What do you look for in a deck of playing cards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TylerMakabe, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. What do you guys look for in a deck of playing cards?

    Do you guys purchase quality cards based off of the feel/stock used, or simply because of how nice the cards look?
    Just curious!
     
  2. 52 cards... lol

    Seriously though, I mainly stick to Bicycle. However I'm slowly amassing a nice collection of rare decks.
     
  3. I have an unhealthy addiction to crushed stock. I feel spoiled because any decks that aren't feel strange in my hands lol.
     
    Gabriel Z., sk1ndeep and TylerMakabe like this.
  4. 52 different faces and the same design on the backs.

    Kidding aside ...

    My main concern is making sure the values of each card can be read easily without being super familiar with cards.

    I've had folks get confused by the Ghost Deck's central pips all being black before, for example. Killer Bees and Sleepers are great designs but the pips more or less require you to know a deck pretty well to be obvious. I wouldn't perform with them.

    Beyond that I want them to look professional, and in line with my aesthetic, and to be appropriate for the venue. I wouldn't use Hellions for a gig with a bunch of church goers, for example.

    Now, I openly admit that I'm in a unique position when it comes to durability - it's not something I worry about, for a couple of reasons. The biggest being that I get a ton of decks for free so even if they get worn out quickly, I have a couple hundred more waiting to be used anyway. On top of that, if I were to use a deck at a gig, I'd probably give it away afterward.
     
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  5. Ah that must be nice getting free decks haha but yeah I agree that the values and pips must be easily read.
    I noticed cards that are tough to read seem a little too foreign/suspicious to spectators.

    Thanks for the insight!
     
  6. When collecting I look for design that I like and a nice tuck case as well. If I am performing I usually use Bicycles because people know that deck of cards. I was using NOCs for the longest time because I liked the look but people kept saying it was a trick deck because they had never seen a deck like that before. I never felt like I was giving anyone the impression the deck was fishy but it was something I heard a bunch and since moving back to almost strictly bikes I never hear it.
     
    CWhite likes this.
  7. I genuinely don't think they are as common as they were even a couple/few years ago. Go to Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Barnes and Nobles, BAM ... heck even liquor stores. You'll see more 'custom' decks than Bicycle Standards in many cases.

    Also, the only time I have -ever- been asked if I'm using a trick deck was with Red Bikes.
     
  8. The trick is working for a major magic company that produces new decks regularly.
     
    TylerMakabe likes this.
  9. Yeah that's tough, I wanna use a nicer looking deck to perform with than bicycles, but for that exact reason everyone seems to think that other decks are rigged or gimmicked. I guess letting them examine the deck prior to performing would be the most ideal way to present a nicer deck.
     
  10. I've seen your products on Ellusionist!
    Well deserved though haha
     
  11. Amusingly, I just got another shipment today. Salt & Bones, Super Bees, Cohorts.

    Cohorts look like a "standard" deck. Nice cards. Traditionally cut. Marked. They'd be good for folks who want to be "Safe" with their deck selections.

    Salt & Bones are beautiful. Also, the 4 'extra' cards lay out to make a map, which is sweet. And there's ... more to it, which I can't go in to.

    Super Bees are a white version of the Killer Bees. Nice design, sleek. Not my favorite, but I can see why it would appeal to certain types of folks. Gold highlights look great.
     
    TylerMakabe likes this.
  12. I don't have any way to see how a deck feels before I purchase it, so I have to go off looks alone. In no particular order, here are some of the criteria that go into my purchases:

    * Is the tuck box nice? Theory11 has seriously spoiled me in this department. I feel like I'm becoming a tuck box snob. "What, no embossing?! What is this, only one color hot-stamped foil?!" As a big fan of the Firefly show, I picked up a deck of those recently (it helps that my wife loves Firefly too) and I was disappointed that the tuck box wasn't embossed and didn't have foil. I still like the deck, because of my next point...

    * Good effort put into the design of the card faces. I have a few decks with 100% standard faces, but those are rare in my collection. The aforementioned Firefly cards have a lot of care put into the card faces. Every card has a slightly different stain, whether it's blood, grease or something else. (I really don't like it when cards are "worn" but every card has the exact same wear pattern) If the cards are going to be standard, I like it when the coloration is different (and matches the overall look of the deck). I like how the Citizens deck has slightly darker reds, and the metallic ink highlights on the court cards really make them pop. I really like the version 2 Bicycle Denim deck, with how the pips and court cards look slightly worn and faded, like they were ironed onto the jean material, and how the Ace of Spades looks like it was a leather patch sewn onto the denim.

    * Price. I really don't want to pay more than $15 for a deck. It has to be something amazing to warrant that price. I think there's a guy named Lotrek who has some interesting decks, but the prices are just obscene. Thankfully, most custom decks are $10-15.

    * Readability. Above all else, a deck has to be functional for me. I don't mind if the reds get changed to another color, but diamonds and hearts must be the same color, and the clubs and spades must be a different color. There's a deck called The Olympians that was on Kickstarter, and it looked amazing, down to the book-like tuck box...but they made the spades and hearts gold, and the clubs and diamonds grey. That was a deal-breaker for me.
     
    TylerMakabe likes this.
  13. Love the in-depth insight on your thoughts towards custom playing cards.
    I completely agree that readability is important; definitely a deal-breaker for me. Intricate detail and design are great, but if it makes each card difficult to read I'm on the fence with those.

    Currently trying to design playing cards of my own, so having some feedback on what others like/dislike is extremely helpful. Thanks!
     
  14. Glad to help, Tyler. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though. I've seen deck reviews for cards I thought were really ugly, but obviously the designer and producer didn't think so!
     
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