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 to one side and expect them not to 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 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 have probably noticed that many magicians usually spread a cloth over the surface on which they are performing the trick and then 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 becoming discoloured. If white is the colour of your cards then you are going to have to work hard in taking care of them because they 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 very 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 obtain a piece of silk cloth then that would be useful for wrapping the cards. However, the cloth should be kept clean.
The place in which the cards are kept 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 it should be kept away from anything that is liquid in nature, such as 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 packet the cards came in as it is one of the best ways to store them safely and 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 in a place which is beyond the reach of children is strongly recommended. For instance, the top-most shelf of the cupboard will be ideal because this location is out of reach of small children. The rule of thumb here is to keep the cards at a place which is inaccessible to the pets as well as kids.
My advice would be to go for the tarot card bags which are easily available in the market these days. They look somewhat like drawstring pouches and can be used for storing your cards. 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 many different sizes therefore if you happen to own a deck of oversized cards then you will not 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 on the cards.
Although this is very effective for getting rid of the stickiness in your cards, you should use it sparingly otherwise the deck would shed talcum powder all over the table as well as your hands.
Now that you know how to care for your deck of cards, it is just a matter of learning and practicing so you will be able to perform the famous UFO or floating card trick which was the sole specialisation of Houdini.
So whether you find yourself handling a trick deck, stripper deck, Svengali deck or a force deck, cognisance of various playing card care guidelines are sure to see you through many of the tricks with flair and panache.