Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

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tdk408
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Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby tdk408 » April 12th, 2017, 10:28 pm

I have been searching for weeks, but I can't find a Tarot deck that has the size and feel of a regular bicycle poker deck. Can anyone suggest some?

I'm specifically looking for playing cards to incorporate into a magical routine. White border, poker-sized, regular playing card thickness, 52 cards. (I know tarot decks do not have 52 cards, but I'm not interested in doing an actual Tarot reading.) I need to be able to shuffle, do double lifts, standard manipulatuons, etc.

I am amazed that a poker-sized Tarot deck (that feels like playing cards) would be so hard to find. Are there really no decks like this?

Respectfully,

Thomas

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 12th, 2017, 10:32 pm

Who is "Daryl Copperfield"?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 12th, 2017, 10:35 pm

There are certainly bridge size tarot decks. I actually own one. Alas, although I handle Tarot Cards probably more than anyone else here the idea of doing tricks with them horrifies me no end. It seems sacrilegious to me and I fear I might be struck down by lightning if I did so. However, I wish you the best of luck in your search. The Bridge size is probably the way to go for you. In fact when I do magic with regular playing cards I only use bridge cards if I can.

I detest the awful poker size cards they have in North America although I will use them if I have to.

I do maintain that no card trick on earth either with tarot cards or without will compete with a tarot reading.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 12th, 2017, 10:37 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Who is "Daryl Copperfield"?


Actually he said "Copperfiled" rather than "Copperfield"!


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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Steve Mills » April 13th, 2017, 6:32 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Who is "Daryl Copperfield"?


Ooh! Ooh! Can I be first?

His other brother.....

Thank You
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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 13th, 2017, 8:18 am

Thank you Performer. Excellent information.

I've used the Aquarian Tarot deck. It's a little bigger 3" X 4.75" but the cards are manageable. Also, the back design is card marker's delight since there are dizzying combinations of swirls and angles.

https://www.usgamesinc.com/Aquarian-tarot-deck/

If you want a really classy card, with a white border, and not too big, try:

https://www.amazon.com/Fournier-F21816- ... B00008D9SM

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 13th, 2017, 9:41 am

I use the Prediction deck put out by Prediction magazine in the UK. Alas the deck is out of production now and very hard to obtain. It has a calming energy to them. They are narrower than a poker deck but longer in size. I do have an excellent Rider Waite deck which is slightly smaller than Bridge size. I hardly ever use it although if I wanted to to impromptu readings or even card tricks with them I certainly could carry it around easily for such purposes. However, as I have stated I prefer to use regular cards for magic and the idea of doing impromptu readings fills me with great horror as I do need a rest from the psychic business otherwise my head will explode.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 13th, 2017, 11:18 am

Several years ago, when looking for the Esoterico Tarot deck, I located some in an occult shop in Toronto in one of the seedier neighborhoods. So I popped over there and went in to find a dark, smokey cave, populated by what appeared to be Rastafarians, all looking hooded, gloomy and dangerous. There was a battered wooden counter at the very back where the proprietor, a large guy wearing a dashiki shirt that could have doubled as a camouflage tent for a platoon, was giving me the mal och.

"I called about the Esoterico Tarot cards."
"Yes, mon, we have those," he said, reaching under the counter and pulling one deck out.
"I'll take four."

He got the others and wrapped them up in what appeared to be butcher's paper (thankfully, not used). I paid him.

"You use these?" he asked.
"Yep."
"They are very good."
"Yes. They have the white border. Very important."
"Huh? The border? Why?"
"For card tricks. I use these for card tricks."

At this point I sensed I'd said the wrong thing. Like when you're at a border crossing and are asked the purpose of your visit to the country and you reply, "I am the sword of Allah."

The hangers on were now standing, forming a gauntlet of bad dudes between me and the outside world. But they were slow. It was still morning. The ganga was still thickening the responses. I made it out and am here today to tell the tale. But somewhere in Toronto, in a dark cave-like occult shop, there is a crude drawing: it's a bespectacled upright citizen, and tacked to the paper is the head of dead toad, just beside the words, "Curse be the card trickster."

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Jack Shalom » April 13th, 2017, 1:36 pm


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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby brianarudolph » April 13th, 2017, 1:47 pm

Who used to say something like "... I accidentally used a Tarot deck for card magic and three members of the audience died"?

I think it was meant as a joke. At least I hope so.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 13th, 2017, 4:39 pm

I believe it was Bob Cassidy who first made that remark.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Tom Frame » April 13th, 2017, 6:05 pm

brianarudolph wrote:Who used to say something like "... I accidentally used a Tarot deck for card magic and three members of the audience died"?

I think it was meant as a joke. At least I hope so.


It sounds like Steven Wright.
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 13th, 2017, 8:37 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:https://www.amazon.com/Rider-Waite-Smith-Tarot-Poker/dp/B06XZWGZ8L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492104854&sr=8-1&keywords=tarot+deck+poker


Indeed. I suspect it is the same manufacturer of the Bridge size deck I own.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 13th, 2017, 9:29 pm

i believe the joke was closer to "i once played poker with a deck of tarot cards. i got a full house and 5 people died."

it was steven wright.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby brianarudolph » April 13th, 2017, 11:50 pm

I think Tom and Brad are Wright.

The minute I mentally said it in Steven's monotone, I remembered it (correctly.)

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby tdk408 » April 14th, 2017, 2:53 am

Jack Shalom wrote:https://www.amazon.com/Rider-Waite-Smith-Tarot-Poker/dp/B06XZWGZ8L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492104854&sr=8-1&keywords=tarot+deck+poker


Thank you, for your on-topic response, Jack. I ordered a deck from Amazon.

So there is only one poker-sized Tarot deck planet-wide? I must admit that is a surprise to me.

Are there so few magicians doing magic with Tarot cards? If you do magic with tarot cards, why isn't there a bigger demand for a poker-sized version?

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 14th, 2017, 5:46 am

Tarot cards are made for divination purposes not sacrilegious card tricks and therefore there is not the demand. However, there ARE plenty of pocket size tarot decks. When you look things up on google use the term "pocket size" rather than "poker size". There is even a video reviewing them all. Anyway here is the deck I own:

https://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Rider-Wai ... 0880793465

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 14th, 2017, 8:15 am

Performer: what does the back design look like? Can you post a picture.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 14th, 2017, 9:33 am

I am not computer savvy enough to post pictures. And on second thoughts looking at the link I posted I am not 100 percent sure it is the deck I have although it may well be. It has a blue all over back design which would be excellent for second dealing. It is very slightly narrower than a bridge deck but just as long.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 14th, 2017, 11:58 am

The "Gypsy Witch" cards look like what you asked about.
https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Witch-Fort ... itch+cards
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby brianarudolph » April 14th, 2017, 12:44 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:The "Gypsy Witch" cards look like what you asked about.
https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Witch-Fort ... itch+cards


I had a deck of those oh so many years ago. But do take a look at the pictures before ordering: they're more like a deck of regular cards with "fortunes" or readings on each card (which has a regular playing card inset at about 1/4 size) than a poker-sized deck where each individual card looks like a (full-size) actual Tarot card.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 14th, 2017, 3:10 pm

This one is great:

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/th ... t-edition/

https://www.usgamesinc.com/Pocket-Swiss ... arot-Deck/

And it has all those evil connotations that Crowley is associated with. I ordered three.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 14th, 2017, 3:18 pm

I am actually a member of that Aeclectic forum but I don't post much. It is an excellent resource for people who are interested in the Tarot as a divination tool. As for the Gypsy Witch cards they have been around for a long, long time. They bring back memories to me. They are the reason I am eventually going to write a second follow up memoir as discussed here.

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=49252&p=331964&hilit=showman#p331964

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 19th, 2017, 11:13 am

I just received the Crowley deck and it is in bridge size, but here's the surprise: the Aquarian deck in the tin box, is also in bridge size and has white borders on the back.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby webbmaster » April 19th, 2017, 2:37 pm

Many people who work with Tarot cards don't do sleights of hand but more sleights of mind (equivoque and just good meaningful readings). The better looking decks aren't good for palming and it seems to me the ones that are good for palming and real 'moves' don't look old or authentic. There are some very good reproductions out there. Scanned, old dirt included, which shows up in the printing - they look great - but they are long and narrow.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby magicfish » April 24th, 2017, 6:40 am

performer wrote:There are certainly bridge size tarot decks. I actually own one. Alas, although I handle Tarot Cards probably more than anyone else here the idea of doing tricks with them horrifies me no end. It seems sacrilegious to me and I fear I might be struck down by lightning if I did so. However, I wish you the best of luck in your search. The Bridge size is probably the way to go for you. In fact when I do magic with regular playing cards I only use bridge cards if I can.

I detest the awful poker size cards they have in North America although I will use them if I have to.

I do maintain that no card trick on earth either with tarot cards or without will compete with a tarot reading.

Im not convinced that a tarot reading would've led to Churchill postponing the war, but Curry's trick certainly did. Who knows?

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 7:11 am

It appears that I am being followed.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby tdk408 » April 24th, 2017, 9:41 am

webbmaster wrote:Many people who work with Tarot cards don't do sleights of hand


But more to the point of my inquiry, magicians are unlikely to use cheaply-made, odd-sized cards for magic.

I realize that people who actually do tarot readings are probably not interested in slight of hand. But since Genii is a magic magazine, I am surprised there is so little interest in the magical use of Tarot cards here. But I think I discovered why.

I did buy two of the decks that were recommended in this thread. Here are my observations, for anyone doing a similar search.

The Grand Tarot Esoteric seems only sort of useful for magical purposes. They are nearly as wide as poker-sized playing cards, but taller. The words are in Spanish. They are much lighter than standard playing cards, and worse yet they are smooth, not embossed as you are accustomed to. So they feel like dollar store cards.

The poker-sized Rider Waite Smith deck was disappointing. The cards are exactly poker sized, but even more  flimsy than the Esoterica deck, more like a business card stock than like playing cards. Double lifts and shuffles were awkward. The stock is thin and smooth; not good. Worse, the familiar Pamela Colman Smith artwork,  tall narrow, is squashed to fit the wider poker-sized format, which I hated.  Again, they feel like thin dollar store playing cards, which is just icky to handle.

If these tarot cards are the closest thing to "tarot images on real playing cards" then apparently such a thing has not been produced. Both of these decks have a very different feel--more like monopoly cards or business cards.

Not that I am unfamiliar with the magical use of cheap playing cards. I have destroyed dozens of decks of dollar store cards, one at a time, while perfecting my triple-fold Mercury Card Fold. :) :) I'm just saying, I have handled thousands of them, but still dislike touching them.

Perhaps the reason that magicians don't do magic with tarot cards comes down to card stock. Magicians, whether they know it or not, use cards printed on 310 gsm stock. Cheap cards are printed on much thinner stock, which feels insubstantial to the touch. Real playing cards are also embossed on both sides.

I think magicians might like to change things up and create routines with unusual looking cards with the familiar feel. But as far as I can tell, Tarot cards like that do not exist.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby magicfish » April 24th, 2017, 9:50 am

Bob Farmer wrote:Several years ago, when looking for the Esoterico Tarot deck, I located some in an occult shop in Toronto in one of the seedier neighborhoods. So I popped over there and went in to find a dark, smokey cave, populated by what appeared to be Rastafarians, all looking hooded, gloomy and dangerous. There was a battered wooden counter at the very back where the proprietor, a large guy wearing a dashiki shirt that could have doubled as a camouflage tent for a platoon, was giving me the mal och.

"I called about the Esoterico Tarot cards."
"Yes, mon, we have those," he said, reaching under the counter and pulling one deck out.
"I'll take four."

He got the others and wrapped them up in what appeared to be butcher's paper (thankfully, not used). I paid him.

"You use these?" he asked.
"Yep."
"They are very good."
"Yes. They have the white border. Very important."
"Huh? The border? Why?"
"For card tricks. I use these for card tricks."

At this point I sensed I'd said the wrong thing. Like when you're at a border crossing and are asked the purpose of your visit to the country and you reply, "I am the sword of Allah."

The hangers on were now standing, forming a gauntlet of bad dudes between me and the outside world. But they were slow. It was still morning. The ganga was still thickening the responses. I made it out and am here today to tell the tale. But somewhere in Toronto, in a dark cave-like occult shop, there is a crude drawing: it's a bespectacled upright citizen, and tacked to the paper is the head of dead toad, just beside the words, "Curse be the card trickster."

Pure gold Bob. I felt like I was reading the back of your Headhunter or Deja Voodoo
I love it.
Have you ever thought about writing short stories? I would definitely purchase them.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 11:23 am

magicfish wrote:
performer wrote:There are certainly bridge size tarot decks. I actually own one. Alas, although I handle Tarot Cards probably more than anyone else here the idea of doing tricks with them horrifies me no end. It seems sacrilegious to me and I fear I might be struck down by lightning if I did so. However, I wish you the best of luck in your search. The Bridge size is probably the way to go for you. In fact when I do magic with regular playing cards I only use bridge cards if I can.

I detest the awful poker size cards they have in North America although I will use them if I have to.

I do maintain that no card trick on earth either with tarot cards or without will compete with a tarot reading.

Im not convinced that a tarot reading would've led to Churchill postponing the war, but Curry's trick certainly did. Who knows?


As I have already stated it appears as if I am being followed. A very unwise thing to do. But to answer your question "who knows?" Well, I know.
A hell of lot more politicians have been influenced by metaphysical matters and divinatory tools than they ever have by a card trick. And that goes for their wives too. Read this if you don't believe me:

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/ ... -stargazer

It is no secret that Cherie Blair wife of the former British Prime minister was interested in this stuff and for all we know influenced her husband in his political decisions.

Oh, the war? That particular war was far more influenced by things of this nature than some bloody card trick. Many Nazis half believed in this stuff and it was used against them. I notice Churchill didn't unleash a card trick on them or even a member of the Magic Circle to bore them to death even though that might not have been a bad choice. Instead this is what he did:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... itler.html

Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess believed in this stuff too to an alarming extent so there was another influence on the war. I notice Paul Curry hasn't even been given a mention in the history books documenting the Second World War. Hess parachuted into England on the advice of an astrologer rather than seeing a card trick. As a result Hitler enforced Special Action Hess, which included the mass arrest of more than 600 astrologers, fortune-tellers, clairvoyants, faith healers, and other German practitioners of the supernatural or the occult. Artifacts of divination, including tarot cards, scrying mirrors, and crystal balls, were confiscated, as were entire libraries of mystical texts.

I will concede that Hitler did like magic and as a matter of fact banned the publication of magic secrets in German newspapers. I am not sure if that included Out Of This World though. And I once knew a magician who entertained Hitler for a couple of hours or so. However, this was before the war rather than during it.

Magic had no influence on the war whatsoever and even the Jasper Maskelyne "War Magician" tosh has been debunked and discussed on this very forum here:

viewtopic.php?t=47509

The moral of the tale is not to follow me around and try to contradict and subtly bait me at every turn. I will always win. And if it continues I am liable to put a hex on the idiot who is doing it. Mind you he is probably cursed already. He is Canadian after all.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 24th, 2017, 12:23 pm

I don't write short stories, other than the ad copy for some of my effects. Maybe when I retire.

If you are going to use Tarot cards for magic, it can't be something like a four ace assembly or cards up the nose or something like that. You have to use the evil, occult vibe that the cards transmit. That means some sort of mind reading or prediction effect or some amazing coincidence--something a bit creepy. With these sorts of effects, the quality of the card stock is not that important. I've tried various decks and the bridge-size Aquarian in the tin box is the best for design and visibility. The Crowley deck has a great back design, but the faces are a bit hard to distinguish.

Most people know about Tarot cards as some sort of fortune-telling machine, but only the real hardcore believers are really familiar with the cards and what they mean (and you won't be performing for them if you value your life). Think of Tarot cards as a horror movie: here's something weird you may have heard about, but never seen, and maybe we should just leave it alone but maybe there's something we should check out in the dark forest of your fears.

In the effect I'm working on, I'm using Aleister Crowley in the presentation, the so-called satanist and occultist. He died of a heart attack at his writing desk in 1947. I have here a copy of the last thing he wrote. Until now, no-one has been able to understand what it means but now it's all clear for the first time (none of this is true but it sounds great).

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 1:56 pm

Many more people are familiar with tarot cards than you might imagine and in fact many amateurs dabble in it for their own entertainment. In general regular playing cards give vastly more scope for magic than Tarot cards too. However, there are a few tricks around that you can do with them and I vaguely recall someone wrote a book about tricks with the Tarot.

Which reminds me. There is an excellent book on magic including card tricks with a fortune telling them. It is called Forbidden Wisdom and the author is Howard Albright. Probably hard to obtain in hard copy but here is one source anyway:


http://www.lybrary.com/forbidden-wisdom ... wAodDdoI7A

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 2:01 pm

Oh, and if any of you have any interest in using Tarot cards for the purpose that they are more generally known for there is only one source which is the way, the truth and the light in these matters. I know the presenter personally and can confirm that he is an unadulterated genius in this sort of thing. However, please order from me direct as International Magic have enough money already! I remember decades ago standing at some windswept street market somewhere trying to earn them that money in the first place with the svengali deck. There was a young boy at my side at the time along with his mother. That young boy now owns the place. When I demanded more money from him for overworking me at my tarot lectures he managed to fob me off instead with about 3 million DVDs which I am still trying to get rid of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnsjG6SRXRY

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Daniel Z » April 24th, 2017, 7:39 pm

One book that explored the idea of magic trick using tarot cards was Stephen Minch's Book of Thoth (a title it shares with Crowley's book on the subject).

It might be of interest to some to note, that while the tarot is understood as the ancestor of the playing card, modern scholarship has turned this history on it head. The evidence is very clear that the tarot was a modification made to the normal deck (a variety of suits and size decks existed at the time). The purpose of the new deck does not seem to have been for fortunetelling, nor in order to embody the occult wisdom of the ages -- they were for playing a new card game.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 8:28 pm

Daniel Z wrote:One book that explored the idea of magic trick using tarot cards was Stephen Minch's Book of Thoth (a title it shares with Crowley's book on the subject).

It might be of interest to some to note, that while the tarot is understood as the ancestor of the playing card, modern scholarship has turned this history on it head. The evidence is very clear that the tarot was a modification made to the normal deck (a variety of suits and size decks existed at the time). The purpose of the new deck does not seem to have been for fortunetelling, nor in order to embody the occult wisdom of the ages -- they were for playing a new card game.


Indeed. I always used to get confused by that. For many years I always thought that the Tarot came first until I found out a few years ago that it was the other way around. However, I wonder at the purpose somehow. I can't see what new game the Major Arcana would be applicable to. The rest of the deck-yes-since the minor arcana is very similar to regular playing cards. The Major Arcana seems suited only to divination purposes as far as I can see. I will have to check out what new card game would be relevant to those particular cards. Of course regular cards can be used for divination too and in fact I have done so occasionally when I do not have tarot cards handy. In fact when I first started to study the tarot I went to a reader who would come in to the city on occasion and operate from a hotel. I remember paying her 15 pounds. She only used playing cards as I recall. She had one technique with the cards which was absolutely brilliant and I have used it ever since. That reading was worth a hell of a lot more than 15 pounds to me as the technique she used was applicable to Tarot cards as well as regular playing cards. It is one of my most powerful procedures when doing a reading.

I have often mused on the fact that there is something incredible and mysterious about playing cards. Not only the strange coincidences that many magicians know about regarding the calendar similarities and the lesser known spelling peculiarities applying to many of the major languages but the fact that they are used for three major purposes and thousands upon thousands of books have been written about each unrelated purpose.

1. Card playing
2. Card tricks.
3. Divination purposes (fortune telling)

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 8:46 pm

After researching the matter it seems that the game I was wondering about was some sort of Bridge related thing. I still don't know what the Death Card, the Hanged Man and the Tower card have to do with Bridge but I won't worry about it too much.

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Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby Daniel Z » April 24th, 2017, 9:19 pm

Hi Mark.
You can start here if you're interested in what's known about the original game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_card_games
Apparently there's a lot of textual evidence in the historical record.

I'd be happy to lend you a DVD of my documentary on the Tarot if we can figure out where and when to hand it off (warning Mark there are tarot magic performances by Jeff McBride and David Ben).

Otherwise you can stream it from Gaia.com I don't know what they charge, but they have our doc on Crowley as well as a few others you may find of interest.

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Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby performer » April 24th, 2017, 10:46 pm

Yes. I would be interested in having a look at it. I know I will be at the Browser's Den on Wednesday for sure. And yes. I already looked at the Wikipedia link as well as this very interesting blog.
https://marygreer.wordpress.com/2011/07 ... rot/really only have

I only have a cursory interest in the history of Tarot. All I know is that they work and work well. I believe in them 100%. I think it is the most powerful divination system known to mankind. There are common sense reasons as to why they work.

magicfish
Posts: 130
Joined: April 12th, 2008, 8:19 pm

Re: Tarot cards that feel like playing cards?

Postby magicfish » April 24th, 2017, 11:00 pm

Crowley is always good subject matter.
I often point out the masonic symbolism in the Rider Waite Smith deck without actually saying so. Waite was a member of more than one esoteric fraternity as was Crowley.


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