The King holds the cup of knowledge in his hands. Being a practical person, he will not present it to just anyone. Knowledge is power, and it must be guarded carefully lest it fall into the wrong hands. A tiger is his companion. A totemic design of his cats is in the background.
The King of Cups Inverted, unlike the upright King, shows feeling out of control. This can manifest in destructive behavioral patterns, such as refusing to deal with disruptive issues, or acting in a way to upset a situation versus taking care of it. There is emotional vulnerability and this is shown in an immature way.