How Do You Shuffle Tarot Cards?

The one thing that tarot readers do before they do a reading is to shuffle the cards. And you will find that the more you do tarot readings, you will have the urge to shuffle your cards whether you read for yourself or someone else. Today I’ll show you how to shuffle your tarot cards.

And there are many questions that so many aspiring and avid readers have when it comes to shuffling the cards. They need to find out whether they are doing it correctly or if there are some steps to take regarding shuffling. They may even wonder if it is necessary to shuffle cards at all. 

Here is a question I have for you. Considering whether or not you should shuffle your tarot cards, consider how it impacts the reading. Now, let’s consider whether or not you should shuffle your tarot cards and why. 

Are You Supposed To Shuffle Tarot Cards?

The first answer I have for you is that you must shuffle your cards before you read for yourself and someone else. I will give you a scenario. Imagine getting your tarot deck and, after cleansing it, placing it in the moonlight overnight on a window sill or the window sill during the day, so the daylight cleanses it. Then, you begin to do a reading for yourself.

First, you separate your cards and pull random cards. Sure, that could work, but it only works for so long. You could keep pulling random cards each time you separate your deck, but the accuracy will be less, and it only allows you to pull the cards you mean to pull if you don’t shuffle the deck. Additionally, if you don’t mix your cards, you will not reap any benefit from doing a tarot reading. I’ll explain in a bit what I mean by that. 

If you shuffle your cards, you could avoid pulling the same cards over again. Additionally, when you are doing a tarot reading, you need to do something that will get you into a meditative state as you focus on the cards when you ask the question you want the cards to answer (or if someone does and you are doing the tarot reading for them). 

As you shuffle the cards, you will shuffle and simultaneously get into a calm and meditative state as you ask the cards the question as you mix them. Shuffling gets you into a state of mindfulness, which takes you away from the everyday junk you experience. If you are in a mode where you are focusing too much on the everyday junk you are facing as you do a tarot reading, it will be inaccurate, and it will feel like you need to do it correctly. 

Therefore, the last thing you want to do is risk pulling the same card repeatedly and not be mindful of doing the reading. Therefore, that is why it is necessary to shuffle the tarot cards before doing the reading. Now that you know why it is required to shuffle your tarot cards before doing the reading, let’s go over the best way to mix them since many tarot readers, aspiring novices and even professionals have questions about that.  (See our beginner’s guide to tarot for more on that).

It is also said that shuffling the cards can help remove old energies that can get in the way of doing a proper reading. However, that is only the case if you are reading for clients or doing multiple readings yourself. 

What Is The Best Way To Shuffle Tarot Cards?

Tarot card readers have been known to use their left hand to shuffle because the left side is associated with intuition. And there is also the belief that tarot readers should use their non-dominant hand, which means a southpaw reader should use their right hand. It also has been said that the tarot reader should shuffle the cards about seven times because that is a spiritual number. However, there is no right or wrong with any of that. 

All that matters is that you will do the reading properly if you shuffle before doing a tarot reading. The gist is that you want to ensure you do what makes you comfortable. So if you mix your cards three times with both hands, for example, then go for it. Or if you want to shuffle your cards ten times, go for it as long as you do it! Now, let’s go over the shuffling you can do, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach!

There are different techniques when it comes to shuffling your tarot cards. Let’s go over these right now:

  • The overhand shuffle – Here is likely the most common way to shuffle tarot cards. As you utilize the overhand shuffle, you put your deck in one hand and then remove some cards into the other until you feel that the cards are mixed well enough to begin doing the reading.
  • Dropping and smooching – Here is a shuffling technique that a lot of tarot readers like to utilize as the way it works, you would drop the cards facedown onto a table or the floor. Then you massage them and circularly smoosh them as you scramble the cards. Finally, a few cards spin away from the other cards in a pile. Those are the cards to pay attention to because those are the ones that convey the messages that you need to know or that your client needs to see if you are reading professionally. 
  • Restacking your cards – You will want to put your tarot deck in front of you, remove a section from it, and place it in another area in the deck, which could be the top, middle, or bottom of the deck. Keep repeating the shifting of the cards’ positions until you feel they are adequately shuffled. If your hands are small and you are shuffling large cards, this is an excellent alternative to the overhand shuffle that would be impossible for you to do. 
  • Fanning your cards – You can put your tarot cards down and create a fan out of them in a curve or a line. Allow your hand to hover over them and then choose the cards that draw you, as this is an excellent shuffling method for those who don’t like to shuffle or struggle with their fine motor skills. In addition, it is a perfect way to mix your cards when you want to focus on one question at a time. 

Now you know the most common techniques to shuffle the cards. Now, the big question you may have is how you can know when to stop shuffling. Let’s go over that now. 

How To Know When To Stop Shuffling The Cards

There is no right or wrong answer as to when to know to stop shuffling your cards. That is because it all depends on when you intuitively feel to stop shuffling and begin drawing your cards. It is all individual. If you are, for example, doing the overhand shuffle and you feel that after you shuffled the cards four times and you sense it is time to start placing the cards down, then that is what you go with because that is what your intuition is telling you to do. 

On Reddit, there is a tarot subreddit and this question was asked, and here are some of the answers Redditors provided:

One user said: “I honestly follow my gut. If it doesn’t feel shuffled enough I keep going. I usually only stop when I don’t second guess my shuffling, and that usually comes with my inner voice saying “Stop.”

Another user said: “i shuffle until i can feel the flow of energy stop. i tell anyone i read for to shuffle as long as they feel they need to. its a crucial part of the ready, in my opinion.

Then another user said: “I look for a gut feeling, but I often stop when I get an irritated “enough already!” head vibe.”

As you can see, it is a personal thing, so you go with your intuition as to when to stop shuffling the cards. And finally, let’s go over how to shuffle without bending the cards.

How To Shuffle Them Without Bending The Cards

Unfortunately, you can’t prevent yourself from bending your cards the more you shuffle them. Wear and tear will cause the cards to weaken and make them susceptible to becoming somewhat bent. However, when you mix your cards, you can minimize the impact gently.

If you’re doing the overhand shuffle, you will want to ensure you don’t do it too hard. And there is no reason to shuffle the cards too hard to the point that you can ruin them. Instead, allow the cards to slide gently as you mix them, and then you will not bend them. 

Besides, you want to gently shuffle your cards not only for the sake of not bending them but to immerse your energy gently into the cards as you mix them. If you do it too hard, the cards can pick up the stress from it and impact the reading. 

Therefore, there is no right or wrong way to shuffle your cards. It’ all about your intention and what shuffling technique works best for you. Even if it means fanning your cards out if you don’t like traditional overhand shuffling. And you want to be gentle as you shuffle, so you don’t bend the cards and that the cards pick up your energy in a gentle way. Happy shuffling.

Here are some tarot resources that can help you:

1. TAROT FOR BEGINNERS: Do you want to learn to read tarot cards in an easy, simple, and fun way? Kathie’s got you covered!, by Kathy Kinsler.

2. The Tarot Companion: A Portable Guide to Reading the Cards for Yourself and Others, by Liz Dean.

3. Reading the Tarot: The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot Cards: The #1 Workbook for Learning How to Read Tarot Cards, Tarot Card Meanings, and Simple Tarot Spreads to Get You Started, audiobook by Shawna Blood and Kris Keppeler. 

4. Tarot for Beginners: A Guide to Psychic Tarot Reading, Real Tarot Card Meanings, and Simple Tarot Spreads, by Lisa Chamberlain. 

5. Truly Easy Tarot: Simple Readings and Practical Teachings, by Mantis.

Shuffling Tarot Cards – FAQs

How should I shuffle my tarot cards?

Many people say you should use your non-dominant hand.
You can also consider different ways of shuffling – overhand, dropping/smooching, restacking and fanning are some popular methods.

When should I stop shuffling my tarot cards?

There isn’t a concrete right or wrong answer to this. Basically – trust your gut as to when you should stop.