Playing Card Care – Imperative for Success in Card Tricks
As a magician, a deck of cards can be the most useful weapon in your arsenal because you can perform umpteen tricks with the help of these cards and impress countless people.
Finding the perfect deck of cards is a bit challenging, but once you have managed to find the perfect deck, you will have to take proper care of it so that it will not only last you a long time but also look brand new in spite of repeated usage.
Storage is a very important factor when it comes to Playing card care. You cannot just shove these or toss these to the side and expect them to not succumb to wear and tear.
Invest in a small bag or pouch made of soft cloth or you can purchase a small wooden box for storing these cards. If you want then you can also purchase a cardboard box or you can have the interiors of the box lined with cushion or a soft fabric.
Doing this will ensure that your deck of cards stays physically protected, not to mention remembering to keep the cards covered whenever you are not using them for performing magic tricks.
You must have probably noticed that many magicians usually spread a cloth over the surface on which they are performing the trick and then they carry on with the performance.
This will serve two purposes – firstly it is very practical to do this because it will keep your deck of cards clean and also protect them from getting scratched if the surface on which they are kept is abrasive. Secondly, it adds an aesthetic appeal to the performance. Good magicians hold playing card care in deepest regard.
Cards are prone to catching dust easily and getting discolored. If white is the color of your cards then you are going to have to work hard in taking care of it because it can easily turn yellow or brown due to negligence.
At times, rough handling or bad playing card care can also cause them to develop strange bends on the surface, which is absolutely unpleasant-looking.
It is but natural for cards to cultivate dog-ears over a period of time and these could even serve as identification marks for the audience.
If you can get hold of a piece of silk cloth then that would come in handy for wrapping the cards. However, the cloth should be clean as well as new.
Place is another important factor in this aspect.
If you own a deck of cards that is made out of paper then it goes without saying that they should be kept away from anything that is liquid in nature, for instance, water, oil and so on.
It is essential that you keep your cards in a place which is dry as well as clean. Also, do not get rid of the original packing of the cards as it is one of the best ways to store them safely as also prolong their life.
Do you have little children or pets in your house? If you do, then you have to make sure that the cards are kept away from these cute creatures because they can be quite destructive, even though it may be purely unintentional.
Storing the cards at a place which is beyond the reach of the children is strongly recommended. For instance, the top-most shelf of the cupboard or your refrigerator’s ceiling will be ideal because these locations are out of reach of small children.
The rule of the thumb here is to keep the cards at a place which is inaccessible to the pets as well as kids.
An advice here would be to go for the tarot card bags which are so easily available in the market these days.
They look somewhat like drawstring pouches and they are meant for usage in card storage. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can pick from a variety of materials from velvet and luxurious pouches to basic cotton and attractively patterned fabrics.
This kind of bag is available in a lot of different sizes as well and therefore if you happen to own a deck of oversized cards then you won’t have to worry about not being able to get them to fit into a storage pouch.
If your cards feel sticky because of the accumulation of oils, grime or dirt then the best way to ‘spot clean’ them is to sprinkle a bit of talcum powder.
Although this is very effective for getting rid of the stickiness in your cards but you should use it sparingly otherwise the deck would shed talcum powder all over the table as well as in your hands.
Now that you know how to care for your deck of cards, it is just a matter of learning and practice when you would be able to perform the famous UFO or floating card trick which was the sole specialization of Houdini.
So whether you find yourself handling a trick deck, stripper deck, Svengali deck or a force deck, cognizance of various playing card care guidelines is sure to see you through many of the tricks with flair and panache.