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ein_doppelganger
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Traditionally cut bikes...
Oh man,

Just have to say these things rock. I got a box from Richard Turner's website today and the pull through riffle shuffle just wants to work. The cards weave beautifully and slide through each other like air. I wonder how he manages to get them cut special by the USPCC.

I usually make a point to work with off the shelf run of the mill bikes but these are just too nice...

Just thought I would share that.
stoneunhinged
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But when they're gone, they're gone.

The new Phoenix deck is also traditionally cut, BTW, which for magic will do nicely.

I suppose Phoenix coolers are a long way off, however.
ein_doppelganger
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Ahhh so there is only one run... limited quantity..
Hah! I knew there was a catch. These are a pleasure but surprisingly they don't faro as easily for me as regular bikes... weird
AMcD
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This traditionally cut cards (TCC) stuff is something, well... weird!

1) Supposed in limited quantity but available from years from Richard Turner website (Bee and Bikes). You can buy grosses, I don't call that limited quantity!!!

2) They are also available from many other websites.

3) For stacking cards, it's true that TCC can help for faros for instance. But usually, you don't bring your own cards to a game, you've got to do with the ones provided. The least we can say is that you've got to deal with very different decks, some nice, some horrible. But the average is far from TCC, in quality...

What I mean is that it's a bad habit to always use special material because you're done when you can't use it. Of course, the pro should use the best material every time he could. But practicing only with TCC would be, IMHO, a huge mistake.

BTW, that's right, TCC Bee or Bikes are great Smile.
Bret Maverick
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Ein_doppelganger,

While Stoney's advise that once they're gone that's it is correct, RT's Gold Seal Bikes are not in short supply, as I eplained in another thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=203

Quote:
On 2009-07-30 12:21, Bret Maverick wrote:

Richard Turner's Bee cards are in short supply but, rest assured, his supply of Gold Seal Bikes is substantial. I don't recall if I posted it here or on another forum, but Richard's control of his inventory and pricing will last only for the remainder of 2009. While he hopes that the pricing of his Bikes will remain reasonable and that larger orders will continue to be discounted in the future, pricing will no longer be decided by Mr. Turner beginning in 2010.

So,if price is vital to your purchasing them, buy them sooner, rather than later but, don't miss a mortgage payment and get yourself into hot water to do so immediately, since there are enough decks in stock to last a while.

That being said, once they are gone, that's it.

Bret


Stoney,

Have you personally inspected the Phoenix cards and verified that they are traditionally cut?

I've read that claim in the advertisement on their website, but I suspect that the USPCC did not cut the Phoenix cards traditionally as they did for RT's runs.

Bret
"If all a man can count on is finally pushing up the grass, when I do I'll lay you odds that grass is mine!" - Theme Song For The T.V. Series BRET MAVERICK, by Ed Bruce
stoneunhinged
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Bret, is there some kind of test one can do to prove it one way or another rather than relying on pure "feel"?

The cards do not feel as good as the Bees, but the finish is also a bit more "slippery". They faro fine, and "right out of the box" (as the expression goes), but not noticeably better than regular bikes.
kipling100
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^^ I'm wondering that as well.

I found that RT's decks table-faro face down very easily. I noticed that the pink colored bikes table-faro just as well. I wonder if that means they are traditionally cut?
Bret Maverick
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Generally speaking, gentlemen,if you take a deck of traditionally cut cards placed face-down on a table; cut them in half; butt the two short sides squarely together; and push them straight into each other without lifting them as you would in performing a table faro they will inter-weave cleanly, without resistance, whereas non-traditionally cut cards will bind when pushed togther face-down but, when turned face-up and pushed together in the same manner, will inter-weave as cleanly as the traditionally cut cards do face-down. (Conversely, if you take a deck of traditionally cut cards and perform an identical test with them face-up they will bind just as the non-traditionally-cut cards do face-down.)

[I hope that my description adequately describes the testing.]

Another "test" might be to let someone with no card skills shuffle the Phoenix decks face-down and face-up to see if there is a noticable difference.

I don't have a deck of Phoenix cards to test myself, but someone whose judgement I value told me that they are not "cut the same as Richard Turner's Bicycle cards" as advertised. I was curious as to what other members of this forum who own Phoenix decks believe.

I have no financial interest either way but, considering the number of threads on various forums espousing the advantage of traditionally cut cards (a term, incidentally, that was coined by Richard Turner), I think that potential purchasers should have as much information as possible about a product before they buy.

Bret
"If all a man can count on is finally pushing up the grass, when I do I'll lay you odds that grass is mine!" - Theme Song For The T.V. Series BRET MAVERICK, by Ed Bruce
stoneunhinged
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OK, in the interest of science, I did the following:

1. I washed my hands with anti-bacterial medical soap.

2. I fetched a new red-colored deck of each of the following decks of cards and opened them using an Opinel #8 to cut the cellophane and the seal:

A. Phoenix
B. Gold Seal Bees
C. Plain vanilla Bicycles

The first thing I noticed was that the seals all have different colors: blue for the bikes, red for the bees, black for the Phoenix. Also, the bikes had a sort of rip-strip thingy on the cellophane; the other decks did not.

Please note that I did not mix the colors of the actual decks, because I wanted to preserve scientific integrity. Smile

Notes:

1. Phoenix deck. I tried the Maverick test, and the cards failed to interweave face down or face up. The interesting thing is that face down the cards tended to go up when I pushed them together. Face up they just refused to interweave at all.

2. Normal bikes. Maverick test: face down nothing. They didn't push up, they didn't interweave they just acted like I was trying to push two blocks of wood together. Face up: interesting! I had to put a bit of pressure on them, but they interweaved rather smoothly.

Now, this got me interested, so I did several more tests with the same results. I then went back to the Phoenix with the same results as before.

I'm joking about all the "science" but this *is* interesting.


Now to the gold seal deck:

3. The gold seal deck: face down. They weaved like the bikes. HUGE surprise: they also weaved for me face up. Why?

Forget the science (since this is stupid science anyway; all you can really say is that I washed my hands and used new decks), there are some real differences in "feel" between the cards.

So here's what I'm gonna do: I'm just going to do an in-the-hands faro of all three decks a couple of times, in both directions and see what I find.

1. Phoenix: the first one or two faros result in a clump of cards towards the end of the shuffle. After three or four faros they faro quite well in both directions. Hm. I suppose this doesn't really fit the definition of faroing "right out of the box".

2. Bikes: my first faro was face down, and they faroed just fine, but fought back a wee bit in the first tenth of a second. Face up they weaved immediately, and much more smoothly than the Phoenix. Strange. I also noticed that the bikes are distinctively rougher on the edges.

3. Gold seals: HUGE surprise. In the hands, a face up faro was a dream--easily smoother than the two other decks, by far. But face down needed just a wee bit of extra pressure.

Now, if I were really gonna get scientific about this, I would have 100 people shuffle a hundred decks of each in a blind sample. But this very brief (and fun, and jut for the fun of it) experiment led to no conclusions other than these:

1. The Turner deck truly feels better in the hands than the others, by far, but this might be because of the different card stock rather than the traditional cut.

One last experiment: I decided to grab a deck, then think about something else while turning the cards over and over until I didn't know whether they were face up or face down, and do a few in-the-hand faros.

1. Phoenix: they DEFINITELY faro much better face down. (Traditionally cut? Still hard to say, I'd say.)

2. Bikes: also a DEFINITE result. 100%. They faro much better face up.

3. Gold seal: Gotta make a few notes about these, because they are indeed weird:

First, I noticed that regardless of letting my mind wander while turning them over and over to "forget" whether they were face up or face down, I could always "feel" whether they were face up or face down. Bizarre. Remember, this is a fresh deck, so it isn't bent from any previous shuffling. It's hard to describe, but I can just tell whether they are face up or face down. Always. I've done this at least thirty times. I look out the window and watch the birds, spin the cards around in my hands in every direction, think about sex, whatever, and then go back to the subject, close my eyes and say, "face up or face down?", and I am always right.

What does this mean? Interesting.

So how am I supposed to continue the "experiment"?

Forgetting the "blind" test, I did a dozen faros in each direction and they faroed well consistently. These cards really do faro "right out of the box", and it doesn't really matter in which direction you do it. Huge surprise. Surely this can't have anything to do with being "traditionally cut".

All jokes about science aside, I'd have to say that the gold seal cards are far and beyond the best cards of the three. It's not even close.

A quick Café search will prove that I am a big supporter of Christian and his project, and this "experiment" inclines me to believe that the Phoenix deck is indeed cut differently than the bikes (again, I'd have to try out hundreds of decks of each rather than just one to come to any serious conclusion). They do feel different than bikes, but not "better".

The Turner deck is unbelievable, however. In my hands, blindfolded, they just feel superior to the other two, and by a long shot. I'm not shocked, but I am surprised by the amount of difference.

If this post weren't already incredibly long, I'd go open a back of normal Bees to make more comparisons. But I suppose I already lost my audience after the third or fourth sentence, so I'm stopping here.

Y'all have a nice day.
AMcD
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What is that Phoenix deck you're talking about? The new USPC stuff? Their back are so unusual I'm afraid everyone should suspect something is supposed to going on with these decks lol.
Bret Maverick
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Wow, Jeff, you must really find this interesting (with or without beer)!

And no, you didn’t lose your audience’s attention after the third or fourth sentence, if I qualify as part of your audience; I read and re-read your post several times to digest it.

Quote:
1. Phoenix deck. I tried the Maverick test, and the cards failed to interweave face down or face up. The interesting thing is that face down the cards tended to go up when I pushed them together. Face up they just refused to interweave at all.

2. Normal bikes. Maverick test: face down nothing. They didn't push up, they didn't interweave they just acted like I was trying to push two blocks of wood together. Face up: interesting! I had to put a bit of pressure on them, but they interweaved rather smoothly.

Now, this got me interested, so I did several more tests with the same results. I then went back to the Phoenix with the same results as before.

I'm joking about all the "science" but this *is* interesting.


I failed to mention it in my earlier post, but when I push the two blocks of a TC deck against each other face-down and said that they weave together, it’s not a quick and smooth riffle-type weave like you’d get by lifting the cards in a faro shuffle…there is considerable resistance, but the two halves will push together. Also, face-down, they do push upwards slightly before weaving due to that resistance, but when pushing them face-up they surely act “like I was trying to push two blocks of wood together” (although with considerable force a few of the top cards will buckle upwards and try to push together).

The fact that the normal bikes weaved face-up for you with considerable pressure but not face-down would indicate that they are not TCC. Why the Gold Seals act similarly is interesting, although they are very squarely cut, regardless of the TC element that affects the edge. I just opened a deck of blue Gold Seals and found that the two blocks refused to push through unless I used a slight “sawing motion” sliding the short sides back and forth slightly before they weaved. However, when I turned the halves face-up and pushed them, they refused to weave together no matter how hard I forced them, even with the sawing movement, confirming in my view that they are TCC.

Quote:
1. Phoenix: the first one or two faros result in a clump of cards towards the end of the shuffle. After three or four faros they faro quite well in both directions. Hm. I suppose this doesn't really fit the definition of faroing "right out of the box".

2. Bikes: my first faro was face down, and they faroed just fine, but fought back a wee bit in the first tenth of a second. Face up they weaved immediately, and much more smoothly than the Phoenix. Strange. I also noticed that the bikes are distinctively rougher on the edges.

3. Gold seals: HUGE surprise. In the hands, a face up faro was a dream--easily smoother than the two other decks, by far. But face down needed just a wee bit of extra pressure.


Jeff, when you faro in the hand are you starting at the top of the deck? “Regular” Bikes should hand-faro better than TCC decks when starting from the top down rather than the bottom-up in a table faro (although my in-the-hands faro suck, so I’m no authority on the subject).

Quote:
The Turner deck truly feels better in the hands than the others, by far, but this might be because of the different card stock rather than the traditional cut.


That may very well be, since the type of stock; the thickness they are stamped to; the depth that the ink penetrates; and the finish all play a role in a card’s flexibility, but ultimately, the traditional cut will prove beneficial in the long run (except perhaps for hand-faroing). Also, the fact that the Gold Seals are constructed of top quality stock may explain why they handle well face-up or face-down: the better stock may simply cut smoother to a “polished edge” than the cheaper, standard Bike paper.

Quote:
First, I noticed that regardless of letting my mind wander while turning them over and over to "forget" whether they were face up or face down, I could always "feel" whether they were face up or face down. Bizarre. Remember, this is a fresh deck, so it isn't bent from any previous shuffling. It's hard to describe, but I can just tell whether they are face up or face down. Always. I've done this at least thirty times. I look out the window and watch the birds, spin the cards around in my hands in every direction, think about sex, whatever, and then go back to the subject, close my eyes and say, "face up or face down?", and I am always right. What in the hell does this mean? Interesting.
Not bizarre at all…just sensitive fingertips. The day that I met Richard Turner he explained the card cutting process as it had been for more than a century, and then explained why the handling of cards changed after the cutting process changed. When he said that he could tell if a deck was TC or not simply by feeling the edge of the card, Steve Forte took a handful of cards; randomly intermixed them face-up and face-down; placed them under the table and handed them to RT one at a time under the table for him to test: and RT correctly identified whether the cards handed to him were face-up or face-down nearly every time, explaining that one side of a card is rounded and the other side is flat, depending on which way the blade entered and exited during the cut.

As I’ve explained often in the past, I primarily keep myself occupied to relieve stress by fiddling around with cancelled casino decks that are all TC and fairly broken in depending on the length and intensity of service before removal from the gaming tables. I find that they weave much easier face-down and that the difference between shuffling them face-down versus face-up is more pronounced than with any of the other decks, including the Gold Seals. While I’m no touch analyst, I think that the difference rests in the casino-quality cards being significantly thicker than the other cards, which makes the rounded edges more pronounced when butting the two halves together and interweaving them. Think of it like the blade of a knife on which only one side is honed, and the other side is flat. Feeling the edge of a very thin blade of this type might be difficult to identify the rounded edge but, on a thick blade, the difference should be easy to feel.

I was reluctant to describe the “feel test” earlier, because I can rarely determine which side is rounded or flat with any certainty or regularity. It appears that maybe you can? Are you able to rub your finger or thumb across the side of a card to determine which side is smoother (the rounded side) or which side’s edge is sharper (the flat side)? If so, that’s the only test you need to determine if a deck is TC or not, and I’d like to know what your verdict is now with the Phoenix deck.

Quote:
The Turner deck is unbelievable, however. In my hands, blindfolded, they just feel superior to the other two, and by a long shot. I'm not shocked, but I am surprised by the amount of difference.


From the comments that I’ve read on various forums you are not alone in your conviction; I am sure that Richard Turner will be proud to hear that.

Bret
"If all a man can count on is finally pushing up the grass, when I do I'll lay you odds that grass is mine!" - Theme Song For The T.V. Series BRET MAVERICK, by Ed Bruce
kipling100
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Here is my experience with richard turner's trad-cut cards.

I wanted to learn the table faro so I got Steven Youell's CD and began playing with his method. Needless to say, it was difficult, and I was having a hard time acquiring the knack, especially because there is no sawing type action in his method.

In the interim, I got a couple gold seal bikes based on a couple posts here about how they table faro face down. Right out of the box, I attempted a table faro using Steven's method, and got a perfect weave. Before, with regular bikes, I was only getting a perfect weave 5-10% of the time. Now my rate was 95% with the gold seal bikes.

These things table faro so well, it almost became a crutch for me, and I'd only like to practice with the TC decks. But then one day I was playing with a normal broken-in bicycle deck, and was able to hit the table faro a few consecutive times. I thought I was using a TC deck, but it wasn't.

I really think the TC cards helped me develop the knack for Steven's table faro method. I don't know how, but I imagine it's because I started feeling how it should feel when done right.

In sum, for all those trying to learn that method and having trouble, try it with the gold seal bikes for a period of time, and then switch back and see if it helps.

Btw, I wish he had the TC Bee Cards in blue ...
kcg5
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Jeff, the new bikes coming out of kentucky have black seals.

Arnold, the phoneix is a magic thing.
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



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ein_doppelganger
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Stone: Wow, great experiments! I too am re-reading to post to digest your findings.

kipling100: Im interested in this CD on the Table faro. I didn't see it on his website, whats it called?
tommy
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I can tell by just running my finger up and down the side of a deck.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
Jeff, when you faro in the hand are you starting at the top of the deck?


Yes. I'm right handed, and my usual faro (when I practice I use three different faros, but for this test I didn't) is right hand weaving the bottom of half the deck into the the top half in my left hand.

Quote:
When he said that he could tell if a deck was TC or not simply by feeling the edge of the card, Steve Forte took a handful of cards; randomly intermixed them face-up and face-down; placed them under the table and handed them to RT one at a time under the table for him to test: and RT correctly identified whether the cards handed to him were face-up or face-down nearly every time....


Incredible. I only had the whole deck in my hands. Doing this with a single card is unbelievable. On the other hand, we're talking about Richard Turner.

Quote:
Are you able to rub your finger or thumb across the side of a card to determine which side is smoother....


No. Or maybe yes. I haven't tried. The reason I found the experiment "bizarre" is that I wasn't intentionally trying to feel the edges or anything else. I wasn't doing anything other than holding the cards in my left hand and guessing whether they were face up or face down. I wasn't rubbing my thumb along the edges or anything like that. To be very precise, THAT is the reason I described the experience as "bizarre".

After my son came home from school, I asked him to place the deck in my hand randomly to see if some kind of weird brain effect was calculating the turns and telling me which side was up. We did this only one single time (he wanted to go do something else, and was put out to even gratify me this one time), and I got it wrong. Go figure.

To Kevin: thanks for the info about the black seals. You seem to be becoming a real expert about USPCC.

To Arnold: http://www.card-shark.de/index.cfm?page=8〈=en

As I said, I support Christian in what he's trying to do. But as Kevin said, it's a magic thing, so I don't suppose it's interesting to you.
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I try Jeff, but if you check the workers thread about tally ho's, it appears not even the USPCC is an expert on the USPCC.
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stoneunhinged
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Right, Kevin. I wish we could know the future of Tally-hos, and it's frustrating that you can't get a straight answer.

OK, now we're into pseudo-pseudo-science, but it's a lot of fun, so I'll tell y'all about it anyway.

I randomly selected six individual cards from each deck, blindfolded myself, and did a fair overhand shuffle (to keep from bending the cards in anyway). Again I washed my hands with medical soap. This time my trusty Opinel #8 did not come into play, much less my Buck knife.

The test was easy: separate the cards into three piles by feeling the edges of single cards. Smooth to the left. Rough to the right. Undecided go to the middle.

I did this three times, then turned the cards over (face up), shuffled and blindfolded my self again, and did the same thing.

Both tests gave the same result. Mind you, this is just a sample of 18 cards. But six attempts gave similar results, regardless of whether the cards were turned face up or face down.

Smoothest: Phoenix
Middle: Gold Seal Bees
Roughest: Standard Bikes.

This test means nothing, but it was interesting and fun.
uhrenschmied
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To make the test even more scientific you could use card samples from different decks.

Regards,
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I just stumbled into this very interesting thread and would like to add a few comments.

Jeff got cards from the first run of the Phoenix, now we are already shipping the reprints. Is there a difference between both? Yes. USPCC have two different printing machines, one is a sheet fed press, the other one the web press. Large quantities are always printed on the web press, so to say the regular Bicycle cards and also the Turner decks. On the first run I decided to go on the smaller machine even if the production quantity allowed me to go onto the large web press. My hope was to get a better result as I thought that the reduced printing speed increased the alignment issue that always is there when opening a deck of USPCC.

Unfortunately I was not that satisfied with the first run, they needed very long for the production, and their finishing machine that embosses the linen structure into the cards and applies the air cushion finish was broken (so I was told). They still used the machine but on half speed. It seems that doing this the cards got out even more slippery than regular Bikes, but worn out a little bit faster if you would stay with a deck for more than a few days. I deeply apologize for that issue and I am still discussing that with USPCC. But I could more easily talk to a wall and get a better result.

The reprint was done on the web press and the cards are just: PERFECT.

Now to the cutting: yes, they are definitely cut traditionally face up. What exactly does it mean? Paper gets beveled when it is cut, like a puzzle piece where you have round edges as the knifes cut out the pieces from the face side. This is the same with playing cards but in a very small scale when they are punched out.

The result is the following. You can easily see the difference of the cut if you faro a never shuffled deck. When you do a faro you have the possibility to start from the side where you see the faces or from the side where you see the backs.

A regular Bicycle deck faros easy from the side of the faces, the Phoenix Deck and the Richard Turner Deck faros easy from the backs.

The main difference between a Richard Turner Deck and mine is the fact that I used genuine Bicycle card stock and so far as I know does Richard use Bee stock. Bee is slightly thicker and therefore even the card case has to be a little bit thicker to be able to hold all cards.

The standard Phoenix Deck has several built in features that can be used as additional weapons as they are oneway marked on the backs AND the faces. Yes, also on the faces. And nobody notices it. Jeff McBride fooled Eugene Burger using this feature three times in a row and he could not spot it. Even if I tell magicians that there is a marking and let them try to find it for instance on a 2 of Clubs: they just cannot find it. As soon as you know where to look it is very obvious and easy to read. The feedback regarding the deck at every convention is fantastic. So if you will be at the FFFF, IBM or SAM convention this year, get your hands on the Phoenix Deck to test if for yourself. You will be (positively) surprised.

The Phoenix Deck is somehow to be placed in between a regular Bicycle Deck and the Richard Turner Deck, as the price of a Phoenix is 3 Dollar and a Turner Deck is 5 Dollar. As more and more effects are coming out for the Phoenix, the more common it will get. And the future just starts, so far I can say that the Phoenix Deck is the only one worldwide where you can get long cards, wide cards and thin cards of. The Phoenix Double-Decker will be launched in April and it really holds 104 cards in one card case.

That a layman would ever expect the Phoenix Deck being suspicious is purely nonsense. Fullstop.
Expert in playing card production for magicians.

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