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judeh
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When I'm looking at new decks, I don't think I know enough about what different terms mean to know if I'll like a deck or not.
What the heck is crushed stock, for example? Is that thinner? Is that smoother? How should I know what to look for? Is there a notable difference in who produces the decks?

Thanks.

Jude
Tortuga
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Ballwin, MO
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Crushed stock is paper that is processed after initial production to make it thinner.
Tortuga
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Ballwin, MO
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I will address more of your question tomorrow. Time for sleep.
Tortuga
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Quote:
On Apr 27, 2019, judeh wrote:
When I'm looking at new decks, I don't think I know enough about what different terms mean to know if I'll like a deck or not.
What the heck is crushed stock, for example? Is that thinner? Is that smoother? How should I know what to look for? Is there a notable difference in who produces the decks?

Thanks.

Jude


Jude, I promised to come back and elaborate a bit, but this weekend was super-busy. Finally caught up with yard work!

First let me say that playing cards are in their golden age. It really doesn't get any better than this. So many choices! But with choices comes confusion and nobody can afford to buy them all, right? Well, maybe some can.

When I was first beginning in magic, there were basically three types of cards easily procurable. Bicycle Rider Back, Bee and Hoyle Shell Back. Other than that, there were bridge-sized novelty cards with dogs or birds on the back. Since I wanted cards with a white border and didn't like the way Hoyle cards handled, I chose Rider Backs. They were $.50 per pack and I got them at a stationary store near my house. For whatever reason I typically purchased blue backs.

Nowadays my local Walgreen's carries their house brand, Stud, but they also have Rider Backs, Bee and they even carry some Theory11 cards such as Guardian Angels. Lately I've seen tons of variations of Bicycle cards such as Fire, Water, etc. It is mind-boggling compared to the past.

Now to answer some of you questions. USPCC has a long history and makes outstanding product. Like everyone in the business there can be variation but in recent years I have noticed an overall increase in consistency. There was a time when it was very hit and miss. The register of the backs was so poor on some decks that they were perfect one-way decks. I also have seen the indices run very close to the edge, giving the cards a very awkward look.

The only thing I notice now is the edges can be rougher on some packs compared to others. This is easily remedied if you follow the Steven Youell "buffing the deck" procedure. If you don't know it, he explains it in detail on youtube. You can also simply rub the edges on a pair of jeans and get improvement.

There are several other producers out there that make outstanding cards. Legends, Carta Mundi, etc. There are also websites that are great resources and offer feedback on quality. Too many to list but you can find them easily. I tend to not watch some of the youtube deck reviews because the creators don't have a clue and I can't watch for more than 30 seconds.

Some cards are "traditionally cut", which if you use the faro shuffle, you will come to appreciate. The traditional cut is when the sheets of cards are cut face up. The cut tapers away from the face, and that makes tabled faro shuffles easier. Richard Turner has a wonderful pack of cards he distributes called Gold Seal Bicycle or something close to that. They are Bicycle Rider Back design but printed on Bee stock which is slightly thicker. They are also traditional-cut, which helps with faro shuffles as I said.

There are some manufacturers that produce cards with almost glass-like edges. Personally I find them a little more difficult to faro, but once broken in, they are fine.

My suggestion is to continue to do research and then buy a few decks from each different manufacturer. Theory11 uses USPCC, whereas some of the other companies use Carta Mundi or others to produce their designs.

Half of the fun is trying new packs. If you are lucky you will find one with a back design that speaks to you and has the attributes you are looking for.

Some playing cards are more flexible than others, some have better snap, some shuffle better and some last longer than their counterparts. There is a lot of variation out there.

There is another thread here that details how cards are made, along with details you might find helpful. Good luck and have fun.
judeh
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Thank you so much! This is really great!
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