Black-on-black Day of the Dead playing cards

These beautiful Day of the Dead playing cards could be none more black.

Poker sized and made of PVC plastic to allow for the throwing, these cards are absolutely beautiful.

Black Playing Cards - Day of the Dead Edition by Gent Supply Co via Amazon Read the rest

12 pack of Bicycle playing cards

I go through about one deck of playing cards a week. That's how long it takes for the cards to get dirty and bent from frequent handling (I spend a couple of hours a day practicing sleights during phone calls, watching TV, during meals, waiting in line, hiking, and so on). It feels extravagant to replace a deck every week, but it's actually an inexpensive habit. I buy decks by the dozen on Amazon. Right now a 12-pack of Bikes sells for $15.49. I wish I could subscribe to them.

You get 6 red backs and 6 blue backs. Jason likes blue back cards, and I like red back. (Hey, Jason - I'll save the blue ones for you if you save the red ones for me.)

If you want something to do with the cards, let me gently steer you in the direction of my book, Trick Decks: 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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Lowest price I've seen on a 12-pack of Bicycle playing cards - $16

I don't know how long this deal will last, but you can buy a 12-pack of Bicycle playing card decks for $16. You get six red-backed decks and six blue-backs. I just bought 2 boxes. That should last me until the end of the year (I go through a deck a week or so). Read the rest

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

Delight your loved ones with these Christmas-themed playing cards

Penguin Magic printed just 500 decks of these Christmas themed playing cards.

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Watch this young man's captivating card trickery

The incredible Zach Mueller up to his old (and new) tricks again! See more at Mueller's cardistry company site Fontaine Cards.

Previously: "Watch this mesmerizing floating cards magic"

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The Playing Card Design of MISC. GOODS CO.

When you think about it, the design of playing cards is ridiculously complicated and to create a truly unique deck could take many months. It’s one thing to take an existing template and alter it a bit and it’s another thing all together to rework each element from scratch.

Tyler Deeb of MISC. GOODS CO. has designed a deck of cards from the ground up and it has a whole lot to say. Every court card, every symbol and boarder has gotten as much attention as any deck I’ve ever seen.  It’s clear that this was a labor of love and will act as his calling card for years to come.

To me, this deck is just chock full of story and I wonder if anyone else is seeing what I’m seeing. 

There's so much to figure out when laying out a deck of cards and it all starts with the box that contains it. In this case, if you look closely, you’ll find some very thoughtful touches.

Firstly, besides the beautiful silver foil printing, there is an embossing of the message “Do nothing out of selfish ambition”. It’s a bible verse from Philippians 2:3-8 and the thing is, while this deck is one of the most ambitious ones I’ve ever seen, it certainly isn’t selfish. It’s a gift to us.

While I’m not going to go into every little detail of what I’m reading into here, I will share a playful contradiction that pops up when you look closely.

This contradiction sets the stage for what’s to come. Read the rest

Watch this mesmerizing floating cards magic

"Floating Cards" by Zach Mueller. Read the rest

Bicycle 130th Anniversary Playing Cards

Jason and I are both fans of Bicycle playing cards, manufactured by the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC). I have been handling USPCC cards for an hour a day or longer for the last couple of years (while on the phone, watching TV, hanging out with friends) and I have become a card snob.

Playing cards made by USPCC use three layers of paper: two outer layers of thin paper, and a thicker stiff piece of card sandwiched in the middle. The result is a strong, springy card that feels good and has a nice snap to it. A lot of cards made by other manufacturers use just two layers or even one layer of low quality paper. They crease easily and wear down quickly and are unpleasant to use for games or magic tricks.

The Bicycle 130th Anniversary Playing Cards ($4 on Amazon) are made with the same 3-ply process used in all of USPCC's cards. They have the "Wheel No. 1" card back design from 1887. One interesting thing to note about this design is the three-winged symbol in the center. This makes the card asymmetrical, which is a desirable feature for card cheats and magicians. For instance, you can turn all the Aces in the deck around with one of the wings pointing straight down, and have all the other cards with two wings pointing down, making it possible to identify the Aces by spreading the deck face down. (In 1907 the three-winged symbol was replaced by a symmetrical 4-winged symbol.) Most non-magicians will not notice the asymmetry, and you can have a lot of fun with these decks. Read the rest

Sneak peek at Piff the Magic Dragon playing cards

For a long time the needs of magic dragons everywhere have been overlooked by playing card manufacturers. Why spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds? What about flames, flowers, paws and… ok let’s not mess with the diamonds. And why are there no Magic Performing Chihuahua Cards? If you’re a magic dragon, those are pretty integral. And the box does even have its own stand? Weird.

So I decided to change all that.

Introducing the Piff the Magic Dragon Deck of Playing Cards! Two years in the making and breaking pasteboard boundaries.

The tuck box is based on my Tacular. So I called it a Tuckular. The original Tacular has legs that unfold and pop out to convert it from a suitcase to a table. They are based on something called a Harbin stand, created by Robert Harbin, one of the greatest magical minds of the 20th century who also happened to be an expert origami enthusiast. When I was on tour in 2012 I came up with a playing card version of it which planted the seed of a complete deck of cards.

We’ve been able to add some sweet stretch goals along the way, with options like metallic green ink, gold Piff coins, sandwich cards and even some stickers. I really want to make it to $50k so we can produce some tiny Mr Piffles’! The dream!

I worked with Claire Blackledge, an artist in the uk, who has created all of my branding and images. She started on these t-shirts (attached) and I loved them so much I got in touch with her and asked her to do more. Read the rest

Whispering Imps Playing Cards - Inspired by an 1895 magic show poster

Whispering Imps might be the most beautiful deck of cards I’ve seen. The Ace of Spades, the King of Diamonds, the two Jokers, and the backs of all the cards have drawings of imps (mischievous little goblins of German fairy tales) inspired by the classic 1894 magic poster for Kellar the Great Magician, which feature a pair of imps whispering in his ears. 1894 also happens to be the same year that the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) was founded. USPCC is still in business and makes the highest quality playing cards. They make Bicycle cards, as well as Tally-Ho cards, and other decks. They also manufacture Whispering Imps for Whispering Imp Productions.

The original red-backed Imps are sold out, but you can buy the even cooler Black Edition on Amazon. My deck was given to me by professional magician Andrew Mayne (who is going to be giving a “how to break out of a straitjacket” workshop at Boing Boing’s Weekend of Wonder extravaganza on September 18-20, 2015). If these cards are good enough for Andrew, they are good enough for me!

Register here to join us at Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder.

Whispering Imps Black Edition By Whispering Imp Productions $14 Buy one on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun. Read the rest

Kings of India playing cards

The Kings of India playing card deck looks fantastic. It has met its funding goal on Kickstarter, but they have not yet met the stretch goal that will enable the creators, Bhavesh and Reena Mistry, to include embossed details on the box.

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Bicycle Pluma playing cards - desaturated elegance with a subtle one-way back

I like the muted hues of the Bicycle Pluma deck. The red ink has a lot of brown in it, as if you are looking at the cards through dark sunglasses. The pips are different from the standard Bicycle deck, too -- more old fashioned looking.

The coolest thing about this deck is that, unlike a standard Bicycle deck, the Pluma has a "one-way" design on the back -- one of the leaves under each the four wings is white (the other three are blue). There are a lot of magic tricks you can do with a one-way deck.

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Bicycle Sideshow Freaks Playing Cards

Attractive conversation piece decks are helping to cover my bad sleights of hand. This Sideshow Freaks deck is absolutely beautiful.

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How to make your own sliced deck of cards

A few hours after I ordered a box of half-wide playing cards I realized I had the tools and materials to make my own. Read the rest

Sliced playing cards

My daughter has picked up one of my bad habits: collecting decks of playing cards, especially unusual ones. She's going to be delighted with this 2-pack of "sliced" cards ($8), which are half as wide as a regular poker deck. I'm excited to see how well they work with magic tricks. Read the rest

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