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Reader Q&A: Should I Deal the Cards Facing Me or the Client?

By September 2, 2011 May 4th, 2018

blog-20110902-reader-qa-should-i-deal-the-cards-facing-me-or-the-clientToday's Reader Question: Should I Deal the Cards Facing Me or the Client?

Diana asks:

“When you’re sitting at a table reading cards for someone, how do you read them? Do you read them laid out as facing you the reader for that person..because they would be reversed in some cases for the person your reading for?”


As with many things in the Tarot, there is no ‘right’ answer. The best thing to do is to consider the different options, as well as the pros and cons, and go with what feels right to you.

In this case, you can either deal the cards to face you or to face the client. This is particularly important when you are working with reversed Tarot cards because you need to be able to determine which cards are upright and which are reversed. So, make sure you decide which method you are going to use before you lay out the cards.

Dealing the Cards to Face You

If you deal the cards to face you, it makes it easier to read the cards. Often, an image will catch your eye and tell a particular story, which you can then convey to your client. If the card is upright, that image is going to look different and perhaps tell a different story to if it is reversed. So, having the cards facing you help you to see this story in the way it is being portrayed.

I also believe that as the reader, it is important that you are seeing the cards as they are being laid out, rather than your client, since it is you who is interpreting the cards. It is a bit like trying to read a book upside-down to a young child – it can be done, but it makes it more difficult!

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Dealing the Cards to Face Your Client

If you deal the cards to face your client, they can see the images and symbols themselves and may become more engaged in the reading. This strategy can be useful if you want to include your client in interpreting the cards. For example, before you explain what the card means, you may have them look at the imagery and tell you what they notice or feel when they see the card. Often, the card has messages not only for the reader to convey to the client but also for the client to pick up on themselves. Even if the client has no knowledge of the Tarot, getting them to look at and interpret the pictures can be an invaluable way of them accessing their own subconscious messages.

My Personal Practice

As an online Tarot reader, I do not have a client sitting physically in front of me, so I obviously deal the cards to face myself. Given this is the way I am used to reading, I use the same technique for face-to-face readings which I do occasionally. Nonetheless, I am sure I could be convinced to deal towards the client, particularly if that created better dialogue and great connection between me and the client.

What is Your Recommendation?

What advice do you have for Diana? How do you prefer to deal the cards? Facing you or the client? And why?

Leave your comments below…

Got a Tarot Question? Contact me and send in your Tarot questions and I hope to be able to share them with other readers!


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