3 Easy Beginner Tarot Card Spread Options

If you are just getting started using tarot cards, you might be looking to find an easy to learn beginner tarot card spread to use.

Tarot is a tool for self-discovery, getting answers to questions you have, and gaining a deeper insight into your life. Tarot can also be used to help you understand past or present events, and many use it to gain clarity over potential outcomes of future events or decisions.

In this post, I’ll describe three spreads that are perfect for tarot beginners to use (or those who are more experienced). As with any tool you use or skill you’re developing, practice is what helps you to grow and become more confident.

beginner tarot card spread

1 Card Tarot Card Spread (Best Beginner Tarot Card Spread)

This one-card tarot layout is a great way to get a quick reading and is as simple as it gets. The 1 card tarot card spread works well for those who are new to tarot and need a simple way to begin learning what the cards mean. This straightforward tarot spread is also my most used layout, as I find its simplicity helps me focus on the answer I receive.

How to Use this 1 Card Tarot Layout

Please read through these steps first before starting your reading. Reading them first means you’ll know what to expect when you start and will minimise distractions. You can always refer back to them if needed.

  • Firstly, if you have multiple decks to choose from, select the Tarot deck that catches your attention first.
  • Take a few deep, grounding breaths to begin with.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, you can say a prayer out loud or silently, asking a specific deity, your spirit guides, ancestors, angels, or any other divine being you can think of to be with you at this moment. Ask them to help you understand the guidance they have to share with you through the cards and thank them for doing so.
  • Now, begin thinking of the question you want to ask and shuffle the deck however you see fit until you feel it is time to stop shuffling.
  • Here, you have some options. I like to take the top card after shuffling. Alternatively, you might want to “cut the deck” or split it roughly in half (no need to be precise here) and take the top card that results from the split.
  • Lay down the one card you’ve chosen. This card represents whatever has brought you here today, whatever question or concern brought about this search for answers.
  • Turn over this single card paying close attention to the image you see and the thoughts or feelings that enter your mind as you do so.

That’s it! You’ve performed your reading.

Take some time to think about the card you’ve drawn and what you think it might mean in relation to your question.

Many tarot decks come with a booklet to help you decipher the generally accepted meanings of each card.

You might like to take a journal or notebook and write down your question, the card you pulled, and any thoughts you have. Keeping a journal of your readings can be a great way to dig deeper into your answer and refer back to as needed.

3 Card Tarot Card Spread

The 3 card tarot spread is a great one to use when you are feeling unclear on how to move forward in a situation. You might want to use three cards to provide a more detailed answer to a question you have. It’s also a good choice if you want insight into the past, present or future. Or if you’re needing to choose between two options.

These are just three ways to use a three-card reading. Ultimately, the possibilities are limitless. As you progress with using and understanding the tarot, you’ll discover many different combinations.

Decide on the type of three-card spread you want to use before beginning.

How to Use this 3 Card Tarot Layout

  • To do this spread, choose your tarot card deck and take some breaths to ground yourself.
  • As before, you can say a prayer to ask your guides to assist you in understanding the answer you receive.
  • Shuffle the cards as you think about your question or the situation you wish to gain clarity on and then pull three cards from your shuffled deck.
  • You can keep them face down on the table (or floor) until you’ve drawn all three cards.
  • Once done, take each card and turn it over so to reveal your answer. Then look at all three cards as a whole before reading them individually.

Do you notice any theme or pattern across the three tarot cards?

Card 1:

For a general three-card reading, this first card gives an overall impression of the situation, including feelings and circumstances surrounding the question asked.

For the past, present, and future type reading, this card represents the past.

For the two choices type reading, this card concerns the outcome of choosing choice A.

Card 2:

This second card represents what should be done next, or where you should focus based on what has been learned from looking at Card 1.

It represents the present things or situation at this time, or it describes the outcome of choice B.

Card 3:

The final card in this spread refers to the potential outcome of a situation, the future possibilities, or it provides further guidance on how to choose between your two choices.

beginner tarot card spread

5 Card Tarot Card Spread

The 5 card tarot card spread is an excellent way to get an even deeper understanding of your current situation or query. It’s also great for exploring new ideas you’re considering, especially if you want extra clarification about what will help with your next steps.

Once again, there are many variations you can use for a five-card reading. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll describe one that is perfect for tarot beginners and seasoned users alike.

How to Use this 5 Card Tarot Layout

  • To do this spread, begin as described above. Centre yourself with some deep breaths and invite your spirit guides to be with you.
  •  Again, shuffle the deck in a way that feels intuitive and natural for you.
  • Lay down five cards from your deck in front of yourself. I like to lay the cards out in a circular pattern, working clockwise from the top.

Take note of patterns, themes or recurring images across the five cards as a whole.

Card 1:

The first card in this spread is the card of your question or situation; what you’re most interested in.

Card 2:

The second card is how you are feeling at present. It represents your attitude or emotions about something that has happened or is happening right now.

Card 3:

The third card deals with things that might be holding you back or what you’re unsure of in relation to your question or situation.

Card 4:

The fourth card represents an opportunity for you to improve yourself; your next steps or area of focus to move forward with confidence towards achieving your goal.

Card 5:

The final card in this spread shows what is coming up for you in your future; the outcome of the question or situation you’re asking about.

Over to You!

There you have it! Three easy to learn, beginner tarot card spreads that will undoubtedly help to deepen your intuition and connection with your higher self and the divine.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the tarot layouts described. I’d also love to hear about any variations to the reading types you’ve encountered.

4 thoughts on “3 Easy Beginner Tarot Card Spread Options”

  1. Thanks for sharing this neat resource to help beginners get started with basic tarot spreads. I think there is a lot to be learned even from a single card if the person is ready for the message. It’s also a good way to start training and gradually build up to more complex scenarios that dig deeper into the past, present, and future!

    • Yes, I 100% agree with you about there being so much insight to gain from a single card reading. 

      When I first started using tarot cards and oracle cards, I tried many different spreads but years later, I still come back to just one card more often than not!

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience – much appreciated 🙂

      Love and light,


  2. Hi Victoria
    That was a perfect start for the beginners. Simple yet effective.
    I could sense that one card layout will be most suited for the beginners. As I Understood to process in a very clean way please clarify if it applies on self-exploration too? I Just wanted to check if the reading is true as per my surrounding and experience, so that it will boost my confidence in the future readings.
    I also want to know how to understand and remember the meaning of individual cards because it seems like a heavy job. I will be looking forward for other articles on understanding the Tarot.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    • Hi Gaurav,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for your feedback.

      I’m pleased you like the one card tarot spread. It is an excellent spread for self-exploration questions. 

      As Chaudhary Charan Singh University states, self-exploration “enables us to look at the confusions and contradictions within us and resolve them by becoming aware of our natural acceptance. Once we start observing inside, we can achieve harmony at all levels of our living“.

      Using tarot card readings, you can find answers to many questions to help bridge the gap between “what you are” and “what you want to be”. 

      Questions like “what do I truly want in life?” and “how can I use my talents and strengths for the highest good?” are two examples.

      The one card spread can help you find these answers. And the other spreads can help you dig deeper into the answers you receive.

      I hope this helps,



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