Why Red?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby jwalkmagic » 01/11/13 02:44 PM

In another thread about Rising Cards (Devano) it occurred to me that red Bicycle backs seem to have become the standard for card magic. I even notice that many gimmicks seem to be made in red Bicycle.

Now the Bicycle part is easy but I have to wonder why red over blue?

Any thoughts?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/11/13 02:51 PM

Certain sleights are more invisible with a red deck.
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Postby jwalkmagic » 01/11/13 03:58 PM

I wonder why that is. Blue is the harder color for the human eye to focus on.
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 01/11/13 04:34 PM

My reason? Red backs allow a signed back to really pop... (And I sign thousands of cards...)
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/11/13 05:18 PM

Certain marking systems are much better in red because the red ink is easier to match.
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/11/13 06:04 PM

Daryl claimed in "Daryl does the Full Monte" that blue Bee's are more effective than red Bee's to conceal the hype move.

Michael Close was known for using only blue Bike riders at Illusions (which had an additional benefit) See Workers 1.

I like red for the reason Andrew stated, and I like the way they look better than blue in a parlour setting.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/11/13 06:25 PM

Red backs are better if you're trying to do a Pass invisibly.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/11/13 06:38 PM

Not convinced by that one.

90% of the time I've used blue bikes. These days I might use a red deck, but that's probably because it was the first one off the pile.
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Postby AJM » 01/11/13 07:06 PM

I try and do all my passes visibly, difficult I know, but it means I can use any coloured back I choose...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/11/13 08:33 PM

Just my experience of the past ... uh, 40 goddam years. :) Yeah, 40 years ago I was kneeling on the floor watching Dingle do the Pass from underneath. Cripes!
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Postby Ivanovich » 01/12/13 11:22 AM

I use red because I have jokes based around it (primary reason), and because if I ever need a back signed it stands out much better than blue.

I personally won't buy into red vs. blue for "more effective" sleights until 1. someone defines what "more effective" is and how you measure it, and 2. I see some actual data on it. If someone is good enough to fool you with a sleight, he/she is good enough to do it no matter what the back color is. And if that person NEEDS a certain color back, there's more work to be done. I've probably pissed off some people there...

I do believe that some sleights are easier if there is no border on the deck, but I have one effect that I do where the border is a virtual necessity. Otherwise, I'd be a Bee guy through and through.

Just the opinions of a fellow worker,

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Postby jwalkmagic » 01/12/13 12:04 PM

My curiosity here is in part as a historian (the job I am currently paid to do) and partly as someone who was paid to light theatrical stages for most of my adult life. And yes I am an amateur/enthusiast about magic but it has been a lifelong passion and opened many of the doors to where I am now. It has also given me a different perspective that I believe helps in both those fields.

This leads me to some further questions and speculations.

First I am curious about the color choice because red is an attractive color in that the eye is drawn to it quite naturally. In theatre it is not uncommon to use red to make the object of interest stand out and subdue other elements in blues or earth tones. A blue lighting wash is often used to create a muted or hard to focus effect while red or other warm colors will as was mentioned earlier make things pop for the audience.

Next I was wondering what cards were preferred by our predecessors like Vernon, Scarne, Garcia, Dingle and so on. It is difficult to tell from the black and white photography of the day.

I am not questioning anyone's particular choice as I have always been a proponent of doing what works. It is as a student of history, theatre and magic that I ask this. I hope that I do not offend.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/12/13 12:13 PM

Whenever I have purchased double back Rider cards, the blues have been such a poor match for the blues used in normal Bicycle decks that they are useless as a secret tool. The reds tend to match up better.
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Postby luigimar » 01/12/13 05:06 PM

I think what Richard means is that Red blends better with the color of human skin than blue does. So if there is a flash of a red back, it will stand out less than a blue back would if it is seen.
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Postby Jeffrey Korst » 01/12/13 06:34 PM

In my case, the color preference dates back to the early 80's when close up magic was done on a close up pad.

A black pad was out--I was doing Roth's portable hole. Red was just too bright and garish for my taste which left blue. A blue deck on a blue pad had no contrast, so red backed cards it was--and is even though I hardly ever use a pad these days.
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Postby jwalkmagic » 01/14/13 03:47 PM

You made me go through my various double backers to check on this.

I can say I do not observe this in any cars I own but it does rebind me of a blankface deck in red I got some years back. The backs were many shades lighter than the standard decks I was buying at the time as to be unusable.

I think the is just a case of poor quality control and not the color.

Steve Bryant wrote:Whenever I have purchased double back Rider cards, the blues have been such a poor match for the blues used in normal Bicycle decks that they are useless as a secret tool. The reds tend to match up better.
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