Premium Quality Playing Cards

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Christopher1979
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Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 5th, 2019, 8:54 pm

At the moment I am using Richard Turners traditionally cut bikes and regular Bee decks. I really love the feel of Bee decks and I find them a little more durable too. I do a lot of gambling demos and other related work. Without spending a lot of money trying different decks out I wanted to ask if any of you have used other decks that you could recommend.

There are so many variations of both Bikes and Bees now that it can be overwhelming. Both these decks do the job 99% of the time for me but I am working on a few very difficult techniques that rely on premium quality decks or at least make the techniques somewhat more achievable.

Any pointers would be gratefully appreciated

Chris

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Smurf » August 6th, 2019, 10:59 am

Some lower cost decks to consider:
Bicycle Mandolin
Bicycle Maiden Back
Standard Bee Decks are highly esteemed.
Many Magi like Tally-Ho.

Premium Decks
Phoenix Master Decks (seem out or production at the moment)
Bicycle Elite Edition (From Penguin, not in stock right now)
Theory11 Monarch
Theory11 Tycoon
Fournier 605 from Lee Asher

There are plenty of higher cost decks that are limited edition, but I am assuming you are looking for regularly available decks.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby I.M. Magician » August 6th, 2019, 1:33 pm

Have you tried a deck of SUPERIOR BRAND? Conjuring Arts put them out and I like how flexible (not stiff) they are. Best described as an excellent everyday standard deck which handles well. The back design is just okay looking and nothing special IMHO.

They are reasonably priced and are sometimes on sale so watch for that!

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 6th, 2019, 2:45 pm

Smurf wrote:Some lower cost decks to consider:
Bicycle Mandolin
Bicycle Maiden Back
Standard Bee Decks are highly esteemed.
Many Magi like Tally-Ho.

Premium Decks
Phoenix Master Decks (seem out or production at the moment)
Bicycle Elite Edition (From Penguin, not in stock right now)
Theory11 Monarch
Theory11 Tycoon
Fournier 605 from Lee Asher

There are plenty of higher cost decks that are limited edition, but I am assuming you are looking for regularly available decks.



Thank you!. Yes, I don't mind paying for a decent deck but it is a waste if the deck is a "collectible" deck rather than intended for everyday use. I do like the Elites but as you said they are not in stock right now. If you get a good deck of Bees they are hard to beat I love them.

I will have a look at what you have listed... many thanks!

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 6th, 2019, 2:46 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:Have you tried a deck of SUPERIOR BRAND? Conjuring Arts put them out and I like how flexible (not stiff) they are. Best described as an excellent everyday standard deck which handles well. The back design is just okay looking and nothing special IMHO.

They are reasonably priced and are sometimes on sale so watch for that!


Thanks! I will check them out :)

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 6th, 2019, 2:55 pm

I.M. I agree with you on the backs especially the skull and bones, not my thing at all. There is a couple that seems ok. I have a real problem in using any other type backs than the standard. All it does is draw attention to you and gives the spectators a reason to think you are using a "trick" deck.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby I.M. Magician » August 6th, 2019, 3:03 pm

That is not the deck I was speaking of. I mentioned the standard Superior deck. Take another look for those. The back design has a more typical look.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 6th, 2019, 3:18 pm

Yes!... I found them, thank you. I was just making a generalized point regarding other backs. Thanks for the info!

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Tom Gilbert » August 7th, 2019, 7:53 am

It's funny the selection of quality cards we have now, and can pick and choose. I'm sure a lot of the classic effects were created with cards we wouldn't use today. Anyone know what the quality was like of those older decks?

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby I.M. Magician » August 7th, 2019, 12:18 pm

Tom Gilbert wrote:It's funny the selection of quality cards we have now, and can pick and choose. I'm sure a lot of the classic effects were created with cards we wouldn't use today. Anyone know what the quality was like of those older decks?


How old are you referring to? From what I have seen generally, older decks dating before the sixties had a poor finish and were cardboardy if I may coin a new word.

In recent decades, the quality of playing cards have improved drastically. I am referring mainly to those produced for magicians. Some swear by certain decks manufactured in the sixties but techniques used nowadays are far superior IMHO. To each his or her own...

I find the best way to evaluate a deck is to spend a good deal of time handling only that deck and then switch to another. That way, the differences will be more obvious.

In the seventies, the only decks I used were Fox Lake Bridge Size. Since then, I don’t use decks very often so, when I do, I try different ones mainly to increase my background of what is out there and to amuse myself.

I particularly like that Erdnase Green Bee back deck which was available for a short time several years back. I believe I own the second run of those.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 7th, 2019, 2:55 pm

Those Fox Lake decks were hard to handle and always used to clump together. I have never used them but I know they used to make many gaffed decks, and I have had a few pass through my hands.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby I.M. Magician » August 7th, 2019, 3:24 pm

Christopher1979 wrote:Those Fox Lake decks were hard to handle and always used to clump together. I have never used them but I know they used to make many gaffed decks, and I have had a few pass through my hands.


I worked in a magic shop in the sixties and seventies and all of the gaffed decks we carried such as Mental Photography, Brainwave, etc. we’re Fox Lake so that’s what I used. I never thought of using anything else because they were what I did my demos with and sold so I was used to them and became comfortable with them. I also actually liked the narrow size because when I began working there, I was just a kid and had small hands.

We also carried fanning powder and I used some on occasion to solve the spreading problem. Nice that nowadays, you never need fanning powder with a good deck of cards.

There was a time when I could go to a gathering, take out an ordinary deck of cards, and perform card tricks for an hour. Over the years, I pretty much got away from using decks of cards (except an occasional trick deck or when in conjunction with another trick or prop) and can’t remember a single card trick I used to do. Some of them were from a Rufus Steele book.

Learning a stack of card tricks is on my bucket list. I keep delaying that because I enjoy using magic props of all kinds nowadays so the card tricks take a back seat.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 8th, 2019, 9:10 pm

Penguin sold out of the Elites back in June, and then advertised a July 1st restock. So far...nothing. Those of us who pre-ordered are still waiting.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 8th, 2019, 9:26 pm

At MAGIC Live I spoke with the people in charge of Cartamundi, and they handed me a new version of their 310 deck, which Murphy's will shortly make available in the US.
This is the BEST deck straight out of the box I've ever used. Soft, buttery, smooth. Doesn't buckle or pop. I highly recommend it.
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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Bill Duncan » August 8th, 2019, 11:56 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:This is the BEST deck straight out of the box I've ever used. Soft, buttery, smooth. Doesn't buckle or pop. I highly recommend it.


Better than the Tahoe decks from back in the NYMS days? Those were the best decks I ever used.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 9th, 2019, 12:26 am

Nothing will ever be as good as the Tahoes. But these are pretty damn good. Certainly better than any Bicycle Deck I've touched in 20 years.
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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 9th, 2019, 1:18 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Penguin sold out of the Elites back in June, and then advertised a July 1st restock. So far...nothing. Those of us who pre-ordered are still waiting.


I am waiting for them to restock too... I wonder what the hold up is.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:At MAGIC Live I spoke with the people in charge of Cartamundi, and they handed me a new version of their 310 deck, which Murphy's will shortly make available in the US.
This is the BEST deck straight out of the box I've ever used. Soft, buttery, smooth. Doesn't buckle or pop. I highly recommend it.


Wow... sounds promising. Thank you for the heads up, Richard!

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Chas Nigh » August 9th, 2019, 1:42 pm

If you like THICK, these cards are for you. Beautiful cards.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 9th, 2019, 2:05 pm

Are you referring to the 310, Chas? I didn't find them to be thick at all. They are a new version of the 310.
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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby chetday » August 9th, 2019, 2:56 pm

I still have a half dozen Tahoe decks that I purchased back in the mid-eighties, if I recall the date properly (possibly problematic). I opened one of the decks a couple of years ago but was really disappointed when the cards came out sticky and nothing like I recall the fresh decks being back in the day, decks that fanned and faroed beautifully.

Any ideas on what I could do to get rid of the stickiness that apparently resulted from being wrapped in foil and cardboard all these years? It would be fun to restore the cards to their original state to see if I still had some of the moves with the Tahoes I had back when RK was publishing his Almanac and Harry Lorayne was recommending Tahoe cards in Apocalypse.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Bob Farmer » August 9th, 2019, 3:14 pm

Don't use fanning powder, zinc sterate--it makes the cards stickier and attracts dirt. Use Teflon powder:

https://www.howardpianoindustries.com/m ... fe-powder/

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby chetday » August 9th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Thanks, Bob. I'll give that powder a try.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 9th, 2019, 5:34 pm

When I was a kid I used to do a lot of card manipulation, back palming, etc, etc. I remember I bought a pack of flesh-colored playing cards and some fanning powder. For some reason the thing I remember the most was the smell of the card.... they had a strong chemical smell that I can recall from memory right now lol

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 9th, 2019, 10:09 pm

Chet, old Tahoes have aged out. Sell them.
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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby chetday » August 10th, 2019, 11:10 am

Richard, that's what I was afraid of. I'm sure kicking myself for hoarding them all these years, thinking that I'd get a lot of fun out of those decks once I retired and had some time on my hands again. Living in the heat and humidity of New Orleans, central Florida, and now North Carolina can't have helped much, either.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 10th, 2019, 11:36 am

chetday wrote:Richard, that's what I was afraid of. I'm sure kicking myself for hoarding them all these years, thinking that I'd get a lot of fun out of those decks once I retired and had some time on my hands again. Living in the heat and humidity of New Orleans, central Florida, and now North Carolina can't have helped much, either.


I live in Phoenix and in Monsoon season, which is now, it is a nightmare... don't take your deck "al fresco" and you might be ok :)

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby I.M. Magician » August 10th, 2019, 1:06 pm

I was thinking about what Christopher said earlier in this thread about a deck not looking suspicious.

There are so many novelty back decks being sold everywhere nowadays that many are used to seeing them.

If you still feel that a regular looking back is best, then the standard Superiors I mentioned are perfect.

They remind me of a deck one would buy in a Dollar Store with a somewhat unattractive back design.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Alan M » August 10th, 2019, 5:54 pm

Several years back I bought a dozen or so unopened Tahoe decks. I opened one and once I removed the foil, I found the entire deck stuck together like a Paul Harris Solid Deception deck. Very disappointing.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby chetday » August 10th, 2019, 6:23 pm

Alan, I feel your pain.

And I suspect my pain's even worse than yours because I still have cognitive and muscle memories of my Tahoe decks when they were new and quite wonderful to work with.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Bill Mullins » August 13th, 2019, 5:31 pm

I'm not an aficianado of decks like some folks, but I do like Cartamundi's Ace decks. Good quality, inexpensive, and easily available (Dollar General stores near me carry them.)

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Chas Nigh » August 14th, 2019, 9:19 am

I bought a pair of Ace decks and tossed them an hour later. Complete trash.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Leo Garet » August 14th, 2019, 11:48 am

The previous two posts don't exactly say it all, but they do speak volumes.

These suit me and these don't. I like these and I don't like these.

I use bridge size cards, which is another kettle of fish altogether and I have some Fox Lake/Aviators that I've kept at room temperature for more than several weeks. I'm getting to the end of what was a large batch, but they're still fine. No deterioration.

Well, they suit me and that's what I think.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 15th, 2019, 12:54 pm

I didn't know anyone used bridge size cards these days!

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Leo Garet » August 15th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Christopher1979 wrote:I didn't know anyone used bridge size cards these days!

Now you do. :)

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Christopher1979 » August 20th, 2019, 7:47 pm

Elites are back in stock! Just got a brick.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Pete McCabe » August 21st, 2019, 6:23 pm

Richard,

Murphy's shows a Copag 310 deck for sale right now—is it the "old" one? Any way to tell when the new ones come out?

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Tom Gilbert » August 22nd, 2019, 6:50 am

Good question Pete. I just bought a deck of 310's and wasn't impressed. On the other hand I like the Bicycle Elite cards and some hate them.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Smurf » September 6th, 2019, 4:35 pm

The new decks are called Copage 310 SlimLine and they just started showing up.

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Re: Premium Quality Playing Cards

Postby Tom Gilbert » September 6th, 2019, 9:17 pm

Thanks Smurf.


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