Radiant Rider Waite vs. Universal Waite: A Comparative Analysis for 2024

Radiant Rider Waite Vs. Universal Waite

Are you getting confused between the Radiant Rider Waite and Universal Waite? Well, you have come to the right place.

With so many decks, how can you tell which one is right for you? It depends on what you’re looking for. Some decks are suitable for beginners, others for experts. Some decks are focused on magic, others on divination. Moreover, some decks are beautiful, while others are more practical. If you’re not sure which deck to buy, here’s a guide to get you started.

The Rider-Waite Tarot is one of the most popular decks today, but how does it differ from the other central deck, the Universal Waite Tarot? There are several differences between the two. The most obvious is that the Rider company commissioned the Rider-Waite specifically to be their tarot deck. The Universal Waite was a project by an artist to create his tarot deck.

This means that the Rider-Waite has several images explicitly designed for this deck. In contrast, the Universal Waite was designed as an independent deck, not tied to any specific company.

Another critical difference is the actual design of the cards. Radiant Rider Waite and Universal Deck are re-colored and re-print versions of the original Rider Waite deck.

Radiant Rider Waite Vs. Universal Waite

Check out below for further Details.

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck

The Rider-Waite tarot cards, also known as the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, are the first and most widely known tarot deck created for the Western world. It was commissioned in 1910 by the prominent member of the Theosophical Society, Arthur Edward Waite, and was illustrated by the equally legendary and influential artist Pamela Colman Smith.

Radiant Rider-Waite® Tarot in a Tin
  • Colman Smith, Pamela (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The deck was first published in 1909, and, except for a few changes made at Waite’s request, the deck’s images and accompanying explanations were left unchanged.

The radiant Rider Waite deck is the same version as the Rider Waite deck. It is a faithful re-drawing of Pamela Coleman Smith’s design.

All the artwork of Pamela Coleman has been updated with vibrant colors in all the cards. The back of the cards has been changed to provide a star-filled design. The deck brightness and subtle shading highlight the symbols that focus the readers on getting insight through the reading.

It is available in the English language. It comes with a weight of 6.7 ounces, and its dimension is 2.75*1.25*4.25 inches.

Pros: Cons:
  • The cards are sturdy and provide a glossy finish.
  • These cards are more vibrant, and the cardstock is sturdy.
  • The cards are easier to shuffle.
  • It doesn’t come with Smith’s original artwork.

Universal Waite Tarot Deck

When you start learning about the Tarot, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed! There are many different styles of Tarot decks, each with a different feel. But Universal Waite is probably your best bet if you’re looking for a classic deck that can communicate insights from the traditional symbolism in every card.

It’s a Tarot deck that’s been around for more than a century and has the most conservative symbology of any modern deck.

2,362 Reviews
Universal Waite® Tarot Deck
  • Hanson-Roberts, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Universal Waite was developed in the early twentieth century by artist Pamela Colman Smith as the successor to the Rider-Waite tarot deck. The cards of the Universal Waite draw on the symbolism of the Rider-Waite but uses more straightforward illustrations. This makes the deck easier to interpret and the cards’ meanings easier to memorize. The Universal Waite is a good starter deck for people learning to read tarot cards.

This deck comes with the original artwork of the Rider Waite deck. The only difference is that Mary Hanson Roberts re-colored all the cards and gave clarity and new details to the deck.

The back of the card has been changed and gives a metallic gold sheen star. This deck is perfect for meditation as it is used for occult practices.

The deck was issued on June 10, 1992, by the US games system ltd. It is composed in the English language. It comes with a weight and dimensions of 8.8 ounces and 3*1.25*5 inches.

Pros: Cons:
  • The deck has original artwork.
  • The deck comes with clarity and proper details.
  • The cards are easier to shuffle and have a satin finish in the card.
  • Some of its pictures look like it has been washed out.

Review of the Differences Between the Radiant Rider Waite and Universal Waite

Radiant Waite has re-colored Pamela Smith’s design but doesn’t have SSmith’s original artwork, whereas Universal Waite also re-colored it, but it has SSmith’s original artwork.

Both decks have 78 cards; just in the radiant Rider Waite, Smith’s thick and black outline is removed from the card, whereas universal Waite has a black outline like the Rider Waite deck.

Both the deck re-colored. The universal Waite comes with updated color, but it also provides valuable and proper details missing in the original deck.

Radiant Waite deck has a Subtle shading design, whereas Universal Waite has no shading color, just brightened colors.

In Radiant Rider Waite. The back of the card design has a yellow star with a navy blue background, whereas Universal Waite is darker in shade and provides a start with a golden metallic sheen.


So, we hope you have the differences between the Radiant Rider Waite and Universal Waite. Both decks are more admirable according to their features, but Universal has original linework where Radiant misses in those features.

So, it all depends on you. You can choose any of the decks which you want.

Feel free to choose. Happy Shopping.

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Last update on 2024-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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