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EndersGame
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Cherry Casino Playing Cards (Monte Carlo Black & Gold)

Without a doubt, the Cherry Casino Playing Cards represent one of the most popular series of playing cards in recent years. It has proven extremely popular with collectors, card players, and magicians alike. Created by Pure Imagination Projects, these decks first appeared in 2015 in aqua. The concept was inspired by old-time casinos, which explains both the name and the artwork, which drew on the classic cherry artwork familiar from a gambling icon: slot machines. In the years that followed, the Cherry Casino decks saw multiple versions and colours hit the market, and slowly grew in popularity. The Cherry Casino deck (Monte Carlo Black & Gold) represents the latest addition to this series, and I was fortunate to be able to get my hands on a copy as soon as it hit the market. This deck takes things in a slightly new direction, as our familiar red cherries turn gold for the first time.

This latest version of the Cherry Casino decks brings us to Monte Carlo, a popular resort destination in Monaco. Monte Carlo was made famous by the first scene of the very first James Bond film, which featured Bond gambling in its legendary casino. The Monte Carlo casino was featured again in another Bond film, GoldenEye, in 1995. This is a deck that draws on all the stereotypes associated with the lavish lifestyle that we expect from card sharks like James Bond: piles of chips, fast cars, unstirred martinis, and pretty women. We're not likely to encounter all of these things when using this deck, but the jet black look that is embellished with golden foil cherries certainly does give the impression of the class we can expect if accompanying Mr Bond to a black tie dinner at the Monte Carlo casino.

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The tuck box continues the straight-forward design that we've come to expect from the series, with the words Cherry Casino emblazoned on the sides, and the back and front of the box decorated simply with the signature wavy lines and cherries. In a striking departure from previous Cherry Casino decks, our red cherries have a new coat of paint, and have been plated with gold. The overall look is simple and elegant, and the metallic look of the gold ensures a degree of class that helps set this deck apart from many others like it.

A big reason for the success of this series is the metallic ink used on the faces and backs of the cards, and this signature feature is very much evident in the Monte Carlo deck as well. The overall design of the card backs is the same as that of the tuck case, with the addition of white poker borders for practicality and added style. And the black of the card backs is simply that: a very pleasing and solid jet black, which makes the white pop. But arguably the most satisfying thing about these card backs is a result of the metallic gold ink used for the cherries. This gives a metallic look to each and every card, and the shiny gold looks particularly appealing against the jet black backdrop.

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The card faces have the familiar look you'd expect from casino cards, with standard designs used for the court cards and for pips and indices. This helps make these playing cards look instantly familiar in the hands of a card player or magician.

But there are subtle changes to the colour palette, and instead of the usual garish red, a pleasantly pearlescent red is used for the heart/diamond pips and on the court cards. It can best be described as a metallic and muted maroon colour, and will look instantly familiar if you've ever used one of the other Cherry Casino decks. Depending on the angle you hold the cards, you'll detect a pleasing metallic gleam, which is not too much that it distracts, but enough to add elegance and style. The blue and yellow colours on the court cards have also been toned down slightly, to emphasize a classy rather than a gaudy look.

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All other customization is restricted to what we've already seen in previous Cherry Casino decks. The Ace of Spades is dressed with an oversized pip that reflects the Cherry Casino brand. And the two matching Jokers each consist of two striking cherries in the same metallic red that has been used throughout the rest of the deck, with the traditional "Joker" replaced with "Jackpot" along the sides. It's exactly the same as what we've seen in other Cherry Casino decks, and most of us wouldn't want any departure from this tried and tested formula anyway. The two gaff cards included are a double backer and a blank card.

Printing is by the United States Playing Card Company, using their thin-crushed stock beloved by cardists for smooth handling. Right out of the box the cards handle beautifully, and are a delight to shuffle and play with.

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The fact that the Cherry Casino decks are so practical is exactly what makes them so beloved and successful. They have relatively standard card faces, which makes them perfectly suited for playing card games or for card magic. Yet there's enough customization to help them stand apart from your average deck, with a simple yet striking back design, and the well-placed sheen of some metallic inks. Together the combination of retro feel and modern style adds up to a very pleasing deck of playing cards that has proven to have wide appeal, and there's good reason to think that the Monte Carlo deck will enjoy the same success as its predecessors.

Not every deck is a Cherry Casino deck, just like not every gambler is a James Bond. But when Mr Bond does make his appearance, all eyes turn towards him. A deck like this can have a similar impact. It stands apart from the competition, and yet is so well-rounded that it can be used to suit almost any occasion that requires playing cards.

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todsky
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It should also be mentioned that there are three versions of this deck:
One is limited to 144 and costs $250!
Another is limited to 2500 copies and sells for $25.
Finally, the ‘unlimited’ edition is $11.95.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
EndersGame
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Quote:
On Sep 16, 2021, todsky wrote:
It should also be mentioned that there are three versions of this deck:
One is limited to 144 and costs $250! Another is limited to 2500 copies and sells for $25.
Finally, the ‘unlimited’ edition is $11.95.

Correct, thanks for adding that.

The version I picked up and was describing is the unlimited edition, at the $11.95 price point.

The other two versions are really just geared to serious collectors.
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