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

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


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

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$$


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

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$


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

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$$$


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

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$$$


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

Our Rating

Price

Customer Rating

$$


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

Price

Customer Rating

$$


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?

You Might Also Like