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  1. #1
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    How long do your cards last?

    Hi there,

    the last couple of weeks i train a lot and when i do that, a pack only "lasts" 2 or 3 days befor it becomes to sticky.
    At least i have that feeling...
    I wash my hands before touching them, but that does not seem to help.

    Is this normal, or am i just to pitty with the condition of my cards?
    Do i have to be better in order to work with sticky cards?

    Thanks for your replys,
    Bastian

  2. #2
    Adam Wilber's Avatar :: Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by BastianF View Post
    Hi there,

    the last couple of weeks i train a lot and when i do that, a pack only "lasts" 2 or 3 days befor it becomes to sticky.
    At least i have that feeling...
    I wash my hands before touching them, but that does not seem to help.

    Is this normal, or am i just to pitty with the condition of my cards?
    Do i have to be better in order to work with sticky cards?

    Thanks for your replys,
    Bastian
    Hey Bastian,
    This is not out of the ordinary by any means. When I am working on a new rotuine or slieght my decks only last a day or two untill they are just about worthless! I am glad to hear that you are working so hard and wearing your decks out so fast. To me this is only going to make your magic that much better. Keep up the good work and just know that the price of a deck can't compair to skills and tallent your learning with your efforts.
    -Adam
    Ellusionist Forum Director

  3. #3
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    For me it depends
    i use a deck for practicing tricks it remains in a good shape for like 2 months
    the deck i use for flourishing lasts like a month
    it depends on many things
    sticky decks are not bad
    just give them few pressure fans and le paul spreads and u'll love them more than fresh decks specially for flourishing :)

  4. #4
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    When I first started out, my decks only lasted about three months until I burried them away. From the sounds of it haha your workin really hard!

    If theyre getting sticky too fast for you, try springing cards and shuffling them, and then force yourself to leave them be for a bit. Mainly your palms are getting sweaty and that sweat gets absorbed into some cards. I think fanning powder may help, but thats only what ive heard.

  5. #5
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    This is sometimes caused by how weather is in some countries. Like for me, I live in the Philippines, which is a very tropic place. My standard bikes often last me (if I'm lucky) a week at the most. Custom cards fair slightly better in certain conditions, but like what Adam said, it's good that you are wearing them out! That just means that you are really willing to learn at the expense of your decks. Keep it up man!

    -JP-
    Creator of "Aw Snap"
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  6. #6
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    That seems really fast, are you sure they're definitely TOO sticky? If they are, you could use them for any tricks that don't need many tough sleights to do (or self working even), and remember you might not always have a new deck to hand, so maybe practising with these less than perfect decks might come in useful :)
    A video a day in 2012 - http://www.youtube.com/user/ComfyMagicSlippers/featured

  7. #7
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    Just remembered that there is a Thread on here about taking care of cards, i suggest who ever reads this thread you should definitly look up the other. I think its in "Getting started in magic"

  8. #8
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    Wow, really? Last pack of cards I opened was last year, I still practice to this day with them, strange. Typical bicycle decks too. Granted I generally never ever have sticky hands when I practice (from foods and such). I do live in the Netherlands, but if that's a reason for them being good quality. Man, why are there so little magi's here? Hmm?

    Either way, as for protecting cards, I dont know, I try to keep my hands clean and even tell friends to wash up before I do a close up trick involving there aid (Do as I do).
    DISCLAIMER: If I say something that's not correct, PLEASE give critique! How else am I to learn?

  9. #9
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    I'm surprised too. I usually have 3 or 4 decks that I carry with me constantly. I take phone calls for work and I am playing with the cards for 5 hours plus a day. It's been 6 months or so since I last opened a deck. I can still faro decks that I opened almost 2 years ago. I guess it helps that I live in a dry climate.

    The top three biggest deck killers for me are:
    1. Split fans
    2. One handed shuffles
    2. Dropping the cards

    Usually when a deck gets tired I can put it away for a couple of weeks and it will pop back into shape.

  10. #10
    Sonicstabber's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Which cards are they? I noticed that a few decks, especially the first few runs of Bicycle cards with the smaller pip font on the face didn't 'seem' to last as long as an older deck, or any of the more current stock that I have of other cards like Tally Ho's, Studs etc.

    If you are using the cards on a regular basis, it also depends on a number of other things. Extreme heat and extreme cold cause issues with cards. Heat causes warping, for example if you leave the deck near a window or in a car. This will make the cards warp and feel not as great as a new packet.

    Extreme cold comes with moisture, and then has the same negative impact. Excessive moisture/sweat/body oils all contribute and will wear a deck down. The more exposure to these elements, the quicker the deck will become sticky.

    Also, any hand lotions/sanitisers you may be using. While I was in the US, every place had free hand sanitisers e.g. in malls and large public indoor areas like Casinos. This kind of stuff makes your hands clean, but also slightly tacky with the residue it leaves. Obviously, hand moisturisers have a similar impact due to the chemical residue left behind. Even if it's all natural, there will still be residue on your hands, and when it comes in contact with the paper cards, it will cause the amount of issues, if not more, in making the cards sticky or less usable.

    My advice to make sure a deck lasts a while:
    • Break in the deck with clean hands before major use. This means opening a pack, and riffling/faroing/springing and handling them. I have my own personal method of treating cards before I use them, and it has made my cards feel much better overall and last much longer.
    • Avoid leaving the deck in extreme heat or cold or exposed to moisture. This means do not leave cards in a car, near a window/desk in the sun, do not leave them in a backpack near a water bottle or anywhere they can be exposed to any source of cold or heat. I generally store my cards in a cupboard/set of drawers. When travelling, I keep them in a separate bag within my larger luggage so they aren't mixed in with toiletries or anything like that which can leak on them.
    • Buy a Porper clip - I cannot tell you how good this item is. Porper clips are great after long use/sessions. After the deck has been used, re-box the deck, put it in the clip and leave it. Come back to it a few hours later, the cards may seem a bit crackly at first, but after breaking this crackle, they're fine. The Porper is good in stopping the cards from warping after use, or while they are not being used i.e. in your pocket.
    • Rotate decks - Use a deck for a few hours or days, when it starts to feel a bit sticky, stop, and open another pack. Start using this pack until they feel a bit sticky (after breaking them in of course) and then go back to the first deck, which will feel good again if you break it in again slightly. Repeat.
    • Avoid holding cards unnecessarily - If you are practicing something or reading something, use the cards. Don't hold cards for the sake of holding them. As a point of how this matters, the body will continually release natural oils, sweat, heat and moisture all day. Walter Scott, a card sharp from the 1930's, documented two different handlings for bottom deals depending on the condition of the hand, either being early in the morning (following a shower, stripping most natural oils), or later in the evening (where the amount of natural oils, sweat, dust etc. will be on the hand). As an example to see how it matters, try and do something very technical in the morning after a shower. Then try the exact same thing after a long day. The hand's condition is different.
    • Use clean surfaces - As mentioned previously, avoid getting cards dirty. This means avoid using wet/sticky/dusty surfaces as well as avoid dropping cards in general. If you do, no biggie. Just wipe of the card/cards one at a time on a napkin or tissue to get any dirt or anything off them.
    • Respect the cards - don't be too rough on them. As you learn more, you'll get a feel for what is too much and what is just enough for pressure. When I started doing Faro work, a lot of other people I knew were also doing it. However, they were just butting the cards together with no method or clarity, which caused their cards to have split corners. I never had that issue after the first month or so. This applies to every sleight or move with the cards. Some will require a lot of pressure to be placed on the cards. At first, you'll ruin some decks this way, like when learning a pressure fan. After a while, you learn what is the most amount of pressure you need to use, and you won't ruin as many decks.
    That's just some rules to live by for cards. It may seem pedantic, but it's not gospel. If you do any combination of these points, or all of them, your cards will last longer than if you weren't doing them.

    Hope this helps,

    Eddie
    Australia: 45 degree weather, still wearing a beanie.

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