Universal Waite Vs Rider Waite: Which One Best?

Universal Waite Vs Rider Waite

Are you getting confused in choosing between the Universal Waite or Rider Waite? Well, you have come to the right place.

The difference between the Rider-Waite Tarot and the Universal Waite Tarot is that the Universal Waite Tarot is a re-drawn version of the Rider-Waite Tarot. Except, it retains the same artistic styling and symbolism. The images on the Universal Waite are very similar to the Rider-Waite. The two decks are different because the Universal Waite has been restored to the original symbolism while maintaining the original artwork.

Some Tarot Cards are the same in both Decks, but the only difference lies in the art of the cards and design. There are four versions of the Rider Waite Tarot Deck, and the difference between them is the background on the card and the details surrounding the card in the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. The Universal Waite is just a reworking of the Rider Waite deck, and I will tell you why.

In the article, we have provided the information on “Universal Waite Vs. Rider Waite,” which will remove all your confusion.

Just have a look below.

Universal Waite Tarot Deck

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

The Universal Waite Spread is a great way to start your tarot journey. This is a great spread to learn from if you are new to tarot or have never read a tarot card. It is one of the most simple spreads and is excellent for beginners. The key to the Universal Waite Spread is that it allows you to utilize the entirety of the deck. When you begin reading cards, start with this spread and adjust it to fit your specific needs as you progress.

This Universal Waite deck is a deck used for meditation and readings. This deck is published by Mary Hanson Roberts and Stuart R. Kaplan. Mary Hanson re-colored Pamela Colman Smith’s drawings, and all the meanings and symbol of Rider Waite comes with clarity and new details. The US game system published the deck on June 10, 1992. It is available in the English language. It weighs 8.8 ounces and has a dimension of 3*1.25*5 inches.


  • This card comes with clean details.
  • The cards are sturdy and have a high gloss surface.
  • They are easy to shuffle and have a satin finish.
  • The images are vibrant and clear.
  • The card stock is sturdy and has a little booklet providing all the informative information.


  • There is a slight depiction in the illustration.

Rider Waite Tarot Deck

The Rider Tarot Deck®
  • 78 Cards
  • Rider Waite Tarot has set the standard for hundreds of other tarot...

Rider Waite is a unique deck of cards that features illustrations. First appearing in 1910, this deck has been popular among psychics, card readers, and beginner tarot users for a long time and has entered mainstream culture.

This is a traditional and oldest deck created by the author Pamela Colman Smith under the Supervision of Arthur Edward Waite. The images in all the cards allow interpretations. The US games system first published this deck on January 01, 1971. This deck comes in the English language. It weighs 7.8 ounces and has a dimension of 4.9*2.9*1.2 inches.

Read:- Best Rider Waite Tarot Deck Review


  • The deck is sturdy and durable.
  • They are heavy, thick, and come in high quality.
  • The deck of cards features vibrant and original artwork.
  • The card stock is sturdy, thick, and easy to shuffle.
  • It comes with a small booklet that provides all the informative information.


  • The booklet doesn’t provide valuable information, and the printing quality is poor.

Review of the Differences Between Universal Waite & Rider Waite

The Universal Waite is an alternative design to the Rider-Waite tarot deck, an iconic set of images for divination that is one of the most popular tarot decks in the world. The Universal Waite, created by the legendary occultist Arthur Edward Waite, is even more artistic than the original. It has 78 cards, reduced from the Rider-Waite’s 78, and is based on the same teachings as the Rider-Waite but with a new distinctive artistic style.

The Rider-Waite deck is the most popular deck of the 20th century, and it’s not hard to see why. This deck is simple, understandable, and easy to use. While many tarot decks are more artistic or have better imagery, the Rider-Waite is the most functional and usable deck, so many people repeatedly return to it. The Universal Waite deck is almost identical to the Rider-Waite, but it is created by the same artist, Pamela Coleman Smith, and has only very subtle differences.

Visual Differences

There is a difference between the Universal Waite and Rider Waite; Rider is traditional, and the Universal is non-traditional.

Here, the author re-colored Rider Waite’s graphic images in the universal deck and gave out all the symbols and meanings with pertinent details where Rider Waite missed valuable information.

Rider Waite comes with a yellow color card, but Universal deck colors are a little calmer and more vibrant.

In Rider Waite, the back of the card has a pattern design, but the Universal Waite deck back of the card has a navy blue color and comes with a golden star.

The universal deck has a satin finish, glossy and smooth. On the other hand, The Rider Waite is glossy, too but doesn’t have a satin finish; they are matte.

But having many dissimilarities, they also have similar functions that

Both the cards are easy to shuffle and provide all the information and instruction on each card’s interpretations, meanings, and spread.

Finale Verdict

So, we hope you have known and understand each of its differences. Among both the decks, we suggest you choose the universal deck as it comes with clarity, and all the symbols and messages of the Rider Waite deck are mended and provided clearly with all the valuable details. We would appreciate it if you could comment on any missing information on Universal Waite Vs. Rider Waite.

Happy Shopping.

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Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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