Game announcement booed

Valve, publisher of legendary game series such as Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress, announced a new game at The International, a convention for players of DOTA, one of its big hits. The hyped-up crowd's reaction to finding out that Artifact is to be a "DOTA card game" is quite something.

It seems like a perfect conceptual faceplant, where two popular things are combined to form something comically unappealing. But is there an ironic angle? The völkisch consumerism of gamers got out of hand years ago, so it seems unlikely to be a joke at their expense. In any case, one hopes players have to pay for every single card: a good innovation would be a micro-transaction for every time a card is deployed. Read the rest

The Design Deck teaches graphic design as you play cards

Ben Barrett-Forrest created The Design Deck, a nifty set of playing cards that each have facts about graphic design on them. Read the rest

Theory 11 Artisan playing cards in black

This deck is absolutely beautiful!

A stunning design by Simon Frouws for Theory 11, these cards feature gold foil stamped on lovely, lovely black paper. Just lovely.

Artisan Playing Cards (Black) via Amazon Read the rest

Theory11 'Archangels' are the prettiest playing cards

I still love these Archangels. 90% of the time, this is the deck of cards I have in my pocket.

I buy a lot of decks of cards, and this remains my go-to favorite. The beautiful black on white back design is mesmerizing to watch go by as I practice flourishes, and I think helps distract people from clumsy sleights. The Ace of Spades and Joker designs are some of the best I've seen, and the gold foil used on the face cards adds a touch of class.

No blank card or double backer is included. There is one Theory11 advertisement card that can be used for "write on this card" tricks and still preserve the decks 52 card integrity.

Bicycle Archangels Playing Cards via Amazon Read the rest

These cards are for throwing

These Banshee playing cards are made for throwing!

Made of plastic, heavier and stiffer than my normal US Playing Cards Bicycle 808 style decks, the Banshee cards sail through the air. The cards also have some cuts in their face to make them scream!

Made of tougher stuff, these cards last a lot longer than a paper deck and are a bit easier to learn with. You will need to practice, however, these cards do not instantly imbue you with skill.

Talk about useful skills to have at a party!

Banshees: Cards for Throwing via Amazon Read the rest

Libratus poker AI beats several of the world's best players

In a first, an artificial intelligence named Libratus has bested top-tier players at no-limit Texas Hold 'em. This is especially notable because imperfect information games are notoriously challenging to program. Read the rest

Watch Zach Mueller's card wizardry from California

Cardistry wizard Zach Mueller works his magic on the Santa Monica Pier. Special guest appearance by cardist CJ Ocampo.

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Meet Elliott Terral, Director of Magic

Every now and then I meet people who seem to possess superhuman powers.  Elliott Terral is one of those individuals and his official title is Director of Magic at a company called Art of Magic

How cool is that?!

After speaking with Elliott for a few minutes, I asked if he was a performing magician to which he didn't answer.  Instead, he began patting down his pockets for a deck of cards.  I beat him to the punch and handed him my very own deck of Erdnase 1902 Green Acorn Playing Cards.  One thing to know about this deck, is that you either own it because you're a genius with a deck of cards, or you're a poser. 

And for the record, I am not a genius with a deck of cards.

Elliott took my fancy cards and did the impossible.  He showed me a King of Hearts and slowly flexed it back and forth as the card changed from king to an ace and then back again.  His movements were slow and it was real magic to everyone that was with me.  If you'd like to see the effect performed by the guy who invented it you can watch it here. 

And if you'd like to purchase the method, it's only $5.00 but you need to know it isn't a trick you can do just because you bought it.  There's a reason an "EXPERT LEVEL" descriptor is attached.  But the good news is that there are other effects and concepts on the website that are far more approachable and equally satisfying.  Read the rest

Kickstarting "Bears vs Babies," a new game from the Exploding Kittens team

Elan Lee writes, "Bears vs Babies is a monster-building card game from the creators of Exploding Kittens, Elan Lee and Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal). Described as a game of 'strategic benevolent betrayal' it has already raised more than $2.5 million in funding on Kickstarter from 67,000 backers. Bears vs Babies completed the original $10,000 funding goal in less than 10 minutes after its launch. The game is set to join the ranks as one of the most successful crowdfunded gaming campaigns in history." Read the rest

Satisfying end to a $28 million hand of high-stakes poker

With nearly $28 million in the pot, the eight minutes of "speech play" between Will Kassouf and Griffin Benger came to a very satisfying end. Everyone is debating which of the two players crossed the line. Read the rest

Using card tricks to find the truth about Trump

Magicpeacelove writes, "Magician Ben Seidman wields his cards with elan to nail down the facts about why Trump would be such a great leader." Read the rest

537 artists from 67 countries competed to make this gorgeous card deck

Playing Arts held a design contest then turned winning entries for each card into a beautiful deck. Emi Haze shared how the winning 4 of spades was created, detailed above. Below, the rest of the winning 4 cards. Read the rest

Tarot decks curated

Fuck Yeah Tarot Decks is a tumblr dedicated to the resurgence of interest—tinged as it is in irony and self-reflection—in divinatory decks and the many awesome franchises and tropes they can be adapted to. The amazing thing you see above? $1 at Dollar Tree. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

Card Caddy: a card-game box that's also a discard pile

Card Caddy is a cool invention: a $6 snap-lock case that holds your card-game cards securely in your bag, but unsnaps and reconnects to form its own discard pile; a hole in the case lets you tell at a glance which game you have in it. Read the rest

Animal-themed deck of cards

Gregor Klingman's "Wild Kingdom" is a deck of art cards featuring hand-drawn snakes, wolves and other awesome creatures. Each suit is given a distinctive character—Hearts are "Courageous and Loyal" whereas Diamonds are "Clever and Wise"—and each face card has subtle variations. Read the rest

Watch Noel Heath's hypnotic card manipulations

The video is titled "Gothenburg Shuffle." See more on Noel Heath's Instagram.

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Playing cards for marijuana enthusiasts

Neither of these decks are smokable, but they bring two of my favorite things together: weed and magic! For sleigh of hand, and other tricks, I always prefer the Bicycle brand cards, but the rolling paper inspired cards are fun as well.

Bicycle's Hemp Deck has a hemp leaf on the back, but the cards are made of your typical US Playing Cards stock and finish.

RAW rolling papers aren't as iconic as Zig-Zag, but if you want to tell a joint rolling story to accompany a magic trick, this deck'll help convince people they are looking at something special. They also come with a bracelet.

RAW Rolling Paper Playing Cards via Amazon

Bicycle Hemp Deck Playing Cards via Amazon Read the rest

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