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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Best quality deck? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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volto
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What is the best quality deck of cards currently made, in the world, and why? By quality I mean specifically for magic, not XCM or classic manipulation. So, DL/TL, back to back doubles, pinkie counts, holding the double, palms, crimps, response to roughing, sliding and/or friction for various counts, durability.
This should preferably be a working deck that isn't just one of the dozens of Bike variants. I.e, a deck that adults (businessmen) can take seriously. Apologies if you're into ninjas, ghosts, angels and clowns.

Note - not value. Quality. If the deck costs $100, that's fine. It's the best quality deck we're looking for, not the cheapest/most available/prettiest.

Some contenders:
Fournier 505/605
Turner Bikes
Tally Ho
Bee
Aristocrat
Aladdin
Gemaco
Piatnik
Grimaud
Dal Negro
Protea Playing Cards
Cartamundi
Trefl
Waddingtons
Anglo cards (El Duco)

I prefer Waddingtons for availability and innocence, the UK equivalent of bikes. The problem is, they're no better than bike quality. I've just got some Fournier 505s and I have to say, they're the best quality cards (for magic) I've ever handled - because DLs are extremely good, and friction on the backs for the various counts is great. They are fannable, despite rumors to the contrary. They handle very differently to the standard USPCC decks, so technique needs to be changed a little. The precision of the alignment and cut on the Fourniers is exceptional. Some of the Piatnik decks are great. I don't like the air cushion finish and floppy stock on most USPCC cards - fine for fanning and back palm but terrible for control and precision - in other words, I've found them great for showing off but less great for actual magic. The exception being the conjuring arts ivory finish decks, which seem OK. I haven't made up an ID in the Fourniers yet, so it'll be interesting to see how that works. From playing with similar Piatnik finishes, it should be OK.
Cartamundi decks tend to be well finished, too.

Another possibility is a custom printed deck. Some very high quality stock, finishes and cuts are available online now, in custom decks. So good, that it's now practical to have your cards be a giveaway.

So, my vote is Fournier, in either 505 or 605. But there's probably something better out there...?
adamsmaye
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I think the best cards out there are regular bicycle cards because they feel great and they look regular to a laiman and of course they are the best quality because they come from the united states playing card company. but the second deck that are very good quality are tally ho's they are nice too. the last good quality deck and that you mentioned is Fournier 605's because they are nice and thick also they last a long time.

hope that helped

adam
juggernought
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The bikes (air cushion finish not ivory) from the conjuring arts research center. Really top quality, and also very durable. Also, David Blaine's split spades feel good although they are quite hard to get hold of. Nowadays, a deck of bikes is ok. Also, Aristocrats are pretty good. Bikes aren't terrible but they certainly aren't great. They don't last me very long.
adamsmaye
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Yeah bikes don't last long but they look normal ro laiman. But we are talking about wuality so yeah you are right the ivory finish bikes are very good as well as all the other cards the conjuring arts center put out.
yabi
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As an alternative to Bikes, I use Aviators. I like the way they feel. They have a crisp sound when you snap the card, fan well, and D/Ls are smooth. They are a bit thinner then Bikes which makes most sleights a little easier to perform. I can't really complain about Aviators, they've never really let me down.

Regardless of all that I still use Bikes 95% of the time. Besides being a familiar card choice for laymen, one of the only reasons I use Bikes is that they go seamless with my gaffed and gimmick cards/decks. Also, when I am in a quick need of a new deck, I can go almost anywhere and purchase a pack of Bikes and everything is instantly compatible with everything I have on me.

Personally, if you are a worker, you need to consider all these additional elements when choosing a great deck of cards. Bikes just have all the accessories you would need and are easy to get your hands on - they are my winner no matter how much more I like Aviator's feel.

Best of luck with your research,
y.
Steve Friedberg
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I'm partial to Aristocrats. The stock, the feel and the snap are superior for what I do. But heck, I can work with just about any deck you throw at me.
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Kyle Elder
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I've experimented with a few different types of cards but always end up sticking with bicycles. As mentioned before spectators recognize them as ordinary cards and they are what I'm used to working with. I did come across a plastic deck the playing card company put out called the prestige deck. They are nice and virtually last for ever and fell pretty close to paper cards. The only bad thing with them is they don't fan well at all.
pepka
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Uh, I'm the one on the right.
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I work with a lot of different decks. Still searching for the perfect solution. The best I've ever handled are Aristocrats, Monarchs, and the Ivory Bikes from CARC. All pricey, but for MY tastes, which seem similar to yours you can't beat'em.
the fritz
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I love Bees and Blackjacks (Cartamundi). They are nice and soft... very flexible, pliable and durable.
MagicTobe
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It is always difficult to find the "Best", but after handling over 60 different decks and meticulously evaluating their characteristic my personal conclusion would be:

- Golden Nuggets
- Old Blue Ribbon
- Bicycle Raider White
- Dr. Leon
- Bee Watermelon
- Golden Bee 92 White Border and "Bee" written in the Middle (doubles hold together so perfectly, but difficult to find deck and very thick)

All of these are absolute top-notch quality. fantastic faning and durability.
ropeadope
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I agree with yabi. Aviators feel good, are thinner, good quality and sleights seem to be easier.

Bike`s air cushion fan well, good quality and are readily available everywhere. Availability is the key with Bikes because most gimmicked cards are Bikes.

So for sleights and no gimmicks I like Aviators. Gimmicked decks go with Bikes. Both have white borders which help in both cases.

Have fun,
John
Nothing is better than more.
rbearpark
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I'm a big fan of pheonix at the moment but work with bicycles as they are just cheaper.
chrom
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So with all the talk on Aviators and how easy the slights are where can one pick them up in the states? I would not mind trying a deck or two but I can't seem to locate any except online for exorbitant shipping.

Shane
ropeadope
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Here`s one source Shane:

http://www.mimesis-magic.com/catalog/ite......6808.htm

Have fun,
John
Nothing is better than more.
DelMagic
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There was a time when you could find Aviator decks in any drugstore, bookstore or department store. Also, many generic or house-brand decks were just Aviators in a different box. They aren't very common now. Aside from the link already given, you can buy them directly from Bicycle. You just need to compare all the shipping charges to see who has the best deal.

http://www.bicyclecards.com/products/pla......rd-index
yabi
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Quote:
On 2012-03-16 21:41, chrom wrote:
So with all the talk on Aviators and how easy the slights are where can one pick them up in the states? I would not mind trying a deck or two but I can't seem to locate any except online for exorbitant shipping.

Shane


Aviators are one of those decks that you probably looked over 100 times in your life without even knowing it. They blend in with generic third-party decks easily, however; they are made by the United States Playing Card Company which is a small testament to their quality. I see them at local stores from time to time and typically pick a pack or two up when I do. You can also order them online through various websites such as Kardwell or even Dan and Dave: http://shop.dananddave.com/playing-cards.html

Hope this helps,
y.
billmarq
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I am finding it difficult to judge the actual quality of the various decks available. My first successful faro shuffle was with a Bicycle Red Dragon deck bought in a Target store. Now, however, I find it easier to faro with standard Bicycle decks (from Sam's Club) or the Phoenix decks fron Card-Shark. The print quality of the Phoenix decks surpasses the standard Bicycles because the centering is better overall. I own one deck of Tally Ho cards, but find them only equal in quality to good Bicycle or Phoenix cards, although I am certain there are many who will assert they are superior. I have tried the Stud cards from Walgreens and found them to be easy to handle also, but seem to have a different sort of cut that makes a faro a bit more difficult.

Other than the faro shuffle (which is something I am in the process of trying to master) I find that doing sleights is pretty much equal in ease with any of the decks I have mentioned. My preferred deck for magic at this time is Phoenix. They just feel better overall and do not seem to warp as easily as standard Bicycle. Other people may feel differently.
Honi soit quit mal y pense.
chrom
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Quote:
On 2012-03-17 01:07, yabi wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-03-16 21:41, chrom wrote:
So with all the talk on Aviators and how easy the slights are where can one pick them up in the states? I would not mind trying a deck or two but I can't seem to locate any except online for exorbitant shipping.

Shane


Thanks Yabi....I tried four different stores today (it was nice out and an excuse for a motorcycle ride) and no joy. Then I found that Harris Teeter (a grocery store) sells them. I am going to check it out tomorrow and if not just suck it up and order online.

Shane

Aviators are one of those decks that you probably looked over 100 times in your life without even knowing it. They blend in with generic third-party decks easily, however; they are made by the United States Playing Card Company which is a small testament to their quality. I see them at local stores from time to time and typically pick a pack or two up when I do. You can also order them online through various websites such as Kardwell or even Dan and Dave: http://shop.dananddave.com/playing-cards.html

Hope this helps,
y.
yabi
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Hey Shane,

Let us know how you make out. Good luck with the hunt!

y.
slim23
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For borderless card, you need to try the old Steamboats. they second deal like no other, you can Dl ( put a bevel in the deck for reversing cards) and they last pretty good. It's funny to think they used to be the cheap cards you used to buy. Now, with the recent changes UPSCC has made, they are one of the better quality cards. My favorite deck for gambling demos and magic in general. If you need borders, Tally-Ho and Squeezers are also excellent choice. The bull dogs make for a good story!

Of course, like everybody else, when in need of a new deck without warning I always go fo a good old Bicycle.

Hope this helps on trying cards without borders.

Slim
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