I was always taught that when working with playing cards for readings, that I should "feel" the energies and go with what I felt as the message they are giving. I didn’t read any books on it and came to a way that works every time. My interpretation of the cards meanings is very different from the books written about them, which I have since read. So, here is an explanation of the basic meanings I have interpreted the cards to mean. Try it, is very accurate for me:
Card suits meanings:
Hearts - Love, loved ones and home
Spades - Money, work and life paths
Clubs - Friendships and colleagues
Diamonds - Your inner emotions and soul connections
Cards and their meanings:
King - An older man (over 30) significant in their influence on you
Queen - A lady significant in their influence on you
Jack - Children
10 - Indicates 2 areas of dispute/confusion
9 - Everything appears to be running smoothly like train tracks, but you are in the middle needing to take control of direction
8 - Great fun and joy
7 - Indicates one half of situation to be sorted/great and the second half to be still in dispute/upsetting you/angering. Depends on which way up card is as to whether you are are appearing sorted or angry to the rest of the world.
6 - Indicates everything running smoothly for you, like train tracks
5 - Indicates change needed, ending of old ways
4 - Indicates you have everything sorted into the 4 corners and feeling happy with situation. Also, the cornerstones of foundations of a good future
3 - Means balance
2 - Means everything sorted as you would want
Ace - Best card - In Spades means great fortune, in Hearts love of your life/wedding etc, in Diamonds indicates a Soul Mate, in Clubs means a Best friend.
Use the cards in whichever style you use to do readings and I guarantee they will make sense.