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Bicycle Cards - Poker, Blue or Red

PostPosted: May 5th, '03, 12:07
by seige

Bicycle Poker Cards
Mfr: The US Playing Card Company
Available in red or blue from most good magic dealers.

Cost: £2 - £3

What's included: Deluxe cellophane wrapping, cardboard box (to carry them in), really annoying seal sticker, which is a pain in the butt to remove, some useless American adverising cards, 2 jokers, 52 playing cards, 4 suits, 13 cards per-suit.
Basically... what I'm trying to say is that they are just regular playing cards, but of the best tried-and-tested quality you'll find.

Rating: 10 out of 10

OK, aside from the irritating sticker, and the ridiculous description given above ( :wink: ), these are really quite the best cards to use for standard card magic.
They've a nice plastic coating which keeps them in decent condition over and over again, and the case is robust and seals properly every time (if you look after it!).

Beginners and pro's alike use the Bicycle deck, and to this end, you'll notice that most gaffed/gimmicked card decks and packet tricks come with Bicycle backs.

You'll see them in films, magic shows and most US convenience stores.

Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive here in the UK, but you can get them from £1.99 a deck from a certain online magic shop! :)

Using cheap decks of bridge cards from the local newsagent will lead to major headaches, and you'll be making life difficult for yourself... really.

The only thing I'd NOT recommend these for is card manipulations, which you may want to consider thinner special manipulation decks for.

But generally, if you're starting out in card magic... GET YOURSELF SOME BICYCLE CARDS. They will instantly earn you credability in front of other fellow magicians, and they'll serve you well.

Also made by the US Card Co. are BEE decks, which are of exactly the same quality except that the back design is right to the edges, as opposed to the Bicycle decks, which have the usual white border.
It is quite handy to get hold of a deck of BEE cards also, as they prove invaluable for Monte tricks and the like, where white borders may reveal too much about how the cards are moving.

There you have it! Bicycle Poker Cards... the magician's choice!

PostPosted: May 5th, '03, 19:52
by alz
Its true..bycycle decks rule. Card tricks dont deel the same without them! Especially since there is so many variations; plain backed, plain faced, double backed, whole deck of the same card (very useful for a torn and restored card sequence). I dont know about anyone else but think i prefer the blue.........................?????????? :lol:

Bicycles and Bees

PostPosted: Jun 28th, '07, 22:30
by Amanda Angeli
Hello Seige,

What a wonderful review of Bicycles. I had never imagined that they wouldn't be everywhere. Here in the States you can get them anyplace for about $3 which in your English money (I don't even know what you call it over there - please forgive my ignorance), would be, well, I have no idea, I'm not exactly gifted at converting International money.

The point is, everybody who is not playing poker uses Bicycles. And, if you are playing poker, you use Bees.

And here is why for the Bees. It is the borders. With poker, at the casinos and such they want to make it hard to ink cards (that is to say, to mark them) and with no white edge, it is much tougher. On the other hand, it is a lot easier to deal seconds or whatever, just as you suggested, Seige.

Now, I prefer red cards and the reason is that I wear fire engine red nail polish. Okay, I realize most of you boys don't do that but Lady of Mystery might and any other girls or fashionable men might. What this does is ever so slightly give you and edge for gliding your fingers around with a slightly less chance of being noticed. Especially if you can learn to use the tips of your fingers.

The other thing about red is that from a magicians perspective where I might want my audience to notice the cards, red is seen easier and quicker by the eye than blue. And, if I am trying to draw attention to the cards as a form of misdirection, then a slight movement of red will catch most people's eyes. Another thing about red, incidentally, is that it is yang according to the Chinese and that means that it is energizing and thus has a greater chance, even though this is a slight chance, of keeping your audience awake, attentive, and interested. I'm not saying this is a major thing but again, any little edge in magic makes us that much closer to true art.

Now then, you must remember that these cards are plastic coated paper cards and thus they are fragile unlike plastic coated plastic cards such as my replica 1943 deck that I use in my Flying Tigers Act. Plastic coated plastic cards fly better too, in case any of you are into throwing cards.

The bottom line is that I agree with Siege 100% and when I do come to England, if these are indeed hard for you all to get, well, I'll just bring as many as I can in my suitcase.

Bicycle cards are wonderful. Oh, and for the record, what kind is the most popular in England?


Amanda Angeli

PostPosted: Jun 28th, '07, 22:41
by FRK
Normal people use Waddington No1, bridge size.


PostPosted: Jun 28th, '07, 22:45
by Amanda Angeli
FRK wrote:Normal people use Waddington No1, bridge size.

Hello FRK,

Thank you for sharing that with me, that was very kind of you. I would love to get some, I'll have to see if I can find them on the web.

Oh, and you talking of bridge size made me think of something. The nice thing about poker size is that they are larger and thus if you use poker size for your training, then it will be that much easier when you switch to your Waddington's for your show.

Thank you again, FRK.


Amanda Angeli

Re: Fascinating!!!

PostPosted: Jun 28th, '07, 23:29
by themagicwand
Amanda Angeli wrote: The nice thing about poker size is that they are larger and thus if you use poker size for your training, then it will be that much easier when you switch to your Waddington's for your show.

I don't think any serious magi in the UK would actually use Waddingtons. Bikes are easy enough to get now, thanks to the net.

Waddingtons are generally used by non-magi-types. I'm sure there will be a magician or two using them, but in the main it's bikes.

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 03:42
by Kenneth
I see kids on Youtube performing SIMPLE tricks, like a single ambitious card using Tally-Ho Viper Decks, and all these vanity decks! it's crazy!
Tally-Ho's have a better name, but nobody notices the difference.. its advertising.

I couldn't resist buying an 1800's deck and a Ghost deck though.. their really cool looking...

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 08:09
by seige
I do actually remember that when I wrote that review, it was done a lttle 'tongue in cheek', as far as I recal, someone was actually asking what Bicycle cards were...

Sorry if it sounds patronising... :oops:

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 08:24
by Marvell
What is exactly is a "manipulation" for which these cards are unsuitable?

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 08:38
by seige
For manipulations and suitability, see Jeff McBride's work.

Bikes are a little stiff for some work, and although you can 'break them in', if you're really into that kind of thing, get some proper manipulation cards.

Way back in the days, I was quite into all that 'thang', and it's a case of the right card for the right job.

I still have about 4 decks of unopened manipulation cards somewhere... the benefits (as I recal) are:

1. More 'flesh camouflage'... a bit like red Bees, but the backs of these are more like flesh colour

2. Thinner... about 1/4 - 1/3 the thickness of Bikes

3. Indexes on ALL corners, so you can fan them any way

4. Softer, more flexible... don't need breaking-in and won't distort as much

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 09:53
by Marvell
Ah, a Manipulation is fancy.

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 11:16
by I.D
Can I ask if anyone knows what cards Dan Dave use in both The System and also Trilogy??

I would like to get hold of some manipulation decks but unsure which are the best type..

Anyway, on the subjects of bikes, its not so much they are the best type, as I dont agree. Tallys handle much better, and Bicycle Masters handle just as well as Tallys though the price is not justified.

Ghosts, Vipers and Black decks do handle superbly I must admit but are an ellusionist hyped showoff deck to which I wont bow.

I do like bees and they are great for gambling demonstrations, or for cheating your mates at poker ( which I dont do because I dont know how to play )

and just because Ive rambled again, Can I ask if anyone knows what cards Dan Dave use in both The System and also Trilogy??

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 11:45
by seige
I think you'll find they are Jerrys Nuggets cards.

And if you ever find any for sale for less than a second-hand car, let me know ;)

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 12:02
by I.D
:shock: Hey.. bikes dont look so bad after all.. :wink:

Unless they last for about 6 months I think Ill pass. CUPS couldnt drive me to paying those prices..

they look quite nice.. I just though they might be better for manipulation and flourishing than bikes..

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '07, 12:07
by seige
I saw a deck on eBay go for $300+ last week...