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Topic: What is the best marked deck?
Message: Posted by: magringo (Aug 2, 2018 07:27AM)
Looking for the best marked deck -- I prefer bikes, but some people say they marks are small to read even relatively close up. Other people say they love Phoenix marked decks. I'm having a hard time deciding. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Rook (Aug 2, 2018 08:02AM)
The Penguin marked Bikes are large enough for me to read without glasses (I wear bifocals) and haven't been caught out on them yet. Otherwise, I'm partial to the DMC Elites.
Message: Posted by: mrmagic0 (Aug 2, 2018 08:35AM)
My personal preference is the Dekram deck. Easy to read and very hard to find for the spectator. What does Dekram spell backwards? )


Ron
Message: Posted by: Jared (Aug 2, 2018 10:59AM)
They all serve the same purpose but what it boils down to is your ability to see the markings under a variety of different lighting conditions. For maximum visibility, Ted Lesley's system is hard to beat however you do have to construct the deck yourself with the supplied decals. But for a full ready-to-go out of the box (multiple phase) routine, 'The Marksman' by Luke Jermay is probably 'the best' I've ever seen. But unfortunately I cannot see the markings unless I'm performing in daylight. But for those occasions when you just want something inexpensive that's 'ready when you are' Penguin's marked deck fits the bill perfectly. They cost only a small amount more than a standard deck of cards and the markings are quite visible. The main question you have to ask yourself is what do you want to do with the deck? Once you decide on a specific routine then you can choose the best marked deck for that very purpose.
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Aug 2, 2018 11:29AM)
I think the Superior Deck is the BEST one and I have a few.

Very easy to read. $15
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Aug 2, 2018 06:12PM)
I like the Penguin Marked Deck. Easy to read and good quality cards.
Message: Posted by: Race Blakhart (Aug 4, 2018 03:31AM)
If you're looking for quality and superior markings, the DMC Elites are BY FAR the best marked deck I've ever owned. They're beautiful, and nobody will ever see the marks. Visible from close-up or far away. They're great.


But if you're looking for value, or something you can afford to have signed, then look no further than Penguin's marked deck. Can't beat the price.


The Code deck is fun, too. But it's a tad more specific in it's uses.
Message: Posted by: mroek (Aug 4, 2018 09:03AM)
I have (almost) no experience with marked decks, but I came across this Kickstarter a couple of days ago:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/52kards/mint-2-luxury-playing-cards/description

I am not in any way affiliated with this, just found it by coincidence. I think it looks quite clever, but as I said, I'm not knowledgeable in this area.
Message: Posted by: Race Blakhart (Aug 4, 2018 10:49AM)
[quote]On Aug 4, 2018, mroek wrote:
I have (almost) no experience with marked decks, but I came across this Kickstarter a couple of days ago:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/52kards/mint-2-luxury-playing-cards/description

I am not in any way affiliated with this, just found it by coincidence. I think it looks quite clever, but as I said, I'm not knowledgeable in this area. [/quote]

I just saw the video for these a few days ago. They're beautifully designed and are very clever. But with decks like DMC or even the $5 Penguin deck I only need to glance at the card. With MINT, I need to look at two specific points and then decode the markings in my head.
While there are plenty of performers who can do that with no problems, I'm not one of them. :lol:
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Aug 4, 2018 10:58AM)
The DMC decks are out of stock at Penguin and Vanishing Inc. Anywhere else they can be obtained?
Message: Posted by: Race Blakhart (Aug 4, 2018 09:02PM)
[quote]On Aug 4, 2018, Ray Haining wrote:
The DMC decks are out of stock at Penguin and Vanishing Inc. Anywhere else they can be obtained? [/quote]

Found this https://goo.gl/VNKGcu
Message: Posted by: milamber (Aug 5, 2018 07:09PM)
The only one I've used recently is Andy Nyman's deck (for "The Code"). It's a nice deck and easy to see the markings (if you know where to look). And some of the effects shared on the DVD by Andy are quite fun as well.
Message: Posted by: DrIlluminatus (Aug 6, 2018 11:52PM)
Keep it simple use the Ted Lesley marking system...
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Aug 7, 2018 12:24PM)
Garrett Thomas has a beautiful deck that is Marked and it's a Mandolin Deck to boot.

When you see Garrett demo this you will want to buy one.
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Aug 7, 2018 01:50PM)
[quote] On Aug 7, 2018, Neznarf wrote:
When you see Garrett demo this . . . [/quote]

Where?
Message: Posted by: Robert M (Aug 7, 2018 01:50PM)
Speed Reader Deck. That's my personal favorite.

But, I must the say the DMC Elites are very nice!

Robert
Message: Posted by: Robert M (Aug 7, 2018 01:52PM)
Http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8185

Robert
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Aug 8, 2018 07:14PM)
Daredevil deck from Cardshark.
Message: Posted by: Marcus Black (Aug 11, 2018 02:17AM)
My eyesight is pretty bad, I recommend the Daredevil Deck to anyone with poor eyesight. The markings are huge.
Message: Posted by: greig ewen (Aug 20, 2018 01:35PM)
DMC Rouge Elites are perfect but have run their course unfortunately, maybe the next gen might be up your street although a bit pricey.

Greig
Message: Posted by: Pseudolus (Aug 25, 2018 06:44PM)
As an experiment, I made a (red-backed) deck where I just wrote the value and suit on the backs of the cards with a red sharpie.

Doing a standard "pick a card" from a tightly fanned deck one-on-one, people spot this almost every time. However, a volunteer standing in front of a group almost never spots it, I think they are just too self-conscious about being the center of attention to notice.

It makes me wonder if spending money on a marked deck is a smart thing to do.
Message: Posted by: Race Blakhart (Aug 25, 2018 11:12PM)
[quote]On Aug 25, 2018, Pseudolus wrote:
As an experiment, I made a (red-backed) deck where I just wrote the value and suit on the backs of the cards with a red sharpie.

Doing a standard "pick a card" from a tightly fanned deck one-on-one, people spot this almost every time. However, a volunteer standing in front of a group almost never spots it, I think they are just too self-conscious about being the center of attention to notice.

It makes me wonder if spending money on a marked deck is a smart thing to do. [/quote]

Seeing as you're busted in every one-on-one situation with the DIY markings, I would say yes, it's probably wise to spend money on a marked deck. 😄
Message: Posted by: montanna40 (Aug 26, 2018 02:01AM)
Iím a fan of the speed reader deck and the marksman deck
Message: Posted by: Pseudolus (Aug 26, 2018 08:39AM)
[quote]On Aug 25, 2018, Race Blakhart wrote:
Seeing as you're busted in every one-on-one situation with the DIY markings, I would say yes, it's probably wise to spend money on a marked deck. 😄 [/quote]

I just congratulate them on their observation skills and then use a blank-backed deck to prove I am not using marked cards. They almost never notice that those are marked with white ink.
Message: Posted by: Jmolomagic (Aug 27, 2018 02:08PM)
I bought Butterfly playing cards by Ondrej Psenicka at Magic Live. Can't wait to use these!
Message: Posted by: Agathon (Aug 27, 2018 03:27PM)
I don't know if it has been mentioned on this thread, but Pete McCabe has a marking system. It is available at Vanishing Inc. as a download.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Aug 30, 2018 04:01AM)
My top 2 are :

DMC Elites (for clarity)
Penguin Marked Deck (for value)
Message: Posted by: elimagic (Aug 30, 2018 07:46AM)
Marksman Reader Backs. So much you can do this with deck
Message: Posted by: todsky (Aug 30, 2018 09:53AM)
I also like the Daredevil deck. No trouble at all reading those markings, even from a distance.

Todd
Message: Posted by: DavidKenney (Sep 4, 2018 06:35AM)
Here is a quick look at a few of my decks

[youtube]6jqR0A-ebak[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: art85y (Sep 10, 2018 04:57PM)
DMC Elites & Brooklyns - these 2 do everything I need, and I treasure them both. oh! and I don't have 20:20 vision.
Message: Posted by: RMV (Sep 11, 2018 09:53AM)
I like the penguins. Donít need my reading glasses and enough marks that I only need a glimpse of a portion of the card. Buy in bulk and they are good value as well.
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Sep 11, 2018 10:00AM)
[quote]On Aug 6, 2018, DrIlluminatus wrote:
Keep it simple use the Ted Lesley marking system... [/quote]
I 2nd the motion for the Ted Lesley deck, so easy to read, yet hard to see if you donít know the secret.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Sep 18, 2018 08:55PM)
[quote]On Aug 2, 2018, Rook wrote:
The Penguin marked Bikes are large enough for me to read without glasses (I wear bifocals) and haven't been caught out on them yet. [/quote]
Is the Penguin marked deck the one with the Maidenback design, which also comes with a video tutorial by Rick Lax and one by Jon Armstrong?
Message: Posted by: Rook (Sep 19, 2018 10:39AM)
[quote]On Sep 18, 2018, EndersGame wrote:
Is the Penguin marked deck the one with the Maidenback design, which also comes with a video tutorial by Rick Lax and one by Jon Armstrong? [/quote]

Yep, those are the ones!
Message: Posted by: emyers99 (Sep 19, 2018 07:41PM)
I have pretty much every marked deck that's come out in the last 20 years. Sort of an obsession for some reason. The range of options these days is insane and it really boils down to what you need the deck to do and whether you intend to use the deck with a stack or just as a regular shuffled deck. If the latter, I still say the Phoenix marked deck is the best. Marks are well hidden but very visible if you know they are marked. Boris' deck is the best if speed is a priority. For price point, the Penguin deck is impossible to beat.
Message: Posted by: Louigi Verona (Nov 5, 2018 04:35PM)
I have looked at a bunch of reader decks, like the Penguin Decks and Maiden Back Marked Cards, not sure which edition. So far my favourite is Phoenix Marked Deck.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Nov 5, 2018 10:45PM)
Here's a brand new marked deck to add to the list:

[b][url=https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=62304]King & Legacy: Gold Edition[/url][/b]

[img]https://www.murphysmagicsupplies.com/images/62304-full.png[/img]

It's just been released, and the style of the marking is similar to the Dapper Deck from Vanishing Inc Magic. The back has an ornate and classy design, while the faces are quite customized, especially the court cards.

The markings are easy to read, and it doesn't require learning a system, and they are also well integrated into the pattern on the card backs. Here's the official trailer for the deck:

[youtube]_7Nk-1C2wGc[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Rocky (Nov 8, 2018 10:33AM)
[quote]On Aug 2, 2018, mrmagic0 wrote:
My personal preference is the Dekram deck. Easy to read and very hard to find for the spectator. What does Dekram spell backwards? )


Ron [/quote]

OK...I give up! What does Dekram spell backwards???
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Nov 14, 2018 02:54PM)
S.U.M. deck by Roy Johnson, using Hoyle blue deck.
A Set Up Marked stacked deck. Needing no calculation or memorization to determine the face down card chosen, the card below and above, plus the top and bottom card of the deck.
Message: Posted by: kardistic (Dec 26, 2018 05:33PM)
DMC Elites, Butterfly playing cards, Cadenza playing cards
Message: Posted by: StarManager (Dec 27, 2018 01:17AM)
DMC elites for me.
Message: Posted by: Psyfl (Dec 27, 2018 04:45PM)
The marking system of the Phoenix marked decks is good since the back design was designed specifically around the marking system.
Message: Posted by: HeronsHorse (Dec 28, 2018 01:35PM)
There are some incredibly stealthy ways of marking a bicycle or bee deck yourself. Who needs a pre-made one! :D
Message: Posted by: Looch (Dec 30, 2018 11:39AM)
DMC Elites
Message: Posted by: skoldpadda (Jan 1, 2019 10:19AM)
I'm trying to find Cadenza deck online but not seeing them anywhere.
Message: Posted by: pancho247 (Jan 2, 2019 06:38AM)
DMC ELITES
Message: Posted by: Joemv (Jan 2, 2019 07:43PM)
Another vote for DMC ELITES.

JOE
Message: Posted by: reignofsound (Jan 3, 2019 07:35AM)
DMC Elites and Marksmen Deck.
Message: Posted by: kardistic (Jan 3, 2019 07:12PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2019, skoldpadda wrote:
I'm trying to find Cadenza deck online but not seeing them anywhere. [/quote]

Its almost impossible to find them, because they are only 700 limited of each color. I got 2 of them each and can't get more. Its a pity that such unique and beautiful cards are not available for sale.
Message: Posted by: nkwmagic (Feb 8, 2019 02:11AM)
It is rumored that a second edition of the Cadenza marked deck is in the making, with improvements made to the already wonderful first edition...!
Message: Posted by: aligator (Feb 8, 2019 09:00AM)
If you want one that's different and can allow you to read the cards from a distance, rather then close up, give Hyper ESP a try. This deck will allow for a greater range of effects, assuming that you have another one for close up.
Message: Posted by: Razamabaz (Apr 6, 2019 02:35PM)
DMC Elites.
Message: Posted by: Lonnie_Lyerla (Apr 14, 2019 08:16PM)
Iíve been performing magic going on 20 years. And card magic was my first real love. As long as Iíve been doing card magic, Iíve bought almost every type of deck of gimmick cards, except a marked deck. Friday I purchased my very first marked deck from penguin. Very easily read. I wish I would have came here first because I would have purchased a different marked deck . Good news is I still can . So Iíll be able to compare which type of marked deck I prefer. The code style ? Or the reader style ?
Message: Posted by: Deckstacker (May 23, 2019 06:49PM)
My personal faves:
1. DMC Elites Rouge or Green for sheer ease of reading, with slight preference for the now rare Rouges for being less "busy" and perhaps slightly less easy for audiences to read accidentally.
2. Ellusionist Bicycle 1800 Series Marked Vintage deck. Marks are easy enough to read with practice, and spectators can get so focused on the new/old design features that they never suspect anything "funny" is going on. Also the cards have very smooth handling right out of the box.
3. Recently fell in love with the VERY smooth-handling Empire Keepers from Taiwan. The cleverness of the suit indicators blew my mind, but the value markings did take a little getting used to.
Message: Posted by: clars (May 30, 2019 08:00PM)
Empire Keepers from Taiwan. Are these the Keeper decks that Ellusionist sells or something different. Thanks
Message: Posted by: Deckstacker (May 31, 2019 01:34PM)
Google "empire keeper marked deck" for links to the deck I refer to. I have the blue-backed version, which I purchased from a vendor on eBay a couple of months ago. Text on the bottom of the tuck box reads "2016 Empire Keeper - Manufactured by 808 Magic Card Company - Made in Taiwan." As I recall I paid $11.99 for mine, but one of the Bombmagic website links offers them for $7. If you run your cursor over the blue deck graphic on that website you can highlight/view the marking system in the upper left corners of the 4 card backs shown, which (top to bottom and L-R) are as follows: AS, 4H, KC, 5D. On eBay the decks are apparently sold out right now.

I can't recall where I read this, but I believe that the company that makes the cards acknowledges that while the USPCC is king in the US and Cartamundi reigns supreme in Europe, it is their ambition to dominate the playing card market in Asia. -- We'll see, won't we? I will observe, however, that the cards in my deck are subjectively the slipperiest, most "air-cushiony" I have ever run across.
Message: Posted by: OzTheMentalist (Jun 2, 2019 01:46PM)
Penguin marked Bicycle deck
Message: Posted by: Magic from A to Z (Jun 2, 2019 07:15PM)
[quote]On Aug 2, 2018, magringo wrote:
Looking for the best marked deck -- I prefer bikes, but some people say they marks are small to read even relatively close up. Other people say they love Phoenix marked decks. I'm having a hard time deciding. Thanks. [/quote]

magringo,

Take a look at Erik Tait's Penguin Live lecture and you'll see it all boils down to "Presentation". I think you'll have a different approach/ respect after you see the portion of his lecture on a marked deck of cards.

Just my two cents worth,,,


~allen
Message: Posted by: poolside (Jul 14, 2019 03:02PM)
Garrett Thomas's Speed Readers are fantastic (so easy to read), but I now mostly use Penguin marked decks as they are a quarter of the price. No more concerns about tearing up cards for a trick. You can buy a block of 12 marked decks for just $60 USD. http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8525
Message: Posted by: Kong (Jul 14, 2019 05:49PM)
There are some beautifully designed and very clever marked decks available - I partook in the Mint 2 kickstarter and have the Blueberry, Frost and Foil decks, which are beautiful in every way.

The only problem I have is that if I'm going to perform for people, I want a deck that I don't mind destroying, either while performing an effect or to construct gimmicks. This pretty much rules out anything "premium" and swapping between decks with different designs mid-performance could look a bit suspicious.

So, I think I'd have to say my favourite marked deck is the one that matches the "straight" decks I use, which at the moment are standard bikes.
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Jul 16, 2019 08:20PM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2019, skoldpadda wrote:
I'm trying to find Cadenza deck online but not seeing them anywhere. [/quote]

Yes it is officially sold out, but you can find their web site:
https://nkwplayingcards.com/
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Jul 16, 2019 08:27PM)
Most post already have my choice such as Cadenza, DMC Elites, and Butterfly. These are wonderful marked decks and beyond our imagination 20 years ago, and such topic have so many wonderful release over the years.

Beside the above, my personal favorite is the Code by Andy Nyman, one of the deck never fails to deliver true miracle to my audience. Now I need to adjust the distance so my fading eyesight can read it, anyway, it was still a wonderful deck.

Maybe there was a huge market of marked deck for prebyopia magicians...
Message: Posted by: Parnaso (Aug 27, 2019 07:26PM)
I believe that the Houdini Gambler's Deck, sold by Houdini Magic Shop, is by far the best marked in many ways, stacked, powerful weapon available.
I have worked with every marked deck available, and these have proven, over the years, to be the best. They have way more information than any other similar decks, and their stack is not a mnemonic, so you can learn it way faster than any complete mnemonic system (I use the mnemonic, anyways, because I have learned it way before discovering these decks)

Pros and Cons of the other marked decks, in my humble opinion:

DareDevil Decks (Henry Evans): I use Henry Evans' decks when I have to perform a parlour show, in which the audience won't be able to look at the back of the cards for too long. When I have to perform close-up, or if by any reason I have to show the backs for more than a second, these cards won't fit the bill. Also, they are not Bicycle.

Ted Lesley Marking System: Great system, but the marks will peel off after a while, if you riffle shuffle the deck. I wouldn't recommend this sistem, unless you really need to mark the cards your way, in a very specific spot in the cards.

Boris Wild: I believe the marks are located in a very uncomfortable spot. Not organic for a regular display or use.

Peter McCabe System: Awesome. You must mark your own decks. Cheap, since once you know how to do it, you can mark as many decks as you wish for free. You must be able to do the markings in a very specific and precise spot and way, and in regular size decks that could be pretty difficult. I use these markings to mark my jumbo decks, and they work great.

Phoenix Marked Decks: Great marked decks, with marks that are very difficult to spot by the audience. But you asked for Bicycle, if possible, so these wouldn't be the best to purchase.

I left outside of this message all the other decks that are not Bicycle, since you specifically asked for Bicycle cards.

Hope it helps...
Message: Posted by: Luciole (Oct 16, 2019 08:33AM)
For years I used Boris Wild's, but now my 2 favorite marked decks are DMC Elite and The Code.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Oct 27, 2019 08:27PM)
TCC Pure Mark are also another affordable alternative.

https://youtu.be/UBHGEJuQUxo