Shuffling & Cutting the deck.. CONFUSED - help!


OK guys,

When I go to do a reading, I riffle shuffle the deck, then cut the deck cleanly into 4 stacks. If when I cut the deck into these stacks a card falls onto the stack I just cut, or a "false cut" occurs, I reshuffle the deck and then attempt to cut cleanly again.

I do this with my left hand.

Then, when I have the four stacks in front of me, I turn over the top card from each stack with my right hand. I have always turned them bottom over top (vertically). However, now I question this.. what should I do?? I know most turn horizontally, but up until now I haven't really thought twice about it.

(BTW.. this is the 4 Door spread Miss Cleo uses.. I have been using it forever, I never use any other spread.. and I didn't know what it was called or how it worked until recently.. I just adapted it from the early infomercials because I liked how it seemed to be a general spread with no position assignments.. which it is, and I prefer)


my question here is - HOW DO YOU PERFORM READINGS??

Do you shuffle, cut in three stacks left to right and reassemble the deck left to right, and then turn over the top card and place it in a spread???

Or what??

All of my books mention cutting the deck but don't describe it.

Does this mean :

shuffle, cut, reassemble, deal..
shuffle, cut, pick a stack, and deal from that..

or what??? What is the purpose of cutting the deck and how do you do it?? Talk about your personal methods also.

I cut my deck only to make the stacks for the spread.. I feel it's like the top card of each stack is meant to show..


Help me out here,

Greatly appreciated -


Hi New2Tarot

I think the best way to shuffle is the way you feel most comfortable, there is no really right or wrong way to do it.

But they way I do it is........

1. I put in cards face down and mix them around in front of me with both hands.

2. I then push them back together into a pile.

3. Then with my left hand (or your right if you are left handed) I cut the deck in half.

4. I then cut the deck in half again so I have three piles of cards in front of me. Then place the second cut ontop of the original pile and then the first cut ontop.

5. I then fan out the cards and choose from them.

I hope my instructions make some sense....good luck :)


A typical problem that Tarot beginners face is a tendency to over-complicate the entire process. They've read so many books or gotten advice from so many sources that their heads are just swimming with "do's" and "don'ts" to the point where instead of just feeling the process, they tend to intellectualize it too much.

I've said it a zillion times in here - there are no rules! Whatever works for you is right.

And that also means that what works for you today may not be what works for you tomorrow.

As a general rule, I shuffle the cards a bit and then give them to the querent to shuffle while we discuss the question they want to ask. I never know which spread I'm going to do until we've talked about what they expect to get out of the reading. I take the cards back from them and glance at the bottom card. This tells me which way is "up" for the deck. I place the deck in front of me and have them cut it into 3 piles and then I reassemble it by selecting whichever pile just feels right at the time.

And I turn over the cards side-to-side instead of bottom over top.

But that may change tomorrow.


I agree with Mojo.

I am new to tarot like you, and the first thing I learned was, Tarot is a tool for you, and how you develop your readings is up to you. Yes, there is a lot of advice out there, but don't get stressed out about rules. It will fog your brain and the wonderful thing about reading is letting go. That's when the good stuff happens I think.

I use the sacred circle deck. I love it, but not the book so much. So, I use other books to supplement.

I shuffle any cotton pickin' way I feel like. I don't do reversals (but I may some day) I don't put significance on any cards that happen to 'fall' out of a shuffling (except once when the moon card fell out and I just plain wanted to use it because it is my favorite card).

I use all sorts of spreads, any number of cards, depending on my energy level. I do lots of different readings because I get bored by repetition, I'm stubborn and independent-darned if a book is going to tell me how to read if I don't like what it's saying. That's who I am. I believe the universe and whatever influences the cards as I use them knows this.

I also use negative definitions very carefully. Because I believe there is always a positive somewhere in the negative, if you just look for it. That's what most people need I think-me included. But, that may change someday too, and I may get braver about speaking of negative things. I prefer to become more intuitive and articulate first before I stick my foot in my mouth and hurt somebody.

I'm sure there are other readers out there who thrive on structure, and following books and patterns carefully works for them and feels good, and right.

See, it's all up to you. Trust yourself, experiment, and have fun!


It's all good.


yeah, there's no "right" way. i shuffle, cut the deck in half, put the top half on the bottom of the deck, and lay out the spread from the top. i have no idea if i turn over the cards left to right, right to left, or top to bottom. i think i pull them off the top of the deck with my right hand, while holding it in my left. funny, i never thought to question it - seems to work fairly well...
luv and light,


I just shuffle until I FEEL like it is time to stop.

While I shuffle I focus on the person I'm doing the reading for. I visualize myself passing on what I know of the person from my hands into the deck. When it FEELS like thier energy is filling the deck I stop shuffling.

I don't follow any shuffling pattern. I just kind of randomly do it, this way and then that way... until its done.

I know it sounds very un-organized but when I tried doing it a set way each time the deck was screaming at me that I wasn't done shuffling yet. I was also more focused on HOW I was shuffling and less focused on WHO I was shuffling for.



I shuffle the deck (rifle shuffle, I guess? like you do in poker). Then I cut the deck into 3 stacks from right to left. I pick one pile to put on top, then add the other two underneath. Then I do my spread.

Pretty simple!

One thing that I wouldn't do in the system that you mentioned is reshuffle if one card sneaks onto another pile. I would take that as a sign that the card wanted to be in that pile rather than the one I wanted it to be in. Do you know what I mean? But as all the others have said, it's all up to you!


I shuffle until I feel like it?s time to stop. Then I hand the deck to the sitter. They do whatever they feel, until it?s time to stop.
I?ve had folks just spread the deck all over the table, I?ve had fancy shuffles, plain shuffles?I don?t care?after all, it?s their reading.
I?m just here to share it with them.
And in the words of Piccool?Have fun.
There?s a lot of wisdom in those words?


Well, many people already stated the fact about readings not being done 1 specific way so I'll simply dump the way I do it here ;)

First of all I don't do readings for others simply because I don't think I'm up for the responsibility, not yet anyway. I carefully shuffle the cards (carefull not to damage them, I don't riffle) and end up spreading them in an 'huge' circular pile. After that I spread the cards around a bit and when I'm satisfied I'm getting them together in one single deck. This way I'm sure the cards can get into the right position (I work with reversed cards).

When I'm back to one stack of cards I spread them across the table in a light arc shape (face down ofcourse). During the actual reading I close my eyes and go past the arc with my hand until I feel certain about a card; at that point I pick it out and put it on the table. This method isn't based on anything; I simply feel this works the best for me.


now this, now that. It's an evolving process and a somewhat cyclical process. I do that way because it's what's right for me, is how I approach many things in my life. My best suggestion to anyone else is to ask "Of all the ways you've been exposed to, which one(s) appeal to you? What seems 'right' to you, 'makes sense' to you, seems 'beautiful' to you?"