shuffling and card selection


Hello! I am still trying to get to know my cards and progress is kind of slow right now. What is the best way to shuffle the cards and how do you select them do you cut and then draw from the top or do you choose the cards that you use? I am having a hard time getting down a system that works for me. I have a couple books but they have different ways of doing these things for different spreads and being brand new it is kind of confusing. One more question. Do you always use the same method or do you change it depending on the spread?


Dear dp4nrc991,

(May I call you dp for short?)

(Doggone it, I've got a thousand things to do today and I was ready to go 'way, then I saw your query.)

Once upon a time there was a thread with dozens of posts simply about shuffling, and you wouldn't believe the number of ways people shuffle their cards. We had everything but "52-card Pickup," a children's game of enormous complexity, so I won't go into it.

So, I want you to do EXACTLY as I say (or, perhaps, some other way).

Assume you are right-handed. Hold the full deck in your left hand. With the thumb of your right hand, slide off the top card and transfer it to the palm of your right hand. Then, slide off a second card and put it on the bottom of the first. Then, slide off a third card and put it on top of the first. Continue through the deck this way, alternating bottom and top.

When you are finished, cut the deck, with your LEFT hand, into three stacks. Reassemble the deck and repeat the process, as many times as you want to or feel you need to or until it feels right.

(Doing it this way is much kinder to your deck that the fancy riverboat gambler's riffle shuffle.)

Finally, cut the deck again with your LEFT hand into three piles, then restack the deck.

Now, holding the deck in your left hand, slide off the first card in your spread and lay it in its proper position FACE DOWN. Do not FLIP the card in doing this. Lay every card in the spread this way.

Now, turn each card over in order and read it individually. Do this until every card has been turned over and read singley. Now read the spread altogether and the cards in combination. Pay attention to what is there -- and what isn't. Note everything: How many majors? Which suits (no Cups?), which numbers (hmmm . . . three Aces), ect., ect., until you have completed the reading.

So, do this EXACTLY as I say. Pretty soon you'll forget anything I said, and you will probably be doing it in a totally different manner, but you will have EVOLVED a method that is EXACTLY right for you. Trust me on this.

And, welcome to Aeclectic! where you can get GREAT advice. From other people.

(P.S. For those interested in 52-card Pickup, I would explain this complex game, but perhaps someone else can do it and not be so wordy. However, if you play it with a tiny pre-school child, they are usually willing to play it as long as you are willing to pick up the cards. And, later, if you count the deck, you'll discover you weren't playing 52-card Pickup at all. Some of the cards will have mysteriously vanished. Maybe they're hiding out behind the couch or something.)




Well, no one else responded, here's a second suggestion. Go to the "Reading Tarot" forum, down at the bottom clock "previous page," and find Tarotbear's FAQ on shuffling.

Good stuff there.



Sometimes I shuffle like a Las Vegas gambler, sometimes I simply hold them in my hand, move some cards around here and there, and then draw. It really depends on what my feelings are telling me to do. The last time, I simply drew cards from the top of the deck without shuffling, and as you will read in my other post, this worked quite well. (I was in a hurry).

As for a reading, I personally do not put them face down first. I flip them over, because for me, the first things I'm looking for is the overall impression--how many wands (turns up in all of my personal readings), aces, major, etc. Then I begin reading the individual cards, using my overall impression of the spread to tell me what that particular card is trying to tell me. I use the sacred cirlce deck.

I must tell you that I have only been doing this about 6 months, and have had no training from someone more experienced. I read books, and go with my gut most of the time.

I am just beginning to be interested in reading for others, and have joined a board where we all exchange free readings. Here is the URL:



dp4nrc991 (07 Dec, 2001 01:08):


Just an FYI ... I "Rifle" my cards..shuffle them Los Vegas Style (I would love to go back there some day..).

The thing is I have to turn them over from time to time so they don't look totally arched.

Occasionally some fall out of my hand..those are the ones I chose first.

I like Talismans sug. That's how I started..verrry it's stop when I feel like it..

Good luck