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Topic: New card trouble
Message: Posted by: nairbles (Jun 2, 2006 01:23AM)
It seems like I'm having difficulty doing DL's with a brand new deck of cards... I can't really pinky count them well either... I know I'm kinda new, but I can do it with a broken-in deck pretty well. do you guys like the feel of a brand new deck compared to decks that have been waterfall shuffled a bunch of times before being used? maybe I just need to keep practicing
Message: Posted by: Matt Malinas (Jun 2, 2006 06:09AM)
I used to hate brand new decks when I started out.
cards slipping and dropping and stuff.
stop worrying because before you know it , you'll be able to handle a brand new deck of cards like any other.
just keep practicing and it will come to you.
good luck

Message: Posted by: airship (Jun 2, 2006 11:06AM)
I dunno, Matt. There are many old-timers here on the Café who might disagree with you. I've seen a lot of posts from people saying they have to break in a new deck for a couple of days before they're comfortable working with it.
Message: Posted by: lelo (Jun 2, 2006 12:23PM)
My personal preference is to have a deck that has been used for a couple of days. Cards are crisp, colors are sharp and handling can be better than with a used deck. The solution is to include your brand new packs into your practice routine.
Message: Posted by: nairbles (Jun 2, 2006 12:58PM)
The next day after a few shuffles feels much better...
Message: Posted by: Rinse (Jun 2, 2006 07:40PM)
I was surprised to learn that microwaving breaks the deck in?? Haven't tried it myself yet.

Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Jun 3, 2006 06:53AM)
The more seasoned you become the less critical the condition of the cards become. I have see professionals open a brand new deck of cards and perform flawlessly with them after a few shuffles. Practice is the key. Nairbles, you provided the answer with you last remark..."maybe I just need to keep practicing". Open a new deck, give it a few shuffles and go at it. Sleights such as the DL are not dependent upon the condition of the cards, they are dependent on your ability. Pinky counting on the other hand is dependent on the strength and conditioning of the muscles of you fingers and the correct technique. Practicing with a brand new deck is great for this conditioning because the cards are stiffer when they're brand new. You know something, there will come a time when all of this "clicks" and soon the brand, condition, and age of the cards becomes secondary and of little concern. Keep on with your practice and soon everything will "click".

Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Jun 3, 2006 12:39PM)
This is an interesting question. I hate new decks just out of the box. But, I didn't realize how much I hated them until I brought to think about it by a similar question here on the Café. I wondered why. With thought it suddenly struck me that because I am no longer doing shows I am not using new decks of cards like I used to. In fact I tend to open a deck and practice with it until it's pretty much ready to be retired to the "Let's fold, tear up and otherwise abuse these cards pile".

A deck is really only 'very' slippery and new for a very short period of time and thus once the break in period is over the deck will pretty much feel the same until retirement. Granted it will get a little muckier, stickier, etc., but not as if it was the only deck in a house for 50 years.

Using a deck for a long time has had a oddly positive effect though in that I can borrow ANY deck I don't care how badly worn or sticky and do most of my best work with it including Second Deals! But, the reason is that I am used to using decks that are in fact in fairly bad shape by performance standards! It is a satisfying feeling to be handed a deck that literally gives on the feeling that the deck could move by itself if left untouched and produce good magic from it.

For a funny story.....I was once asked to do some magic at a friends party. I asked to borrow a deck and the host handed me one that was in modestly bad shape. I removed it from the box and realized that he had handed me a Svengli Deck!!! I proceeded to do the best impromptu performance of my career.

Another funny story....A good friend, a fellow magician and bridge player, was having a Bridge party at his home. He's playing with his wife against another couple and they are beating the pants off their friends. Suddenly my friend realizes that he is using a Marked Deck! He wasn't cheating, but it turns out his wife was! But, it get's better....His wife was not using the marks on the deck. As my buddy perks up and watches more closely he notices that his wife is cheating like a pro. He freaks, but gets through the game, etc. Later he asks her about the cheating. Weeeellllll.....she didn't know that she WAS cheating...exactly. At about the age of five her Grandfather taught her to play cards and cheated! The little girl caught what he was doing and thought that that was just HOW you played cards, so she followed suit and bacame so good she was able to cheat Grampa right back without him knowing!

If you are wondering what she was doing? Primitive, but very smooth deck stacking when she picked up the cards and a primitive set of false shuffles and cuts! But, she could do it so smoothly and with ease you just didn't notice it unless you were REALLY looking for it! Pretty funny stuff.........Best,
Message: Posted by: Rinse (Jun 3, 2006 11:12PM)
Nairbles, I also practice w/ a few decks from relatively new to older conditions.. To make sure that when I learn something new, my memory isn't too affected by the condition of a particular deck, and that I can do a move under different conditions.
Message: Posted by: Matt Malinas (Jun 5, 2006 10:40AM)
On 2006-06-02 12:06, airship wrote:
I dunno, Matt. There are many old-timers here on the Café who might disagree with you. I've seen a lot of posts from people saying they have to break in a new deck for a couple of days before they're comfortable working with it.

I came across that thread a while ago as well. and I also feel 100% comfortable with a deck that is a little worn in .
but I have found that as time passes you get more and more comfortable handling new decks of cards . muscle memory I guess