5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Easy Three Card Tarot Spreads

By May 25, 2010Tarot Spreads

Three-card Tarot spreads are great if you need a quick answer to  an uncomplicated question, or are learning to read the Tarot cards and want to practice with a number of fast Tarot spreads and readings. Even for the seasoned Tarot reader, a three-card Tarot reading can help you get back to basics and serve as a reminder that even the most complex situations can have simple answers.

In the following post, I provide you with a number of easy three-card Tarot spreads to get you started. Feel free to mix and match between the suggestions below to create your own three card Tarot spreads. You might even have a few favourites of your own! I’d love to hear more about them, so please leave me a comment.

Understanding a Situation

Past / Present / Future

What will help you / What will hinder you / What is your unrealised potential

The nature of your problem / The cause / The solution

Current situation / Obstacle / Advice

Situation / Action / Outcome

Context of the situation / Where you need to focus / Outcome

What I think about the situation / What I feel / What I do

Where you stand now / What you aspire to / How to get there

What you aspire to / What is standing in your way / How you can overcome this

What you can change / What you can’t change / What you may not be aware of

What worked well / What didn’t work well / Key learnings

Understanding Relationships

You / The other person / The relationship

What you want from the relationship / What they want from the relationship / Where the relationship is heading

What brings you together / What pulls you apart / What needs your attention

Making Choices and Decisions

Strengths / Weaknesses / Advice

Opportunities / Challenges / Outcome

Option 1 / Option 2 / Option 3

Option 1 / Option 2 / What you need to know to make a decision

The solution / An alternative solution / How to choose

Understanding Yourself

Mind / Body / Spirit

Your conscious mind / Your sub-conscious mind / Your super-conscious mind

Material state / Emotional state / Spiritual state

You / Your current path / Your potential

Stop / Start / Continue

What the Universe wants you to be / The personal qualities required / Specific action required

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  • Emma says:

    Oh sorry, i just went back and found my name, my apologies. However, there’s no comments or help in understand what the cards meant by the time i thought my quest and drew out the card…thanks

  • Melanie says:

    I’m soo glad you spoke of not reading your own cards when high emotion or your mind is running wild. Got an exact reading of my thoughts and fears

  • Camille says:

    Hello…can these spreads be used for commercial purposes…giving readings for pay and creating new spreads? I do Angel Card Readings. Thank you 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Hi Brigit,

    Many thanks for this article, it’s very helpful.

    With regards to the three card approach can you advise on how to structure the questions for examples such as ‘Should I do X?’ And ‘Should we do Z’?

    Hope that makes sense!

  • Louise says:

    Oh my apologies I just read your ‘What Not to Ask the Tarot!’ Ok will rethink my questions!

  • Marina Rivera says:

    Thanks for the article, I found it very helpful

  • Louise Havell says:

    Hi Brigit,

    Are you able to advise? I asked the tarot what would be the pros, cons & general outcome of my partner & I buying a new boat (a bigger boat then we currently live on). I received The Devil, Knight of Swords, The Wheel of Fortune & The Hermit.

    Does this sound rather ominous? Your thoughts much appreciated!

    Best wishes,


  • Rita cobb says:

    Need to find out about a job I love but can end up.loosing

  • Paula says:

    Your three-card spreads are excellent!
    Never realised how flexible, yet specific they could be 🙂
    One question though, the spread under the heading ‘Understanding Yourself’, what is your ‘super-conscious ‘mind? i.e. I understand conscious and sub-conscious but not super-conscious mind.
    Thanks you.

    • Brigit says:

      Thank-you! The super conscious mind is that which is connected to the Universe and the ‘one’ energy around us. It’s the place of fullest potential and abundance.

  • Anne says:

    Thanks for the great list!

    I have a question: If the card for weakness / obstacle / hinder / what didn’t work well is a reversed card, how to interpret that?

  • Christina says:

    How do you start spreading the cards? Do u cut in 2parts and pick the second part and lay the 3cards??

    Thank you

  • Aleks says:

    I have read in some of your other articles that performing tarot on the same topic multiple times is not a good idea. What if, for example, I performed the Past / Present / Future spread for my academics, and then performed the What Worked Well / What Didn’t Work Well / Key Learnings spread on the previous school that I attended? Does that still count as the same topic, even though one is very general and the other more specific?

  • Mollie says:

    Do you fan the deck and select 3 cards, or do you deal three cards from the top? Does it matter one way or the other? Thanks!

  • Leo says:

    Hello Brigit

    I hace bookmarked your article. I have been doing a three card Tarot spread every morning to train my intuition, and your list is quite helpful and worthy of reviewing from time to time.

  • Poppy says:

    Hi Brigit,

    Before I searched for your article I was only aware of the first past/present/future way of reading the three card spread and I asked a question if my ex would talk to me again and got death/king of cups/reversed page of cups. I also asked if he we would be back together and got nine of cups/three of wands reversed/the lovers. Both these seemed to be opposite to me.

    Therefore, I was wondering whether the future covered the total future or immediate future so I searched for more info and got your page here. So I guess my question is which future is it? Or can I use another three card spread to interprete after I have chosen cards? Or would I have had to state that as my intention before I dealt the cards? Don’t want to be just finding an answer which fits what I want I want a real reading.

    Any help or anyone’s interpretations would be great. Many thanks X

  • Poppy says:

    Thanks Brigit 🙂 x

  • Rebecca says:

    I just did a three-card spread on myself questioning the relationship I am in. The results were Temperance, three of Cups and the star. Can you please enlighten me on this

  • Ivana says:

    A little help needed. I did a threecard spread for just a daily idea on how my day was going. I drew a King of Pentacles, Queen of Swords, and the Devil. Any idea what this all means been trying to search it up and no luck.

  • Annie says:

    Very helpful readings ideas. Thank You!

  • Audrey says:

    Hi Brigit, team, and fellow tarot readers 🙂
    I’m new to tarot and my last couple of reading I’ve developed a really unhelpful habit. I’m confident about reading the cards and finding the meaning based on both intuition and knowledge of card meanings. About an hour later, I second guess myself and wonder if I read too much into the cards and the simpler, more obvious/superficial answer would have been the better choice. They haven’t been in conflict, but it’s left me unsettled. I’ve shared the update with the person I’ve read for and told them there may be another interpretation. Both people have stuck with the first interpretation as it resonated more with them and seemed less “fortune teller-ish”. Is this just a growing pain, or do I need to work on this before tarot and I lose credibility with people around me? Thanks all.

    • Brigit says:

      Trust yourself!! Second guessing yourself is common – but, also one of the biggest obstacles you will need to overcome. I know its hard to do, but you really need to have faith in your initial thoughts. Roll with it!

  • Dee says:

    Hey there, Brigit!…
    I know Grief and loss is a huge deal, but can you come up with a 3 card spread for Grief and loss?

    • Brigit says:

      What are the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about handling grief and loss? Perhaps … What can I do to remain strong during this time. What can I do to support myself during this time? What do I need to know about this chapter of my life?

  • Dee says:

    Thank you 🙂
    I did come up with something, but not as good as yours .

  • jessica marynell sosa says:

    Hi… How can I get your top ten tarot cards?

  • Wesley says:

    Sorry if this question has already been asked. Concerning 3 card spreads, is “only” the major arcana used?

    Thank you

  • Sarah says:

    Do you select the spread interpretation before drawing the cards or after as help interpreting them?

  • Sarah says:

    Do you pick a spread interpretation before or after drawing cards? Thanks!

  • David says:

    Thank you for your loving,caring,sharing goodness.

  • Cherie says:

    Hi, how do we let the cards know which 3cards spread we are trying to read? Do we “tell” the cards the spread we’re reading? Or isit in the way we phrase our questions? If it’s the questions, can you show me an example? Maybe the strengths/weaknesses/advice spread?

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