Aren't all playing cards the same?

Oct 12, 2017
Assuming they were built on the same materials but differs on design. I just want to get some insights on what makes a playing card different from all the others?


Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
There is some variation on the stock and finish used on each deck but mostly they are more or less the same.
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Elite Member
Aug 19, 2014
There is a lot of information already in this and other forums on stock and finish, so I will be brief.

Cards from different makers feel different. USPCC has a distinct feel, EPCC has another feel, and so is Cartamundi and others.

Most cards from the same maker feel similar, especially for a beginner who has not develop the touch sensitivity. With time your hands become more sensitive and you can feel the differences in various stocks from the same maker, as well as differences in the same stock and finish from various print runs. Even when the maker is saying he is using the same stock and finish, there are some variations in paper thickness, stiffness. Such variations are inherent to any process. Also, paper and process used by a maker changed, optimized, with time, leading to some differences.

It is very difficult for the beginner to determine from description how a deck will feel. This gets frustrating since even with reviews telling about the stock and finish, reviews are never detailed enough to know for sure. My advice is to get various decks, of various stock and finish, from various makers, use them and see what you like.
Oct 12, 2017
Thanks. I asked because I collect cards and I just tried to philosophicalize my hobby, and ask myself what I'm actually doing. lol.

I'm practicing cardistry for no more than a year and everyday, I take with me 3 different deck variations (out of say, 10 I have). And you're right, each feel slightly different.
Mar 15, 2018
I've written about this elsewhere, but here's a link to an article I wrote that covers this in detail, identifying some of the things that make decks handle differently:

Analysing the quality/handling of a USPCC deck vs LPCC/EPCC decks: four key elements

Even just within USPCC produced decks, there can be considerable differences, as a result of factors like the following:

1. STOCK: Bicycle Standard, Bee Casino, or Thin Crush
2. TEXTURE: Smooth, or Embossed
3. FINISH: Magic, or Standard
4. CUT: Traditional, or Modern
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