(A2A) For simple questions I use a fifteen card layout, like this:
This is most appropriate for situations which can go one of two ways. The general principle is that in each set of three cards, the centre-card represents the main meaning, whilst the cards to either side influence how the first card is to be interpreted.
The cards on the right hand side indicate what is likely to happen if the Querent doesn’t attempt to change what he or she is doing, or intending to do. The cards on the left hand side indicates what will happen if he or she does change, or deliberately does something new. Moreover: the cards in the top-row represent the short-term future; whilst the cards on the bottom-row represent the long-term (i.e. what is likely to develop as a result of what happened in the top-row). Hence:
- Cards 3, 1, 2 – the present – now;
- Cards 4, 8, 12 – short-term future, no change;
- Cards 5, 9, 13 – short-term future, change;
- Cards 6, 10, 14 – long-term future, change;
- Cards 7, 11, 15 – long-term future, no change (or what would have happened anyway).
(The numbers represent the order in which the cards are dealt.)
Apart from this, the rest of the interpretation is pretty conventional (i.e. observing traditional tarot meanings). One peculiarity though is that it does not necessarily used “reversed-cards” – however, cards to either side of each main card can be used to indicate whether it is “well-dignified” or “ill-dignified.”
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What’s your favorite tarot layout? – Quora