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Topic: Which card deck manufacturer and a book question
Message: Posted by: Maviee (Jan 1, 2002 06:03PM)
I received two magic books today where some card tricks are introduced. I saw that both book authors use a Bicycle card deck.

Is there any great difference, why do so many magicians use this manufacturer?

I also saw a book by David Acer in my store called "Natural Selections". The routines were pretty good, but I'm asking myself if they are good for beginners. Has anyone tried some of his routines and can tell me a bit about the difficulty level?


Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 1, 2002 08:22PM)
I think Bicycle Decks for a number of reasons -

1. They are pretty common and most people are used to seeing them, so they don't generally cause suspicion when you pull out a deck with that familiar Bicycle design.

2. They are good quality (read that - pretty good... well they are consistently good enough.)

3. They are a big enough company to provide almost anything - blank back, blank face, etc. etc.

This sort of goes with my first point, but if you are going to have one type of card deck, which I would suggest you try to do as much as possible, you may as well go with what is most available in ungimmicked decks.

As for the Acer Book, I am not familiar with it so I can't comment on the techniques used. Some books/manuscripts (and I say again that I do not know if this is the case with the Archer Book) assume a great deal of previous knowledge and accumulated skill. And if you aren't quite there yet, it can be frustrating.

But this is a great place to ask that question. I am sure somebody here has read it, these guys are awesome. Hope you get hooked up with a good answer on that one.

Good Luck to you!



If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Message: Posted by: martinkaplan (Jan 1, 2002 09:41PM)
If you are a beginner in magic then the David Acer book might not be a good purchase for you at the present moment. THE ROYAL ROAD TO CARD MAGIC might be a useful purchase. Harry Lorayne's MAGIC BOOK is also a good jumping off point.

With regard to Bicycle cards my question for you is what is the most common brand that you see in Germany? That may help guide you in choosing the brand of cards with which you will perform.

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 2, 2002 04:59AM)
I still have my old decks and when you compare them to the Bicycle cards they really look strange. I've even had people say to me that it is a trick deck.

It is a pleasure to use something familiar to the viewer like the Bicycle brand of cards.

Message: Posted by: Maviee (Jan 2, 2002 06:26AM)
Thanx for your posts so far :D

@martinkaplan :

In Germany we don't really have a card deck which everyone (or a big part of the people) use. There are many different card decks, so I think it would not really be a problem when I use a bicycle deck.

I'll buy a bicycle deck and one or two others and have a look which is (in my opinion) the best.


Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Jan 2, 2002 10:00AM)
Here in the states, Rider back Bicycle brand cards are the most popular, especially here on the west coast.

For that reason, most tricks that come to market using gaffed cards use Bicycle.

Also, because they are so familiar with laypeople, I would suggest using them.

It is possible, that they might be a little pricey in Germany. I know that they command a hefty sum in Australia and Japan.

The answer to your other question can be a very subjective thing. Depending on your skill level and learning abilities, the best book for you may not be the best book for someone else.

Try some of these:

[i]The Mark Wilson Course in Magic[/i]

[i]The Royal Road to Card Magic[/i]

[i]The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks[/i]

Also, authors that have excellent easy to intermediate level card effects include

[i]Aldo Colombini, John Bannon, Peter Duffie,

Karl Fulves, Simon Lovell[/i], and the list goes on. I wish you the best of luck! :wavey:


There will always be those that wish to rain on your parade, so never leave home without an umbrella...
Message: Posted by: Maviee (Jan 2, 2002 10:53AM)
I bought 'Modern Coin Magic' and 'Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic' already and I'm very satisfied with them. The amount of routines which are included in these books should be enough for some nice practicing sessions.

I'll check out the other books as you suggested, Steve.


Message: Posted by: saglaser (Jan 6, 2002 03:53PM)
I am by no means a card expert, but I agree that the use of Bicycle cards in the US is due to their familiarity to most people. It's the brand most Americans expect to see when they pick up a deck of cards. Given my choice of cards, however, I'd rather do tricks with a Tally-Ho deck. They just feel better to me and they seem to hold up better. Yet, since they're a brand many people don't know, there's always that risk that people will think it's merely a trick deck.

If you have the freedom to select from among many makes without raising suspicion, I recommend trying as many brands as you can and seeing which you like best. Be sure to use each one for a while, though. Some cards may be wonderful for a short time and wear out quickly. And you may find that you like others only after they've been broken in a bit.
Message: Posted by: N14 (Jan 7, 2002 08:51AM)

I'm living in the Netherlands and there isn't really a deck which almost every one uses. I personally use Bicycle cards, because most of the trick cards use the Bicycle back design. And you will be able to get them in Germany or order them online.

There is one more problem living in Europe.

At least in the Netherlands, most people use Bridge size cards. I advise you to practice your tricks with poker size cards.

I will put down a few pros of using poker size cards:

1. * Poker cards have more surface area to press against.

2. * The faces on the cards are larger.

3. * Poker cards are more pliable thanks to their greater width.

4. * If you practice with poker cards you can always perform with bridge-size cards if offered a borrowed deck

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I hope I helped you a little.



Message: Posted by: Davro (Jan 7, 2002 10:23AM)
Hi Maviee,

I'd like to second that post about the Royal Road to card Magic. It's a great beginning book, also any of the Easy to Master Card Miracles from Michael Ammar videos

Regards, David
Message: Posted by: atkinsod (Jan 7, 2002 10:44AM)
For a list of good books for beginners, there is a question in this same forum about that subject, and quite a few good recommendations can be found there.

When I first started in Magic, most of my decks were Bridge sized "Aviators" and Fox Lake cards. The only magic store in the area was at a mall, and most of the gimmicked decks came in this size.

All stated, much will depend on what type of card magic you are going to use. If you are going to use gimmicked cards, you will need a source for them in your brand of cards or you will have to make your own. If you are doing "casino" magic, you might want to use a brand found in the local casino (where applicable!). I have heard of several professional magicians who prefer the Bridge sized cards, but I would agree with the previous post recommending working with Poker sized as you will be able to work with most any card type.

Doug A.
Message: Posted by: N14 (Jan 10, 2002 05:55AM)
If you are searching for bridge-sized cards, because they might seem less odd for your spectators.

Then go for Piatnik Cards. These cards are made in Austria, and are used by many European professionals. They have a complete line of special cards. From a Stripper Deck to a Rainbow Deck.

But you won't find as many trick decks as when you would use Bicycle Cards