5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Top 10 Tarot Cards for Cheating

By October 10, 2012Top 10 Tarot Cards


Is my partner cheating on me? Can I trust my friend? Is this business deal legit or is something else going on? Am I being taken for a ride? These are all (sadly) very common questions in a Tarot reading.

Whether you’re dealing with an unfaithful partner, a con-man, a backstabbing friend or an untrustworthy family member, it helps to know what Tarot cards to look out for in a reading that may indicate cheating.

And if you want to discover the top 10 Tarot cards for all kinds of Tarot readings (love, finance, success, travel and more), then click here for my free eBook – Top 10 Tarot Cards. Learn the Tarot card meanings and read Tarot with more accuracy and confidence!

So, here are my top 10 Tarot cards for cheating.

Ten of Swords – If you’ve ever been betrayed or stabbed in the back, the Ten of Swords is the card you’ll see in your Tarot reading. You have been unexpectedly brought to your demise by an untrustworthy friend or partner who has hurt you deeply. The pain and the hurt will eventually subside and you will begin a new cycle in life, without this person.


Seven of Swords – If you see the Seven of Swords in a Tarot reading, then you know someone is trying to get away with something that is not ‘above board’. It may be a cheating partner or a dodgy businessperson. Someone is going behind your back and thinking that they have successfully gotten away with it. Thank goodness for your trusty Tarot cards because you can now call them up on it and expose the truth!

Three of Cups reversed – I nearly always see the Three of Cups in the reversed position when there is a third party in a relationship. Often, the client isn’t aware that their partner is cheating, but on further investigation or as time passes, the truth is revealed. This is most definitely an unwelcome third party who is disrupting the harmony of the original partnership.


Magician reversed – This is your typical dodgy used-car salesman! If you see the reversed Magician in a reading, then look out for someone who is taking advantage of you and the situation at hand. They may be pretending to be the ‘expert’ with all of the tools and resources to help you, but in actual fact they are motivated by their own selfish needs.


Moon reversed – The Moon is a card of secrets and undercurrents that have not yet come to the surface. Often the reversal of this card can indicate that these are buried very deeply and there are some significant skeletons in the closet that have not yet been revealed. Don’t take things on face value and act with caution.


Eight of Cups – The man in the Eight of Cups is trying to steal away in the dead of night to avoid any attention. I often see this card as a sign that someone is trying to do a disappearing act, hoping to avoid the consequences or fall-out of their actions.


Devil – A partner may be giving in to temptation with the Devil card and engaging in short-term pleasure and satisfaction. This may be a serial cheater who cannot help themselves with other partners who provide a little more sexual excitement than their original partner.


High Priestess reversed – The reversed High Priestess is often reflective of the mistress herself. She is dark and mysterious and very alluring to the easily tempted male. She may also indicate an untrustworthy friend who is keeping secrets from you.


Judgement reversed – Judgement reversed indicates errors in judgement and not accepting responsibility for one’s actions and decisions. A partner or business person may be trying to avoid ownership of what they have done in the past, leaving you to deal with the consequences of their poor decision-making.


Tower – The Tower is really the fall-out of a situation where there has been cheating. A cheating partner, an untrustworthy friend or a dodgy business person may leave a trail of destruction behind them. You have been betrayed and you can no longer trust those around you. Your beliefs and personal structures have been brought to the ground and you are now focused on rebuilding your life and your trust of other people.


What Tarot cards do you associate with cheating? Leave your comments below.

Top Ten Cards eBook>> CLICK HERE to access ALL of my top 10 Tarot card lists in my free eBook, Top 10 Tarot Cards.

Discover exactly what Tarot cards to look for in your readings when you seek to find fulfilling relationships, life purpose, positive change and more.

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  • Shaheen says:

    This is a wonderful post! What a great topic to address. I know questions about this come up a lot in readings and it’s always something to be aware of. One card that I always look at as a deceptive person is the Knight of Cups. It’s an associate that developed out of a specific deck that I use… but the meaning has stuck with me. The 7 of swords is definitely a clear indicator that something is happening that you aren’t aware of. I have always been a little intrigued by the image of that card as well.

    People tend to get a little uneasy when you see things like this and tell them about it… but I think it’s so important in a reading because the whole point of a session is to consciously manifest what you want… so to know what’s happening behind your back is pivotal!

    Thanks for sharing this info 🙂


    • Brigit says:

      Knight of Cups – interesting! I have always seen him as the knight in shining armour who could do no wrong! But, I totally believe that there are personal assocations that are built with the cards over time, so if you see him as something else, then that is absolutely OK too!

  • trish says:

    3 of sword….3 of wands…..

    • Brigit says:

      Great suggestions! With the 3 of Wands, do you see this as a sign that the person is looking for better prospects elsewhere?

      • Jessica says:

        Definitely the 3 of swords!! That, the moon, and the devil are so plainly cheating. At least that’s my perspective. I like the idea of 3 of wands too. The number 3 is very significant in this. Cool!

  • raquel says:

    I have been waiting for these cards! Thanks so much and so far I love your book.

  • Linda says:

    For me, a confirmation card, that there is stress or doubt in a relationship is the 9 of Swords.

    With that said, I say this kindly and with respect… I’ve been challenged in reading for clients with this issue. As well put, sadly or regretfully, this and similar concerns are in the top 10 for readers. One, is the ethical principle and that is of reading for someone who isn’t present. I’ve found it to be a delicate balance in words and interpretation.

    After much heart searching on this, I’ve developed more of a counseling approach for the client with reading solely what she/he might be experiencing. A thought to stay focused on is that we are counseling/reading for the person sitting in front of us and we are to guide for that person’s best interests. A short way of saying, is if one senses accurately that “someone is cheating or not into the relationship” – perhaps, it is best to say that there is an imbalance in the relationship and find ways for the client (with the entire reading) to build the inner strength or confidence to deal with this situation on their own. This, to me, is a more positive way of handling a delicate situation… and a good experience for both reader and client.

    I sense that to “expose” someone who may or may not have reasons and is not present to a situation such as this is questionable and would depend on skill, experience that the reader has. Then again, is the question of ethics…

    • Brigit says:

      Hi Linda,
      Thank-you so much for sharing your perspective. You have definitely raised a good point about dealing with these situations with care and sensitivity. It is important that we are not over-stepping boundaries and meddling in places where we should not go as Tarot readers. Your suggestion on a counselling approach is very constructive and very helpful.
      Warm regards, Brigit

  • Priscilla says:

    3 of Swords! Always comes up when questions such as this are asked of me. A third person causing a heartbreak. I usually get the Devil, Tower and 7 of Swords too. Thanks for the other cards you’ve listed. I don’t read reversals but the Moon will come up with these other cards for secrets.

    Great post! Thanks again!


  • I agree with you with regards to some of the cards above, but not the Eight of Cups !
    To me it can indicate a person walking away from a situation, when you look at the card the eight cups have been placed with great care.
    But remember the nine and ten of cups are missing, so the person is going away to search for the last too pieces of the jigsaw.
    Also the key to the card is how you interpret the moon, the eight of cups represents the first 10 degrees of Pisces, so to me it represents a New Moon and new beginnings.

  • Leelahel says:

    I view the Six of Swords similarly to the Eight of Cups in this situation.

  • Aasheesh says:

    Educational post in these uncertain times !

  • Mar says:

    3 of swords and The Lovers also
    The Lovers rx, Hierophant rx

  • Mar says:

    Another one is The Empress as an obstacle, ill-dignified, or reversed

  • Tina says:

    I recently did a reading for a female client and she had the tower as pos 1 devil crossing her 9 swords beneath 7 swords and the 6 of swords, I felt really sorry for her did not know what to say… although I didnt feel that her partner was cheating on her with another female, felt more that her partner has/had a gambling addiction and not totally honest with her… what do you think….

    • Brigit says:

      Wow, pretty intense cards!! She’s clearly experiencing a lot of angst and inner turmoil. She may already be aware of significant issues at play and it may be tearing her up inside. Remember that with the Tower, destruction will bring change and transformation. It’s hard now, but it will get better.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’ve recently did a reading on my girlfriend in regards to her husband; The associated cards in this reading for cheaters was: 9 of Swords, Devil, HP, 7ofCups; mentally she was so engrossed with the pain she had felt and was losing a lot of sleep due to her husband sexual addiction. Betrayal in friendship as well. I explain further that her husband has a deceiving heart and has no remorse as to how he is disrupting the marital institution via spiritually, physically and the cost of losing financially; just to gain one moment pleasure. My client is in pursuit of her divorce. I ‘ am glad she is closing that chapter in her life to begin a new one.

    • Brigit says:

      That must have been a really hard reading to do, Elizabeth, especially as she is your friend. It sounds like you were very compassionate. I hope it all works out ok.

  • Carole says:

    I wondered if the World reversed might indicate the end of an era.

  • rebecca watson says:

    i always seem to have the 5 swords pop up in a reading where deception is occurring within a relationship….

    • Brigit says:

      Great suggestion. This card is also often associated with the fall-out of deception or disagreement, reflecting the conflict, tension and defeat that is often felt.

    • scott senate says:

      I think that most of the odd numbered swords in a relationship spread do not bode well – 3, 5, 7, 9 – If even one of these came up in a relationship spread, I’d be wary. If two or more showed up. I’d open an investigation.

  • lisandro says:

    I once inquired, in the past, if my gf was cheating on me while she went to a week vacation and if she did not cheat, why did things point that way and what did she do while away. And on two separate occasions these were the cards I got on the first role with a three card spread:
    7 of cups, followed by the 2 of cups(lovers), followed by th wheel of fortune. The second time the spread was 3 swords (broken heart) followed by 10 of cups followed by the 6 of cups. After studying the tarot I come to the conclusion that she didnt. I know that the lovers card could also mean fun good company as well as a deep love. Knowing she was with family of whom she is very close with, I assumed or my intuition told me, that sge did not cheat rather she was enjoying herself with family and the lover ir two of cups was her cousin she was with. Idk if this is correct but can you share some kight on this. Its been many years and I wondered if I overreacted. This has plagued me bc I never been insecure with a female before or since.

    • Brigit says:

      I would probably agree with you and say it is unlikely she was cheating. She may have fantasised about it with the Seven of Cups and Two of Cups, but I don’t see any indication that she followed through. Hope this helps.

      • lisandro says:

        Thank you Brigit it did help and that does make sense. But now it sounds like she was tempted which indicate why I had the suspicion… I love your site!

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Brigit,
    I was wondering if you have a specific spread that you do when someone wants to know if there partner is cheating, or if you know of one….

    • Brigit says:

      Hmm, it’s a bit dicey because you don’t want to set yourself up with the assumption that your partner is cheating and then do the reading to prove innocence. My recommendation would be to simply do a 3-card reading asking, “What do I need to know about this relationship at this time?” Hopefully you’ll get a pleasant surprise 🙂

  • Simona says:

    It was nice to read your thoughts about that. I would add two more cards which indicate emotional or sexual cheating in a relationship. These are 3 of Swords & 5 of Swords and I would put both of them maybe in the one of the top positions in this chart. Three of Swords is about emotional pain and that’s its basic meaning, but we might look at it as something stabbed in our heart. In addition, this is the card which indicates the strongest pain a person can feel – this pain might not last long, but when looking at the image of this card I feel like I live trough the moment when I see the person I love with somebody else. Maybe even the number of the card indicates love triangle.
    About five of Swords – In most of the cases, it is very selfish card, somebody doesn’t care about other and does what he likes to do without respecting other’s feelings. I read it as the card which indicates hidden dishonor – a person knows something is wrong with their moral issues but doesn’t tell that to others and does nothing to change the situation. 5 of swords beseem 7 swords, but 7 of swords is about the act we finally perform, but we have thought about it in the 5 of swords stage.

  • Sami says:

    For a monthly year reading I got 3 of swords as my October. A man whom I rejected wrote to me that he was getting married. He had been following me (work-stalking) around and people were pushing me towards him (like hey, he’s a great guy, go out with him. One of those people was my female boss who turned out to be a Reversed Queen of cups whom was psychically stealing my energy. I never started anything with him because “something” made me uncomfortable. For a Celtic cross spread someone did for me generally about my life, my guidance card was “High Priestess” card.

    I can’t stress it enough how women should always trust their instincts. The spirits calling my attention to this through the cards were a blessing. So I was able to get away almost completely unscathed.

    I asked about this man’s past intentions towards me. I received : 5 of pentacles, 7 of swords, and 3 of wands.

    For my three month Celtic cross, my reader had the 5 of pentacles, hermit, and ace of wands.
    For me I had originally thought that the 5 of pentacles was in reference to my friends and job. Nope it probably alluded to this too.

    Although what gets me is the order.
    I translated it as, abandoning me once he got what he wanted/stole and then onto looking for better prospects.

    Or in a somewhat slightly more positive note…well sorta.
    That he and his fiancee (whom I had only a hunch that he probably had one…but was never told by ANYONE he had one) are presented in the figures in the RW deck and that he stealing information about me, the swords, leaving her behind for security purposes, waiting to see my reaction, waiting for those ships to come in.

    I think it’s a mixture of both. Because he NEVER got to know me as a person, I became highly idealized in his mind. Or maybe he was just a really bad guy. I still have no idea, but for cheaters I would definitely chose the knight of wands and swords.

    The guy was represented by the Knight of cups or pentacles in readings, so I see the Knight of cups as that guy whom is searching for that ideal, the perfect woman. Not necessarily a cheater per say but that someone whom isn’t satisfied because of those ideals.

    So Knights as someone, not age, whose not mentally as mature as a man should be, mixed in with 7 of S, all of the above mentioned in other posts, 3’s.

  • va says:

    ok so i did a reading for myself the simplest one 3 cards I asked is my husband cheating? present card showed the lovers card…should I worry? does this mean yes he is? then the second time I asked the question you suggested to someone else here, “what do i need to know about this relationship at this time?” I got, Past-The Emperor Present-The Magician Future-Seven Pentacles
    What does it mean?
    Help i’m really bad at interpreting my cards, your help will be greatly appreciated thank you!

  • Sandra says:

    I asked if my husband had an affair with “Jane Doe” and got the fool, the Priestess reversed and the Empress. What does that mean?

    I asked the same question about a yr ago when I was going thru a great deal of emotional turmoil and got the “bad cards” (swords, cups, devil). I’ve calmed down quite a bit since then but not like I once was. Why would I get such different cards this yr in regards to the same question? And which reading would be more accurate?

    • Brigit says:

      I would say those first three cards may indicate another woman who is present. But I think you need to be very careful here and not jump to conclusions without doing your research first. Think of the Tarot as one method of advice and insight. You may want to investigate the situation through a couple of other means to get a clearer picture.

      I would go with your most recent reading.

      • Sandra says:

        What other means would you suggest? And is there any way through tarot to determine whether an afffair (if there was one) was just emotional? Or emotional and physical?

        • Brigit says:

          It depends on your situation. You may want to ask him directly or see if you can find any clues that might confirm or deny your suspicions.

          Cups would indicate emotional, Pentacles or Wands physical. I would be very careful of using the Tarot for this, though, and again recommend using other ways of finding out whether your suspicion is on track or not.

          • Sandra says:

            I did. He lied. It was obvious there was an emotional connection by his reaction at the moment of confrontation and for several months later.. The woman is the one who clued me in then panicked and corned my husband later and told him a lie about me. So he basically “teamed up” with her against me to deflect attention away from what she told me, while denying that they were ever even friends. It has destroyed me, and now I am wondering if it ever became physical. This “connection” began in 1997. Talk about the wife being the last to know.

            Anyway fast forward, he now hates her guts. I don’t know what happened but something did and he told me that if she died tomorrow he wouldn’t go to her funeral, that she was a trouble making liar, that’d she had ruined his life.

            I’m glad he has seen her true colors but I’m still crushed that he betrayed me, that when she “pulled the rug from under me” his first reaction of loyalty was to her.

            Not knowing the full truth, the things that are being kept hidden from me is killing me literally (ie physically) I don’t know if it was sexual or just an inappropriate friendship (what her ex-husband called it) and now my husband has backed himself into a corner by lying at the beginning and is too scared to now tell me, thus admitting that he lied at first.

  • Kristy says:

    My partner has had addiction issues, & his behaviour often makes it very hard for me to honestly judge whether his late nights are due to lapses back into substance abuse or if he is cheating. When I ask the tarot I frequently get cards like the 9 of cups, the devil, the 7 of swords etc (either upright or reversed) that could really be referring to either scenario, & I just get more confused. I read this page & decided to try the 3 card past-present-future reading asking if he is emotionally & sexually faithful to me. I got the star, justice & the 8 of wands reversed. Can you please help me understand this?

  • kitty says:

    Can someone please explain these cards for me because I don’t know to interpret this?

    I asked whether our paths will cross again and if there will be a connection to this man.

    The cards I got was the: 3 of swords, ten of cups and the devil. I’m not sure what the combination of these cards would mean in regards to my question?

    • Melissa says:

      Kitty – I’m not an expert and just learning how to read tarot cards, but I can tell you that the 3 of swords and the devil don’t bode well for this relationship at all. To my novice thinking, if you do connect, it may be happy for a little while (ten of cups in the middle), but the relationship will be troublesome down the road. Think long and hard before you pursue this!

  • cayce says:

    this is nice 🙂

    several years back, when i asked the tarot card about my then bf, i often get the high priestess. at that time, i have always been dreaming about water: openwater, lake, sea, seashore, river. i am either swimming or just staring at its peacefulness. when i am awake, for some reason, i did not like him attending such “business meetings” or “out of town trips”. whenever i talked to him about them, i feel so irritated for no reason at all. i didn’t want him to go to any of them unless i am with him. but yeah, he won, he went to those engagements while i am at home irate for no reason at all.

    then a common friend called me. he said that he was at the same venue where my bf is at right now. she said that he was with another woman and her pictures can tell that they’re not just friends. she sent them all to me. since then, the water dreams stopped but still i got the high priestess.

    since then, whenever i get the high priestess coupled with water dreams, they automatically counsel me that i should listen to my intuition no matter how irrational they may seem. women are gifted by it and often-times they are dismissed as most of the time, you conclude about such-and-such phenomena without valid logic. my bf back then seems goody two shoes that i thought that cheating wouldn’t cross his mind. however, my intuition knows better than my mind.

  • Lacey says:

    I got a one card reading n I got three of question was is my fiance cheating.the person that did the one card trading did no he isn’t cheating he is hurt.we recently had argument n I said things I shouldn’t this card about cheating or other things ass well

  • naomi says:

    I received the reversed knight of wands and reversed 6 of cups with the empress and 7 of swords and page of cups with 7 of cups is that depicts cheating?

    • QueenPen says:

      unfortunately, yes. Has a childhood friend been hanging around, lately? The person he tells you is “just a friend” is more than just a friend. He is reminiscing, remembering the “good ole times” with someone.

  • justagirl says:

    I asked whats going on in my ex’s life, he has a drinking problem and i care about him but he also has a history of cheating. He is currently in a relationship so i wasn’t sure if the spread was representing him being unfaithful or his drinking. I’m leaning more towards cheating.

    I pulled 3 cards no positions just asked how his life was going.

    9 of swords
    3 of cups rx
    high priestess rx

    • QueenPen says:

      Be happy you got away from this guy; however, in your case, the cards are asking you to mind your own business. It’s none of your business if he is cheating or drinking. So, your reading is “Stop worrying and being meddlesome in your ex bf life issues.” I’m sorry. I don’t mean to come across mean, b/c I ask those kinds of questions all the time. I also get the same answer I just told you. Lol. That’s how I know too well!

  • Nicole says:

    I did a truth spread and asked what do I need to know about someones feelings, the cards I received where the eight of cups, the nine of swords and the nine of cups. My interpretation is moving on, grieving, and wishes granted? Anyone else have an insight?

  • erika says:

    I caught my live in boyfriend on the computer chatting with someone flirting like. I didn’t say anything however my gut felt heavy. I just pulled his cards in present as 7 of wands,7 of swords, 3 of swords next to 8 of cups. Aaahhhhhggg

  • hailey says:

    I got the Empress, the Devil, and the Tower for a querent. According to this article the last two clearly indicates cheating. Then there’s the Empress, which by the book would mean something good but then I intuit that the husband’s has been seeing someone and would possibly get her pregnant. I am not sure how to deliver the message without hurting my querent. How do you “package” such a reading without going through hard conversations?

    • Brigit says:

      I would suggest talking about the energy of each card. What does the Empress, Devil and Tower represent at a more general level? Then, talk about how that may be translating itself in your client’s life. The thing is, you don’t know for sure how the energy is manifesting itself – it could manifest in many different ways. But you do know the energy itself, so focus on that aspect. Hope that helps!

  • leda says:

    Hello what about king of cups, is he taken, cheater or single? Also smth, i pulled 5 of wands reversed as if i would get in a love with someone…how could i take it like i have to wait for him,pass obstacles or a staight NO? THNX you are great :*

    • Brigit says:

      The King of Cups is typically a positive card, but it depends what other cards surround it. The reversed 5 of Wands might show internal conflict about whether this person is really the right person for you – there may be parts of yourself that say no.

  • Angie says:

    The lovers with the moon card indicates a secret affair.

  • Diane says:

    I have something to add that is deck specific. I’ve found it interesting in working with the Victorian Fairy Tarot deck that the Two Worlds card, which is supposed to be the World card, comes up a lot in readings where it turns out that the other person was cheating, especially if accompanied by the Three, Five or Seven of Winter (Swords). When the Eight of Summer (Cups) is also in the reading, then the relationship has ended or will end, depending upon its position.

  • Kat says:

    The Knight of Cups (reversed) is an additional one I find in readings. I never thought of three of cups like that, but I will now! Three of Swords is an obvious one for me. Thank you for such an insightful post.

  • Lynn says:

    I see the King of Swords as a ConMan and/or sociopath. Of course, this is just one nuance of meaning of the King of Swords, but many times I do see him as a cheater or someone who does you wrong. I do believe there is a tarot card for every type of personality in this world.

  • sean says:

    What about the 3 of pentacles?

    • Brigit says:

      Interesting. Since the three people seem to be working well together, it might actually be a polyamorous relationship?

    • Maurice says:

      @Sean I’m a professional tarot reader and I wanted to rush in here and scream “3 OF PENTACLES”

      Every reader is different. But WHENEVER that card shows up in a reading (3 of pentacles), 9 times out of 10 someone is cheating. It has never failed in my readings. Also, when I see that in conjunction with 7 of Swords in a spread then it’s without a doubt a 10 out of 10.

      But that’s only been my personal experience.

      I also agree with the poster who said Knight of Cups can be a bit deceiving. That shiny armor can get really make you blind to “evidence” that’s sitting right in front of your face 😉

  • Margarita says:

    I didn’t read all the comments but I didn’t see the Justice reversed. It is simple that injustice has happened to you or from you. Three of cups reversed describes the third party in the relationship

  • Emma says:

    This post makes me ashamed to call myself a tarot reader. I would never want anyone to associate the way I read with something like this. WOW. This is one of the most unethical tarot posts I’ve ever seen! The tarot CANNOT tell you if you’re partner is cheating and any reader that says so is a con-artist! WOW. Just wow.

    • Lidija says:

      We respect your opinion. Thank you for sharing.
      I think this is a great article and very helpful. Especailly if we remember to ask the right question (Not : Is he cheating, but rather What do I need to know about…)
      Thank you all the fellow readers and Bridgit. Love to you all.

  • Lindsey says:

    Can somebody give me a little insight to a reading I did for myself? I used a 3 card spread and the first card held the question “How do I see my partner?” the second card held the question “How does my partner see me?” and the third was “Where will the relationship end up?” I got The Tower, 2 of Cups and the 8 of Cups.

  • Aditi says:

    Do any of thesr cards also relate to stealing of objects like gold bangles? I asked the cards a similar question and the 10 of swords and 3 of wands reveresed appeared along with various othwr cards.

  • In all my readings, the 7 of swords is a guaranteed cheater. It’s been confirmed to me by my querents over and over again. If you see this card in a reading about fidelity of your partner. Watch out! He is most likely cheating on you.

  • Anna says:

    I see the eight of swords as possibly being blindfolded to someone cheating on you. The two of pents could be someone who is juggling two people. Great post, thank you.

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