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jonesc2ii
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Oxford, England
235 Posts

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I have tried some cheap cards, some Bicycle decks and something in between. For experimenting I now use the Linen Finish mid-priced cards because I don't mind too much if I mess up a deck and have to buy a new one.

But I was wondering which decks you guys use to perform and whether you use different decks to practice with?
www.ixyl.co.uk/forums - for when you fancy a debate or a quiet chat.
Smar99
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Elkins, WV
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I use bicycle cards for everything except gambling tricks, for which I use bee cards. Once in a while I'll get a tally-ho deck.
"When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute - and it's longer than an hour, That's relativity.
- Albert Einstein
Steve Friedberg
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Whatever floats your boat; Bicycle cards are no longer the "must have" decks. In fact, using other cards may send a "these aren't gaffed" signal to your spectators.

For instance, I picked up a dozen decks of Stud cards at Walgreen's. Buck a deck. Nobody, nobody has questioned them...and if they do, I show them the side of the box that says they were purchased at Walgreen's. Similarly, I picked up two decks for $2 at another pharmacy chain (Rite Aid). Guess what...all three sets (Bicycle, Walgreen, Rite Aid) were made by USPC.

Have fun.
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Vincent
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New York Metro Area
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Hello,

I use Tally Ho cards pretty much all the time. If you can it's a good idea to be able to perform with almost any type of deck. Bikes are pretty much universally recognized here in the States. Not sure of other brands where you are but I believe Bikes are known there as well.
As far as practicing with one deck and performing with another, I always practice with the same brand of deck that I use in performance. Depending on the frequency of use a deck usually last me about 5 to 7 days.
When I perform behind a bar a deck won't even last me one night. Usually have two or three on hand for that situation.
Hope that helped.
Take Care,
Vincent Smile Smile Smile
Highpockets
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Dearborn, MI
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If you get into packet tricks, you need bikes. Often, when you buy a trick, you only get the gaffed cards which will be red or blue bikes and you have to supply your own matching deck.
age is a steep price to pay for maturity

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JesseMagic
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Oxnard, CA
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That's right high pockets...gaffs come printed on bikes, so why not just get decks laypeople are familiar with, and there will be no suspicion.
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Bicycle are the most popular brand cards in the United States. (BTW Happy B.D. USA!) according to the United States Playing Card Company. That means people recognize them immediately and many have them in their homes.

I come from the days of magic where Aviator Cards ruled. All gaffed card were Fox Lake, a magician brand name for the Aviator design. Today that has shifted to Bicycle. On occasion, I need to use Aviator cards; people do look at them a bit strangely.

Not so many years ago I did a survey on alt.magic (ugh!) yes I used to go there before I discovered there were far superior sites. I had to daily get posters back on topic as alt.magic people tend to drift between flames, but the overwhelming majority chose Bicycle Poker size Red Backed decks as their deck of choice. I hope the above gives you some direction to think about.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
wulfiesmith
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Beverley, UK
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I have been a card man for 30 years.
Coming from the UK too, I use no other deck than Waddingtons...except for "have to's".
In the UK, when you have to use those "special decks" and "packet tricks" people are suspicious from the start, because they see a deck they do not recognise.
So...learn your sleights...and you have the ultimate weapon to use ANY deck...and adapt.
PM me with your problems...if I can help...I shall try!
Regards, Wulfie
jonesc2ii
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Oxford, England
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The thing is, all the gaffs seem to be Poker sized and I have tiny hands, so I always use Bridge sized cards!

So, I always have to remake my own version of a gaffed card anyway, so they never end up with bicycle backs, unless the gaff is dependent on it!
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Zednanreh
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Miami, FL
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Something just struck me. The card back and front do not matter, the box does. If the spectator sees the "matching" box for the pack, they will accept the cards as regular. I guess its just a psychological thing.

- Alex

PS. Before this hit me, I refused to even consider something like Tallys because of the gimmicked look they have (because Americans aren't used to seeing them, but magicians are). Now I might reconsider...only 3 more packs of Bikes to go...
So you want to market or sell your trick? Before you do, read this!
jcards01
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Waterloo, IL
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Bicycle's and Tally Ho's!
Jimmy 'Cards' Molinari
www.jimmycards.com
LeConte
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Bay area
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Tally-Ho's circle backs do not look odd at all!!!!! In fact, I find their design to be very pleasing to the eye and quite "natural" looking. The ace of spades in the Tally-Ho deck is work of art!!!!

In terms of cost, well they are more expensive for me then either Bikes or Studs.
Drive Carefully
Peter Marucci
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I'm like Frank, above; for years, I used Aviator (Fox Lake, Caravan, etc.) because those were the "common" cards that everyone knew and the majority of gaffs came in.
Then Bikes took over.
And I had to convert all my gaffs to Bikes.
(Which is probably one of the reasons that I don't like gaffs!)
But, as Steve Friedberg says, they are not the "must have" cards.
It would depend on what you want to do with them.
For example, I do a Titanic routine in my current lecture; the cards used on the Titanic were Steamboats, so I use them.
For Old West routines I use either a Civil War deck or a Jack Daniels replica deck.
But for most routines I still use Bikes.
Smile Smile
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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I keep seeing the posts that tell us that the most common card brand/design found in the home (in the States) is the Bicycle.

Maybe the Bicycle’s are common in magician’s homes, but not in “regular” homes.

I have been doing a little, unscientific, survey for the past three years (since I read the first post that Bicycle decks were that standard found in homes) and found that NO deck is the standard. By that I mean that I am finding more and more homes DO NOT HAVE PLAYING CARDS AT ALL!

It is getting more and more difficult for me to do my impromptu wonders with a “borrowed” deck! There just isn’t any deck to borrow, even a dog-eared one!

Those homes that do have playing cards have an assortment of back designs.
Any more, the most common deck found (when one can be found) is the Chinese made brand that one buy’s at the convenience store or the Dollar store. The Decks at the Dollar Store are two for a dollar (plus tax). You get one red back and one red back. In my locality, THIS is the most common deck bought WHEN a deck is bought.

Sadly, the playing card, like the cane, top hat, American half dollar, and English Penny is becoming a novel thing of the past in terms of being commonplace. That they are commonplace for magicians doesn’t make them commonplace at all.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
0pus
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New Jersey
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I agree with Harry.

Outside of gambling institutions and the homes of avid bridge players, I think that cards are no longer an "ordinary" item and are, instead, more likely regarded as a magician's prop.

0pus
jonesc2ii
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Oxford, England
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Opus, sad as that sounds I think I agree. Although here in the UK I think that most homes still have a pack somewhere, it's not something they would consider familiar, like for example, a knife and fork!

There's something about a deck of cards though, that makes them perfect for performing illusions with. Or cheating!

Maybe it's time we put our heads together and found something else that we could manipulate if it's got to the stage where only magicians use playing cards? Smile Smile Smile
www.ixyl.co.uk/forums - for when you fancy a debate or a quiet chat.
wassabi_87
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moscow, idaho
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I have found that Bicycle is the best all round deck for magic; it has lasted the longest, and it's the most inexpensive, as apposed to Hoyle. Go for the Bicycle; if you live near a Costco, then you can get them in bulk; a pack of twelve sells for just over thirteen bucks
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Well Harry,
I guess the implication then is that when it comes to sales numbers, magicians play no small part in Bicycle brands success.

I do know the brand has changed. Years ago I could find Aviators easily, they were in food stores, drug stores and F.W. Woolworth (remember them?) Now the display racks consist of Bicycle.

It may very well be that cards are no longer a household item. That would be a good survey to do, unfortunately doing it here would certainly skew the results.

Two nights ago I had two magicians over to my place. It was definitely weird as both came with cards in pocket - I know that would not be duplicated in the real world.

We may have to end up doing tricks with Tarot cards - psychic fairs are still popular among the masses.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
jonesc2ii
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Oxford, England
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Wassabi:
Quote:
A pack of twelve sells for just over thirteen bucks


Hmm. That kind of puts a different complexion on it. Here in Oxford Bikes are £3.50 a pack. That's about five bucks.

If I could get a dozen packs of CHEAP cards for £10!!!...

So maybe it's not such an issue in the States where it sounds like it's not costing you guys $5 a pack?

BTW Frank, Woolworths is still a fairly big name on the high streets of the UK Smile .
www.ixyl.co.uk/forums - for when you fancy a debate or a quiet chat.
Peter Marucci
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Harry Murphy writes: "Sadly, the playing card, like the cane, top hat, American half dollar, and English Penny is becoming a novel thing of the past in terms of being commonplace."

However, since magic usually lags AT LEAST 25 years behind reality, magicians keep on using half dollars (rare), English big pennies (no longer in use), top hats (very rare), walking sticks (almost non-existent), and so on.

The most common card now may very well be the dollar-store "made in China" rubbish.

But audiences are still familiar with magicians who do magic with cards and Bikes are not really out of place.

Remember, jones' original question was what card to we use and what cards to we practice with.

In my case, Bikes in both instances.

You should practice with the exact same props that you are going to perform with -- and that includes cards.
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