If you are working hard on your card practice, you are going to need to change your deck of playing cards quite often. Cards can wear out pretty quickly. As a general rule of thumb, a deck of cards can be classed as ‘dead’ once the cards begin to stick together in clumps, and the edges of the deck are brown and tatty.
Although it’s possible to ruin a deck in a day if you are practising intensely, usually magicians doing a regular practice program find that a deck of cards stays in shape for about a week.
Working magicians get through their decks of playing cards much faster. Magician performing at a gig will often ruin a deck per gig. Usually the deck of cards is destroyed by having cards signed and given away.
Why you should change your deck of playing cards often
Practice sessions with a worn deck of playing cards is not a good idea because the feel and action of the cards is different as they wear. It’s important that you use cards with a consistent feel, so the closer to ‘new quality’ you keep your practice deck, the less handling problems you will have whenever you change decks.
If you are new to magic with playing cards, you may find that your hands sweat more than normal. This will increase the wear on your cards because the oil and sweat on your hands soak into the cards. It’s the main reason decks of playing cards lose their quality.
Playing cards such as Bicycle Playing Cards have a UV500 coating card tend to last the longest. Cheaper cards without that air finish wear quickly.
How do you know when it’s time to change your deck of playing cards?
Here’s 2 of the most popular ‘signs’ that its time to change your deck
- You’ve destroyed over a quarter of the deck from having cards signed, torn, or folded.
- The playing cards don’t fan well, and the clumps are in at least 6 to 10 cards.
Even if you try to look after your playing cards, once the playing cards get to this point they aren’t even good for practice. New decks of playing cards have a slippery feel. If you are used to the cards sticking together, you will have less control over them (fans or spreads may jump or slip out of control, cards may slide during a one handed cut, etc…)
If the deck has a lot of cards missing, your hands will not be used to the amount of cards, which could mean that a normal deck will feel too large for your hands which can impact your card manipulation.