How Many Tarot Cards To Pull?

How many tarot cards you should pull is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to tarot card reading.

After all, the number of tarot cards pulled can be the difference between finding meaning and feeling confused.

But the real answer is that there is no set rule for how many tarot cards you should pull.

How Many Tarot Cards To Pull?

Cartomancy is a practice grounded in divination, so the number of cards pulled, along with how the tarot cards are shuffled and read, is led by intuition and feeling.

For this reason, any number of tarot cards can be pulled depending on the desire of the person pulling the cards or the person receiving the tarot card reading.

Still, there are reasons you might pull one tarot card only, or even all 78 cards. We go into more detail on this below so make sure to keep reading.

The Most Popular Tarot Card Numbers To Pull

Tarot card readings can be given with any number of cards. But it’s worth remembering that the more cards you pull, the more muddled the reading can become.

So, in most cases, and especially for beginner tarot card readers, the fewer the tarot cards pulled, the easier and more accurate the reading will be.

The most popular number of cards to pull for a tarot reading are one card, three cards, five cards, and ten cards.

Pulling one card or three cards is a good number for asking questions.

Pulling five cards can provide more context to questions or topics of focus. And pulling ten cards (also known as the Celtic Cross) is widely used for giving in-depth life readings.

But despite that, there is still no hard rule for how many tarot cards you can pull.

The Number Of Tarot Cards You Should Pull

As touched upon, the number of tarot cards you pull should be led by your intuition and feeling – meaning there is no limit to how many cards you can pull.

The person you are giving a reading to might request another card, but it’s up to you, as the reader, to use your intuition to decide whether or not another card will be useful or beneficial to the reading.

There are different factors to consider too, including the question or area of interest, the mood and energy (with regard to yourself, the person you’re reading for, the room, and the cards themselves), and your confidence with, and knowledge of, the cards.

Another factor can even be the numbers themselves, as you, or the person you’re reading for, might feel a connection to a certain number.

So, all in all, there is no rule for how many cards you can pull, as it should be guided by your intuition in the moment and knowledge of the cards. 

Beginner tarot card readers, however, can be inclined to pull fewer cards to begin with as a means of learning the cards and making sense of their meanings, mentally and vocally.

How To Shuffle Tarot Cards

Similar to the discussion of how many tarot cards to pull is how tarot cards should be shuffled. 

But once again, there is no set rule for shuffling tarot cards, as it’s often based on the intuition and personal preferences of the tarot card reader.

How Many Tarot Cards To Pull? (1)

You might prefer to shuffle your tarot cards like a regular deck of cards (using any common shuffling method) or using your own unconventional method of shuffling.

How you shuffle your tarot cards doesn’t even have to be the same way every time.

And much like pulling tarot cards, you can shuffle your tarot cards based on the mood or energy you are feeling, the kind of reading you are giving, or even based on the tarot card deck you felt compelled to use.

If you feel, or are feeling, a connection to a specific number, for example, this can provide a number for how many times you choose to shuffle your tarot cards.

How To Read Tarot Cards

Once you have shuffled, spread, and pulled the desired number of tarot cards, reading into their meaning is half knowledge, half intuition.

Each tarot card has imagery, symbolism, and a story attached to it, so building your knowledge of the cards is important for getting accurate readings

At the same time, your intuition is important, as it will guide you to find meaning from the cards you have pulled in relation to the question, subject, or emotion at hand.

So before shuffling and pulling your cards, what’s also worth considering is your emotional state and mental state, the mood of the room, and the energy of your tarot card deck(s).

You may choose to meditate on the question, subject, or emotion beforehand, or even light a candle to invoke spiritual guidance.

What The Major Arcana And Minor Arcana Tarot Cards Mean

If you are new to tarot card reading, it’s worth understanding what the different tarot cards mean.

There are 78 tarot cards in total, which are separated into two groups: the Major Arcana tarot cards and Minor Arcana tarot cards.

The 22 Major Arcana (Greater Secrets) tarot cards represent forces of life while the 56 Minor Arcana (Lesser Secrets) tarot cards signify emotions and day-to-day events (if you want to learn how to make Tarot cards, read here). 

So while pulling a Major Arcana card may highlight a new beginning, for example, pulling a Minor Arcana card will serve to provide meaning and context to the Major Arcana card, such as personal struggles with decision-making.

Just remember that pulling more tarot cards can provide greater meaning, but also make the reading muddled and less specific.


To conclude, there is no set rule for how many tarot cards you should pull when performing a tarot card reading. It’s possible to pull one card, or even all 78 tarot cards!

The number of cards you pull can be based on a number of factors: your intuition, mood, current energy, the question, or the subject of the reading itself, as well as your general knowledge of reading tarot cards (if you’re curious about the BEST tarot card, read here).

Andrea Daehma
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