Deck Recommendation

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Michael Close
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Deck Recommendation

Postby Michael Close » February 2nd, 2018, 7:29 pm

A question for the hive mind:

I don't use expensive decks of cards. I buy cards at Costco. I do a bottom-to-top faro shuffle. With some decks, I have to do the shuffles with the deck face up when they first come out of the box.

I can usually break in a new deck by doing repeated faro shuffles for twenty minutes or so. This loosens the deck up for bottom-to-top shuffles with the deck face down.

Here's my question: What brands faro shuffle easily right out of the box? In particular, which lend themselves to the face-down, bottom-to-top shuffle. Asking for a friend.

Thanks

Tom Gilbert
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Tom Gilbert » February 2nd, 2018, 9:11 pm

For me, the best luck I've had is the Turner Gold Seals or the Elite Bikes. More partial to the Elite Bikes.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Bill Mullins » February 2nd, 2018, 11:46 pm

Is the Walgreens drug store chain a thing in Canada? They've recently started putting their "Stud" brand of decks back into production. (but I don't remember if they faro better from the top down or bottom up . . . )

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erdnasephile
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby erdnasephile » February 3rd, 2018, 8:13 am

I agree with Tom: The Bicycle Elites http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8396 and the Richard Turner Gold Standard Cards http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7967 both consistently Faro right out of the box. (I prefer the slightly thicker stock used in the Gold Standards).

I've also found the Bicycle Mandolin Cards https://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-809-Play ... B009EBBL2M to also Faro immediately. The CardShark Phoenix Cards http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2581 also work for me (but I very much dislike the huge Ace design).

Bill: Are the new Stud cards as soft as the old ones?

Bill Mullins
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2018, 1:19 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Bill: Are the new Stud cards as soft as the old ones?


I couldn't say -- I don't have any of the old ones to compare.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby erdnasephile » February 3rd, 2018, 1:59 pm

Paul Gertner's "Unshuffled" is one of the most Faro-intensive tricks I know.

Don't know if it means anything, but apparently Mr. Gertner chose Phoenix cards for his high stakes performance of
"Unshuffled" on "Fool Us."

(Then again, he's Paul "Freakin" Gertner and could probably do perfect Faros with a stack of manhole covers!)

Smurf
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Smurf » February 3rd, 2018, 4:24 pm

The key is to finding decks that are "traditionally cut" by USPCC. USPCC used to cut all of their decks this way. The cutting blade starts on the face of the cards and moves toward the back.

For some reason, USPCC switched this process at some point and began cutting from back to face. People noticed the effect on the way cards reacted when faro shuffling.

You can still find some decks that always "traditionally cut" and those listed above are that way. I have seen reports stating that sometimes the mass produced Bicycle decks seem to be cut in the new fashion but it is possible to find bricks with a traditional cut. If it is important to you, than find decks that are always traditionally cut.

Richard Turner's decks were certainly produced that way but I don't know if they will keep making them in the future. I have heard Bee decks are traditionally cut, but they are less desired by many magicians due to the lack of a white border. Phoenix decks by Card-Shark are always traditionally cut. I have heard no reports on the new Maiden Back decks, but the Bicycle Mandolins were advertised as traditionally cut when they first appeared and I would assume they still are. Some of the premium decks produced by magic companies are traditionally cut but you need to check up on each new edition.

Bob Farmer
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Bob Farmer » February 4th, 2018, 8:42 am

Here's a tip I learned from Tony Kardyro that makes any deck Faro easily: take a bar of really cheap soap, the cheaper the better, and run the soap around the edges of each card. Shuffle for a few minutes to eliminate the excess soap.

As to Unshuffled, there is an easy way to make this almost automatic: to know where to do each cut, add a mark on the edge of the card at that point. There are so many marks on the cards, one more won't be noticed.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Bill Mullins » February 4th, 2018, 11:13 am

Vol 2 of the big Alex Elmsley books by Stephen Minch has a suggestion for preparing a deck so it will faro easier. It involves rubbing the ends of each card with sandpaper so that they are rounded in profile, instead of bluntly cut.

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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 4th, 2018, 12:17 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Vol 2 of the big Alex Elmsley books by Stephen Minch has a suggestion for preparing a deck so it will faro easier. It involves rubbing the ends of each card with sandpaper so that they are rounded in profile, instead of bluntly cut.


Those are wonderful books! The tip was to use an emery fingernail sanding board to round the corners of the deck a bit.

Michael Close
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Michael Close » February 4th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Thank you all for your help.

Harry Riser always told the story of meeting Elmsley at the combined IBM/SAM convention in Chicago. Alex hung out in the room Harry and Charlie Miller shared. Harry picked up Alex's deck to give it a faro shuffle. Because of the work Alex put into the cards, Harry said the halves almost jumped into each other.

Bill Duncan
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Bill Duncan » February 4th, 2018, 11:17 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Vol 2 of the big Alex Elmsley books by Stephen Minch has a suggestion for preparing a deck so it will faro easier. It involves rubbing the ends of each card with sandpaper so that they are rounded in profile, instead of bluntly cut.


Emery board. Just sayin'

Smurf
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Smurf » February 4th, 2018, 11:31 pm

Steve Youell's method for treating the deck edges:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZQ20r2bhRk

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erdnasephile
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby erdnasephile » February 4th, 2018, 11:44 pm

So, I had the misfortune tonight of having to run out to Walgreen's to get some medication for a sick family member. (It was unfortunate because they were ill, but also because I missed most of the end of the Super Bowl -- Fly, Eagles, Fly!)

I saw that indeed they have Stud playing cards back in stock.

They are made by US Playing Card Company, and they come in a box design that's different than the old Stud's. A "Linen Finish" is advertised on the box, as well as "Easy to Shuffle", but they are not the (pre-early 2000's) super soft Stud's that people love so much. The stock feels like the current Standard Bike's does.

Nevertheless, I was able to do 8 perfect Faro's out of the box, but they didn't have the cool, packet-sucking feel of the decks mentioned previously in the thread.

Curiously, USPC/Walgreen's decided not to shrink wrap these decks and they aren't even sealed. What they do have is a nasty clear hang tag that rips the paper off the box when you take it off. :evil:

They also list retail for over $3.00 a deck, so they aren't much cheaper than some of the nicer decks.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby erdnasephile » February 5th, 2018, 12:47 am

Just to clarify: thankfully, my family member isn't terribly sick--just under the weather. (Otherwise, I wouldn't be posting about cards).

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 5th, 2018, 3:37 pm

I have many decks of "custom" or "designer" cards. And yet, for me, nothing faros easier and more accurately than a well-broken in deck of Bicycle Rider Backs, which I use 90% of the time in my professional work. I typically buy a dozen online for about $2.00 per deck/free shipping. (They also consistently fan and spread better, and clump less, than most any deck I've used even after a month or more of substantial usage). It's amazing how well the Bikes stand up, even after taking a beating over time, as long as they stay dry...

performer
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby performer » February 5th, 2018, 4:44 pm

I must have done more faro shuffles than any other magician in history with the worst quality cards too. And yet I have never done a trick with the faro shuffle.

Pete McCabe
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Pete McCabe » February 5th, 2018, 5:29 pm

I bought a brick of the Bicycle Elite cards and have used them for a while. I don't do any tricks with Faros, but when I went to try one I nailed it perfectly first time, and they do seem to Faro more easily. They're worth checking out, especially now that they are available in Blue and Red.

When I first learned to Faro shuffle I found it was easier to do it with the cards face up. But I would never do this in front of an audience. A Faro shuffle is already a weird-looking action; to shuffle the cards face up is entirely unnatural.

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Christopher1979
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Re: Deck Recommendation

Postby Christopher1979 » February 8th, 2018, 6:20 pm

erdnasephile wrote:I agree with Tom: The Bicycle Elites http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8396 and the Richard Turner Gold Standard Cards http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7967 both consistently Faro right out of the box. (I prefer the slightly thicker stock used in the Gold Standards).

I've also found the Bicycle Mandolin Cards https://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-809-Play ... B009EBBL2M to also Faro immediately. The CardShark Phoenix Cards http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2581 also work for me (but I very much dislike the huge Ace design).

Bill: Are the new Stud cards as soft as the old ones?


I agree with you regarding the thicker stock. I bought a brick of Elites a few weeks back and although they are great (especially for bottom dealing) i found that "out of the box" the Turners are slightly better but on the other hand every so often i will find that a standard deck of Bicycles will faro like a dream...


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