Printable Tarot Cards: Rider Waite Deck (2024)

Here’s a free download with a complete set of cards to start reading Tarot. Below I’ve also included a smaller version for journaling or carrying around. The files consist of the 78 Tarot cards ready to print and cut out, in PDF format.

You may print them on Photo Quality printer paper and maybe even laminate them so they’ll last longer!

The name of this deck is Rider Waite Tarot deck, it was designed by Arthur Edward Waite in 1909 based on his personal vision of the Tarot. He was an occultist and the founder of the celebrated Fellowship of the Rosy Cross.

The illustrations in the printable Tarot deck (link to download below) were made by illustrator Pamela Colman Smith and that’s why today it is sometimes sold as the Waite-Smith deck.

Why Print the Rider Waite-Smith Deck?

I’ve chosen to share this particular deck in this set of printable Tarot cards for two reasons: First of all, the deck is in the public domain since 1966 so it can be easily replicated and used by anyone without concern for legal issues.

Secondly, this Tarot deck is widely regarded as universal and is probably the most popular one for divinatory purposes. The Rider Waite is the best deck to learn the Tarot simply because so many people use it. As a result of that, many learning materials refer to it as the basis for learning how to read the Tarot.

From the Coven: Oracle and Tarot Sets Talk

Printable Tarot Cards 🖨️

Click here to download the PDF: Printable Tarot Cards (Full size)

The graphics in this deck are clear and sophisticated, with plenty of symbolism to work with, and many modern decks have used it as a source of inspiration.

In fact, most other Tarot decks have been in one way or another inspired by the Rider Waite deck, so if you can read this deck, you could potentially interpret any other Tarot deck.

If you’re a beginner, I strongly recommend getting the Rider-Waite Smith deck and mastering that one before moving on to more fun and decorative decks.

From our Online Coven

Read my answer on whether to start with an Oracle deck or Tarot deck.

Get inspired by Kasie’s journey through the Tarot deck as she wrote one haiku (short poem) for each card.

Printable Tarot Cards: Rider Waite Deck (Mini)

Here is a smaller version of the same deck, reduced by 60% in size: Printable Tarot Cards: Mini Deck

Paste each card on your Tarot Journal to write about it, or use them as a portable Tarot set that you can carry around with you.

The Rider Waite Tarot deck consists of 78 cards: 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The word Arcana comes from the Latin arcanum, which means mystery or secret. According to Waite, the deck represents his secret doctrine of the Universe and his ideals.

How to Use Tarot Cards?

Printable Tarot Spreads

Combining the position of each card in a spread with its meaning will reveal the answer to your questions.

Most Tarot readings usually involve the use of spreads. There are hundreds of possible Tarot spreads, and you are welcome to come up with your own variations!

Printable Tarot Meanings

These Tarot printable pages for your Book of Shadows are included in the Whole Tarot Video Course (members-only).

Each page includes the upright and reversed meanings for all the Major and Minor Arcana cards (all 78 cards) in the Tarot deck.

Who was Arthur Edward Waite?

A. E. Waite wrote occult texts on subjects including divination, esotericism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and ceremonial magic, Kabbalism and alchemy.

His was one of the first Tarot decks to include complex images not just for the Major Arcana but also for the Minor Arcana cards. Subtle symbols and images help in understanding the true meaning of each card.

Waite explained that his Tarot is a symbolic representation of the collective memory of humanity, and considers that the cards are a very important tool to achieve self-knowledge. Arthur Edward Waite believed that the mixture of his symbols revealed the hidden influences of the world.

Read also: Tarot Grimoires and Books in PDF

Tarot de Marseille

Another very famous Tarot deck is the Tarot de Marseille.

One of the differences between these two decks is that in the Major Arcana of the Tarot de Marseille, Justice occupies the eight position (La Justice VIII) while this trump is in the eleventh position in the Rider Waite deck (Justice XI). The card that takes the 11th place in the Tarot de Marseille is La Force (XI), which is equivalent to Strength (VIII) in the Rider Waite deck.

Another difference is that the Christian imagery of the Tarot de Marseille were toned down in the Rider deck; for example, the card the “Pope” became the “Hierophant” and the “Popess” became the “High Priestess.”

But probably the main difference between the two decks is that in the Tarot de Marseille, the Minor Arcana don’t depict “scenes” but rather just numbers. The main innovation of the Rider deck was adding figures and extra symbolism to each card in the deck. This concept was then imitated by later Tarot decks, as mentioned above.

Read more about the differences between the Marseille Tarot and the Rider Waite deck here.

It is unknown when tarot began to be used for divination but there are no documented examples before the 18th century, although there is evidence of the divinatory use of similar cards in 1540.

Learn more about the history of Tarot and how to interpret the cards here: 🔮

Printable Tarot Cards: Rider Waite Deck (2024)


How many cards complete a tarot deck? ›

Moon, the 18th card of the major arcana. The standard modern tarot deck is based on the Venetian or the Piedmontese tarot. It consists of 78 cards divided into two groups: the major arcana, which has 22 cards, also known as trumps, and the minor arcana, which has 56 cards.

What are the 72 tarot cards? ›

The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World.

How many cards should you pull from a tarot deck? ›

Once you find a card that radiates with energy or power, take it out of the deck. You can pull one or three cards at a time. I prefer to pull three to tell a whole story.

What tarot deck should I get first? ›

Naude always recommends the Rider Waite Smith tarot for beginners, to familiarize yourself with the “foundation” of the tarot practice. “This is the first deck,” she says, pointing out that the “roots'' of most tarot decks go back to Rider Waite Smith.

What religion do tarot cards come from? ›

Tarot cards are commonly associated with New Age religion. This literature review will provide an overview of New Age religion and discuss how Tarot provides insight into the study of the New Age movement in the twenty-first century. Tarot cards and the ways in which practitioners use them can be defined as religious.

What is the No 1 tarot card? ›

The Magician in such context is interpreted as the first numbered and second total card of the Major Arcana, succeeding the Fool, which is unnumbered or marked 0. The Magician as an object of occult study is interpreted as symbolic of power, potential, and the unification of the physical and spiritual worlds.

What is the most important tarot card? ›

The Magician: Marked as number I, The Magician is considered one of the most powerful Tarot cards. It represents the ability to turn ideas into reality, showcasing the skill of making things happen. The Magician's control over earth, air, fire, and water signifies the potential for creation and transformation.

What is the oldest tarot deck? ›

Named after the Cary Collection of Playing Cards, absorbed into the Yale University Library in 1967, it is also known as the Visconti di Modrone set, and has been dated back to around 1466.

When not to read tarot cards? ›

If you're not in a place where you're emotionally prepared to deal with what the reading might reveal, there may be a better time for a reading. Additionally, getting a tarot reading is bad when you are in the thick of your grief or desperate for something.

Can you read tarot for yourself? ›

Is it possible to do Tarot spreads on yourself, even if you're a beginner? Yes! It absolutely is. Tarot is a modality that helps us gain greater insight into our current situations, honor our intuition and forecast potential outcomes.

Is there a correct way to pull tarot cards? ›

There are no rules in tarot, just draw cards any way you feel comfortable. I use a variety of different techniques. Sometimes I fan the cards out then pick the number of cards.

What is the most used tarot deck? ›

Also known as the Waite–Smith, Rider–Waite–Smith, or Rider Tarot, the deck has been published in numerous editions and inspired a wide array of variants and imitations. Estimates suggest over 100 million copies of the deck circulate across 20 countries.

How many times should you shuffle a tarot deck? ›

It was a "hairy bit of math" for mathematicians to come up with a mathematical answer to this question, but the agreed-upon answer for number of riffles it takes to get to random is... about 7 times to get a really random order of cards. And there's no advantage to shuffling any more than that.

What is the first thing you should do with a tarot deck? ›

1. Go Through Every Card. This allows you to really delve into the artwork and see the vision the creator has put forward in their work. Scan the card from top to bottom and see if any details stick out to you.

How many cards do you need for a tarot reading? ›

As a rule of thumb, I suggest a three or five-card spread to offer clarity without confusion. I recommend reading each card individually based on its placement in the spread and then seeing how all of the cards blend together to form an overall story imbued with layered meaning.

How many cards are in the good tarot deck? ›

the 78 cards in the deck are beautifully illustrated by Jena DellaGrottaglia and read as archetypal aspects of the human experience that we may encounter within ourselves, with others, or in the world.

What does the 22 tarot card mean? ›

The Fool is titled Le Mat in the Tarot of Marseilles, and Il Matto in most Italian language tarot decks. These archaic words mean "the madman" or "the beggar". In the earliest tarot decks, the Fool is usually depicted as a beggar or a vagabond.

What size is a standard deck of tarot cards? ›

What is the tarot card size? The normal size of tarot cards is 2.75in x 4.75in.

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