Magic Playing Cards

The 15 Best Magic Cards For All Of Your Tricks And Illusions

Card Tricks, Magic Playing Cards

Pick a card, any card. Well, not just any card. You are on a quest to find the best magic cards for blossoming magicians and veteran magic showmen alike.

We reviewed the 15 best magic cards for all your tricks and illusions.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

​1. How Can I Extend the Life of My Magic Cards?

​2. How Important Are Special Cards?

How We Reviewed The Best Magic Cards

woman with cards

​Image Source: pixabay.com

We reviewed the 15 best magic cards based on a summary of their characteristics as well as their price range. We know shoppers for the best magic cards have a wide variety of needs and skill sets, so we attempted to review a wide range of the best magic cards.

From simple, all-purpose cards useful in magic, to marked cards, to children’s cards, we believe our review of the best magic cards has a deck for everyone.

Overall Price Range

The best magic cards we reviewed ranged from about $ to almost $$$. Some cards were also available in packs. For instance, we found a set of 10 decks for $$ and a set of 12 decks for 30.

The biggest difference in prices was based on some cards being all-purpose, mass produced decks that are also useful for magic. Other cards were crafted more individually or designed specifically for magic. The latter tend to run more costly than the former.

What We Reviewed

  • ​Ellusionist Absinthe V2 Playing Cards
  • ​Magic Makers Orange Reversed Playing Cards
  • ​Sleepers Deck by Ellusionist
  • ​Ice – 100% Plastic Playing Cards
  • ​Joker and the Thief: Custom Designed Deck
  • ​Loftus International Dan Harlan’s Card-Toon Magic Cards
  • ​Ellusionist FATHOM Ocean Themed Playing Card Deck
  • ​Bicycle Poker Size Standard Index Playing Cards
  • ​Best Pipmen World Playing Cards
  • ​Phoenix Marked Deck Cards for Magic
  • ​Union Playing Cards by Theory111
  • ​Matsui Bicycle Black Rider 808 Playing Cards
  • ​S.W.E Deck Playing Cards by Elllussionist
  • ​Tally Ho #9 Playing Cards
  • ​Monarch Playing Cards by Theory11

Ellusionist Absinthe V2 Playing Cards

Ellusionist Absinthe V2 Playing Cards Prohibition Series Deck by
  • Prohibition Series Deck
  • Ellusionist Playing Cards
  • Made in USA from USPCC

Summary

The Ellusionist Absinthe V2 Playing Cards are themed Absinthe, the Green Fairy of Spirits. The Absinthe drink is associated with the bohemian lifestyle, with famous drinkers, like Picasso, Hemingway and Oscar Wilde, who favored it.

These cards are meant to call to mind the intoxicating drink. The Ace of Spades features the filigree of the absinthe spoon. The deck was originally part of the Prohibition Box Set but is now available individually.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Magic Makers Orange Reversed Playing Cards

Magic Makers Orange Reversed Deck Bicycle Playing Cards - Includes...
  • Vivid Orange Color Makes for a Very Visually Stimulating Appearance
  • Receive BONUS Double-Face Card, Double-Backed Card, Normal Bicycle Joker & 2 Different Ace of...
  • Orange Reverse Bicycle Backs & Faces

Summary

The Magic Makers Orange Reversed Playing Cards feature a vivid orange color with Double-Face Card, Double-Backed Card, Normal Bicycle Joker & 2 Different Ace of Spades Cards.

The deck holds extra gaff cards with a full collection of special art designed to fit within your deck and amaze your audience.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Sleepers Deck By Ellusionist

Ellusionist Sleepers Deck Playing Cards
  • High quality playing cards
  • Stark, sharp art deco design
  • Great for sleight of hand tricks

Summary

Ellusionists’ Sleeper Deck is a set of high-quality playing cards that are meant for performing. They are inspired by the art déco era, with custom court cards that have grains of wisdom printed on them.

They are also great for sleight-of-hand tricks. With clean, sharp lines, the cards are ready to be cut, shuffled, and dealt over and over.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Ice – 100% Plastic Playing Cards

Ice - 100% Plastic Playing Cards | Premium Poker Sized | Professional...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY - Our cards have a unique design and manufactured with the utmost care and...
  • 100% PVC PLASTIC - These are professional quality cards, resemble those used in casinos, and...
  • POKER INDUSTRY STANDARD - Each standard index deck comes with 52 cards plus 2 jokers and is...

Summary

Ice’s 100 Percent Plastic Playing Cards have a unique design on PVC plastic cards for professional quality. The cards are similar to those used in casinos.

The decks come with 52 playing cards and two jokers. They are a standard 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches and are thicker than many of their competitors, making them easy to shuffle.

They can also be dealt easily with smooth sliding action. You can use ice cards at home, at a casino, or performing tricks in front of a large audience.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Joker And the Thief: Custom Designed Deck

Sale
Playing Cards - Joker and the Thief: White Gold Edition Custom...
  • Add a Deck of Authentic Deck of Custom Playing Cards From Joker and the Thief Playing Card...
  • Premium Quality, Superior Handling, Incredible Durability. Created with Casino Grade Paper...
  • Durable Linen Classic Finish Coating. Lavish Tuck Box with Embossed Hot Foil Stamping Inside...

Summary

The Joker and the Thief: Custom Designed Deck is a limited edition set of cards made in the USA. It is a highly collectible set with hand-drawn illustrations.

The Joker and the Thief cards are premium quality for superior handling, whether dealing, shuffling, or performing sleight of hand. They are made of casino grade paper stock and a linen finish.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Loftus International Dan Harlan’s Card-Toon Magic Cards

Sale
Loftus Card-Toon Animated Moving Man 3.75"x2.75" Trick Card Deck, Red
  • A card is selected and returned to the deck
  • The performer shows a stickman that is drawn on the back of every card
  • As he riffles the cards, the stick man becomes animated, takes off his top hat and pulls out...

Summary

The Loftus International Dan Harlan’s Card-Toon Magic Cards deck is a kid-friendly set of trick cards. The cards come with a magic cup and ball, rope trick, magic coin, magic want, thumb tip, and more.

A booklet to help with tricks is also included in your purchase. The deck is very charming and suitable for kids at a variety of ages.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Ellusionist FATHOM Ocean Themed Playing Card Deck

Sale
Ellusionist FATHOM Playing Cards Deck by Ellusionist
  • Designed for Ellusionist, the Fathom card set is specifically designed with card players and...
  • Features a beautifully designed aquatic theme inspired by Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under...
  • Inspired by the 4 elements, Fathom is the 1st release in the Origin Series by Ellusionist --...

Summary

Another deck from Ellusionist, the FATHOM Ocean Themed Playing Card Deck is designed for card players and magicians alike. An ocean theme from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea gives the cards a unique appearance.

This was the first of four sets in the Origin Series by Ellusionist, featuring each of the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire. The cards are printed on thin but high-quality USPCC stock and have a soft-glide finish for smooth sleight of hand. The product is listed for ages 12 and up.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Bicycle Poker Standard Index Playing Cards

Bicycle Playing Cards - Poker Size - 12 Pack
  • Bicycle Standard playing cards – poker size – 12 pack
  • Bicycle Standard playing cards featuring the historic rider back.
  • Each Bicycle deck is a standard deck of playing cards consisting of 52 Traditional suited...

Summary

There is a good chance many of your memories involving cards happened with Bicycle Poker Standard Index Playing Cards. These cards are a standard in the industry and loved for the all-purpose use.

Bicycle cards have been around since 1885, and each deck is specially crafted. They feature the Classic Air- Cushion Finish for easy use and reliable performance. They are also useful for any card game or magic trick.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Best Pipmen World Playing Cards

Summary

Every card in a Best Pipmen World Playing Cards deck has a unique design. Together, the designs create one large puzzle. Every card is individual and interesting. These cards can be used as a collectible or as a workable deck.

Whether a family is using the cards to put together the grand puzzle or a magician is doing card tricks, your deck will get compliments every time. Sleight of hand is easily accomplished because of the deck’s smooth finish.

These premium cards are made of 300 GSM card stock featuring casino-grade printing. They are durable and resistant to humidity.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Phoenix Marked Deck Cards For Magic

Summary

Phoenix is already a classic brand in the card industry, but their marked decks are a new twist. The deck contains double markings so it is equally useful to right or left-handed individuals.

The backs of the cards are printed with a Phoenix backs, allowing the markings to blend in unnoticed. All markings are in the same corner spot on every card. The cards are available in red-back or blue-back versions.

If you are a magician that uses marked cards, consider the Phoenix Marked Deck Cards for Magic.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Union Playing Cards by Theory11

Union Playing Cards
  • Patriotic playing cards inspired by American history
  • Made in the USA on FSC-certified paper derived from sustainable forests using vegetable based...
  • Designed in Charleston, South Carolina - one of the oldest and most historic cities in America

Summary

Theory 11’s Union Playing Cards are inspired by the American Revolution. They are intended to present a message of hope, freedom, and independence.

Icons of colonial America and patriotic symbols are incorporated throughout the design. They are printed on FSC-certified paper from sustainable forests and use vegetable-based inks.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Matsui Bicycle Black Rider 808 Playing Cards

Matsui Gaming Machine Bicycle Black Rider 808 Playing Cards (2-Pack)
  • Rare, new sealed deck of cards
  • Poker Size 3.5 x 2.5 Regular Index
  • Bicycle Black 808 Rider Back

Sum​​​​​mary

The Matsui bicycle Black Rider 808 Playing Cards are straightforward cards with the famous Bicycle rider design in black.

They have an air-cushion finish that makes them a favorite of magicians. The black Bicycle cards are not as common in the US as the blue. Some magicians like the black appearance better.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​S.W.E Deck Playing Cards by Elllussionist

Ellusionist SWE Playing Cards The Expert at The Card Table Limited...
  • S.W.E Green Playing Cards
  • Made in USA from USPCC
  • Limited Edition Deck by Ellusionist

Summary

The S.W.E. Deck Playing Cards feature a replica of Erdnase’s green book on the back with green spread throughout the deck. A customized finish smooth for use with your favorite card tricks.

The cards are resistant to humidity and use a strategic ink weight.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Tally Ho #9 Playing Cards

Tally Ho #9 Playing Cards 12-Count
  • Tally-Ho circle back playing cards

Summary

Tally-Ho playing cards are designed with a high-quality Linoid finish. They are produced on a stock that is firm but not overly thick. They feature a dimpled pattern common in many USPC decks.

Many magicians swear by Tally-Hos, and the longevity of their popularity speaks volumes.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Monarch Playing Cards by Theory11

theory11 Monarch Playing Cards (Green)
  • The most cherished luxury playing cards of our time - now in a striking Green Edition
  • Made in the USA on FSC-certified paper derived from sustainable forests using vegetable based...
  • Featured #1 in the GQ Holiday Gift Guide and in the blockbuster movie Now You See Me

Summary

The Monorch Playing Cards by Theory11 are luxury cards made in the USA on FSC-certified paper from sustainable forests. The cards use vegetable-based inks.

As some of the best magic cards, they have been featured as the No. 11 holiday gift cards by GQ, and they were featured in the movie, Now You See Me with Morgan Freeman.

The cards have Theory11’s signature premium 909 finish and custom artwork used to create joker and aces, but respect for tradition left traditional Bicycle face cards in the deck.

Where to Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

The Verdict On The Best Magic Cards

man eating cards

​Image source: pixabay.com

Determining the best magic cards is dependent on the needs of the individual magician. A young child interested in magic may be well served with Loftus International Dan Harlan’s Card-Toon Magic Cards deck while a professional preparing for a high-end show may choose the Monarch Playing Cards by Theory11.

As we attempted to step back and make a verdict, we asked what cards would serve the greatest number of magicians with durability, consistency, and style. In the end we gave our official thumbs up to the Absinthe Playing Cards V2.

These cards can be used for a simple game of poker, but they are perfect for use as one of the best magic cards, with their unique green aesthetics and mystical history of the famed alcohol Absinthe.

The green color will get the audience’s attention, and their history in the prohibition box set is historically relevant. They are thin and easy to work with for many hand tricks.

Economy Pick

If you are unsure how far you plan to go in your magic career and you want to start simply and cost effectively, the Poker 808 Bicycle cards are a great choice. These are a standard and time-tested card used all over the world.

Bicycle cards perform well for almost any trick with their air-flow finish, and they are easy to handle. Many of the best magicians are content to use the Poker 808 Bicycle cards as one of the best magic cards.

Types of Magic Every Practitioner Should Know

Magic Playing Cards

If you are ready to follow in the footsteps of John Henry Anderson, Alexander Herrmann, Harry Houdini, Siegfreid and Roy, Penn and Teller, David Copperfield, and Derren Brown, be prepared to work hard to develop your skills and showmanship. Choose one of your favorite types of magic and get busy.

Everyone loves a good magic trick or illusion. When a practitioner makes something vanish or suddenly appear, or when a magician seems to be able to read someone's mind, the audience is thrilled and mystified. It really seems as if some supernatural power is at play. Magic practitioners know, however, that they are creating illusions.

As a practitioner, you will likely develop expertise with one, or perhaps two, or maybe three, types of illusion. However, there are at least eight key types of magic that every illusionist ought to be familiar with. Combining a variety of types of magic will wow your audience and make your show legendary.

What Is Magic?

Man holding a playing card

​Image ​​via Pixabay

Here at rebelmagic.com, we aim to provide you with the best information and direction in developing your magic skill. But we are not dealing in the dark arts of alchemy or other arcane hidden legacies. We want to assist you in developing the skills of the illusionist or the art of performance magic no matter what types of magic and illusion you want to master.


Magic is the art of creating believable illusions that seem to defy the common laws of physics. Whether you are making things appear or disappear, destroying objects and then restoring them, or passing objects through one another, you are creating illusions. The same is true when you are creating the illusion of being able to read someone's mind, or of knowing about things you shouldn't rightfully know.


Our magic is a performing art for entertainment. We want to help you master sleight of hand, close-up magic, apparent mind reading or psychic abilities, and even comedy magic. And while there are many basic skills to master in magic performance, there are eight main types of magic you'll want to be familiar with.


History

Man with sparkles above his hand

​Image ​​via Unsplash

Performance magic has been popular in small venues for as long as people have gathered in fairs and festivals. It seems that people have always enjoyed watching a performance that challenges their sense of reality.


But the use of illusion has not always been innocent or merely entertaining. The sleight of hand and close up magic skills that are so entertaining have also been used to cheat at gambling or to con people out of money.


Since the late 19th century, performance magic has become a standard of larger venues such as stage shows, Broadway, and vaudeville. And since the advent of television, the art of illusion has made an easy transition to the airwaves. Grand television illusions, such as David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty vanish, appeal to huge audiences, even though people understand that they might be being tricked.


Magic shows are said to have been started by Pairs clockmaker Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin — whose name was borrowed later by the famous Harry Houdini. Robert-Houdin opened a magic theater in Paris in 1845. At the same time, Englishman John Henry Anderson was drawing crowds in London with his alluring advertisements and grand showmanship.


Magic shows are always popular when they are well done. And as audiences have become more sophisticated, the illusions have gotten grander and grander. Think, for example, of the television performances of Doug Henning and David Blaine.


Even more recently, in addition to close-up magic and stage magic, we have seen the beginnings of computer magic. Some of these illusions, like Esmerelda's Crystal Ball, have convinced people that their computers have psychic powers.

What Types of Magic Should I Learn?

Photo of glowing orb

​Image ​via Unsplash

You'll want to be familiar with all eight types of magic, but you'll probably specialize in only one or two.


Think about the practitioners you enjoy watching. Do you absolutely love it when someone appears to have access to supernatural information? Or are you fascinated with objects turning up suddenly where they have no right to be? Maybe you're particularly drawn to magicians who manipulate objects which seem to pass through each other in defiance of logic or objects which transform from one form to another.


You'll also need to decide whether you want to focus your skill building on close-up illusions or on stage magic. Do you want to work with cards, coins, fire, or birds, for instance? Do you want to amaze your audience with your apparent clairvoyance or with the skill of your hands? Or do you want to go really big like some of the more notable practitioners such as David Copperfield, David Blaine, or Derren Brown? The possibilities are endless, but the dedication to practice and mastery are the same.


Successful illusions depend upon excellent skills no matter which types of magic you are learning to perform. There are handling skills, like being able to hold an object undetected in your hand. There are skills involved in using specialized equipment—without the audience knowing how that equipment works. And there are performance and showmanship skills to be mastered.

8 Types of Magic For Practitioners

As you're thinking about the types of skills you want to master, think about these eight basic types of magic.


Vanishing Illusions

​Do you want to make a coin suddenly disappear? How about a larger object like a person, or even a car? There are specific skills that practitioners employ in any vanishing illusion. You'll want to master the basics of sleight of hand and of deflecting the attention of your audience in order to become proficient in vanishing magic.


Vanishing illusions are one of the types of magic that are often combined with appearance illusions or restoration tricks. One moment, an object vanishes or gets destroyed, the next it reappears or appears whole again.


Appearance Illusions

​Appearance tricks involve making something suddenly appear out of nowhere. The classic trick of finding a coin behind Grandma's ear that your uncle performed at Thanksgiving dinner is an example. Another example is when a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

Appearance magic also includes changing the form of objects: turning a scarf into a bird, changing the color or appearance of a cloth, a wand or other object, making a whole deck of cards appear where it seemed there was only one card, or making a card appear wherever you want in the middle of a deck.


Appearance tricks take a lot of practice. The practitioner needs to excel in deftly handling objects and in diverting the audience's attention away from the sleight.


Levitation


Levitation tricks make objects appear to rise off a surface or to float in thin air. These gravity-defying illusions are popular and mystifying. They challenge an audience's sense of reality and seem to disrupt a physical law—gravitythat most people never question. This makes levitation illusions powerful audience pleasers.


Maybe you want to float objects through space or lift yourself or other people off the ground. There are a certain set of skills you must master to be able to do this without detection.


Levitation illusions can be as simple as the classic Indian Rope Trick or as complex as making your assistant float up off a perch on stage. Levitation tricks can also be done close up with proper practice and skill.


Passing Through

Push an object through a card or scarf without leaving a hole. Press a coin through someone's hand. Work with classic rings or wands that seem to pass magically through each other.


Or do you want to walk through an object the way David Copperfield walked through the Great Wall of China? These are popular illusions that leave an audience scratching their heads.


It is important to master the skills involved in deflection of attention to be proficient in Passing Through illusions. And it helps to cloak your moves in grand showmanship too. The audience must not see what you are really doing, but their attention must be directed where you want it to be.


Transportation

​Transportation is one of the most common illusions and it takes many forms. When you move an object into an unexpected place, say into someone's pocket, behind someone's ear or even in a sealed container, you are practicing transportation.


People learn object permanence as small children. We expect things to stay where we last saw them. It is a delightful surprise to an audience when a practitioner seems to violate the laws of physics and move objects into unexpected places.


Transportation is always mystifying to an audience and requires the mastery of a specific set of skills.


Mind Reading or Mentalism

​Mind readers seem to be able to read the thoughts of others—to be able to tell what objects or people the other person is thinking of. This is always astonishing to watch. Mind reading performances are often dressed up with dramatic music and mystical stage settings to enhance the audience's belief that there is something supernatural going on.


But mind reading also includes a practitioner being able to influence a person to respond in a predictable way. Derren Brown is the most notable of these experts. He subtly plants suggestions in his banter with his audience that lead them to think of exactly what he wants them to think of. This skill is akin to hypnotism and uses the scientific principle of mental suggestion to implant ideas into the thoughts of another.


Mind reading is an absolutely crowd-pleasing act. Audiences like to be shaken by the seemingly impossible, and one of the ideas most people hold dear is that their thoughts are private. Mind reading acts challenge this assumption.


Restoration

​When a magician takes your valuable watch and crushes it to pieces, or takes your hundred-dollar bill and rips it to shreds, you better hope that he or she has mastered the art of restoration. Of course, the practitioner never ruined your cherished object in the first place, but when a restoration illusion is performed by a master, you will never see when or how the switch takes place.


Simple restoration illusions include restoring torn paper or cloth back to its undamaged state and restoring to wholeness someone you appeared to saw in half.

Even though most viewers know, in the backs of their minds, that the object was never destroyed, cut, torn or mutilated, they still love to see the restoration. There is something satisfying for an audience in seeing something made whole again.


​Escapology


Popularized by Harry Houdini, this type of magic involves daring escapes from impossible situations. When a performer has him or herself locked in chains and immersed in water, the illusionist counts on the rising anxiety of the audience to enhance the effectiveness of the illusion. Most escape artists are adept at picking locks, holding their breath, and other body manipulations, such as contortionist-level joint movements, that allow them to escape their bindings.


Escapology is one of the more specialized types of magic that sometimes require collaboration from the audience or specialized equipment.

Related to Escapology are illusions that require specialized body training, such as sword, or glass swallowing or lying on sharp objects like a bed of nails. These illusions are dangerous and their practitioners go through a hefty amount of training and skill building.

Conclusion

Photo of magician's tools

​Image via Pixabay

Magic is popular because it challenges our assumptions about reality. A good illusion forces us to question basic assumptions we have about how life works. We all love to be fooled, to imagine, at least for a few minutes, that life is more mysterious than it seems to be in our day-to-day activity.


And yet, people are generally skeptical and hard to fool, so a good magic practitioner has to be dedicated to excellence. There are very specific skills that need to be mastered for the illusions to be successful. You will find the support you need to master your craft here at rebelmagic.com. Being an excellent illusionist is a rewarding experience. Yes, it takes dedication and lots and lots of practice, but the art of astonishing an audience is well worth the effort.

14 Best Playing Cards for Magic

Card Tricks, Magic Playing Cards

If you need a new deck of playing cards for magic tricks, where do you begin looking? It can be very difficult to know where to get started and what a quality deck looks like when shopping online.

We are here to help you choose the product that will work the best for you and your tricks.

14 Best Playing Cards for Magic

PRODUCT NAME

IMAGE

RATING

DETAILS

Poker 808 Bicycle Cards

playing cards: Decks Bicycle Rider Standard Playing

SWE Deck

playing cards: SWE Deck

Absinthe Playing Cards V2

playing cards: Absinthe Playing Cards V2

Bicycle 52 Proof

playing cards: Bicycle 52 Proof

Sleepers

playing cards: sleepers deck

Bicycle Black Ghost

playing cards: Bicycle Black Ghost

Pipmen Playing Cards

playing cards: Pipmen Playing Cards

Ellusionist FATHOM Playing Cards

playing cards: Ellusionist FATHOM Playing Cards

Bumble Bee Playing Cards

playing cards: Bumble Bee Playing Cards

Theory11 Union Playing Cards

playing cards: Theory11 Union Playing Cards

Joker and the Thief: White Gold Edition

playing cards: Joker and the Thief White Gold Edition

Ice Plastic Playing Cards

Ice Plastic Playing Cards

Prism Night Playing Cards

Prism Night Playing Cards

Magic Makers Orange Reversed Deck Bicycle Playing Cards

Magic Makers Orange Reversed Deck Bicycle Playing Cards

Here is a complete list of what we consider the top 14 choices for magician’s playing cards.

Poker 808 Bicycle Cards

playing cards: Decks Bicycle Rider Standard Playing

This first choice may seem incredibly obvious, but Bicycle does have some of the most high-quality, decent cards on the market. These Poker 808 playing cards are the standard choice from Bicycle that you would see most often in red and blue.

They are a tested and loved the pack, with customers raving about how incredibly durable they are even though they are thin and easy to shuffle. The cards have a glossy finish on them, making them stronger and less resistant to stains from liquids.

On top of that, they are said to take quite a while to lose their snap – customers had mentioned in online reviews that they got over 90-100 hours before it was lost. These playing cards are also very affordable. You can buy a two-pack combo (comes with both a red and blue deck) on Amaz​​​​on​​​​​

PROS

  • High-quality
  • Durable
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Old-fashion design

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


SWE Deck

SWE Deck playing cards

Next up, we have the SWE deck.

To give you a little background about this deck of playing cards, they are named after the author S.W. Erdnase – he published The Expert at the Card Table in the year 1902. This book told the world how magicians were able to pull off their sleight of hand and is now a staple for anyone in the magic community. These cards have the entire cover of the book on the back of them.

The cards are a rich and vibrant green and gold, and very easy to read. They are also a fantastic conversation starter when using them around other people.

They are a limited-edition card from Ellusionist, so they will be a little more difficult to purchase than the Bicycle cards we just looked at. 

PROS

  • Rich and vibrant design
  • Limited edition

CONS

  • Difficult to purchase

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


Absinthe Playing Cards V2

playing cards: Absinthe Playing Cards V2

Absinthe Playing Cards V2

Another great option for playing cards if you like the aesthetic of green ones are the Absinthe Playing Cards V2. Just like the famed alcohol Absinthe, these cards are an electric green that will catch the eyes of those watching you perform.

This deck was originally only available as part of the Prohibition box set with six different decks in it. However, you can now purchase it all on its own. They are thin and incredibly easy to work with for both shuffling and performing tricks.

Want a deck of these?

PROS

  • Eye-catching design
  • Incredibly easy to shuffle

CONS

  • Edge of card may be delaminated after a few hours of use

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


Bicycle 52 Proof

Bicycle 52 Proof Playing Cards

The Bicycle 52 Proof playing cards are an excellent choice for anyone in the magic community who enjoys the aesthetic of vintage cards in the 1920s. With the regular Bicycle layout and the old-time script and design, these are a gorgeous choice for your magic tricks.

They are thick and sturdy cards, while also remaining incredibly easy to handle and use. The print and images are easy for you to read as well.

PROS

  • Thick and sturdy
  • Easy to handle and use
  • Prints are easy to ready 

CONS

  • Some cards don't have gold foil

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


Sleepers Deck

playing cards: sleepers deck

These cards are a hit if you are more of a minimalist. The Sleepers deck of playing cards is simply black, with red only on the hearts and the diamonds. It also looks neat and intricate when the deck is shuffled as well. The cards were designed by Oban Jones and were based on a concept by Daniel Madison.

These will cost you a little more than most of the other options on the list, mostly because they are a limited edition and are a little more difficult to find. 

PROS

  • Minimalist
  • Neat and intricate

CONS

  • Cost a little more

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$$


Bicycle Black Ghost

playing cards: Bicycle Black Ghost

The Bicycle Black Ghost cards are a great, unique look for any magician. The sleek black cards are very simple and beautiful, and the Jokers are one of a kind, too.

These playing cards are incredibly durable, as they are made with a thick, firm card stock. They also have a nice glide finish, making them easy and efficient to handle.

PROS

  • Unique look for magicians
  • Simple and beautiful
  • Durable and easy to handle

CONS

  • Packaging box not too good

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


Pipmen Playing Cards

playing cards: Pipmen Playing Cards

Want something really special? Pipmen playing cards are incredibly unique in their design. Each card has a different, surreal image on it, making them a lot of fun to pick up and go through.

As far as quality goes, the company uses 310GSM embossed Black Core European card stock to make the product. They also apply casino-grade printing techniques. The design was made to work well in humidity and last through extremely frequent usage, and their Emerald finish coating is fantastic for shuffling, dealing, and tricks.

PROS

  • Unique design
  • Uses 310GSM material
  • With casino-grade printing techniques

CONS

  • More expensive than other brands

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$$


Ellusionist FATHOM Playing Cards

playing cards: Ellusionist FATHOM Playing Cards

These gorgeous cards were specifically designed with magicians in mind. They feature a lovely oceanic theme that was inspired by Jules Verne’s novel 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The deck is extremely high-quality. They are made from USPCC stock and a soft-glide performance finish – this makes them perfect for sleight of hand techniques.

They are also one part of a four-part set called the Origin Series made by Ellusionist. Each set is for a different element, this one, of course, being water. Even though they are a watery blue, they are still very easy to read and use for tricks.

PROS

  • Designed for magicians
  • Extremely high-quality deck
  • Very easy to read and use for tricks

CONS

  • Bubbly design may not be appealing

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Bumble Bee Playing Cards

playing cards: Bumble Bee Playing Cards

Looking for unique cards that also have a nice, vintage look to them? Bumble Bee playing cards are perfect, and they also donate a portion of the proceeds towards saving bees.

They were specifically designed for sleight of hand tricks, as well as to bring support to the honey bees. The design is very high-quality. The card stock is thick and stiff with a nice finish.

PROS

  • Unique, vintage design
  • Designed for sleight of hand tricks
  • Very high-quality

CONS

  • Digits are difficult to read

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Theory11 Union Playing Cards

playing cards: Theory11 Union Playing Cards

If you are interested in American history, this is the deck of playing cards for you. The Theory11 Union deck is a patriotic product based on the history of the United States.

They are made out of FSC-certified paper derived from sustainable forests using vegetable-based inks. The cards also have a signature finish on them, making them perfect for easy handling, shuffling, and tricks.

The price is fair as well.

PROS

  • FSC-certified paper
  • Cards have nice finish
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Only the box, face cards, and few featured cards have designs

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Joker and the Thief: White Gold Edition

playing cards: Joker and the Thief White Gold Edition

This gorgeous custom deck is perfect for magicians. The crisp white and gold edition of the Joker and the Thief playing cards are beautiful and unique to anything else on the market.

These were specifically designed by an artist for cardists, magicians, players, and collectors. They are of the highest quality and incredibly durable with casino-grade paper stock and finish. They also have a durable linen classic finish coating and hot foil stamping on both sides of the card.

They are a little pricier than a lot of the options on the list, but you are getting a gorgeous and unique product.

PROS

  • Perfect for magicians
  • Beautiful, unique designs
  • High-quality and incredibly durable

CONS

  • Pricier than most brands

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Ice Plastic Playing Cards

Ice Plastic Playing Cards

These cards are from Bicycle and are just as high-quality as all of their other products.

They have a nice, glossy finish for easy handling and are made from incredibly sturdy and thick card stock. This deck also has a unique design with frost and ice being the main theme. They are a great collectible set of cards and fantastic for card magic tricks.

PROS

  • High-quality
  • Glossy finish
  • Thick card stock

CONS

  • Pricier than most brands

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Prism Night Playing Cards

Prism Night Playing Cards

These are a fantastic, unique look with every color of the rainbow included in the theme. Prism Night playing cards are a glossy black, with the lettering and images being vibrant, rainbow colors.

The cards are a great eye-catching conversation starter while playing with them or doing tricks. The stock they are made of is high-quality and thick, and the entire card is covered in an excellent glossy finish.

PROS

  • Rainbow colored theme
  • Glossy black
  • High-quality and thick card

CONS

  • Pricier than most brands

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Magic Makers Orange Reversed Deck Bicycle Playing Cards

Magic Makers Orange Reversed Deck Bicycle Playing Cards

This last option is another fantastic deck of cards from Bicycle. With the reversed back, the cards are mostly a bright orange with white accents.

Like all of Bicycle’s other cards, they are a very thick, high-quality product with a glossy finish. This deck also comes with some extra trick cards that may prove handy for magic shows.

PROS

  • Very thick
  • High-quality finish
  • Comes with extra trick cards for magic shows

CONS

  • The extra cards may require some skills to use

Our Rating

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How We Chose Our Ratings

Honesty and accuracy are the most important qualities to us in a review. To ensure that you are getting the best overview of a product, we read and research customer reviews and testimonials, as well as the reputation of the person/company making them. On top of that, we will be researching basic information about each product to make sure you know exactly what you are purchasing.

To ensure that you are getting a completely accurate, unbiased rating, there are a few factors we will consider while reviewing the playing cards. We will be considering the aesthetic of the cards, which can be an important deciding factor for buyers. Durability, pricing, thickness, and how easily they are marked will all be considered as well.

Buyer's Guide

Now that you have seen all the different choices for playing cards, it’s time to consider what is important to you. It is a good idea to keep in mind the aesthetic that you want the cards to have. Some designs are vintage; some are more modern – it all depends on what you prefer.

It is also a good idea to consider what types of tricks you will be doing, and how the different card choices will affect those tricks. Make sure to find a durability and quality choice that works with what you are using them for.

No matter what you end up choosing, this list has a great array of choices that will work perfectly for your magic tricks.

Which of these designs looks the best to you? If you own one of these, would you recommend it to others?