How to Flip Tarot Cards: Step-By-Step Guide

How to Flip Tarot Cards

How to Flip Tarot Cards

If you have recently found an interest in reading Tarot cards either for yourself or others, you have probably stumbled upon this page looking for some helpful advice on how to properly do it and how to flip the cards.

To flip your Tarot cards, you will first need to make two decisions—whether you are using reversals or not and which way the cards will face. If you use reversals, then how you flip the cards matters, and it is important you always flip them horizontally, following the necessary steps.

If you decide to use reversals in your deck, then it will make quite the difference in your reading if you do not flip your Tarot cards properly. To find out how to flip your Tarot cards, read this step-by-step guide below to learn exactly how.

Decide If You Are Using Reversals

If you are wondering how you should flip your Tarot cards, then it is most likely because you already decided that you will be using reversals. If you have not yet, here’s some more information regarding what a reversed card is and if you should use them or not.

What Is a Reversed Tarot Card?

A reversed Tarot card is when you flip the card and realize that it is upside down, meaning it is reversed versus upright. For the many Tarot readers who choose to incorporate reversed Tarot cards as part of their reading will have a more overall in-depth reading.

When a card is reversed, it simply means that the meaning of the Tarot card is the opposite.

For example, an upright Queen of Wands can be representative of a confident and social person, but while in reverse, this energy may be in an amount that is too much and over-confident or too small and represents being very shy. As you can see, the card in reverse gives a much different perspective than the upright card.

Flipping Tarot Cards the Right Way

Why Should I Choose to Read Reversed Cards?

Reversed Tarot cards add an entirely new layer to your readings, making them both more detailed and helpful when it comes to decoding the message or delivering an answer to a specific question.

A reversed Tarot card can represent blockages, issues in your life, or potential imbalances that could be holding you back in life. Reversed Tarot cards could also represent “No” where an upright card represents a “Yes” if you choose to ask a yes or no question.

While you have no obligation to read Tarot cards in reverse when they appear, you can see how it can bring more insight to a reading. However, it will take a little more time to master the meanings for reversed cards in addition to upright cards.

Remember, no matter what you choose, it does not matter, but if you do choose to read them in reverse, keep reading the next steps, so you know how to properly flip your Tarot cards.

Why Should I Not Read Reversed Cards?

If you are new to Tarot, it may be best to stick to upright cards for now, and as you get a better start to incorporate the reversed cards. Since there are 78 cards in a deck, this means 78 more meanings, and for someone just beginning, this can be overwhelming.

Once you begin to master it, however, feel free to utilize the reversed cards as well. If you are hesitant to use reversals because you think it will result in a negative outcome, you should reconsider as it can actually give you the opportunity to learn some things you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Decide Who the Cards Will Face

While there is no right answer to this, it is best to decide this before you begin as the reversals will be opposite depending on what you choose.

If you are reading yourself, it obviously makes sense that the cards should be facing you, so anything upright is upright and vice versa.

If you are reading a client in person, you can have the cards face them if you are comfortable with that, but you do not have to. In this case, anything upright to you is a reversed card, and anything reversed to you is an upright card.

Shuffle Your Cards First

Before you begin the Tarot reading, you are probably already aware that you need to give your Tarot deck a good shuffle before you begin. You should take this time to think or speak out loud the question you want the Tarot cards to answer.

If a card or two flies or falls out, this may mean that you should read this card. To properly pick this up, pick it up as it is facing you or the person you are being read (depending on what you chose), and proceed to flip the fallen card or two horizontally using the same steps that will be mentioned below.

Pick Up and Place Cards Horizontally

Whether you are placing the cards to face yourself or your client, you will always flip the cards from the deck horizontally, so either from left to right or right to left.

This is very different from flipping the card vertically or from top to bottom, as when you do this, you will actually be messing up the natural orientation of the card.

For example, if a card was meant to be upright, and you flip it from top to bottom (vertically), it will actually appear reversed.

Since you do not want every card to appear opposite to what it is meant to be, you should always flip them horizontally, so you are not to disturb the proper orientation of the card.

If you’re having a hard time picturing this, you can watch this video below to see it happening in action:

Place Cards Down From Left to Right

After you have flipped your first card, you will either do the reading as you go or choose to flip all the cards first. If you do this, always lay the cards out in a spread from left to right if you are doing the Tarot reading for yourself.

However, if you are doing the Tarot reading for someone else, and want the cards facing them, place them from right to left, so they appear from left to right in their point of view.

Remember: There Really Is No Right Way

When it comes to Tarot, there is no right or wrong. You can do it whatever way feels best, placing the cards as you please.

However, if you are flipping your cards vertically (bottom to top or top to bottom), then you are changing the natural positioning of the card, and this may be throwing off your readings.

Nonetheless, where you choose to put the cards or whether you choose to use reversals at all is completely up to you and how you like to do your readings.

If you are reading Tarot, and love the deep and empowering messages that come through from reading Tarot cards in reverse, then you need to make sure you are flipping the cards properly to get an accurate reading.

Final Thoughts

To recap, you always want to start by deciding how you will read the cards, either facing you or facing the client. Then after shuffling the deck, pick up and place the cards down horizontally one at a time, from left to right, and then you can have fun and begin your reading.