Reversible or Non-Reversible?


Firstly, hello everyone! :) I'm Mike.

I'm new to the tarot, but I've just started on creating my own deck (I was looking for a good excuse for making pretty pictures and using up some art materials I have lying around my flat). I've done quite a bit of research using the net and found a few great sites (if you haven't seen this one check it out

However I've come up against a bit of a stumbling block, should a tarot deck have reversible, nearly reversible or non-reversible backs? I would be interested to know what people more experienced with the tarot think about this. Are there advantages / disadvantages to each choice? Which would you chose? Have you made your own deck and if so how did you make your backs?

Any help much appreciated, thanks. :wink:

(oh and I wasn't sure whether this was the correct forum to place this question in but it seemed to be the one most relevant)


Hi Mike,
This should likely have been posted in Tarot Deck Creation, in Study Groups, however the moderator may move it for you.

Most decks have reversible backs, though not all. The one that I notice the most in my collection is the Victoria Regina which has a picture of Queen Victoria on the back. That's because I read with it a lot. I have another deck with a slightly non-reversible back, but since I can never remember which way is up (no jokes!) it doesn't matter.

I would think it depends on how folks read. I lay all of the cards in my throw facing down first and then gradually turn them over. With the VR, I know in advance which are reversed. Bothers me a tiny bit, but has not stopped me from using the deck.

So, my opinion, suit yourself, but to be more mainstream, maybe a non-reversible back is better and more acceptable.



welcome to tarot-land, and good luck with creating your deck.

personally, i prefer having totally reversible backs, but then i think i'm obsessed with symmetry. i have 3 decks, and only one has a back that i can't tel which way is up if i look at the back of the card, and i was a bit diassapointed when i realized the others didn't.. don't know why as i tend to lay the cards face up from the beginning anyways!

i'm hoping to create my own deck too, and when i do i plan to give it a totally reversible back.


Hey Mike81! Thanks for joining Aeclectic. You might want to go to the New Members forum and formally introduce yourself. :D

There have been a few discussions about what the backs of cards should include... one that you might find useful was called Card backs.

Personally, I prefer the back of a card to be non-reversible because I don't reverse cards when reading them... but many people do. On the first deck i made I didn't include a reversable back but on the one I am currently working on I have decided to. After all, if you don't work with reversals it won't make a difference but if you do, it will be a good thing...


hi. first of all, welcome to aeclectic! :) anyways, as a response to your question, i think that the reason why some creators opt for reversible backs is because it suspends the meanings of the card to the last second - it does not reveal anything to the reader about the card meaning, thus preventing perhaps pre-conceived notings for the reading... :)


I think backs should be completely reversible, and here's why.

A lot of people, including me, never use reversed cards, and their cards always face the same way up in their decks. Having a reversible back is no handicap to them, as they all look the same way anyway. Besides, it adds the beauty of symmetry.

However, many others DO use reversals. And especially if they pick cards for a reading (rather than dealing off the top of the deck) it can be an annoyance to be able to tell which cards are reversed and which aren't. So, to accomodate these people, you should make a reversible back.

There. I hope I convinced you. ;P I will go and lecture somewhere else now.