Corporate-Fx Tradeshow Magic Group


The Corporate-Fx, Tradeshow Magic Group Blog

By: Scott Tokar, Corporate-Fx Magician and Founder



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A pack a day habit. Playing cards

“How many decks of cards do you go through?” You are not the first to wonder about that.

First of all, I personally never use a “trick deck”, that would be silly for a professional magician. Cards that have a “secret something” may be good for one trick or maybe two, but a standard/regulation deck of cards allow me to perform hundreds of effects for hours of entertainment and variety.

My personal brand preference is the US Playing Card Company’s Bee back Stingers edition, or the newer Aristocrat decks of playing cards. These card are just like the Poker Sized Bee’s, Bicycles, and Hoyles you would buy at Walmart or your local drug store, but these are cut with a bit more precision at the factory, the paper stock is a bit more stiff, and the coating is more luxurious and durable. To me, after handling playing cards for eight or more hours each day I can sure feel the difference in these higher quality decks from the standard consumer brands. Sure, they cost a bit more but I can tell instantly by feel the difference between brands and qualities of cards.



Many of my magic tricks require a signed, torn or stapled card, and every time a card is destroyed it technically ruins the entire deck, but that doesn't mean I have to stop using the deck all together.

There are 52 cards in the deck, 54 if you add the two jokers, and a typical Bee or Bicycle brand deck is roughly around 1.5 cm thick. Typically the deck looks and feels too thin after a loss of 10 cards or so. It begins to feel wrong in my hands and some card players may notice the deck is a little “short” from standard…

While working a tradeshow, it is not unusual for me to perform fifteen or more shows (or business presentations) in a day. So I guess you could say I have a “pack a day” habit…

Want to know a magic secret? I recycle. Once a deck is short 10 or more cards, I separate each card by the value and suit and I reconstruct a “new” deck every so often from the left overs. However, this gives the deck a weird feel and it must be broken-in or conditioned through a repetitive shuffle sequence I usually do while watching TV in the evening after working in an exhibit.



I also use more than one deck when I work… Normally, I will have one deck that can be destroyed in performance, and one deck that has been conditioned and shuffled from a brand-new box. If I have to perform more precision sleights, shuffles and flourishes I will use this “new” deck.

So, the next time I ask you to “pick a card, any card” you will now know a bit more about the card you are about to pick… Oh, was it the three of clubs?
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