Most often represents the current situation that life has dealt you. Your dream may be presenting it to you in this way so you can see that you have an opportunity to get the upper hand, to get what you want “if you play your cards right.” In other words, be strategic and do what is right for you.
If some of the cards are missing or something is wrong with the cards then you may currently feel that you do not have the upper hand in your waking life situation. It is time for you to be innovative.
If a particular card stands out in a dream, put on your thinking cap and see if you can connect that card, or the meaning of the card, to your waking life situation. Hearts often represent romance or what you love. Diamonds represent finances. Clubs represent your work. Spades can represent what you feel is bad luck.