How To Shuffle Tarot Cards

The most important part of making any form of tarot reading is ensuring the tarot deck is properly shuffled.

Not only is this important to ensure that you are unaware of the cards that are being drawn before they are laid out onto the table, but also provide a moment of reflection and relaxation that allows your intuitive self to take control.

One of the issues with shuffling tarot-style cards is practical. Tarot cards are a full inch longer than poker-standard, which makes them narrower and means that some shuffling techniques need a little adaptation, especially since, unlike poker, the orientation of cards matters a lot if you are reading reversals.

Here are some common methods for shuffling tarot cards.

Pile Shuffle

One of the simplest, best and most ceremonial ways to shuffle cards when you get into a rhythm, pile shuffle is where you take the deck out onto a table, spread them into a big pile, mess that pile around before gathering it back together.

 This is the best way to get consistent reversals as it does not require any conscious effort to do so but does require some space and a little more time than some methods to ensure a perfectly synchronous randomisation of cards.


Cutting is a common part of shuffling and is often used either by itself or as part of other processes. Basically, you cut the deck in half, then those half-decks in half, and keep going until you have a lot of small piles that you randomly stack up together. Then repeat as many times as you like.

You can reverse some of the stacks to ensure that the cards do not always face the same way too.

Riffle Shuffling

Casino-style, also known as riffle shuffling, is controversial in a lot of card communities but especially with tarot standard cards.

What you do is you cut the deck in half, hold them on a surface or securely in your hands and then fan the two decks together.

Whilst the method is very quick, it also inherently bends the cards and damages them, which may be fine for a basic poker deck but some who use tarot cards see it as disrespectful and potentially damaging to beautifully designed and elegant cards.

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