Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck Review

This post contains affiliate links meaning I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through these links. If you find my content helpful, this is an excellent way to support me to continue writing at no extra charge to you.

Deck Overview

Overall Rating


Product Description

original rider waite tarot deck review

This facsimile edition (reproduction) of Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith’s cards is renowned for its return to the original muted colour palette used in the early 20th century and the deck’s original card back design of Tudor roses and lilies in pale blue. 

This deck contains 78 cards (22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana) and a brief guidebook describing the cards. 

The Rider Waite deck’s original printing plates were destroyed during World War II, hence this reproduction being commissioned. 


  • This is the most popular tarot card deck in the world.
  • It’s perfect for beginners through to advanced users.


  • Some images could be considered more “scary” or less “pretty” than other tarot deck versions. 
  • If you’re looking for pastel coloured unicorns, this might not be the right deck for you.

Check Price

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

My Review

This is the tarot card deck that I purchased first, and I use it more often than any other pack; I would recommend it to anyone who wants a more authentic version of the cards.

It includes a brief instructional book covering the history and use of tarot cards and concise meanings for each card. Given its size, you won’t learn very much from this book, but it is sufficient as a quick reference and for familiarising yourself with the deck’s symbolism.

Because it is the most widely used tarot deck, many guide books are available that describe the card meanings in greater detail, including one by the same author as this deck. You can purchase tarot workbooks, home decor, jewellery and more designed from the images found on these cards.


To show you what the Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck looks like, I decided to do a reading for myself and share some photos. I used the ever-popular Celtic Cross spread with a slightly modified layout, so it fits on my favourite little coffee table my dad made.

As an extra, I also took photos of the three tarot books I refer to most often when using my cards.

sample spread for Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck Review

My Celtic Cross reading shows the Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck card backs.

Example of the cards for my Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck review

Now you can see examples of the Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck images. Take note of the muted yellows and browns and the teal colour; in other versions of this deck, these colours are pretty different. As an example, the teal is blue in others.

My go to reference book for the tarot

This is my go to reference book for the tarot. Yes, I will review this too!

other tarot guide books

Here are two other tarot guide books I love.

I hope you have found this review helpful. If you have any questions about this deck, let me know in the comments below.

Leave a comment