why are all my cards "bowed?"

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 03/28/04 03:32 PM

I have a continual problem with new playing cards becoming "bowed;" that is, they have a pronounced warp, and an audible "crick" in them which makes them annoying to handle.

I use only good decks: tally-ho, bicycle, bee, etc.

I have asked several experts about it and no one seems to be able to give me the answers I'm seeking, which are: 1) what causes cards to get in this condition?, and 2) is it possible to work out the bowing, so that the deck will handle normally?

I would appreciate any feedback on this that card guys would be willing to offer. thanks!

BJ
Guest
 

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/28/04 04:09 PM

1: Changes in temperature (especially heat) will warp the cards. I'll notice that if I've had a deck in my pocket for a while that they'll be warped. It's just from my natural body heat.

2: I have been able to work out the warp somewhat, by springing the cards both ways, and flexing them back and forth (sometimes helps to do this from a fan, as it's easier to flex the cards that way).

There's also ways to prevent it. Obviously, keeping the deck from getting warmed up too much will work fine. You can also check out the Joe Porper's card clip, which holds the deck perfectly flat while in your pocket, or wherever.

Hope this helps.

-Jim
Jim Maloney_dup1
 
Posts: 1709
Joined: 07/23/01 12:00 PM
Location: Northern New Jersey

Postby Guest » 03/28/04 07:00 PM

I tend to get bowed cards in the winter, I always thought it may be because of the dryness of the air or the lack of humidity. Eventually the ones I have had become bowed will become normal again over time just by letting them sit in the box and waiting a couple of months. It is admittedly a pain in the butt.

Incidentally I find they also get that way on an airplane.
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/28/04 07:21 PM

Changes in air pressure, humidty, temperature, etc.
The solution is simple as pie: Buy yourself a Card Clip from Joe Porper and you will NEVER have this problem again.
:)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20458
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Jim Morton » 03/29/04 10:19 AM

Humidity is a big factor. I have decks that behave just fine when I'm in San Francisco, but when I go down to Silver City, New Mexico, the same decks turn into brittle curvy monsters (Silver City is also 5,900 ft, so the altitude may also be a factor). It is less pronounced with Studs, than with Tally-Hos and Bikes. I'll have to try a card clip next time I'm down that way.
Jim Morton
 
Posts: 178
Joined: 02/07/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Francisco

Postby Guest » 03/29/04 10:58 AM

Thanks for the responses. I will definitely get a clip, which will take care of the deck I'm currently using. But I can't get 10 clips, and the problem is that I have many decks and all seem to be warped. Will the card clip correct a deck that's already bowed? So if I have a clip I can put it on any deck and it will become flat again? Or does it need to be used only with a deck right out of the box?

FWIW: My cards are kept in a closet on a shelf, stored upright, with no extremes of heat or humidity at all. I also treat them gently, and keep them in the case. Now, it's not that I need to have scads of decks to practice or perform, but I've bought them in quantity to get price breaks, and it seems like every time I open one, it gets warped, so I go through a lot of decks until I get one that stays flat. I went through my collection of opened decks last night, and even though some were used maybe once or twice, I have about 25(!)warped decks. This is just ridiculous.

Could it be something about storing them?

So far as I can tell, "working them in" doesn't solve it at all. I will do the springing (both directions), some riffle shuffles, etc,(what I've observed experts doing) but it does no good.

Very frustrating.
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/29/04 11:27 AM

card clip card clip card clip card clip card clip.
Etc.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20458
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Pete Biro » 03/29/04 11:29 AM

In the old days Casino's used card presses that held from six to 12 decks.

Perhaps you can stack them with a weight.

Or get a long "c-clamp" like used for furniture and two pieces of wood, put the decks between them and clamp 'em tight when stored.

Alternate: Move away from the ocean !!! :D
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 03/29/04 01:06 PM

Richard, the card clip costs $30. I can't buy a whole bunch of them. I will definitely get one, but I ask again: will the clip "correct" a deck that's already bowed, or will it only maintain a new deck in good condition.

Thanks for the help.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 03/29/04 01:11 PM

I thought that slight bend in cards was beneficial to most techniques if not all?
As long as your cards are not "folded in half" I don't see where the problem is.
Paper cards will not stay flat. Try to keep decks that you use for just riffle shuffle seperated from the ones you use for most other things, I found that this keeps them flatter for longer time.
Notice that plastic cards like KEM are very hard to handle I think in part that they remain straight no matter what you do?
:)
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 03/29/04 01:23 PM

If you have a kid or watched "Shrek" recently:
Cards and ogres are like onions, they have layers. :p
If you place a card on your hand after few seconds if will start to bow, one layer expands while the other stays the same size.
I think card clip is great for keeping your deck in your pocket so it doesn't look like your wallet?
Other than that I like the idea of c-clamp and wood pieces, get 10 decks in there it will keep lots of them flat till you're ready to practice.
Guest
 

Postby Jeff Haas » 03/30/04 12:09 PM

This is the type of thing Pete was mentioning:

http://www.toolpeddler.com/D3007.htm

I've seen these individually available in local hardware stores.

Jeff
Jeff Haas
 
Posts: 919
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

Postby Bob Farmer » 03/30/04 03:20 PM

Try this with bowed decks: faro half the deck face-up into half face down, so every second card is reversed. Put the deck back in the card box and put it in a freezer overnight. Remove. Let thaw. Leave for a few days.
Bob Farmer
 
Posts: 1661
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Short card above selection.

Postby Guest » 03/30/04 11:11 PM

Here's another thing you can try doing with bowed decks. Practice with them. Use them. Then, when they get too old, throw them away.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 03/31/04 09:28 AM

This is the most annoying problem to deal with. I believe it's a humidity issue. Ever have a good deck that you open up on an airplane that become unworkable? It's the lack of humidity that produces that dreaded pop in the deck that makes it worthless. The clip helps but can't prevent it from happpening once the deck is out of the clip. Air conditioning zaps humidity but not as bad as heat during the winter. Giobbi says to make sure that you don't warm up the cards too much in such environments. He uses multiple decks switching them in after using one for a few minutes. You might get a digital hydrometer to check the level of humidity in your house. It should be between 40-55%. If it's dryer than that, you can purchase a humidifier that will keep it at what ever level you set. Emerson makes a good one. Just make sure it has a knob to adjust the automatic shut off. Then you can play around with the level using the hydrometer. I have an environmentally controlled room that I keep my guitars in, in which I also store my cards. It works. Just remember that humidity goes where it is needed, so a small humidifier may not take care of your entire house. If you designate a room for the humidifier and keep the door shut, you can control that room very easily.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 03/31/04 10:53 AM

This is getting too technical. I can't imagine that the warping is that extreme that it renders the cards useless. For those types of decks why don't you do some effects that don't require extremely pristine cards or fine handling? Or you could always switch to coin magic!
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/31/04 01:51 PM

Actually, Brian, warping can render a deck useless for certain types of sleights. Because the cards will "pop" from a convex or concave bevel the other way with no warning, it can absolutely kill your Double Lift, among other things.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20458
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 03/31/04 02:34 PM

Richard, your point is valid indeed. I personally have not experienced much difficulty with cards warping but I can understand it does happen. It just seems to me that if a deck is that warped you could possibly use it for other effects which do not require finer techniques like a double lift. Maybe they could be bent even further to perform a 3 card monte routine for instance or possibly a torn and restored effect. I'm just saying it would be a shame to throw all those decks away without using them for something!
Guest
 

Postby Mark Collier » 03/31/04 04:37 PM

Bob Farmer's suggestion is the answer. I store my decks faro shuffled face up and face down. It takes a minute to set up for the show but the decks are in great condition.
Mark Collier
 
Posts: 373
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Santa Barbara, Ca

Postby Mark Collier » 03/31/04 04:40 PM

Oh ya, Richard's right too. Get a card clip (preferable from Joe Porper). You can use a couple of pieces of wood and a vise also but that leaves a noticable bulge and messes with pocket management.
Mark Collier
 
Posts: 373
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Santa Barbara, Ca

Postby Guest » 04/01/04 01:50 AM

What's really funny to do:
take a brand new deck before you go on the plane... play with it before the take-off...
after 30 minutes.... your deck is completly unusable.. untill you land again..

airpressure... is the answer ... i think...

cheers

jacky
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/01/04 08:38 AM

Originally posted by Jacky Kahan:
airpressure... is the answer ... i think...
I am not sure that air pressure is the reason. First, cabins are pressurized and I don't think there is a whole lot air pressure difference between the airplane and the ground air pressure.

I would think that humidity is much lower on an airplane. I feel totally dried out after a long flight.

Chris Wasshuber
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
Guest
 

Postby Robert McDaniel » 04/01/04 06:22 PM

Personally, I hate warped cards. I'm a bit obsessive compulsive about it. I like a perfectly flat deck.

I'm always surprised when I see someone, who I admire greatly, perform with a warped deck. Paul Harris and David Regal come to mind.

RK and Bob Farmer have the answer for keeping playing cards as flat as possible. Interweave the cards face-up/facedown and put them back in the box. Then put them in a (Porper) card clip. A day or two later they will be flat. I've heard that putting them in the freezer or vegetable crisper helps, too, as BF suggested.

I'm not a professional, so I don't use up a lot of decks, but when I buy a dozen decks, I open all of them and alternate them face-up/facedown and put them back in the card case. If I plan to use them soon, I put the cased deck in a card clip.

I believe that Bicycle cards are more prone to warping than Tally Hos. Neil Lester (Cards by Martin) says that they're both made from the same cardstock, and I believe him. But, based on 35 years experience, Tally Ho cards stay flat better than Bicycles for some reason.

Just my opinion, but like I said... I'm a bit obsessive compulsive about warped cards.

Robert McDaniel
Robert McDaniel
 
Posts: 139
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: USA


Return to General