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Profile of J773
When you are doing some sleights, some or all of the cards get a little (or a lot, when you're a beginner) bend.
So I have a few question for all you fine magicians out there :

1. How do you get your deck good ?
2. On average, how long does a deck last ?
3. Do you just buy new decks all the time ?
4. How many training decks should I have ?
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376 Posts

Profile of JackDaniel
1. After each training session place the cards between two heavy books or something, this will keep them nice for a while.

2. Depends, after attending a McBride lecture, the slights I started practicing wore heavily on my deck, the first one lasted about 2 weeks.

3. Yes, Fortune enough to have friends in the business, so I pay about $2 for a new pack of Bikes.

4. You should have at least three:
-one with fanning powder for spreads'n stuff.
-one for sleight practice (DL, Passes etc).
-One for replacement of cards (mercury cardfold,cardwarp, torn'n restored).

Perform with your Sleight deck or get a crisp one, but get 'em all in the same color, for switches, replacement of cards and so on...

P.S. Mine are all red.
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Emily Belleranti
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Tucson, Arizona
349 Posts

Profile of Emily Belleranti
1. I wash my hands before I practice or rehearse. I also often do what Jack Daniel does: I place my cards between a couple of heavy books.

2. A deck of cards usually lasts somewhere from a week to two weeks for me.

3. It seems like I buy cards just about every time I see some being sold for a good price. I always have about five or six unopened packs of cards in my room.

4. I would suggest that you have at least two: one for practice and one for performance. The cards you use when performing should be fairly new and in good condition (it makes you look more professional to have nice cards). Once your performance deck starts to get old, you should make it your practice deck and break a new one in for performance.

You should also save your old decks to use for practicing torn and restored, card folds, etc.
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Rob Johnston
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Inner circle
2060 Posts

Profile of Rob Johnston
If you have any gaffed cards I would suggest using a plastic holder to keep them in great shape.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
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Profile of Danno
They sell card presses but they're fairly expensive.

I buy my Bike's at BJ's (it's a wholesale club) and get 10 packs (5 red 5 blue) for $14.99 which is a great deal.

So, I usually just buy new ones. But I keep a shoebox full of the old decks for matches and backup.
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Profile of magicboyty
You can get Bikes cheap at Costco.
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Profile of Mr.P
Just keep using them till they don't work anymore, if your using them regularly to entetrain people, they will become so worn in they will work perfectly, fan beautifully and be your best friend, you'll not want to throw them out. I know a friend of mine, works all the time, he does the card in mouth and every card if folded and dropping appart, what this guy can do with this deck is truly unbeleivable
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Profile of rannie
Get a card guard. Its a metal thing that keeps your cards in great shape. With the card guard you can even keep your deck in your back pocket with no worries.

"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer
Ahmed Gasteli
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Tunis, Tunisia
26 Posts

Profile of Ahmed Gasteli
You can get a nice card guard from Joe Porper. He calls it Card Clip and this is (among others) available from Bob Kohler:

I hope this helps
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277 Posts

Profile of bkowkabany
The Porper guard is great. If you are on a budget Penguin has a good price on its guard.
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silent shadow
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United Kingdom
231 Posts

Profile of silent shadow
My advise ..

Alway's wash your hand's before picking them up (even if they look clean).

Put them back in the box , everytime.

Have one for flourishes , one for sleight's practice, and one for performing , the newest(obviously).

Once the card's have swelled up and you struggle to get 52 card's back in the box , get a new one...
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Costa Rica
102 Posts

Profile of Rafa

2. On average, how long does a deck last ?
// Depends on how much you use it, of course, but I use it daily for about 1 hour, and it lasts months.
I think Ortiz said that the best way of getting reliable results every single time is to use a slightly used deck of cards. Not brand new, not very used.

3. Do you just buy new decks all the time ?
// All the time.

4. How many training decks should I have ?
I use new ones until I feel that the same moves don't seem exactly the same, after that I use them as training decks and have a new one for performances, which I riffle and touch them a lot for some minutes so they don't be as good as new. The problem with 100% new decks is that you won't get the same results after they are used. For example, you put a double on the table, and the cards, just because they're new, tend to separate because of the air between them.
Hope this helps.
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Profile of fantom
I have somewhere around fifty to seventy-five decks at home at any given time.
I buy cards whenever I can. I practice my slights with new decks. When the cards get worn, I use them for replacement cards or throwaways.
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Profile of jackodiamonds
Obvious beginner needs advice!

I bought a number of cheap decks cause it was a pound for two and I am pretty skint. They are really flimsy and damage quite easy. Am I wasting my time with these or do they have their uses?
At least I can say I tried
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Profile of fantom
I believe a good magi should practice with all different qualities of cards, as sometimes you may be asked to perform using borrowed cards and will have little to no control over the quality of those cards.
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Profile of Catmouth
I am also fairly new to card effects but I have many many decks of cards around the house. Usually a few dozen unopened packs at any time. I am addictied to pasteboard. I have the same basic setup as the others here, I have a nice set in my car incase I get hit up to do something while I am at work or out, I have a house deck that I use for whatever I am working on at the moment, and deck of bees for flourishes, and whatever scraps I have left from Poker night or the occasional relative who" Knows I like cards, so I got you these!" deck that was made in a bombed out place in Afganistan or somewhere on the worse cardstock ever, for throwing.
Will Gordon
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Las Vegas
124 Posts

Profile of Will Gordon
Get a card guard. Its a metal thing that keeps your cards in great shape.

I don't know how I ever lived without one.
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Profile of jack_is_dead
I like my cards to be makes me appear more natural and the cards are not gimmicked..just for the psychology..but if you own a bycycle Svengali or stripper you might want to take care of it!
one eyed man is the king in the blind land
Corey Harris
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Inner circle
Kansas City, MO
1229 Posts

Profile of Corey Harris
To help prevent warping, Get either a card guard, or when not using your cards sandwich them between to solid heavy objects. I normally practice with one deck. It makes more sense to me. When you are performing your not going to switch decks for a minute just to do flourishes. Keep your old decks for practice as well for junk cards.
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The Netherlands
219 Posts

Profile of Tabasco
I don't like new cards, if your cards are worn and you practise with these you won't have a hard time doing you tricks when someone hands you a deck. (i've never 'borrowed' a brand new deck)
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