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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Mystique Playing Cards (Gambler's Warehouse) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reviewer EndersGame
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Gambler's Warehouse is based in Texas, and while they have close connections with the gaming industry in Las Vegas, they are especially serious about playing cards. You only need to visit their subsidiary website PlayingCards Dot Net, to get some sense of the enormous selection they have available for sale. They have been part of the playing card industry for more than two decades, and are passionate the design, production, and use of decks of cards. They have gained a very positive reputation in assisting many designers of playing cards make their playing card projects a reality via crowd-funding, in part due to the strong relationship and connections they have with well known printer, US Playing Card Company.

But Gambler's Warehouse also produces high quality custom playing cards of their own design, and that's what this series of reviews is all about. In a previous review, I have taken a close look at the Alloy series of Playing Cards that they produced - you can see that review here. I was super impressed with these decks, and they quickly became among my personal favourites. Now it's time to look at some of the other playing cards they have produced in-house.



The Mystique deck is an enchanting set of playing cards, designed by Shapeshifters Playing Cards.


The word mystique means "a framework of doctrines, ideas, beliefs, or the like, constructed around a person or object, endowing the person or object with enhanced value or profound meaning", and it is this endowed aura that these mysterious cards set out to evoke.

It pictures a world of indefinable allure, which begins with the swirling patterns and complex design of the card-backs, and intricate coils on the Aces.


The court cards have extremely elaborate and rich designs, and the detail of the artwork is emphasized with a largely mono-coloured look. This minimalism of colour enhances the complex and original designs; it also ensures that the red and black suits are very clearly distinguished, making this a very functional and playable deck.


If you look carefully, you'll notice an elaborate watermark-style background, which is evident also on the number cards. You'll also observe that even the pips are decorated with ornate lines. That's what this deck is all about - ornate decorations that you can lose yourself in.

Another unique aspect of this deck is the fact that the pips are also displayed on the top right corners, which enhances the beauty of a right directional fan or spread.


The middle of the cards also has a full bleed band that goes right to the edges, which also makes a spread or fan look absolutely fantastic. While this does carry the risk of making the deck marked in terms of colours, I don't find it to be a huge issue since the only differential is between red or black, so even the suit isn't given away by a face-down card.


This image of an uncut sheet gives an overview of the entire deck, including the over-sized aces, coloured borders, and the mono-coloured court cards.


I especially love the over-sized Aces, which have incredibly ornate and intricate artwork.


Even the Joker has a mysterious look about it!


This deck also comes with two extra cards, a gaff card (double-backer) and a promo card.

The quality and handling of the cards is excellent, as you'd expect from a USPCC printed deck.

* * * CONCLUSIONS * * *

Mystique deck: The minimalist reds and blacks of this decks ensures that all the focus is on the designs, which feature exquisite and complex patterns, that you can lose yourself in upon careful examination. The full bleed on the sides of the cards ensures a band of colour when spreading this deck. These playing cards are really suited for the person who is attracted to minimalism on the one hand, and yet appreciates complexity and detail. Totally ornate!

Card quality: All the decks that I've looked at and own that have been produced by Gamblers have been outstanding quality, and are typically produced by United States Playing Card Company or Expert Playing Cards. The Mystique deck I've reviewed above is a USPCC produced deck. USPCC decks have a high quality card stock and finish, that ensures both durability and good handling, and is exactly the kind of quality that most people will be familiar with from a quality Bicycle style deck. And in every case, the cards are packaged in an appropriate and attractive tuck box, which is true here as well.


Recommendation: I continue to be impressed by the decks produced by Gamblers Warehouse. In an earlier review, I gave a glowing report about their Alloy deck, which featured remarkable iridescent foil on both the back and the front of the cards - an industry first, and a remarkable achievement. Not only can you purchase their own decks at their subsidiary playingcards.net website, but they also have a wide range of other quality playing cards for sale there too.

In addition to this, Gamblers Warehouse also acts as a fulfilment company for a lot of other card designers, who rely on their expertise and experience. Clearly, these guys know what they're doing, and I know that if I was producing my own deck via crowd-funding, I'd definitely be considering them as a partner to assist with this. If my positive experiences are anything to go by, this is a reliable and a good choice to consider as a source for quality playing cards. I can certainly recommend very highly the decks I've reviewed above.

Want to learn more?
Gamblers Warehouse: http://gamblerswarehouse.com
Playing Cards Dot Net: http://playingcards.net


Direct link for the Mystique deck featured in this review:
- Mystique Playing Cards
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