Card Guard

Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.

Postby walkinoats » 10/30/01 05:53 AM

I recently purchased a Card Guard. Its helpful in preventing the cards from expanding and from buckling. I feel it was a good investment. Does anyone agree or disagree?
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Postby Guest » 10/30/01 05:14 PM

Since I use a new deck every couple of days, it wouldn't be as much use to me. A couple of people that I know have used them and they swear by them.
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Postby Jeff Hinchliffe » 10/30/01 06:15 PM

I bought a card guard, and i use it all the time. It is especially useful when you have a deck designed for continuous faro shuffles (such as UNSHUFFLED, by Paul Gertner).

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/30/01 07:50 PM

The so-called "Card Guard" was invented by Joe Porper and sold in the 1970s. His were finely made. The ONLY reason to use them is to keep your deck from warping, a problem that Bicycle cards suffer from. I used one for a while (thankfully another brand of cards came along and saved me), but it always ate a hole in my jeans pocket!
Anyway, the last thing in the world you ever want is for a layman to see you take your deck out of some wacky damn holder. You might as well give up right there.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/30/01 07:59 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
...The ONLY reason to use them is to keep your deck from warping, a problem that Bicycle cards suffer from. I used one for a while (thankfully another brand of cards came along and saved me)


Richard (or anyone else) what brand of cards do you use? I'm working with Tally Ho, Bicycle and Steamline and haven't found a favorite yet.

I sure miss the Arco cards...
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/30/01 10:15 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
I sure miss the Arco cards...


I'll bet cash-money that Richard does too, and these are the cards he's talking about. USPC acquired Arrco (yes - 'rr') in the late 80s and that was that. They were the best cards; virtually indestructible.

At the "New York Magic Symposium" in San Francisco (don't ask me what year - 1980something) I attended a semi-private card workshop that RK gave. In speaking (and I'm being kind here, he wasn't "speaking") about how great the cards were, he threw them on the floor and literally walked all over them. "Would you do THAT to Bicycles?!?!?" He scooped them up - and immediately did a perfect pressure fan. I ordered dozens from him (I still have some of the gaffs, which at the time, I believe, were the first printed gaffs to match a national brand).

This makes me wonder if Mr. Kaufman perhaps hoarded a personal stash and is still working through them(?).

Regards,
Dustin

PS: Just as an FYI: I did a review of playing card sales in the U.S. in general consumer channels (food stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers [K-Mart, Target etc. - no Cosco] combined).

Unfortunately I cannot go into detail here without permission from the syndicated data firm that provided the data (Information Resources, Inc.), but I will say that the Bicycle brand has more than half of the dollar sales in the country. The next closest competitor is "Private Label" (all store brands combined) at less than 20% of Bicycle's total sales. Tally Ho doesn't even make a dent. The point here is that the cards that are the most recognizable in this country - like it or not - is Bicycle. Any thing else may raise suspicion among some lay people.

What I found was very interesting. There was even a segment for "trick" cards (very small, but there).

[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: Dustin Stinett ]
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Postby Matthew Field » 10/31/01 07:20 AM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
This makes me wonder if Mr. Kaufman perhaps hoarded a personal stash and is still working through them(?).



Well, he might have gone through his huge stash by now, but I doubt it.

The gaffs Don England made for the original "Gaffed to the Hilt" were all Arrcos, and what beauties they were.

I've still got a few decks, unopened and sealed in foil, which is how they were packaged.

But to the average spectator, Arrcos are unusual and scream "TRICK DECK" so I reverted to Bicycles. See Richard's comments above about deck clamps (like Card Guard).

Jeff B**by was touting Aladdin cards for a while -- they are very thick but hold up well. And his "Secret of the Palmettos" featured Texas Palmetto backs in an all-over design (like "Bee") which allowed for an instant, out-of-a-sealed-box edge-mark reading system.

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Postby walkinoats » 10/31/01 07:24 AM

thanks everyone for your replys. So Arco's are no longer made?
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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/31/01 07:54 PM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
I've still got a few decks, unopened and sealed in foil, which is how they were packaged.

But to the average spectator, Arrcos are unusual and scream "TRICK DECK"...


Oh! The good ones! Arrco did two designs if I recall. The really nice looking design was the foil wrapped deck and they had another design that look rather old fashioned and (I thought) clumsy.

Jay Sankey even had a trick, called Meltdown (Sankey Pankey p.70) using the nice Arrco's, wherein the deck returned to the case re-wrapped in the foil.

I don't have a problem with people thinking it's a trick deck. What would it take to get you to part with some of those decks Matt?

[ October 31, 2001: Message edited by: Bill Duncan ]
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Postby Philippe Noël » 11/01/01 12:47 AM

I have heard that Guy Hollingworth uses Stud cards.
Does anybody know something about those cards?
Where are there sold and so on...
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Postby Terry » 11/01/01 07:20 AM

Stud cards are sold in Walgreens Drug stores here in Kentucky. They are a thinner card than Bicycles.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/01 09:43 AM

Just thought I would add my $.02. I live in Florida and let me tell you without card guard I would have to work with warped cards constantly. I also use it when I perform. I make a joke about it and move on.
I see people posting on here about decks screaming that they are trick cards. Well when I work people always ask if the cards are tricked. I don't take offense to it actually it is a complement. If they believe that the only way something can be done is with trick cards then they obviously have no idea how it really works. I let them shuffle the cards and they shake their heads.
Here is an observation/question, we spend countless hours working on sleights that go unseen by our audience why are we worried that they will attribute it to the cards? If that is the case then you should just show them straight out how you did it.
Perhaps my vision is skewed on this. What do you guys think?
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/01/01 10:07 AM

Originally posted by Jay Wethington:
[QB]Here is an observation/question, we spend countless hours working on sleights that go unseen by our audience why are we worried that they will attribute it to the cards? If that is the case then you should just show them straight out how you did it.
QB]



I've got to disagree with you, Jay. Whether the audience suspects sleight of hand or gimmicked cards, what you are doing is a puzzle, not magic. If the audience suspects trick cards, aren't you just a fellow who plunked down some money for a clever mechanical gizmo? The spectator thinks, "If I had that deck I could do what that guy is doing. No big deal."

Is a person who does that a magician? Not in my book. That's why there is such an ongoing debate about the inclusion of packet tricks in a magician's repertoire.

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Postby Van » 12/09/01 09:41 PM

An interesting(?) point about Stud decks is that they come with 4 jokers.

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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/09/01 10:36 PM

Originally posted by RVM:
An interesting(?) point about Stud decks is that they come with 4 jokers.

Van


Where does one find Stud brand cards? I've never heard of them. Also, are at least two of hte Jokers identical? If so that would nice for LJ's "Mystery Card"
:eek:
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Postby Frank Yuen » 12/10/01 12:05 AM

Stud cards are available at Walgreen stores. I believe they are a "house" brand for the stores as I've never seen them available anywhere else. All four jokers are identical.

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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/13/01 12:31 AM

While at the local Rite-Aid drug store I stopped to look at their selection of playing cards.

I was looking for a deck of Tally-Hos. I attended a workshop taught by Jamy Ian Swiss recently and he uses Tally-Hos. I've used Bicycles for many years, primarily because they're the only cards you can get cheap at Costco (12 decks, $13.99).

But then I figured, playing cards are one of the primary props I use in magic. Surely I could afford to spend an extra dollar or two per deck if I thought it was worth it. So I'm looking for a couple Tally-Ho decks, to see if I think it is.

They didn't have any Tally-Ho decks at Rite-Aid. They had Bicycles, and also Bees. And several decks of "Rite-Aid" brand in various back designs. Finally, several decks with budweiser logos, race cars, horses, and stuff like that.

If I'm at someone's house and ask to borrow a deck, I get all kinds of cards.

In my personal opinion, no lay person ever suspects trick cards because they don't recognize the back design. Because lay people aren't familiar enough with playing cards to know what it common and what is not.

It is certainly true that people will sometimes say "those must be trick cards." However this does not necessarily mean that they suspect your cards. What it usually means is that they have no idea how you could possible do what you just did, and they saw no evidence of sleight-of-hand. The only possible explanation left is trick cards.

They sometimes think this even when they have examined the cards. I've also heard this when performing with a borrowed deck.

The point is, people are in my experience just as likely to mention the possibility of trick cards when you use bicycles as when you use any other brand.

So, I recommend you use the brand that works best for you. Let the audience handle the cards during the routine. If someone says "trick cards," give them the cards, to keep.

And most importantly, give the audience something more important to think about than the method, so the trick seems like something magical to be savored, not a puzzle to be solved.

Now, can someone tell me where I can get a couple Tally-Ho decks in L.A.?
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/14/01 10:32 AM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
. . . are at least two of hte Jokers identical:


All 4 Jokers in a Stud deck are identical! And in their Pinochle decks, you get 4 blank face cards as well!!

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Postby Terry » 12/14/01 04:04 PM

Now, can someone tell me where I can get a couple Tally-Ho decks in L.A.?


Pete, have you tried the local magic shop? If that fails, give Haines House of Cards a try.

Good luck on your search!
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Postby Eric Wolf » 01/05/02 05:14 AM

I have a card guard and have used it for years. I am not particularly concerned about laymen seeing it. By handing out the deck to have someone mix the cards or remove the jokers, I have indirectly shown the deck as “normal”. Card guard or not, there is a certain percentage of the audience who always thinks the deck is gaffed. That is taken care of by the means as described above.

I personally like the look and feel of the card guard.

Also, there IS a reason for using the card guard beyond simply keeping the cards from warping.


I have seen the card guard come in two different forms: a) brushed finish b) highly polished finish. The highly polished finish is a perfect shiner. This thing is like putting a full-length mirror on your working surface. Done correctly, it is easily pulled off and adds an extra technique to your arsenal.

As a side note, I will warn that the card guard usually causes a bag check at the airport based on how it shows up on the X-Ray machine.
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Postby Guest » 01/06/02 07:33 AM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:

Now, can someone tell me where I can get a couple Tally-Ho decks in L.A.?[/QB]


You can get all you want at http://www.gamblersgeneralstore.com/cards3.html

(as well as many other types of cards)

Or call them at: 800-322-2447

Ken
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Postby Guest » 01/06/02 09:29 AM

I order all my cards from Kardwell International (www.kardwell.com or 800-233-0828). They have everything, ship promptly, and have bulk discounts for magicians who order by the gross, half-gross, or even quarter-gross. They had Tally-Ho's last time I checked. --Ezra.
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Postby Guest » 01/20/02 08:28 PM

HI, WOW THIS IS COOL, I'VE NEVER POSTED A MESSAGE ON A FORUM (THERE'S ALWAYS A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING), ANYWAY, BACK TO CARD GUARDS, SOMEONE SUGGESTED THAT I USE ONE BACK WHEN I WAS 10 BECAUSE I USE TO JUST TOSS A FEW DECKS INTO MY POCKET BEFORE I PERFORMED AND THEN THE CARDS AND THE BOX WOULD BECOME BOWED AND TATTERED. AT THAT TIME, BEFORE I COULD DO CARD SLIGHTS, I JUST USED STRIPPER, SVENGALLI (I HOPE I SPELLED THAT RIGHT), INVISIABLE CARD DECKS, THE DISADVANTAGE, WAS THAT I HAD TO CARRY ALOT OF DECKS, AND HENCE ALL OF THEM LOOKED TERRIBLE. I USED CARD GUARDS FOR A FEW YEARS, BUT SINCE I HAD SO MANY DECKS, AND I USED CARD GUARDS ON ALL THE DECKS, MY POCKETS BECAME RATHER HEAVY. TO REMEDY THIS PROBLEM, I USE CARD PRESSES AT NIGHT (TO KEEP THE CARDS "FRESH") AND WHEN I WAKE-UP, I PUT THEM IN THEIR BOXES, AND PUT THE BOXS IN "VIKING PRO-CARD CASE" (WHICH I CLIP TO MY BELT) THIS SOLUTION BOTH KEEPS MY CARD FRESH, AND IT ELIMINATES THE PROBLEM OF HAVING A "WEIRD" CARD CASE. THE VIINKG CASE IS MADE OF RICH BLACK LEATHER, AND IF LAYMEN SEE IT, IT ADDS CLASS TO YOUR PERFORMANCE, BUT NOW I JUST CLIP THEM TO MY BELT, AND INSTEAD OF RECHING INTO MY POCKETS, I JUST OPEN THE CASE AND OUT COMES THE CARDS (BEST OF ALL, SINCE I SOMETIME STILL USE THE GOOD 'OL GIMMICKED CARD DECKS, THE VIKING CASE ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM OF HAVING TOO MANY BOXES IN MY POCKETS AND I ALWAYS KNOW WHERE MY DECKS ARE). WHEN I GO HOME, I TAKE THE CARDS OUT OF THE CASES AND STICK THEM INTO THE PRESS. YOU CAN EITHER ORDER THE CARD PRESSES FROM NORM NELSON OR JEFF McBRIDE, I CARRY BOTH VERSIONS IN MY SHOP, AND YOU CAN BUY THE VIKING PRO-CARD CASE, WHICH I ALSO SELL. ALTHOUGH THE CARD CASES ARE EXPENSIVE (APPROX. $20), IF YOU'RE A PERFORMER WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT APPEARENCE (AND UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT IT MAKES)THEN YOU WILL KNOW THAT THE CASES ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY.

THANKS ALOT,
STU

YOU CAN REACH ME AT THE SHOP AND AT HOME AT:

E-MAIL:
magic_stu@hotmail.com

PHONE:
1-(201)-836-3863
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