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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Faro Edition Bicycle Playing Cards (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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* * * Faro Edition Bicycle Playing Cards * * *

Finally, we take a look at the Faro Edition Bicycle Playing Cards, which are available with the traditional red look or blue.

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This deck is a throw-back to the vintage decks from the 1800s, when it was common practice to print playing cards without any indices. In fact, that's how playing cards looked for an incredible 500 years, right from the time when they first arrived in Europe in the late 1300s.

Decks with corner indices were first called "squeezers", since they simplified viewing your cards while only fanning them slightly. This innovation went on to revolutionize the playing card industry in America after they first appeared in the published deck known as Hart's Saladee's Patent (1864), and today it is hard to imagine playing cards without them. But that's exactly what we have with this Faro Edition deck.

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Today decks without indices are often called a Faro deck. This is a name that originates in a casino gambling game called Faro, which was played in France in the late 17th century. It is very likely that the name was first Pharaon, a reference to the Pharaoh picture on some French playing cards, which then became Pharo, and eventually Faro.

The Faro gambling game also enjoyed much popularity in America with the legalization of gambling, and was at one time even considered "the national card game", until it was overtaken by Poker. Since Faro was the game of choice for 19th century gamblers, during the time when decks didn't have indices, this style of deck is still often called a "faro deck" today.

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Many reproduction decks are intended to look like the cards from the Wild West era in which the game of Faro was popularized, but here we have an innovation that combines old and new. Everything appears to look standard with this deck at first glance, including the famous rider-back design, and familiar tuck box - aside from the words "Faro Edition" on the cover.

And indeed, the card backs are entirely standard. But the unique element of this deck becomes obvious when we look at the faces for the first time. As we'd expect from a Faro deck, there are no indices. Of course there is still some slight customization besides our disappearing indices, and the signature Ace of Spades also has a whole new look.

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Besides that, everything about the cards looks normal, but the absence of the common indices is immediately striking. It gives the cards a quality of authenticity, simplicity, and purity that you won't get from a regular deck. And if you're familiar with a standard deck, you'll have no trouble identifying the cards - just don't expect to fan a hand of cards and be able to identify all the cards at a quick glance!

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And there are two Jokers which have artwork that offers a fresh and fun take on the Bicycle theme while retaining a vintage feel.

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Due to the overall familiar look, you could certainly still use these decks for card games if you wish. But these playing cards may especially be of interest to magicians looking for a deck with a retro feel, or for doing popular magic tricks with red and black cards such as Oil and Water, or Out of This World. In such effects, the value of the cards isn't important, but only the colour, and a deck like this would be perfect to accentuate that.

Magicians will also get some mileage out of the card reveal on the tuck box flaps, and the two gaff cards that come with each deck. You'll have a complete set of four gaff cards is you pick up both the red and blue decks, giving you two double backers, a blank card, and a double backer.

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Recommendation

Some might think that there is a glut of custom playing cards on the market, but I'm personally appreciative of the large diversity that is available. There's a variety of tastes, and the growing number of decks meets this need. Card gamers who love cyberpunk fiction will appreciate the Cybertech deck, while collectors who are fans of ladybugs will snap up this insect-themed deck. Almost everyone will appreciate the novelty of the whimsical Circus deck. And while the Faro deck may suit a smaller niche of magicians, even some card gamers will appreciate the fresh and "pure" feel that these cards give.

It's also worth mentioning that all of these decks have been produced by the United States Playing Card Company. That means that they all have an embossed air cushion finish, will handle smoothly and consistently, and have been printed to last. Props to PlayingcardDecks for continue to deliver the goods with some great new decks of playing cards, that fans of card games and collectors around the world can enjoy!

Want to learn more? You can find these decks on PlayingCardDecks.com here:
- Circus Nostalgic Playing Cards
- Ladybug Playing Cards
- Cybertech Playing Cards
- Faro Edition Bicycle Playing Cards

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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