial loss, difficult times, housing issues.
- Six of Diamonds: charity, helping hand, someone willing to listen.
- Seven of Diamonds: vaguely dissatisfied, wanting more, looking for practical opportunities.
- Eight of Diamonds: change of direction, prioritizing career or studies over love.
- Nine of Diamonds: independence, self-sufficiency, satisfaction.
- Ten of Diamonds: family, inheritance, business, organization, financial security.
- Jack of Diamonds: hard-working, sincere young man.
- Queen of Diamonds: practical, mother figure, sensuous woman.
- King of Diamonds: mature, self-made man. Enjoys luxury and fruits of his labor.
It’s your choice whether or not to include one of the Joker cards. Generally the Joker is equivalent to the Fool in the tarot. It can represent the person asking the question, or if it shows up in a random drawing, it means taking a chance, embarking on an adventure, or not worrying about the consequences of one’s actions.
Example Playing Card Reading
Question: Andy asks, “What do I need to know about this relationship?” He’s recently met someone and is attracted to her but not sure whether to take it any farther.
Randomly drawn card: Queen of Spades. Andy doesn’t feel that this card represents his new girlfriend. It’s possible that there could be some sort of interference or influence from an older woman. Perhaps his mother, or hers. He decides to take things cautiously and to pay attention to signs that someone might be attempting to sabotage their relationship, or come between them. Armed with this knowledge, he’ll be able to deal with it when, and if, there’s a problem. He plans on drawing another card after a week or so has passed.
How Long to Wait Between Tarot Readings?
If you have another question, then simply shuffle the deck and do a reading straight away. However, beware asking about the same situation too often. You’ll not get a straight answer, and you’ll end up feeling confused. Set the cards aside, wait a few days, then try again.
The cards used for this article are Bicycle Ghost Playing Cards by Ellusionist
Feel free to ask any playing card love questions in the comment section, but note that I cannot give free readings here.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: What can the playing cards tell me about a certain person in terms of feelings?
Answer: I'd suggest formulating your question, such as, how do they feel about me? And, how do I feel about them? Then draw one card to represent each person.
Once you have your answer, shuffle again and draw a single card to represent the future of the relationship.
Question: I asked, "When is my husband coming into my life?" The card that appeared for me was the Ace of Clubs. What does that mean?
Answer: If you look through your cards, you'll notice that not one of them gives a date or time or period. That means you have to devise your own. And that depends on what suit you connect to each season. For example, I use: Diamonds = winter, Cups = autumn/fall, Spades = spring and Clubs = summer. Then the numbered cards will give you an approximate week within the season. So Ace of Clubs means early in summer. It's always good to have your timing system worked out before you ask a question about time.
And, to be perfectly honest, I find that (playing card) tarot is not too good for timing questions anyway. I prefer to take away the message of the card itself. Therefore my question would be, "What energy will surround my potential marriage partner?" Ace of Clubs says 'passion and inspiration'.
Question: I asked the cards if I'll be happy with the man who's currently courting me and got a king of spades, queen of hearts and 4 of clubs. What does it mean?
Answer: What do you think it means? Also, you only need one card to answer a yes/no question. Otherwise, it becomes confusing. It looks like marriage or living together to me.
Question: How do I properly lay out playing cards for love readings?
Answer: There is no one way to lay out the cards. If you are doing one-card readings, just shuffle and draw a random card. For two or more, I tend to shuffle, cut the cards with my left hand, place the bottom section on the top and turn the cards from the (new) top of the deck.
More information on different kinds of playing card layouts here: https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/Playing-C...
Question: How can I get a love timeline by reading playing cards?
Answer: Before you lay out your cards, express your intention for them to reflect a time-line. Then designate three positions: near future, medium outlook, distant future. Focus on the situation, shuffle and turn your cards.
Question: I think he loves me. Can playing cards confirm my thoughts?
Answer: They can certainly give you an indication of how things are going between you. Give it a try. I suggest using a single card to avoid any confusion. You might not receive a definite answer but then again you might.
Cards that would confirm his love would be Ace, Two, Six, Ten and King of Hearts, Ace and Four of Clubs. You need to read the lists of meanings in the article to get the full picture.
Question: I asked if we will end up together and Eight of Diamond comes up. Is this a yes or no?
Answer: It means that one of you will experience change of direction, prioritizing career or studies over love. So not yet.
Question: How do I spread out my playing cards for an accurate love tarot reading?
Answer: There are no hard and fast rules for placing your cards. However, I have an article here about playing card tarot spreads that might be helpful: https://hubpages.com/fortune-divination/Playing-Ca...
Question: How many cards for each question?
Answer: From the second paragraph, "When using the method described here, it's important that you stick to one-card readings."
Question: What can playing cards tell me about a certain person in terms of love?
Answer: You could devise a personal spread designed around what aspects of the person that you want to understand.
So, for instance, pull out the 12 Courts and decide which one might represent them. Then work out three questions. Might be: 1. What motivates them? 2. What stands in their way? What do they love?
Or: What do I need to know about this person? 2. How do they see me? 3. Are we going to have a relationship?
Make up a spread that works for you. Good luck.
Question: My boyfriend cut the deck and I thought, "Is he cheating?" And I flipped the top card and it was the Jack of Clubs, which here say unfaithful/multiple affairs. Does this definitely mean he is cheating?
Answer: It depends on what the intention of the card drawing was. If your boyfriend just told you to draw a card with a question in mind, then you need to ascertain by other means (like asking him) whether he's cheating or not. Don't rely on the turn of a card to determine your most important decisions. If there was another question involved, there are other meanings for the Jack of Club, such as entrepreneurship, an impulsive person, or someone with an open mind and outlook. It's equivalent to the Knight of Wands.
Question: Would I be able to write on the cards to remember what each of them stand for?
Answer: Yes, of course. However, bear in mind that adding keywords in that way can sometimes inhibit your intuition. If you are learning it's fine, but try to learn the number/suit correspondences if you can. Otherwise, you won't even register the card itself, just the words you've written on them. You might as well write them on a blank card.
This page might help: https://hubpages.com/fortune-divination/How-to-Rea...
Question: Can the cards tell me if my love will be reciprocated?
Answer: Give it a go. Shuffle your deck and draw a card. There's your answer.
If you are looking for a straight yes/no answer, then this article might help you: https://hubpages.com/fortune-divination/Playing-Ca...
Question: I asked the cards if my boyfriend will cheat on me with his ex and I drew the Four of Hearts, what does that mean?
Answer: The Four of Hearts is the equivalent of the Four of Cups in tarot. It does not indicate cheating, but it does show that one of you is feeling slightly depressed or is spending too much time worrying unnecessarily.
Question: I asked my tarot deck if he really loves me and it came Ace of Hearts, King of Hearts and Ace of Spades, and then Ace of Diamonds. When I asked if I should approach him or not it came Two of Clubs and Two of Hearts. Could it be good sign or not?
Answer: You need to understand that if you want a yes or no answer from the cards, you can only draw one card. Otherwise, as demonstrated here, you will be completely at sea. Right at the beginning of the article, this is what it says, "When using the method described here, it's important that you stick to one-card readings. If you begin to combine cards, you will become confused."
Another thing is, if you've not spent time together, there's no way either of you can love the other. You might be very attracted to each other, but you can't possibly experience love in that way. That only happens in romantic songs.
I suggest you go back to your cards. Think about what it is you want to know and then stick to one card per question.
This page will help: https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/Playing-C... but let your intuition expand on the answer.
Question: I think he likes me. Can reading playing cards confirm my thoughts?
Answer: No doubt they can. Give it a try. The techniques for reading playing cards for love are given in the article. Draw your card, then check the lists above for your answer.
However, those answers are very short, of course, so if you take the meaning I've given, you can expand it. So let's say you get an awkward card like the Four of Spades (rest, recuperation, solitude, reassessment). It doesn't seem to fit, but if you consider your situation, the card might be advising you to relax, let it go, don't push it. It also might be pointing at other areas of your life. Maybe you have been getting stressed out over work or family issues? The cards always give you what you need to know.
Just grab your cards and give it a go. You'll soon be reading like a professional.
Question: Someone told me that the Ten of Clubs means someone is doing witchcraft, is this true?
Answer: No, it doesn't mean that in general terms. However, some people overlay the cards, whether playing cards or tarot, with their own system, structure, and meanings. So it might mean that to them, but it wouldn't mean the same thing to me. The Ten of Clubs means being overloaded with burdens and responsibilities but being determined to keep going until the job is done.
Question: How to read tarot with Uno cards?
Answer: I cant read tarot with Uno cards. I don't own the game and have never even played it. You could always make up your own system for reading with Uno, based on numbers and colors to represent the elements/suits.
Question: I asked my tarot deck how someone feels about me and the Seven of Spades came out. What does that mean?
Answer: It means that the cards are warning you about this person. It could be that he hides his true persona. Or that he has a secret that he wouldn't want anyone to know. So be cautious and observant.
Also, over the next few weeks, watch your personal possessions--when this card shows up sometimes it means there is a thief around.
Question: Will I meet my desired partner this year?
Answer: I'm afraid I can't give free readings here, I simply don't have the time to spare. However, I encourage you to get your own deck of playing cards and try to read them yourself.
Question: Can tarot cards help me to know my love when I meet him?
Answer: You just have to try it. When you meet someone interesting, draw a card and refer back to the meanings on this page.
Question: Can the cards tell me when I will meet my true love?
Answer: Personally, I find trying to read timings with playing cards and with tarot cards very difficult. I think you have to develop your own system along the lines of Diamonds taking months, Cups taking weeks, Clubs a couple of weeks and Spades a few days.
Question: I was walking up to my stairs and the Ace of Hearts and the Queen of Hearts was laying on the floor. What does this mean for me?
Answer: It depends on what is, or was, going on in your life at the time. Now you have read the meanings of the cards, perhaps you can relate them to your own circumstances.
Question: I asked if I was the problem in my relationships not working and I got the Five of Spades, I don't do any of those things, what does that mean?
Answer: You asked a question that can be answered by yes or no, rather than asking for information about the issue. The Five of Spades is equivalent to the Five of Swords in tarot, and in a yes/no question its answer is 'No'. However, you can look deeper, and it suggests that you may be the victim of betrayal, bullying or complicity, rather than the other way around.
Question: I got four kings together in a card reading. What does that mean?
Answer: The mostly likely reason is that the cards weren't shuffled properly. If they were, then it means that there is strong, masculine energy around the issue. There may also be more than one male involved. Without knowing your question or the circumstances, I am unable to interpret your cards in any detail.
Question: Why is a Four of Clubs woman and a Queen of Diamonds man such a bad mix? We have been married for 36+ years and it has never been easy.
Answer: I'm not sure how you have designated these cards to your partnership, so difficult for me to say. Four of Clubs is the equivalent to Four of Wands and Queen of Diamonds is equal to the Queen of Pentacles. In tarot, we use the Major cards as birth cards, but I don't know of a similar method with playing cards. Perhaps take a look at your sun and moon signs, astrologically speaking, to see if there are any clues there.
Question: Can playing cards tell me if a certain person likes me?
Answer: They can. Grab your deck of cards and draw a card. Good cards are the Ace and two of hearts, ten of hearts, Ace of Diamonds. The Ace of Clubs points to the possibility of a passionate affair. Whatever card you get, check back with the lists provided in the article.
© 2017 Bev G
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 20, 2020:
Hi Rach, the Joker is like the Fool in tarot. It tells you to loosen up, take a risk, look for fun and happiness, rather than love. Find your inner happy, and your love will show up :)
Rachloppie on July 19, 2020:
I asked the cards : what must i do to have a blissful love life.(fyi i am currently in a rship but i feel my partner is still unsure about me.)
My answer: Joker card.
What does this mean, what is the advice it is giving?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 25, 2020:
Hi Jaanvi, I'm not sure why you would want to know about your brother's love life in the first place?
Just look up the meanings for:
Seven of Wands
King of Swords
Queen of Swords.
Then apply those meanings to the positions you assigned.
Jaanvi Daiya on June 25, 2020:
I asked what how is my brother's love life and the cards that came were 7 of clubs for past King of spade for present and queen of spade for future I am not sure about the meaning .
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on November 28, 2019:
Hi Keela, I have another article here that might be helpful: https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/How-to-Re...
If you are more interested in tarot cards, you could start here: https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/Tarot-Car...
Keela on November 27, 2019:
I'm new at this but would like to find out all I can where should I go to do so
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on October 03, 2019:
Hi Kiki, I cannot interpret your cards for you. If you read the article, the method used is for single card readings and all the meanings are given.
Kiki on October 03, 2019:
I was thinking about a person and shuffling my cards. Ace of Spade, King of hearts and Queen of heart fell down. What does that mean?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on September 29, 2019:
Hi Kenzie, it says, right at the beginning, that this method is for one card readings. However, if you want to do more complex readings, then there are some ideas in this article: https://exemplore.com/fortune-divination/Playing-C...
Kenzie on September 28, 2019:
How many cards do i pick out after shuffling
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on August 11, 2019:
Well, I hope all your outcomes are happy ones, Brenda :)
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 11, 2019:
This one i am saving for a reference to give it a try.
Ya never know, it might be enlightening.
Thanks for your hard work and detail. Much appreciated.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on June 03, 2018:
Kim, for this kind of question you only need one card because you are looking for a yes or no answer. If you go with the first card, then the answer is probably no. See the meaning given above.
Kim on June 03, 2018:
I asked will me and the guy I use to date reconcile, the 1st card was 5 spades, then 2 hearts, jack of spades, 9 diamonds, 6 clubs , queen diamond , 6 heart and ace of clubs
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on May 19, 2018:
Clover Le, What do you think the cards mean in connection with your own circumstances?
Clover Le on May 19, 2018:
My self-reading question was "What do I need to know about my love life?" and 2 Kings of Diamond and Spade appeared so what does it mean exactly?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on December 21, 2017:
I would be suspicious, to be honest, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions on the turn of a few cards. Six of Swords/Spades, indicates someone moving/drifting away. The two Clubs/Wands are problematical -- the Knight of Wands is a philanderer, the Queen of Wands is flighty. As I said, hold back and see what unfolds, Lindsay.
Lindsay on December 21, 2017:
I asked "What do I need to know about my current relationship (3 years, I have concerns of infidelity) and I drew a 6 of spades. For clarification I drew two additional cards (Jack of Clubs and the Queen of Clubs). What are your thoughts?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on November 23, 2017:
Yes, I agree, Louise, tarot (or whatever) is just brilliant at shining a light for people.
Louise Elcross from Preston on November 23, 2017:
Thanks for this hub. I used to read cards from a deck when I was younger and my readings were accurate. I have never heard of anyone else doing it until I saw this hub. I also used to read tarot but now I only read enlightenment cards for which I get a lot of requests. I like that I can be of help to those that are not even sure of how they are feeling. After reading your hub I might even pick up a deck and see how I go on.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on November 09, 2017:
Got to love a bit of crazy, Dorothy :)
Mike and Dorothy McKenney from United States on November 09, 2017:
I have never heard of reading playing cards, but I'm going to start doing it. My husband will think it's crazy but he already thinks I'm crazy, so I may as well expand my "craziness" to something fun. Nice work!
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on November 09, 2017:
Hi Broun, it's just a question of what feels more comfortable for you. For me, it's definitely tarot. Playing cards are more temporary. Others read playing cards all their life.
Broun on November 08, 2017:
Do you think learning Tarot on a /playing Deck is more accurate for some beginners? (Learning cards & Tarot)