The Fat Pack

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The Fat Pack

Postby Part-Timer » Feb 23rd, '08, 00:59



The Effect

N/A, it's a deck of cards.

Cost

£9.50

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

The Fat Pack is a fairly new addition to the extensive range of products on offer at Cards4Magic. It caught my eye partly because I have a bit of a weakness for cards (I am not exactly a collector, but I like unusual packs), but partly because I had some ideas for tricks that could be done with the cards.

The Fat Pack is a Bridge-sized deck. For some reason, possibly because it is much thicker than a regular deck, the cards look really small. However, I have compared them to a Bicycle bridge deck, and they are pretty much the same size. Perhaps I have just got too used to handling Poker-sized cards.

The deck is much thicker than usual, because instead of four suits, there are eight! The extra suits are Doves and Roses (red), and Axes and Tridents (black). The court cards have 'clothes' printed with the suit designs, in the contrasting colour. For example, the King of Spades has a red spades pattern on him. You get five jokers, and they look a little bit like the ones in Waddingtons decks.

The cards are suitable for games such as Canasta, where two decks are needed (or so I am told by my father). They could also be used for Blackjack and even games of Poker with a lot of players, although I think using the Fat Pack in a Poker game will alter the odds of getting some of the hands. I imagine that flushes will be much rarer, but I might have got the maths wrong on that. The Fat Pack also introduces the possibility of a five of a kind (without wild cards).

I thought that the deck might have some uses for gambling routines. For example, you play a game of Texas Hold 'Em or Stud Poker. The spectator has four Kings and an Ace and thinks he has an unbeatable hand. You reveal five Aces. You could do this with some extra cards added to an ordinary deck, but the additional suits make it a slightly different effect.

I have also read of a Walter Gibson trick (or at least it featured in one of his books) that required cards of five different suits, and you could also really test the patience of your audiences by performing 'Out of This World' with the extra suits.

The cards themselves do not feel like great quality. They are more like a novelty pack, or perhaps the sort you'd find given away with a magazine, than 'proper' cards. The printing looks somehow flat (I am aware of how silly that sounds) and the cardstock has a fairly cheap appearance. I wouldn't mind too much if the price reflected the quality, but at £9.50 for what is essentially only two packs of cards, it doesn't add up particularly well.

The designs for the new suits don't entirely appeal to me. All the regular suits of cards have vertical symmetry. Doves and Axes are asymmetrical shapes, and the latter, in particular, didn't have to be. I liked the thinking of the black suits being weapons (Spades are actually swords, from the Spanish espada, or so I'm told) and the red ones images connected with peace and love.

The back design is not very good. It's primarily purple, with letters in different shades of purple printed seemingly at random all over it. The cards have a white border. Again, this makes the cards look like some kind of promotional pack, perhaps a give-away at a business conference, instead of something you'd use in a high-stakes Poker game in Reno. For this reason, I don't think I would feel happy using them in a gambling routine. In theory, you can play games when any sort of deck, but to me, the Fat Pack doesn't set the right mood. I'd have been happier with plain purple backs.

The box is uninspiring. It's a fairly plain purple 'tuck box', with some writing on it, including a list of the suits on one side, and pictures of the eight Aces on the other.

Using the full deck of 104 cards may run the risk of highlighting that the deck is not normal. Of course, it's not actually gimmicked, but as has been discussed many times, at great length, sometimes you don't want to raise any suspicions with your audience, even if they are wholly misguided. You also won't be able to find gaffed cards at the moment, unless you make them yourself.

While it won't be too hard to come up with a variation on the usual cyclical orders, such as 8 Kings and Si Stebbins, good luck in adapting the Osterlind BCS for these!

Overall

5/10

The price, coupled with the poor feel and some bad design choices (in my opinion) make this a less than essential purchase. I don't regret buying a pack, as I really do like cards, and they have a high novelty factor. I do, however, wish I hadn't bought a second deck as a spare.

Part-Timer
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Joined: May 1st, '03, 13:51
Location: London (44:SH)

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