Rider Waite Tarot


This familiar deck is the most widely used one of all, and is often a new user’s first experience of tarot cards. The deck has a loyal following and a huge user base. Many other decks follow its structure and its symbolism, and its influence has been huge.

The cards were first issued in 1909, and remain popular today. They were published in London by William Rider & Son, for Arthur Edward Waite, and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith (her stylized initials PCS appear at the bottom right of the cards). One of the reasons for the success of the Rider Waite deck was that the Minor Arcana were illustrated as well as numbered, giving strong visual interest to all readings done with the cards. Here are some of them:

Arthur Edward Waite (who died in 1942) was a writer and mystic who studied the occult, and the symbolism incorporated in this deck was due to his researches. He also wrote a companion book, Key to the Tarot, one of the first attempts to analyze the Tarot in a coherent way.

Compared with some more modern decks, the Rider-Waite or Smith-Waite cards seem simple and cartoon-like, but the cards actual have a depth of meaning and a potential for interpretation which has hardly been bettered.

Despite all the Tarot decks now available, this is often the first tarot deck which is bought, and often remains a tarot user’s favorite one of all.



The deck is suitable for all levels of user.

Supporting material

The deck comes with a supporting booklet.


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Related Tarot Decks:

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot – more colorful than the original.

Giant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck: Complete 78-Card Deck – larger cards.

Universal Waite Tarot Deck and Book Set – includes the 78-Card Universal Waite Tarot Deck, and ‘The Pictorial Key to the Tarot’ by Arthur Edward Waite himself.

Universal Waite Tarot Deck – another recolored version of the classic deck.