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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Best card brand to begin your journey into card magic? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

P.L.Green
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Asturias (SPAIN)
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Hello,

I have been searching the forum, and I only found some old topics describing different card brands. In your experience, is there a particular brand that you would recommend for beginners?

I am sure cost is one of the characteristics to keep in mind, but other than that, and for someone is needs to practice a lot on basic sleights, what are the characteristics that would be helpful? Or does it not matter when you start, since you will not be able to feel and notice the difference?

Thanks in advance for any input you all can provide!
Can you keep a secret?.....So can I ;o)
davidpaul$
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Let's say you want to learn how to play the guitar. You are a beginner, you don't want to spend allot of money. You buy a cheap
inexpensive instrument. You soon find out the strings are to far away from the fretts. It won't stay in tune and you get frustrated.
You give up. There is a moral to this story............. Smile Smile

Smile .. not always consistent in quality. You want to make sure you can easily faro the cards. A good test.

just my opinion.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
danaruns
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I guess it depends on what you want to do. If it's just "pick a card" and that's it, then it doesn't matter what cards you use. Go to Costco and buy a brick of bikes for $15. But if you want cards that handle well, that make flourishes easier rather than harder, then you need cards that are cut correctly and which are of good quality. And that means they are going to cost more.

As David Paul offered, I recommend the Phoenix master deck. It's a worker, it's high quality, and it is casino punched. You can buy them x2, X4, x8 and a brick of 12. Here's the link to the four-pack. http://www.card-shark.de/index.cfm?page=......rtID=121

Phoenix decks are pretty much all I use anymore. Many, many professional magicians use Phoenix decks because of their quality and relatively low price.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
P.L.Green
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Quote:
On Jul 18, 2017, davidpaul$ wrote:
You want to make sure you can easily faro the cards. A good test.


Thanks, that was kind of the trigger for my question. Do I need to learn how to faro with a "standard quality" card type before feeling and appreciating the benefits of a "top quality" pack or, on the other hand, the better the quality, the easier to practice and learn. I understand from your coment that the later is what you would recommend.

Quote:
On Jul 18, 2017, danaruns wrote:
As David Paul offered, I recommend the Phoenix master deck. It's a worker, it's high quality, and it is casino punched. You can buy them x2, X4, x8 and a brick of 12.


I am glad to hear that, these are exactly the ones I got to start with. I was just wondering if this was an overkill for a beginner and if I should keep them for later and use a "lower quality" pack for my initial practicing.

I have recently bought a set of second hand books, and the seller offered to include some card packs as a freeby with the sale. I still have not received the delivery, but I guess these will not be Phoenix and will allow me to check if I can even notice the difference.

Thanks David and Dana for your inputs!
Can you keep a secret?.....So can I ;o)
Boomer
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I'm another fan of Phoenix decks. I buy a brick from Vanishing Inc. a couple times a year.

They have a UK site, and buying 12 decks brings the price down to £2.50 per deck, wow!

Good luck!


Dave
Doug Trouten
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Some folks say the best deck to use for magic is whatever you can borrow. There's something special about working wonders with a borrowed deck. With that in mind, you might think about practicing with a variety of decks, so you're ready for whatever comes your way.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
davidpaul$
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Quote:
On Jul 18, 2017, Doug Trouten wrote:
Some folks say the best deck to use for magic is whatever you can borrow. There's something special about working wonders with a borrowed deck. With that in mind, you might think about practicing with a variety of decks, so you're ready for whatever comes your way.


Good point. I do use Bicycle decks in my restaurant work. Water on the table, salad dressing, greasy patron fingers are the main reason. I buy the bricks from Costco or Sam's Club. $ 1.35 a deck. The quality isn't the very best but most faro and fan easily.
If I'm just practicing false cuts any deck will do.

I have a good supply of Tally Ho and Dragon Back Bicycles. The special edition Bikes I find to be of excellent quality
. My local Walmart to my surprise has a great variety of special edition Bikes.

Bottom line...use good quality cards. Learning to play on a good quality guitar will enable you to play any guitar.

..
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
danaruns
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I don't find the Costco Bikes to fan or faro well. Even new they suck. However, the Richard Turner Bicycle decks are excellent.

P.L. Green, I think the ethic of using lower quality tools when you start out is born of pursuits of some expense. If you're just starting out on the violin, you might not want to pay for a Stradivarius. Cards are cheap. Go with good ones. At the same time, Doug makes an excellent point about borrowed decks. Magic with a borrowed deck is innately stronger, but borrowed decks can be the absolute worst. When I use a borrowed deck, I stick to moves that don't require excellent tools. Even basic card fan can be a challenge with a dirty, warped, abused deck (though a pressure fan will sometimes work okay in that situation).

As for practice, you never know what you can do until you have the right tools. I learned this practicing a basic card fan. For the life of me, I couldn't get it even. It was frustrating! What was I doing wrong? Then I tried it with a good deck, and the cards fanned out elegantly and perfectly, and I learned that you are only as good as the limits of your instrument.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
P.L.Green
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Ok, thanks. Since I live outside of the US, when you refer to Costco Bikes, are these Standard, Seconds or something else?
David, when you refer to "special edition Bikes", are these any Bike different to std. and seconds?
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Ado
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2017, P.L.Green wrote:
Ok, thanks. Since I live outside of the US, when you refer to Costco Bikes, are these Standard, Seconds or something else?
David, when you refer to "special edition Bikes", are these any Bike different to std. and seconds?

Costco is a wholesale brand in North America. They sell bricks of standard bikes at an affordable price.
Don't put too much thoughts into your deck. Get regular bikes (if you can find them), and that's it. I've never heard of anyone who couldn't do magic because they sued bicycles cards, and if if's good enough to be used by pretty much every single magician on any magic-teaching video and any TV magic show, it must be good enough.

Cheers,

P!
P.L.Green
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Thanks for all your inputs. I have just received several Bike decks (808 std. and also quite a few coloured ones) that I will be using soon. After a few months of practice I will then try to get some Tally-Ho's
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davidpaul$
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2017, P.L.Green wrote:
Ok, thanks. Since I live outside of the US, when you refer to Costco Bikes, are these Standard, Seconds or something else?
David, when you refer to "special edition Bikes", are these any Bike different to std. and seconds?


Special Edition Bicycle Cards are decks Bicycle puts out periodically. For example: Houdini cards, Breast Cancer (pink), 125 year anniversary edition, Limited edition series 1through5, Dragon Back. The Dragon Backs are super.

I buy the Costco( whse. Store) cards Bicycle by the dozen 808 Std. It's hit or miss on the quality as far as the cutting process.( they may be seconds from Costco or Sam's Club, I don't know) they also haveJumbo Index. As was mentioned Bicycles are the most used. Some are better than others. You can just tell the difference when you have a quality deck of cards in your hands, like a fine instrument.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Sentoki
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Well, I would say test different decks, I use Bikes most of the time, but I also like the Knights Deck, the Madison Dealers, and other Ellusionist Decks. Furthermore, I use the Theory Eleven Decks like the Monarchs and Medallions. The point I want to make is that you need to find your brand and to do find it you need to test a lot of decks.
For the beginning Bikes are really fine, even pros use them, so why shouldn't you?
Cub Sines
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Well I´ve always used just Standard Bicycles and they work fine. Here in Finland Bicycles are very rare thou, so I have been forced to handle the worst of the worst decks of cards, you know the ones that has been in family game drawer for ages, are wrinkly and torn from corners etc etc. So my point is that you should learn to handle wide range of cards, even those which should be in a trash can. As for the question in the title, I would say Standard Bicycle, they worked for me.
P.L.Green
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Thank you all! I think it is clear now. So far I have been able to practice with Phoenix and Std. 808 Bikes, and for the time being and as a newcomer I do not notice a big difference between them. I am basically practicing basic cuts (and false cuts) as well as overhand suffles (with injogs). I guess that more advanced sleights might show a difference between this decks, but I take the point of practicing in different conditions is always good.
Again, thanks for all the good tips and advice!
Can you keep a secret?.....So can I ;o)
jljones83
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As Doug Trouten said, whatever you can borrow. I prefer standard bikes because that's what most people have at their houses. If you can use crappy bikes, you can use a fancy deck as well, but if you only use fancy decks, you probably can't use bikes. I find it easier to work with better cards, so if my reference point is bikes, I can use almost any deck. If my reference is fancy decks, I better have a fancy deck handy if I want to do anything, and no one better ask me to use their deck instead.

There is also the whole 'if a spectator sees a deck that they don't recognize, they think it's a trick deck' argument, and I used to think this, but over time I changed my mind, and I don't think anyone cares what deck you use. As long as they don't see strings, wires, tape, clamps, etc., they think it's a real deck. Trick deck isn't a thought laymen get in their heads most of the time.
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