A marked deck is a specially printed card deck that comes with markings on its back. Using these markings, you can determine the identity of any face-down card in the deck. This information can be used in a wide range of card magic tricks. It can also be useful for gambling applications, as it can give you a significant advantage in games like poker.
There are two main types of marked decks: reader systems and coded systems. In the former, the value and suit of the card is printed somewhere on the card back, while in the latter the mark uses a code that you must decipher in order to figure out which card it is.
The best marking system for use with a marked deck is one that makes it easy and fast to read the markings at a glance. This is important, because it will help you to be able to work quickly under pressure.
This is especially important if you perform card magic, because reading the markings can be very difficult without practice. It is therefore a good idea to learn a simple and reliable marking system before you start performing with a marked deck.
You should also look for a marked deck that uses large markings, rather than very small ones. Tiny markings may be undetectable to your spectator, but they can make it much harder for you to do your job as a magician.
Some marked decks even come with instructional videos that teach you how to read their markings. These videos often also include a good number of routines that you can use with your own marked deck.
When you’re preparing to perform with a marked deck, you should keep the following things in mind:
First and foremost, you should only choose a marked deck that is reputable and well-known. This way, you’ll be sure to get a high quality product that is safe for use at the casino and other social settings.
Another important factor to consider when purchasing a marked deck is whether it has markings on the foils of the cards. Some decks, such as the Ultimate Marked Deck from The United States Playing Card Company, have markings on both sides of each foil, while others have only markings on one side of each foil.
The riffle test is a good way to tell if a deck has markings on its foils. This involves flipping the deck of cards rapidly with your thumb, and watching closely to see if any images or patterns change when you do so.
Once you’ve determined that a deck has markings on its foils, you should check for bends in the foils. Foils have a tendency to bend, so some of them can become warped inwards when they are handled in a bad way.
It’s also a good idea to check the color of the cards, as some foils have darker backs than others. Some cards are also a lighter color than the rest of the deck, and this can also be helpful in determining whether a deck has markings on its foils.