Is a Free Tarot Card Reading Accurate?

Many people question free online tarot readings, especially free ones. And with good reason! People (including myself) have gone through the mental gymnastics of trying to sense if there is any truth to what a computer can generate for us in a free tarot reading.

Companies are realizing there is a fast-growing demand for online tarot card readings and that poses an opportunity for them to cut corners. Personally, I feel this takes advantage of vulnerable people and waters down the potency and reputation of the incredible tool that tarot is for intuition. As always, we won’t sugar coat this because we want you to be able to navigate the spiritual world. Hopefully the information in this article will help you find your guidance through people that have true integrity.

Free Tarot Readings Are Everywhere Online, But How Accurate Are They?

When you find a free online tarot reading website, you don’t know who is behind it. You don’t know if they truly want to help you or if they are more interested in taking your money after the freebie. There are a few different types of free tarot readings and some are more helpful than others.

Most free tarot readings are done by a computer, meaning there is no human being on the other side of the screen interpreting the cards for you. Although a human created the card interpretations originally, an experienced, human tarot reader is necessary to help tie the interpretations into your life using their intuition. Intuition is simply not something you can program into a computer. However, you can use your own intuition to tie it into your life. It just may not be as in depth because when a person shuffles there are even more moments where intuition can help them such as when shuffling and choosing which spread to use.

Essentially, the intuitive process – which is the whole point of tarot reading – is bypassed, so the person getting the free tarot reading is getting only a small tidbit of vague information that may or may not relate to their question. This also means that it is up to them to use their own intuition to interpret the reading, and that may not be a skill they have (especially true for beginners). This poses the risk that people are taking the advice of a computer, which is obviously not a good idea.

First, Let’s Understand How Tarot Card Reading Works

Let’s back up for a minute and look at how a tarot card reading works so we can understand why a human is such a crucial part of the process.

Tarot cards are meant to represent major and minor life events, as well as our most basic human emotions, goals, and learning lessons. Using archetypes, symbols, and colours, the cards are able to allow a person to access their own intuition, which speaks in the Universal language of emotion and energy instead of logic and reason.

A trained tarot card reader will use their intuition and the feelings they pick up from their client to give the most helpful interpretation of the cards for that unique individual. Without the person, the cards are not going to reveal as much specificity. If you or someone else were to simply reads the meanings of the cards without tying it into your own life, chances are it will feel somewhat vague. This is why it’s important for you to pay attention to what thoughts and feelings come to you when you get an online tarot reading. Keep your intention focused on obtaining the truth from your higher consciousness and the cards will begin to help you expand.

Of course, an in-person reading which may allow you to shuffle the cards and even choose the cards allows you to use your intuition in more steps in the process which can heighten the layers of truth that come to you as if you have a homing beacon on a target. As long as you get some guidance from your intuition in a free online tarot reading, it’s more than what most people are getting. Everyone has intuition and it gets stronger the more you use it.

There Are 3 Parts: Card Shuffling, Card Selection, and Interpretation

In your quest to determine if a free computer generated tarot reading is accurate, it’s important to understand the human elements of a tarot reading, which are undeniably what make it possible for spirit to be contacted and for the magic of the cards to come alive.

1. Card Shuffling

If a computer is shuffling the cards, there is no way to pick up on your emotions. As a tarot reader and someone who has used tarot cards for myself, I know that I stop shuffling when it feels like I should. Some tarot readers also have the person they’re reading for tell them when they feel it’s time to stop shuffling in order to let both people’s energies blend. There is a trust being developed here through intention setting and the understanding that spirit is working with us and guiding us.

The ritual of shuffling is replicated in certain computer programs, which is something that may help you sense your intuition because you want to feel when it is the right time to stop. However, people access their intuition through ritual repetition in many forms, such as in reading coffee beans, meditative drawing, and even scattering leaves. What’s most important in accessing your intuition is knowing that it’s there, having the intention to access it, and having a ritual you use to exercise it.

2. Card Selection

In any tarot card reading, the reader will determine which spread of cards is appropriate for the question being asked. There are many different spreads that can be chosen and this is a big reason why having a real tarot reader do the reading makes it much more accurate on an energetic level. When doing your own spreads, you get to choose what spread feels like the right one. While some computer programs do allow people to choose a certain type of spread, they may not know which spread is most effective to resolve the issue they are seeking insight into.

3. Interpretation of the Tarot Cards

There is a huge difference between someone who is grieving and someone who is feeling overall content with their lives. That means that the vast amount of information one card can produce would be interpreted differently for each person based on the energy they are experiencing on that day. That energy, along with the person’s unique personality and natal chart, would greatly change the way a reader would understand and interpret things so that they are speaking in a way that person will receive best. A computer misses all of these subtle nuances and you could be left feeling more confused that helped.

What Are The Differences Between Paid & Free Tarot Card Readings?

Some online websites offer free tarot card readings that are computer generated. You can also find apps that allow you to use a tarot deck electronically. You’ve probably encountered websites that offer paid tarot card readings too.

When I was just learning about intuition and asking for guidance, I was gullible. I paid for computer generated readings and projected my own interpretation that I wanted onto them. I didn’t feel they were all that helpful because I didn’t yet know how to distinguish between what my ego wanted to hear and what my inner guidance was saying.

Sometimes paid tarot card readings are done by a human which allows the reader, if they are good, to pick up on your energy using electronic means. But remember, just because you’re paying for it and a human is shuffling the cards, doesn’t mean your reader is qualified or good at what they do. Make sure you do your research before you start entering your credit card information anywhere. You’d be smart to find someone through referral if you’re going to use an online tarot service. Do some digging online first before you go accepting advice from just anyone. The truth is, you know very little about a person through the internet, so be careful.

Free Tarot Card Readings Are Done by a Computer

While there are many gifted, trained and loving tarot readers, we can’t always afford to pay for a reading. Also, why solely rely on another person when you can start to develop your own intuition?

There Are 2 Types of Computer Generated Card Readings:

If you feel like you have pretty strong intuition, you may be able to get a quick and somewhat helpful reading from a semi-automated computer generated card reading. It wouldn’t be in-depth, but it might clue you into enough of your own intuition to gain some clarity. Let’s look at the 2 different types of computer-generated card readings.

Fully Automated

The fully automated reading will shuffle, select, and interpret the cards for you. These are software programs that can only tell you the basic meanings of the cards at face value. These readings can be used as learning resources to get to know the meanings of the cards, but are good for very little else. Computer programs cannot interpret your personal emotions or know which of the card’s meanings applies to your specific situation because they do not have the ability to pick up on your energy.


If you’re able to decide which spread to use on your own, such as a yes-no spread or a Celtic cross spread, this would be considered a semi-automated reading. While it still may not give the same elaborate details as getting a reading from a person, there are more of the traditional ritualistic elements that clue you into that intuitive space, such as shuffling and sometimes choosing cards.

Try not to focus too much on the minute details of card choosing and shuffling and instead focus on opening yourself up to your impulses and truths that arise when you focus on a question and look at a card. I often find my own interpretations of the cards based on a client’s energy. Even when I use cards for myself, I use them to draw my own conclusions, springboarding off of what I know about the card and what feels true in my heart. This is about energy, emotions, and vision, not black and white facts.

Paid Tarot Card Readings Are Done By a Real Person

Most paid tarot card readings are done by a person, but you always want to make sure you can ask them questions and that you can look at their experience and ratings. Just because they are a paid tarot card reader doesn’t mean they give good advice. Sometimes a person will give you a reading and then bug you for a days or weeks after, asking for more money because they have more insights to give you. Do not fall for this type of trickery.

A real, caring tarot reader will not try to get you to spend money by motivating you with fear. They will do their best to pick up on your energy and empower you to make the best possible decisions for yourself.

Computers Can’t Do the Most Important Part: Interpret the Cards

We’ve established that a computer is not able to truly interpret the cards for you. Thus, if you’re going to use an online deck, you’ll want to be able to read the meanings of the cards and draw your own conclusions. Never make a decision that is life-changing based on a yes-no reading when you’re not able to use your intuition.

Reading Tarot Cards Involves Energy, Something a Computer Can’t Feel

There can be value in choosing your own cards as long as it’s making use of a good software and you feel you trust the developers. There are definitely websites and apps that have put a lot of authentic time and energy into creating electronic tarot decks that you can always have with you so you can learn the cards and pull a spread to tap into your intuition whenever you need to.

You’ll Need to Learn How to Interpret the Cards

The more time you spend you spend reading tarot spreads, memorizing the meanings of the cards, getting familiar with the major and minor arcana and the numbers and symbols, the easier it will be for you to glean the most accurate information from the tarot. Practice for at least a month and you’ll hear the cards start to speak to you.

3 Reasons Free Tarot Readings May Be Flawed:

If you’re not interpreting the cards for yourself, understand that a computer will not be able to feel or understand what is best for you. The computer doesn’t know you and can’t pick up on your energy. It also doesn’t have any way to tell the difference between you and another person who have completely different situations, life histories, and talents.

1. No Chance of Fate Involved, There’s a Standard Number Generator

We want to believe that we can put our fate into the hands of someone else, or even a software program created by someone else, but ultimately the most empowered way to live is to develop our own connection with our intuition through the tarot. Unlike using a deck, the software that gives you a reading will not have anything to do with your life beyond mere generalities or coincidental luck.

2. Lazy Designers Leading to a Small Number of Results

You can pick up on the energy of the people running a website or company. Look closely, and you’ll be able to discern whether their intentions are to take advantage of people and get as much money as possible, or if they genuinely want to learn and empower people with tools that will change their life. Check out reviews and testimonials that show if a website or reader has pure intentions or if they’re just trying to make a quick buck.

3. They Can Contain Forced Outcomes

Sometimes people who really want a specific outcome or answer force the answer they want into what they read. An automated reading comes with the risk of a reading so vague that people can become a bit delusional and think they are getting the reading they want. Free, automated tarot readings can also lead people down the wrong train of thought because it’s not based in real, human intuition.

Free Tarot Card Readings are Great If You’re Learning or Want a Simple Reading

Basically, using an automated or semi-automated system can be helpful to learn the meanings of the cards and to exercise using your intuition. I’ve used them for simple readings and you can get incredible results when you really use your intuition and pick a software that is made and designed to allow you to use your 6th sense.

How to Find an Accurate Free Tarot Reading

The best way to find an accurate free tarot reading is to make sure you can choose the cards, check in with your gut to see if you feel you trust the website, and then see if it resonates once you choose the cards.

If the reading offers in-depth interpretations that are loving and help you feel inspired, you can trust that it’s designed in alignment with your highest good in mind. If you feel uneasy about the service, it’s probably for a reason.

It can be very empowering to learn to give yourself readings by using free tarot card readings as a stepping stone. I grew to love tarot online before holding a deck of tarot cards in my hand, and I know you can too. I never thought I would be giving professional tarot card readings professionally when I first began to explore free online tarot readings.

Extra Tip: Have a Real Tarot Reader Interpret The Spread

Finally, if you’re having trouble interpreting the cards for yourself, let a trusted card reader help you. We want to make things easy for you and it’s important to realize you don’t have to do it all on your own. Let the experts help you as you develop, but do not lean on them without knowing you too can find just as strong an intuition with time, practice, and study. We have many articles to help you learn tarot because we want you to be able to do it for yourself and feel confident in helping others.

It’s great to have instant access to the incredibly gifted people all around the world, so always trust your own intuition about a person’s intentions before spending your money on a tarot reading.

If you feel called to learn the tarot and offer readings to others one day, you can start by using your spare time waiting in lines, taking public transit, or relaxing at home to use the tarot for your own life. The more you use it, the easier and clearer it becomes. The online resources just make it that much easier for you to keep learning no matter where you are.

Get Your Free Tarot Card Reading Now!

About The Author

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry has taught metaphysical subjects since 2013 including the deeply esoteric lineage of kundalini yoga. She has worked as a healer, clairvoyant and card reader and been featured as a dream interpreter on Viceland’s Nuts + Bolts show as well as for Mercedes Benz and Refinery29. She has read Tarot for The Zoe Report, done readings for stars and aims to bring the empowering wisdom of astrology mainstream.With a bold voice, she wants to uplift consciousness to help us evolve to a healthier more spiritual society. Her classes can be found online at www.HOI.TV/authors/shannon and you can follow her daily inspirations on Instagram @shannonyrizarry. She also teaches kundalini yoga in Portland, Oregon. What gets her out of bed is helping people align with their soul purpose.Shannon is the author of two books published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Psychic Yoga and Modern Guide to Meditation Beads.
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