Dealing by Threes


Take the pack of thirty-two selected cards (viz., the Ace, King, Queen, Knave, Ten, Nine, Eight, and Seven of each suit), having before fixed upon the one you intend to represent yourself, supposing always you are making the essay on your own behalf. If not, it must represent the person for whom you are acting. In doing this, it is necessary to remember that the card chosen should be according to the complexion of the chooser, King or Queen of Diamonds for a very fair person, ditto of Hearts for one rather darker, Clubs for one darker still, and Spades only for one very dark indeed. The card chosen also loses its signification, and simply becomes the representative of a dark or fair man, or woman, as the case may be.

This point having been settled, shuffle the cards, and either cut them or have them cut for you (according to whether you are acting for yourself or another person), taking care to use the left hand. That done, turn them up by threes, and every time you find in these triplets two of the same suit, such as two Hearts, two Clubs, etc., withdraw the highest card and place it on the table before you. If the triplet should chance to be all of the same suit, the highest card is still to be the only one withdrawn; but should it consist of three of the same value but different suits, such as three Kings, etc., they are to be all appropriated. We will suppose that, after having turned up the cards three by three, you have been able to withdraw six, leaving twenty-six, which you shuffle and cut, and again turn up by threes, acting precisely as you did before, until you have obtained eitherthirteen, fifteen, or seventeen cards. Recollect that the number must always be uneven, and that the card representing[7] the person for whom the essay is made must make one of it. Even if the requisite thirteen, fifteen, or seventeen have been obtained, and this one has not made its appearance, the operation must be recommenced. Let us suppose the person whose fortune is being read to be a lady, represented by the Queen of Hearts, and that fifteen cards have been obtained and laid out—in the form of a half circle—in the order they were drawn, viz., the Seven of Clubs, the Ten of Diamonds, the Seven of Hearts, the Knave of Clubs, the King of Diamonds, the Nine of Diamonds, the Ten of Hearts, the Queen of Spades, the Eight of Hearts, the Knave of Diamonds, the Queen of Hearts, the Nine of Clubs, the Seven of Spades, the Ace of Clubs, the Eight of Spades. Having considered your cards, you will find among them two Queens, two Knaves, two tens, three sevens, two eights, and two nines; you are, therefore, able to announce:

“The two Queens before me signify the reunion of friends; the two Knaves, that there is mischief being made between them. These two tens denote a change of profession, which, from one of them being between two sevens, I see will not be effected without some difficulty; the cause of which, according to these threesevens, will be illness. However, these two nines promise some small gain, resulting—so say these two eights—from a love affair.”

You now begin to count seven cards, from right to left, beginning with the Queen of Hearts, who represents the lady you are acting for. The seventh being the King of Diamonds, you may say:

“You often think of a fair man in uniform.”

The next seventh card (counting the King of Diamonds as one) proves to be the Ace of Clubs; you add:

“You will receive from him some very joyful tidings; he, besides, intends making you a present.”

Count the Ace of Clubs as “one,” and proceeding to the next seventh card, the Queen of Spades, you resume:

“A widow is endeavoring to injure you on this very account; and” (the seventh card, counting the Queen as one, being the Ten of Diamonds) “the annoyance she gives you will oblige you to either take a journey or change your residence; but” (this Ten of Diamonds being imprisoned between two sevens) “your journey or removal will meet with some obstacle.”

On proceeding to count as before, calling the Ten of Diamonds one, you will find the seventh card proves to be the Queen of Hearts herself, the person for whom you are acting, and may therefore safely conclude by saying:

“But this you will overcome of yourself, without needing any one’s aid or assistance.”

Now take the two cards at either extremity of the half circle, which are, respectively, the Eight of Spades and the Seven of Clubs, unite them, and continue:—

“A sickness, which will lead to your receiving a small sum of money.”

Repeat the same maneuver, which brings together the Ace of Clubs and the Ten of Diamonds:—


“Good news, which will make you decide on taking a journey, destined to prove a very happy one, and which will occasion you to receive a sum of money.”

The next cards united, being the Seven of Spades and the Seven of Hearts, you say:—

“Tranquility and peace of mind, followed by slight anxiety, quickly succeeded by love and happiness.”

Then come the Nine of Clubs and the Knave of Clubs, foretelling: “You will certainly receive money through the exertions of a clever dark young man—Queen of Hearts and King of Diamonds—which comes from a fair man in uniform; this rencounter announces some great happiness in store for you, and complete fulfillment of your wishes. Knave of Diamonds and Nine of Diamonds—Although this happy result may be delayed for a time, through some fair young man, not famed for his delicacy—Eight of Hearts and Ten of Hearts—love, joy, and triumph. The Queen of Spades, who remains alone, is the widow who is endeavoring to injure you, and who finds herself abandoned by all her friends!”

Now gather up the cards you have been using, shuffle and cut them with the left hand, and proceed to make them into three packs by dealing one to the left, one in the middle, and one to the right; a fourth is laid aside to form “a surprise.” Then continue to deal the cards to each of the three packs in turn, until their number is exhausted, when it will be found that the left-hand and middle packs contain each five cards, whilst the one on the right hand consists of only four.

Now ask the person consulting you to select one of the three packs. We will suppose this to be the middle one, and that the cards comprising it are, the Knave of Diamonds, the King of Diamonds, the Seven of Spades, the Queen of Spades, and the Seven of Clubs. These, by recollecting our previous instructions regarding the individual and relative signification of the cards, are easily interpreted, as follows:

“The Knave of Clubs—a fair young man, possessed of no delicacy of feeling, who seeks to injure—the King of Diamonds—a fair man in uniform—Seven of Spades—and will succeed in causing him some annoyance—the Queen of Spades—at the instigation of a spiteful woman—Seven of Clubs—but, by means of a small sum of money, matters will be finally easily arranged.”

Next take up the left-hand pack, which is “for the house”—the former one having been for the lady herself. Supposing it to consist of the Queen of Hearts, the Knave of Clubs, the Eight of Hearts, the Nine of Diamonds, and the Ace of Clubs, they would read thus:

“Queen of Hearts—the lady whose fortune is being told is, or soon will be, in a house—Knave of Clubs—where she will meet with a dark young man, who—Eight of Hearts—will entreat her assistance to forward his interests with a fair girl—Nine of Diamonds—he having met with delays and disappointment—Ace of Clubs—but a letter will arrive announcing the possession of money, which will remove all difficulties.”

The third pack is “for those who did not expect it,” and will[9] be composed of four cards, let us say the Ten of Hearts, Nine of Clubs, Eight of Spades, and Ten of Diamonds, signifying:

“The Ten of Hearts—An unexpected piece of good fortune and great happiness—Nine of Clubs—caused by an unlooked-for legacy—Eight of Spades—which joy may perhaps be followed by a slight sickness—Ten of Diamonds—the result of a fatiguing journey.”

There now remains on the table only the card intended for the “surprise.” This, however, must be left untouched, the other cards gathered up, shuffled, cut, and again laid out in three packs, not forgetting at the first deal to add a card to “the surprise.” After the different packs have been duly examined and explained, as before described, they must again be gathered up, shuffled, etc., indeed, the whole operation repeated, after which the three cards forming “the surprise” are examined; and supposing them to be the Seven of Hearts, the Knave of Clubs, and the Queen of Spades, are to be thus interpreted:

“Seven of Hearts—pleasant thoughts and friendly intentions—Knave of Clubs—of a dark young man—relative to a malicious dark woman, or widow, who will cause him much unhappiness.”


Published by

Brandon K. Nobles

Brandon is an author, poet and head writer for Sir Swag on YouTube. With 630k subscribers. Since February 2021 he has written for the most important and popular series, News Without the Bulls%!t and the least popular work on the channel, History Abridged. Brandon joined the channel in late January, since then his work has been featured every month in News and History. His novels and works of fiction have also been well received, and he continues to be a proficient and professional chess player. In his spare time he like to catch up on work.

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