Bicycle PokerPeek Pro Playing Cards

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Bicycle PokerPeek Pro Playing Cards

Postby dat8962 » Jul 5th, '07, 19:46



The Effect

First, the ‘blurb’

PokerPeek face style has been developed as a security feature for the prestigious World Series of Poker in conjunction with the world’s leading poker players. The small, angled corner pip minimises the amount of the card a player needs to view during play. When the cards are on the table, the large centre marking makes them clearly visible to all. Suitable for all card games.

ProCut Edge

Each Bicycle Pro playing card is individually cut, with a barely visible bevelled edge that grips fingers for better control during shuffling.

Casino Paper
Bicycle Pro is printed on custom casino paper, which includes cotton for extra durability. The paper is slightly heavier than traditional Bicycle cards, and provides a premium feel. Some players may prefer a couple of extra shuffles in order to fine-tune the feel before the deck’s first use.

Bicycle “Tournament Back”

This special version of the famous Rider Back card design is inspired by the custom card back design being used on the table at the World Series of Poker beginning in 2007.

Cost

£2.50 per deck available in red and blue.

from www.cards4magic.co.uk/acatalog/NEW_LINES_JUST_IN.html

Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

N/A

Review

As a self proclaimed non-cardie, I never thought that I’d reach the day where I’d write a review about a deck of cards :lol: . So why have I written this review? Well, a number of different decks have been reviewed on TM in the past and with this being a new release, it may be of interest to some and like most reviews, it can mean the difference between saving a few pennies that help towards buying something else.

I noticed these ‘Pro’ labelled Bikes while browsing for a few decks to replenish my stocks and I came across these on the Cards4Magic web site. With them having the ‘Pro’ label I was intrigued as to the difference between these and a normal deck so I ordered half a dozen decks and waited for the postman to deliver. What’s more, it’s a non standard deck of Bikes that hasn’t been produced by Ellusionist so there’s some value to be had in that alone.

My first impression of these cards out of the box was that despite them having the jumbo index, they do look rather nice with the offset indexes on each corner and set at an angle. The back design is also rather attractive but you’ve no chance of using any gaff cards with these decks if that’s what you’re into.

The feel of these ‘Pro’ cards is different (or at least I think so) to a standard deck of Bikes which I used as a comparison and also a deck of Masters. The Pro’s fan and ribbon- spread beautifully and they appear to glide across each other particularly well as the surface appears to be ‘extra’ smooth. Even an Erdnase seemed to be a little different than norm due to the slipperiness and looked great, even from my angle. There is a definite difference to the feel of these cards when compared against a new deck of standards or Masters as they appear to be both thicker and more rigid. When measured side by side they are actually slightly thicker than a standard deck by a couple of millimetres and are the same thickness as the Masters. The paper and cotton combination of the card stock may account for them appearing to be more rigid and there’s no mention of them being air-flowed, cushioned or anything else fancy.

The result was that a thumb count was rather hit and miss with the Pro’s, about 50/50 to start with, whereas the standard deck was 100% straight out of the box. You have to ask “is it actually worth it” and although handling issues would improve with practice as it would most probably be a matter of getting used to the different feel of the bevelled edge of the ProCut, I have to admit that I don’t think that it’s worth the time and effort in this instance.

The drawback came when trying a series of DL’s and TL’s as I found it very difficult to get the cards to sit on top of each other without the bottom one sliding out by a few millimetres and therefore exposing the DL. With a standard deck I hit 10 from 10 with no problems but an immediate change back to the Pro’s found them still slipping out of line. This too could probably be improved through familiarity but my initial thought was whether or not this had been purposely made difficult (to cut down on potential cheating at the poker table) or whether it is due to the cards being individually cut as they just don’t appear to sit on top of each other in the same way that a standard card does? Without the ability to execute a perfect DL time and time again, which is after all one of the most common card sleights, the Pro deck is next to useless for a magician.

Overall

I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve broken the deck in a little more but based on my initial experience I’ll rate them as a 3/10 (only because they look nice and aren’t made by ‘E’ otherwise they may have hit zero).

I’ve come to appreciate through magic that cards are indeed different to one another and with these; I can’t really see much use for them in a magical context with the DL being too hit and miss. Other than that they’re fine (gaffs aside for those that use them).

I’d be interested in reading comments from anyone else that has a deck of Pro’s and what their view is on the DL issue. 10/10 if you’re a poker player though! If not, keep spending your money on a standard deck of Bicycle 808’s and give these a wide berth.

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Member of the Magic Circle & The 2009 British Isles Close-Up Magician of the Year
It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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dat8962
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Postby StevieJ » Jul 6th, '07, 01:42

Nice review dat,
news from the world series is that the poker pros hated the cards, with most saying that they were the worst cards they had ever played with. It was so bad that the Rio actually scrapped them and changed back to the traditional KEMs.
So any poker players out there may well want to give them a miss.

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Postby beeno » Jul 6th, '07, 11:29

Bought a pack of these. Mine were cut the wrong way!!!
Extra grip when shuffling faces up, but shuffle faces down it's hard to keep hold of the cards properly.
Haven't tried any DLs. It's a bit difficult now that they're in the bin.

0/10 for the pack that I got.

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Postby Replicant » Jul 6th, '07, 13:31

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think these cards were meant to be used by magicians. Seems like they are aimed specifically at poker players so I'm not that surprised that they don't handle very well when trying out various sleights. I guess they have to come up with new decks every now and then to maintain healthy sales figures. Personally, I won't be buying these cards but I can see the attraction for collectors.

Nice review, by the way. Thanks.

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Postby beeno » Jul 6th, '07, 17:09

Well I've just dug mine out of the bin. Maybe I can get a pack cut the right way and make some kind of svengaliness out of the whole situation with reds and blacks.
They're for poker players obviously, but you never know what the consequences of the design may yield until you try them.

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Postby dat8962 » Jul 6th, '07, 19:31

Nice to know that it wasn't just me Beano :lol:

and Bicycle 808, weren't normal 808 Bikes intended to be used by Poker players before being adopted by magicians? I see your point but many of us try out new brands and often just for the sake of it and that was my point in buying a few decks, otherwise we'd probably all be working with Waddingtons :wink:

Stevie J - thank for the info which I found interesting, particulalry as they are supposedly designed by Pro's. You'e have thought that they would have got it right but apparently not. :lol:

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