Universal Waite

Dublin Core


Universal Waite




78 cards + a title card + an extra card with a quote from Stuart R. Kaplan, in a standard cardboard tuck box. The deck is packaged as part of a set, along with a softcover copy of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite and a spread sheet fold-out guide. The book, deck, and fold-out sheet are all housed in a slipcase style cardboard shelf box.

Note: There may have also been an LWB with the deck, but if so, I stored it separately. If I run across it, I'll update this record.

The cards measure 2.75" wide x 4.75" long. The card stock is reasonably flexible, with a smooth, matte finish.

My copy is from a Belgian printing; the words "Printed in Belgium" appear in the lower right margin of the title card.

The backs feature a reversible pattern of gold stars on a dark blue background.

Strength is VIII and Justice is XI. The Fool is numbered 0.

Suits are Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords. The court cards are Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

The minor arcana are scenic.

This deck is a recolored copy of the Rider-Waite-Smith. The line art is the same as that of the RWS, but it has been given a fresh, slightly softer, and more colorful look and feel thanks to artist Mary Hanson-Roberts, who used colored pencils to recolor the version originally created by Pamela Colman Smith.

The set box lists two copyright years: 1990 and 1992. The deck box lists 1990 as the copyright year; 1990 also appears on the cards themselves.

Personal note: For a period of time while I was still reading predominately with RWS-style decks, the Universal Waite was my deck of preference. It's more pleasing to the eye than the original, yet still no-nonsense, no-frills, no-frippery. I may have a second copy somewhere, though, as this particular copy has no apparent signs of use (aside from the shelf-wear of the packaging).


Hanson-Roberts, Mary
Smith, Pamela Colman


U.S. Games


© 1990


78 cards






ISBN 0-88079-416-X


Hanson-Roberts, Mary and Smith, Pamela Colman, “Universal Waite,” The Osborne Tarot Collection, accessed June 18, 2024, https://tarot.zerosummer.org/items/show/391.

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