How to Shuffle Tarot Cards for Your Reading

How to Shuffle Tarot Cards for Your Reading

If you're new to tarot, one thing you'll certainly need to know is how to shuffle tarot cards. You really can shuffle them however you feel comfortable, but I want to offer a few common ways to shuffle tarot decks. I recommend getting comfortable with a few so you can shuffle without too much effort or issues.

If you're brand new to tarot reading, you can check out my little page and guide on learning to read tarot to help you get started!

How to Shuffle Tarot Cards for the First Time

So, you've found yourself a deck and you want to know how to shuffle tarot cards for the first time. When I receive a new deck, i usually go through it and start by just being with each individual card. When I'm ready to shuffle, I may pick from one of the methods below. 

More often, I shuffle a deck for the first time by laying them out on a flat surface and literally mixing them around, much like a child might shuffle cards. It seems silly, but it allows you to see the backs of the cards and give your intuition a chance to jump in and tell you how to shuffle them. You can move the cards around for a few minutes and stack them into a pile for your tarot deck!

Methods of Shuffling Tarot Cards

There are several ways you can shuffle tarot cards. If you're first learning how to shuffle tarot cards, you probably are already aware of a few of these and how they can be useful or difficult.

1. The Traditional Card Shuffle

You've probably seen somebody shuffle regular playing cards or perhaps you know how to do so already. By splitting the deck in two, you can fan them into each other to get a good mix. With tarot cards, this may be a little more difficult due to their size. It's also important to note that this is perhaps the most stressful way to shuffle for the cards themselves.


2. The Overhand Shuffle

The overhand shuffle is a common shuffling technique and one that is pretty darn easy to do.  The overhand shuffle is done by simply taking a small portion of the deck and moving it from one side of the deck to the other. It essentially is a repeated cutting. By shuffling your tarot cards like this several times over, you will get a good shuffle and mix the cards up well. This is also a useful shuffle if you want to control if cards show reversed or not. Some tarot readings don't involve reversed cards, so this shuffle can help keep your deck straight!

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3. The Spread-out Pile

As mentioned before when discussing how to shuffle tarot cards for the first time, this is a pretty simple and effective way to shuffle your cards. Lay them all out on a flat surface. You can do this with the cards face-up or face-down, although I usually do it with the cards face-down. Spread them out, mix them up, and create a pile. This will create a solid mix in your deck, and is one of the best ways to truly shuffle your tarot deck. It may not be pretty all the time, but it sure works! 

4. The Grand Cut

If you've had a tarot reading before, you may have seen this technique of shuffling a tarot deck before. Essentially, you cut the deck into a bunch of small piles and set them out on the table or surface in front of you. Setting the different piles out, you can pick them up in a different order. You can do this a few times to get a good shuffle, and it can be a pretty way to mix your cards up.

Spreading or Dealing Tarot Cards

How you deal your cards will depend on the tarot spread you are using for your reading. People deal tarot cards a number of ways. First, if the deck is well-shuffled, you can draw a card from the top of the deck. This is probably the most common way to deal tarot cards into your spread.

You can also fan the cards out and allow the person you are doing the reading for to pick the card. They should be face-down, of course. I do this sometimes with shorter readings and ones really attached to the individual's own intuition or sense of things. 

Finally, you can set out a few piles of cards, and have the individual pick which pile they'd like to draw the top card from. If you shuffle your tarot deck, cut it into seven piles, and ask which deck they'd like to draw a card from for this spot in the tarot spraed, you will get a good mix of randomness and the person's own intuition!

Have you ever wondered what tarot card matches your personality? Take my fun and free little quiz to find out!