Reading Playing Cards for Love

Updated on April 4, 2018
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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.

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.

Playing Card 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. Questions like, “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 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.

The Joker

It’s your choice whether or not to include one of the Joker cards or not. 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 Between 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.

© 2017 Bev G


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    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev G 4 months ago from Wales, UK

      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.

    • profile image

      Lindsay 4 months ago

      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?

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev G 4 months ago from Wales, UK

      Yes, I agree, Louise, tarot (or whatever) is just brilliant at shining a light for people.

    • louiseelcross profile image

      Louise Elcross 4 months ago from UK

      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.

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev G 5 months ago from Wales, UK

      Got to love a bit of crazy, Dorothy :)

    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 5 months ago from United States

      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!

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev G 5 months ago from Wales, UK

      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.

    • profile image

      Broun 5 months ago

      Do you think learning Tarot on a /playing Deck is more accurate for some beginners? (Learning cards & Tarot)