Classic Insight: Best Rider Waite Tarot Deck Review for 2024

Rider Waite Tarot Deck

Rider Waite tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smit tarot deck, Rider tarot deck, and Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, is a prominent part of the card world. Illustrators Pamela Colman Smith and A. E. Waite drew this well-received 78-card tarot deck in 1909. Later, the Rider Company published the deck.

This deck is so popular because its illustration is visually explanatory. According to several enthusiastic tarot organizations and publishers, this deck is at the top of its game. The following focuses on some of the best Rider-Waite tarot cards deck to enjoy.

Where To Buy These Tarot Cards?

There are various online and offline marketplaces to buy tarot cards. Amazon is one of the best places to reasonably buy original, reliable, old, and modern tarot cards.

13 Best Rider Waite Tarot Deck

Now let’s check the top-rated and best-selling 13 Rider-Waite tarot deck. We collected all the pros and cons from the previous buyers’ feedback.

Number: 1
The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck by Waite, Arthur Edward; Smith,...
  • Arthur Edward Waite (Author)
  • Us Games Systems Inc (Publisher)

The Rider Tarot Deck Cards by Arthur Edward Waite is labeled as the most popular deck of cards worldwide. The visually pleasing presentation and explanatory graphics helped the cards gain massive admiration.

The deck contains 56 pages of cards, and the quality of the cards is remarkably high. The deck’s finer varnish and functional thickness make the cards durable and easy to shuffle.

People with zero knowledge of tarot can read the book effortlessly as the book is beginner-friendly. The book’s fun and easygoing attitude have made almost every tarot enthusiast’s go-to for practice.


  • Depiction of total figures and symbols
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Perfectly comprehensible images


  • I might have more information
  • Compromised quality
Number: 2
2,137 Reviews
Exploring Tarot Using Radiant Rider-Waite® Tarot Set
  • Venefica, Avia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

You can use the book as your proper user guide to the world of tarots. The book is a modernized version of the classic Rider-Waite deck. Exploring Tarot Using Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot: Deck & Book is a full-sized deck with brighter colors and slight renovation on the shading that gives the book more depth. Professionals, as well as beginners, can easily use this set.

Due to the up-gradation, the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is more informative and meaningful. This book might greatly help someone wanting to master interpretations and card meanings.


  • User-friendly
  • Preferred by professionals


  • Not much enlightening
Number: 3
1,960 Reviews
Smith-Waite® Tarot Borderless Edition
  • Colman Smith, Pamela (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

In this version of the classic Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the users gain an enticing experience as it comes with a borderless shape. The deck comprises 84 cards with four extra cards, including two watercolor paintings called Catch Me and Duet and the sheet music illustration for the Christmas carol.

An instruction booklet with the deck is handy and makes the deck user-friendly. The cards have a semi-matte finish, so they don’t stick together and save the user a lot of time. Some readers prefer this deck over any other deck for the gorgeous color scheme and no white borders that only help people focus on the inspired cards.


  • Enticing reading experience
  • Handy instruction booklet


  • Symbols may need more improvement
Number: 4
2,362 Reviews
Universal Waite® Tarot Deck
  • Hanson-Roberts, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Artist Mary Hanson-Roberts gave new colors to the original Rider-Waite tarot deck. The upgraded exhibition of the deck pays quality attention to details. The new colors give the original meanings and symbols more clarity.

This deck is popular among newcomers and experienced tarot card readers because of its renovated representation. The color compatibility of the Hanson-Roberts deck is so excellent and composed that sometimes it serves as a perfect element for meditation.

However, some readers might be bothered about the card being super glossy as it slides off easily, whereas some find it aesthetically pleasing.


  • Meditation tool
  • Enriched symbols and meanings


  • Not very promising in quality
Number: 5
The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot (Ultimate Guide...
  • Fiebig, Johannes (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot contains every piece of information one needs to know about the classic Ride-Waite Tarot deck. The cards comprise notes, brief historical explanations, and symbol breakdowns.

Readers can interpret the cards by primary and spiritual meaning, love and relationship meaning, prognosis, success, and happiness. The writers designed the book with pro tips, hints, and facts to help the users improve their readings and overcome common inconveniences.

The readers can refine their predictions by learning Spread layout techniques, using a single card, and interpreting each card from this book.


  • Primary and spiritual meaning
  • Prognosis
  • Illustrative


  • Unnecessary references
  • Lack of cohesive information
Number: 6
Radiant Rider-Waite® Tarot in a Tin
  • Colman Smith, Pamela (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The brilliantly insightful Rider-Waite tarot deck comes in a rectangular-shaped tin box for a better experience. The users prefer this one because the cards don’t get lost or dirty, are easy to store when unused, and are almost intact even after using it several times.

The radiant colors and skillful shading augment the experience of the users. A definitive attribute of the cards is the backs filled with star-filled deep, blue skies. The cards’ size is comparatively small, making them more comfortable for readers.


  • Tin box for storing
  • Easier to carry


  • Sometimes it is difficult to shuffle
Number: 7
309 Reviews
Llewellyn's Complete Book of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot: A...
  • Graham, Sasha (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

This book focuses on the inception of the bestselling set of cards, the Rider-Waite tarot deck. Llewellyn’s Complete Book of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot explores the origins of the Rider-Waite deck’s creation.

According to the book, the merged knowledge of artist Pamela Colman Smith and occultist Arthur Waite in astrology, metaphysics, and mythology helped them give life to their acute vision.

This book also states that Waite and Smith designed this deck with abstruse symbols that have validated, directed, and challenged many people over time. In short, the book tells the untold story of this magical deck, giving the readers a better understanding.


  • Inception story
  • History in context


  • Speculations counted as facts
Number: 8
The Original Rider-Waite® Tarot Set
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • C. Smith, Pamela (Author)

The original edition is essential to any tarot enthusiast’s collection. This edition’s colors are comparatively muted to restore the cards to their original designs. This new edition of the Original Rider-Waite Tarot Set Cards includes an insightful foreword by Liz Greene. She established the set in a historical context and broadened the readers’ knowledge. New readers are mostly intrigued by this book because of its simplicity and ability to provide a clear concept. Tarot enthusiasts who know the classics adore this set of cards.


  • Muted colors
  • The broader context in tarot reading


  • Imperfect details
Number: 9
Giant Rider-Waite® Tarot Deck
  • New Opened Box
  • C. Smith, Pamela (Author)

The set is the giant-sized edition of the Rider-Waite tarot deck. The deck weighs almost 1.1, which is a lot considering a classic deck’s weight (around 12-13 ounces).

This set is a perfect fit for those who usually prefer more significant and understandable images. Even though the cards’ size is massive, the publishers did not compromise the quality of the visual aids, and the readers were very pleased with this fact. Readers usually use The Giant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck at events and parties to enhance the tarot reader’s antiquity.


  • Large in size
  • Excellent image quality


  • Sometimes difficult to shuffle
Number: 10
Smith-Waite® Centennial Tarot Deck in a Tin
  • Colman Smith, Pamela (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot Deck in a Tin comes with 80 cards, including the standard 78 tarot cards and two additional non-tarot artworks of the author Smith. Pamela Colman Smith chose a muted color palette for this edition. This deck is a tad bit smaller than the usual ones.

Hence, some readers might face inconveniences while using them. Contrary to the oversaturated yellow-toned cards, these are leaned toward the sepia tone. However, the color scheme and tone make the drawings look like original artwork instead of printing.


  • Additional artworks
  • Eye-soothing color tone


  • Smaller in size
Number: 11
Pocket Rider-Waite® Tarot
  • Classic Rider Waite Deck
  • Colman Smith, Pamela (Author)

The best-selling tarot deck is also available in a pocket-sized version. This deck only weighs 3.99 ounces. This deck of cards has maintained vibrant colors and high quality. Professionals mostly use Pocket Rider Waite Tarot Cards as they are complex to read because of their size. This deck is most definitely not suitable for beginners. Despite the cards being functional and sturdy, some might find the thickness compromised in this edition.


  • Functional
  • Radiant colors


  • Difficult to read due to size
Number: 12
Universal Waite® Tarot Deck in a Tin
  • Hanson-Roberts, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Universal Waite Tarot Deck in a Tin is pocket-sized and fun to use. This deck is perfect for meditation and interpreting one’s present, past, and future. The design of this deck is captivating and pleasing to the eye. The cards in this deck are easy to shuffle and easy to carry. The quality stays intact for days as it remains in a tin box. However, this magical deck of cards is not for you if you prefer full-sized cards.


  • Pocket-sized
  • Quality remains the same due to the tin box


  • Tinier in size
Number: 13
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot: The True Story of the...
  • Katz, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

This book explores the exciting secrets of the origins of the most popular tarot cards in the world. This is an attempt by Marcus Katz to unravel the hidden information about creating the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. Katz highlights some unpublished write-ups of Waite and historic photographs of Smith in his book Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot: The True Story of the World’s Most Popular Tarot. The book’s uniqueness lies in its ability to narrate a cultural history vividly.


  • Exploration of the author’s secretive life
  • Proper guidance


  • Sloppy writing

The Rider-Waite tarot deck created a legacy that has been carried on for over a century. This deck was reproduced through tons of new editions over time. The popularity of this card is increasing even to today date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How old is the Rider-Waite tarot deck?

Ans: The creators drew The Rider-Waite tarot deck in 1909. Hence, the card is almost 111 years old. Illustrator Pamela Colman Smith and occultist Arthur Waite created this deck and their knowledge of Astrology, Mythology, and Metaphysics. Marseilles Tarot deck is older than Rider Waite’s tarot deck. The rider-Waite tarot deck was Created after one century of the Marseilles Tarot deck.

Q: How much do the cards weigh in a Rider-Waite tarot deck?

Ans: It depends on the set you are getting. There have been several editions of the Rider-Waite card decks over the years. However, the original location of the cards weighs about 12 ounces.

Q: How many cards are there in a Rider-Waite tarot deck?

Ans: Initially, there were 78 cards in the Rider-Waite tarot deck. Some additional cards with different editions give the readers a profound experience and give them a more intelligible conception.

Q: What makes the Rider-Waite tarot deck better?

Ans: Although practicing reading tarot cards is complex, the Rider-Waite tarot deck is beginner-friendly and easy to bond with. It helps the readers to develop better intuitions with minimal effort. The explanatory pictorial representations give the readers a better understanding of reading tarots.

Q: What is the most powerful card in the Rider-Waite tarot deck?

Ans: The fool is the most powerful card in a Rider-Wait tarot deck. The fool’s part in a tarot reading is independent of the plain suit and trump cards. Hence, readers consider it the most potent card by most professionals.

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Last update on 2024-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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