Jan 1, 2018
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Several years ago, I bought several decks of cards at a garage sale, since I do card magic and like having “trashable” cards and decks to work with.

One deck, it turns out, is a trick deck that I can’t exactly figure out, so I’m hoping you can help me ID it.

1. The box and instructions are all in simplified Chinese. There are either 38 steps to use this deck (unlikely) or there are 38 effects that all need only a paragraph.

2. The deck alternates like a Svengali deck, except that riffling one way shows all red suits, ruffling the other way shows all black. Svengali (in my definition) Show random cards one way, organized cards the other way.

3. The red cards are shorter than the black, which you may have inferred from 2.

4. The card backs are those found on Chinese airlines. This is only important because the design on the back is orientable, that is, this is a one-way deck. Straight out of the new box, based on the backs the cards are oriented alternating up, down, up, down. The backs look like http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks06/d04014/d04014r105.jpg

5. It doesn’t feel like a stripper deck. I’ve tried reversing a card, and although it ever so slightly changes the look of the deck when viewed long-edge-on, but you can’t tell by feel.

6. I found the deck on a Chinese web site. I’m on an iPhone, and Safari initially said this wasn’t a valid link, but then it does show the deck, along with an app from the Chinese App Store. I don’t read Chinese, but my efforts do say that it is a Magic Poker Deck. The deck is, in fact, bridge size, so the Poker is not describing the size. However, I’m relying on Google Translate, so this may mean nothing except I guessed the language correctly. https://h5.m.taobao.com/2shou/newDetail.html?spm=a21m2.8293008.0.0&page=item&id=558775395649

Hopefully this is enough to ID the deck.
 
Jan 1, 2018
36
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No, the suits are complete. Thirteen distinct red cards (say, hearts) interlaced with thirteen distinct black cards (say, clubs). Same thing again with diamonds and spades. And as I said above, the reds are slightly shorter than the blacks.
 
Jan 26, 2017
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No, the suits are complete. Thirteen distinct red cards (say, hearts) interlaced with thirteen distinct black cards (say, clubs). Same thing again with diamonds and spades. And as I said above, the reds are slightly shorter than the blacks.
Hmm, I have no idea. Seems like some sort of strange Sven deck.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
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Are the cards marked? The back design looks like there may be ways of multiple marking like DeLand's $100 Deck (which is marked and a stripper). The dots inside the circle appear to have random dots larger than the others and the markings are not symmetrical.
 
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Jan 1, 2018
36
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Are the cards marked? The back design looks like there may be ways of multiple marking like DeLand's $100 Deck (which is marked and a stripper). The dots inside the circle appear to have random dots larger than the others and the markings are not symmetrical.

I thought of that, too, but if they’re marked, I can’t tell. As you can see, it’s a one-way deck because of the big fleur-de-lis-like decoration in the middle. The designs aren’t laterally symmetrical, but as far as I can see, once the cards have their backs properly oriented, they’re all identical.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,587
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I'm stumped. Can't find anything exactly like this. It appears to be a variation on a Meme-Tekel deck (with the pairs being "mates" rather than identical cards) along with a one way design. I'm still thinking that there may be markings on the backs (if you could post a picture of two different cards backs -- 4D and 9C -- I can see if there is a pattern).

You could arrange them in pairs the way they are. So if someone cuts the deck and the bottom card of the top packet is 4C, the selected card is the 4D. You could make it more random and arrange using the ID pairs.

There probably are 38 effects you could do combining the various attributes. If you can post or pm me a copy of the instructions, I may be able to get them translated.
 
Jan 14, 2017
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WOW. You have a great mystery on your hands, Lee. This is an interesting challenge!
One more [technology] idea; Have you tried a Google Image search using that image you captured of the back design?
That may yield, among other things, a YouTube video of performance(s) with the deck. Even if the patter is in Chinese you will get a hint at the effects for which the deck is intended to be used.
 
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Jan 1, 2018
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WOW. You have a great mystery on your hands, Lee. This is an interesting challenge!
One more [technology] idea; Have you tried a Google Image search using that image you captured of the back design?
That may yield, among other things, a YouTube video of performance(s) with the deck. Even if the patter is in Chinese you will get a hint at the effects for which the deck is intended to be used.

I suppose great minds think alike: I did a reverse google image search, which is what got me the pictures I linked to above. I also took a picture of the top-level and a couple of the trick names by using an image-to-text app , which revealed nothing.

I didn’t actually do a YouTube search using those strings, but since Google owns YouTube, and since Google is pretty good at putting any video results in its regular search, if there was anything, I would have seen it.

I need to get some pictures to ReplyOne. If it’ll let me, I’ll try and upload a video of the deck as well.

I’m SO glad you guys are having a bit of trouble figuring this out as well. I worked and thought for a whole day and couldn’t figure it out, so I assumed I had forgotten so much that a simple deck threw me off.
 
Jan 1, 2018
36
4
Here are a couple of things requested to help with this mystery.

Some pictures:
1. Ace of Spades and Four of Diamonds
2. Those two cards held with bottoms aligned to show the difference between black and red cards.
3. The backs of these two cards *as they appear in the deck*, i.e. one color is inside down from the other.
4. The backs of the cards so that they bother are aligned in a single direction.

Two videos:
One riffling the cards front to back:
vimeo.com/249851879

The other back to front:
vimeo.com/249851725

Sorry about the bad riffles. I'm trying to hold the phone and manipulate the cards at the same time.
 
Jan 1, 2018
36
4
Seems I left the pictures off, so again:
1. Ace of Spades and Four of Diamonds
2. Those two cards held with bottoms aligned to show the difference between black and red cards.
3. The backs of these two cards *as they appear in the deck*, i.e. one color is inside down from the other.
4. The backs of the cards so that they bother are aligned in a single direction.
 

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RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,587
3,862
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They do appear to be marked. The first semi circle of dots inside the top part (as if the design is an octopus) of the circle appears to signify suit. Notice on the upper card the first dot is larger and on the lower card the second dot is larger. The inner set of dots (closest to the octopus), also on the top part appears to signify value. On the upper card, the second dot is larger and on the lower card the fifth dot is larger. I'm guessing that the order is 5,4,3,2,A. That would allow for A-10 and there would appear to be another marking.

I'd need to see the backs of cards of the same suite and same value to verify the system and also need to see a the backs of a couple of court cards to see how those are marked.
 
Jan 1, 2018
36
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First, new news about the deck: As I told you, the deck was short top-to-bottom, reds a little shorter than blacks. That is, in in portrait orientation, reds are shorter than blacks.

I noticed today as I was taking the pictures that follow, the deck is also short side to side. That is, looking at the deck in landscape orientation, the reds are also shorter than blacks.

I've no idea what that means.
 
Jan 1, 2018
36
4
RealityOne has a theory that the deck is marked. So, here are some pictures of the backs of the decks. I used a separate set of poker-sized cards for the face-up cards, for labeling.

( Apologies for the errant cat hair you may see. He was trying to help, as always.)
 

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Jan 1, 2018
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Also, for RealityOne, to test your theory, here are some backs unlabeled. If you guess all four you're a genius because I am trying to trick you.
 

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Jan 1, 2018
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Finally, some shots of the directions, in case you know someone from mainland China, since I think these are Simplified Chinese. They may be Traditional Chinese, so a Taiwan native might help.
 

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