3 Card Tarot Spreads – Simple Beginner Spreads For Profound, Insightful Readings

Great for beginners and experienced readers, 3 card tarot spreads can provide profound insight and meaningful depth to your tarot readings.

Whether you’re looking to expand your tarot practice or want to delve deeper into your own self-awareness and life meaning, a three-card spread is a great place to start.

Embrace the power of self-discovery with these easy three-card tarot spreads!

Why I love 3 card spreads

  • Simplicity – Easy to learn and great for beginners in tarot.
  • Quick – Perfect for short readings when you only have a little time.
  • Depth – They provide more insight and nuance than a simple, one-card reading.
  • Versatile – Various spreads allow you to explore different themes (love, career, future, etc.)

What exactly is a 3 card tarot spread?

A 3-card spread involves applying the meaning of each card to the spread theme. A basic example is the past-present-future spread. You pull three tarot cards and read them from left to right.

  • Card #1 – This card represents your past
  • Card #2 – This card represents your present
  • Card #3 – This card represents your future

What is the best layout for a 3 card spread?

Many three-card spreads are linear, meaning the cards are drawn and laid in a line. An example is the past-present-future spread noted above. These spreads are read left to right.

However, I like to utilize the layout of the cards to help guide the reading. It’s easier to frame the spread with the overall “theme” when the cards are arranged visually in a way that helps you interpret the meanings.

An example is a “foundation spread”. The cards are physically arranged like a pyramid, with two on the bottom and one on the top. This spread shows how the layout of the cards in the reading help to visually support and add meaning to the reading.

A spread example for this layout is a “choice” spread.

  • Card #1 (bottom left) – This card represents option #1
  • Card #2 (bottom right) – This card represents option #2
  • Card #3 (top) – This card represents the answer or how to choose

See how the layout helps adds an easy layer of visual understanding to the tarot reading?

30 easy beginner three-card tarot spreads

Here are 30 of my favorite 3-card spreads for beginners. These spreads offer an excellent starting point to unlock new insights and perspectives.

Choose one that resonates with you, and trust your intuition as you journey through each card’s interpretations.

General linear spreads

Because of the linear nature of these spreads, they are great for anything that follows a pattern or path. They also work well for readings around your current state and future outcomes.

  • Past, Present, Future
  • Dreams, Fears, Reality
  • Obstacle, Advice Outcome
  • You, Relationship, Partner
  • Stop, Start, Continue

Foundation Spreads

As mentioned above, foundation spreads are great for adding some visual understanding and clarity to a reading. These spreads are good to use when you are deciding between two options or have some kind of conflict and are seeking resolution.

  • Option 1, Option 2, Answer
  • My fear, My strength, Opportunity
  • Desire, Conflict, Resolution
  • Want, Need Action
  • Situation, Obstacle, Advice

Hierarchy Spreads

Another visual type of spread is the hierarchy spread, which is great to determine your role within some sort of structure or ranking. For instance, in the work setting, this could be how you get along or fit with your co-workers and boss.

  • You, Co-Workers, Boss
  • You, Friends, Family
  • You, Path, Potential
  • Me, My Partner, My child
  • Thought, Feeling, Action

Balance Spreads

This visual spread represents the three cards equally, where all the cards have a connection and place in the circle. No one card has a more profound meaning, as all cards are equally important to the overall reading.

  • Accept, Let go, Embrace
  • Mind, Body, Spirit
  • Do more, Do less, Let go
  • Good, Evil, Reality
  • Mother, Father, Child

Connection Spreads

Arranged like a diagonal visually, connection spreads are best when framed around some kind of connection (mother, child, father).

The middle card is the connection point between the two outer cards. You might be looking for the connection between things or trying to understand how the connections interact with one another.

  • Dream, Fear, Reality
  • Friends, You, Family
  • Goal, First step, Outcome
  • Change, Action, Result
  • Love, Need, Feeling

Crossed Spreads

Crossed tarot spreads are a visual representation of friction or complications in life. In this case, the card that is crossing over the top represents whatever obstacle that is standing in your way or causing the conflict.

The third card is visually separate from the other two cards. This represents a distance from the problem; therefore, this card can offer advice for the solution to the conflict.

  • Present, Challenge, Future
  • Accept, Remove, Result
  • Your love, Your limits, Advice
  • Job, Challenge, Fix
  • Situation, Obstacle, Solution
Overhead image of tarot cards and hands on a wood table with candles and objects around

5 Best Tarot Card Decks For Beginners (Sneaky Easy to Learn!)

Angel Number 626 and its meaning

626 Angel Number and its Meaning