Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

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Susan Arendt
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Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Susan Arendt » January 11th, 2018, 10:44 am

I saw this discussion on Reddit and thought the comments were quite interesting. I'd love to hear your collective thoughts on the matter:

https://geniionline.com/articles/discus ... gner-decks

In a nutshell, it comes down to whether it's ok to use designer decks for card routines (non-cardistry, I mean) or if performers should stick with Bicycle because that's what laypeople expect to see. One comment suggests laypeople are used to seeing unusual decks, so they won't automatically think they're "special magician decks", but I'm not sure I agree. On the other hand, I do think it's true that the audience is going to think you're using something rigged no matter what it looks like, so may as well bust out whatever deck you like.

What say ye?
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Pete McCabe
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Pete McCabe » January 11th, 2018, 11:08 am

Go to your local drugstore or Target/Walmart etc. Have a look at the decks of cards for sale. You will see Bicycles and lots of other kinds. That's what your audiences are used to—lots and lots of different back designs. Only magicians are suspicious of non-Bicycle cards.

If you want to prevent people from thinking you're using rigged cards, let the audience handle the cards.

Anthony Vinson
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Anthony Vinson » January 11th, 2018, 1:35 pm

Ditto what Pete said. Although I think calling them designer cards is a misnomer, they're just brands vying for consumer dollars. Bicycle-branded decks with varying back designs are hanging from store racks next to Duck Dynasty cards, WPT cards, Dragon Back, etc. I really don't think it's an issue any longer, if it ever was.

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Susan Arendt
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Susan Arendt » January 11th, 2018, 1:41 pm

Anthony Vinson wrote:Ditto what Pete said. Although I think calling them designer cards is a misnomer, they're just brands vying for consumer dollars. Bicycle-branded decks with varying back designs are hanging from store racks next to Duck Dynasty cards, WPT cards, Dragon Back, etc. I really don't think it's an issue any longer, if it ever was.


Fair enough! I was just trying to distinguish them from your standard Bikes. Atypical is probably the better description.
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Jackpot
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Jackpot » January 12th, 2018, 12:14 am

The problem with "unusual" decks is never the unusual style on the backs. But if the effect requires the spectator(s) to remember a selected card and the faces are confusing you have selected the wrong tool for the task. Using a standard face with any type of deck is always fine. This is especially true when your effect requires a contrasting back with the deck in use. There are people whose vision makes the contrast between red and blue bikes so insignificant as to lessen the impact of the effect and make the magic less accessible.
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Susan Arendt
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Susan Arendt » January 12th, 2018, 10:41 am

Jackpot wrote:The problem with "unusual" decks is never the unusual style on the backs. But if the effect requires the spectator(s) to remember a selected card and the faces are confusing you have selected the wrong tool for the task. Using a standard face with any type of deck is always fine. This is especially true when your effect requires a contrasting back with the deck in use. There are people whose vision makes the contrast between red and blue bikes so insignificant as to lessen the impact of the effect and make the magic less accessible.


Oh, now that's rather a good point.
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Steve Mills
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Steve Mills » January 12th, 2018, 11:51 am

Pete McCabe wrote:Go to your local drugstore or Target/Walmart etc. Have a look at the decks of cards for sale. You will see Bicycles and lots of other kinds. That's what your audiences are used to—lots and lots of different back designs. Only magicians are suspicious of non-Bicycle cards.

If you want to prevent people from thinking you're using rigged cards, let the audience handle the cards.


I've often thought that poker size cards are more likely to arouse suspicion that the back design. Having said that, I doubt it matters. How many times has a color changing deck routine died a painful death because the audience had no idea of the color, let alone the design.
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Leonard Hevia
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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 13th, 2018, 11:47 pm

I'm more concerned about the faces than the back design and prefer the look of Bicycles. The court cards are beautifully designed and the number cards have a nice symmetry. They have a classic appeal that goes back a long time.

There are designer decks on the market with strange looking court cards that don't have aesthetic beauty. The colors are also not as bright as Bicycles.

It's probably a good idea to point out the color of the backs before the color change. Nick Trost has a nice color changing deck effect in The Card Magic of Nick Trost called The Observation Test.

Steve--what do you find suspicious about poker sized cards? Isn't that a standard size?

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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 14th, 2018, 12:39 am

I have been using Bicycles for decades, and one reason, among others, is that I want no observable discrepancy between tricks done FASDIU and my ID, which is the closer.

However, I have gotten into collecting the so-called designer decks over the past couple years. Many of these decks, as well as their boxes, are works of art, which I enjoy showing off and practicing with. I have used these decks for some of the more "upscale" bookings and they are definitely appreciated and commented upon by the clientele. Is there an issue of them being suspected of being trick decks because they do not have the universality and common recognition of Bicycles or Bees? I really don't believe so. Those who suspect that "trick" cards are being used will do so irrespective of brand or type.

I gotta say though, I am really getting spoiled by the various Legends decks. They are beautiful, and handle like silk. Love the diamond back finishes, and they are incomparable for flourishes. There is something regal about them and it just plain feels (and looks) good to perform with them.

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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby Tom Gilbert » January 14th, 2018, 10:04 pm

They make them and people buy them. On occasion, it seems like they ran out of clever ideas for theme decks.

As someone stated before, I have a number of Bike gaffs and a few custom made, no sense in buying a deck twice the price and have make an obvious switch out to a different deck to do another effect. I am partial to the Bike Elites. Handle nicely and reasonably priced.

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Re: Discussion: Your opinion on designer decks?

Postby erdnasephile » January 15th, 2018, 8:18 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:Go to your local drugstore or Target/Walmart etc. Have a look at the decks of cards for sale. You will see Bicycles and lots of other kinds. That's what your audiences are used to—lots and lots of different back designs. Only magicians are suspicious of non-Bicycle cards.

If you want to prevent people from thinking you're using rigged cards, let the audience handle the cards.


^^^This (or better yet--if you are at someone's house, borrow the deck)

I personally prefer Bike 808's because they are easy to get in bulk at Sams and Costco and are cheap. Also, like many of you, before the advent of printed gaffs, I had a bunch of custom gaffs made with this back and I'm loath to give them up. I also have a couple of nice rainbow decks with standard bike faces (normal red ink), so it's important for me to match the faces. Some of the new designer decks just look sort of lame to me.

(Actually, the deck I wish they'd really bring back are the original Aristocrats--the new printings all use that dark red ink for the faces, which makes them not match the standard 808 faces. I used to love using Aristocrats for Harris' sidewinder).


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