6 Ways to Choose a Tarot Card

Pick a card, any card!

But is there a “right” way to choose a Tarot card?

No – but there are many different ways to choose one! In my video below, I demonstrate my 6 favorite ways to choose a Tarot card:

*Tip: Always use your left hand when choosing a Tarot card, as that is your intuitive hand.

1) Fall-away Method:
Hold the deck in your left hand and tilt to one side. Part of the deck will fall away, revealing a gap – choose the top card!

2) Cut Method:
Simply cut the deck using your left hand. This is the easiest (and most boring!) way to choose a card.

3) Doreen Virtue’s Method:
Shuffle the cards until you feel its time to stop. Choose the top card. This is all well and good unless you are OCD like me and can never stop shuffling.

4) Card Hand Method:
Fan the cards out like you are playing a mean game of poker, except that the cards should be facing out so you can’t see them (maybe I should have called this one the drunk poker method).

5) Fan-out Method:
Fan cards out on a table, Magician style. Either choose the card your eye is most drawn to, or float your hand over the cards and stop when you feel tingles in your palm.

6) Pop-up Method:
This one’s hard to explain in words – so watch the video (its right at the end).

*A note about “jumpers”: If a card jumps out of the deck when you are shuffling, you must choose that card, or at least leave it out and make sure to include it in the reading. These cards are extra-special!

So tell me (in the comments below)…which method do you like to use? Or, is there a really cool method that I’ve completely overlooked?

11 thoughts on “6 Ways to Choose a Tarot Card”

  1. Hi, Kate. 🙂

    I like this video and I’ve tried a few of your techniques. I first tried the “Fall Away” Method, but my Mystical Manga Tarot Cards didn’t quite cut in half like I thought they would. Then I tried the “Pop-Up” Method and it worked, but here’s the part that’s scary. When I do it with my Cards, more than one Card will pop up together at the same time, but this is after I do the method more than once when doing readings with multiple Cards. I don’t know if it’s because my Cards stick together easily or that they have something important they need to tell me. When doing a reading for myself or my friend and neighbor, I’ll pull anywhere from 5-7 Cards. Maybe more.

    Has this happened to you or anyone else? Do you think my Cards have an important message for me or for the ones I do readings for?

    Thanks for sharing your techniques. 🙂


  2. Hi,

    Good Morning, WHo should choose the Tarot cards – the Tarot reader or the person who has come for a reading ? many tarot readers picks cards other allow the person to pick card. So it is not clear who should pick the cards – the tarot reader or the person who has come for reading ? Pls help to clear.

    1. It can be either. Some readers prefer to be the ones who choose the cards and some readers like to get their client to choose. Personally, I prefer to allow my client to pick their cards because it involves them more in their own reading.

  3. Kate,
    I always enjoy going back through your tutoring videos! I have a question for you. After watching this video I see that these methods seem to be all reader led. I am about to do a private party where I will be reading for multiple people. In the past I have let the querent shuffle the cards, cut them into three stacks and then re-stack them in any order specifying to move to their left. As I feel much more protective partnership with my decks now I have changed to a more traditional card methods like you show here. My question is about clearing energy from the last reading when doing multiples in a night. Do you have any preferences? Currently I keep my raw silk reading cloth open and shuffle the cards at the end of the reading and close the cloth up until the next querent. At which point I shuffle the deck again as the querent and I make our intentions known. I also keep two rose quartz lying on the reading cloth, and frequently pick them up and cleanse both my energy and the decks.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      That’s a good question – it sounds like you already have a good system in place for cleansing your cards energetically between people. When I do back to back readings like that I simply knock on my deck and then do this weird little hand motion like I’m wafting the energy off the cards. In my mind I imagine all the energy of the past reading being wafted away. I find that works for me and it only takes a couple seconds.
      Good luck with your Tarot party!!!

  4. Christy McAdams

    You answered my question about cutting and stacking, in fact that’s exactly how I do it too! I’m pretty sure its mostly my Spiritual tradition that does the 3x knock rather then just 1. It seems to trip ppl up every time I ask how to flip the cards. (L) to (R), from top corner downward or bottom to top. I did an experiment once to try and figure out which method gives you more cards upright or reversed. But it seemed inconclusive so I tend to ask tenured readers and I always hear in some form to let the reading flow; if you find yourself flipping the cards differently for various readings go with it. I was just wondering if you had an opinion on that. Great video! Thanks

  5. Nahanni Faith Hartwood

    Great tips, Kate! I usually use either the Doreen Virtue method or the fall-away method. Another thing I often do is a bit of a combination – I’ll shuffle until guided to stop (like with the DV method) but then sometimes I will “hear” to pick say the 3rd card down from there. It’s funny, ’cause every time this has happened to me it’s been one of those spookily accurate cards and/or a card that keeps coming up over & over again!

    1. Hey, Nahanni Faith!

      At the end of telephone reading, I often ask the querent to give me a number from 1-78, and then, after reshuffling the deck, I count down (or up) to reach their number, and use the card at that place in the deck as a final message.

      It’s not quite what you’re talking about, but sort of similar …


  6. I use the pop up method, only instead of holding the cards upright, they’re on one side. (I call it the ‘lazy’ method actually…!!!)

  7. I usually use Fan-out method, that’s the one I feel the most comfortable with!
    I think after watching your video, I will start using the Card Hand-and Pop up Methods, they are so fun! Watching your video, I felt soooo drawn to them!
    Thank you so much! Cheers! 🙂

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