Marked playing cards are an amazing way to cheat at card games. They let you easily determine the rank and suit of a card by glancing at its back.
Cheating with marked cards is illegal in many countries. The only place where it is legal to use them is in casinos.
The History of Marked Decks
Marked decks have a long history of being used in magic tricks. There are several different ways of marking playing cards, and each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The earliest known marked decks were made in Europe around the 14th century. These were often hand-painted or illuminated.
Some of these decks were produced in artists’ workshops as luxury items for rich clients. Some of these decks have survived, and are now very valuable.
Another type of marked deck is the factory-printed marked deck. These are usually based on the same back design as normal decks, but they have special code marks printed onto the back of them.
These special code marks can help magicians to identify a certain card easily. This makes these cards perfect for magic trick applications. They are also very flexible and durable, which means they will last a long time. If you’re a magician, these are definitely the best decks to invest in.
The DMC Elites Deck
The DMC Elites deck is the latest iteration in the ongoing quest by Drummond Money-Coutts to create the most useable deck for card magic available today. It’s a unique collaboration between DMC himself (star of National Geographic’s CARD SHARK and BEYOND MAGIC WITH DMC, and the upcoming Netflix show DEATH BY MAGIC) and designer Phill Smith – architect of the revolutionary OPTICAL MARKING SYSTEM.
The OMS hides the value and suit of a playing card in plain sight, with no decoding or mental working-out required – you simply glance at the back of a single card for LESS THAN A SECOND, from a distance of up to SEVEN FEET, and you will know its exact VALUE AND SUIT! This system is so subtle that with the first edition of ELITES many magicians complained that they’d been sent an unmarked version!
The OMS is printed by the legendary USPCC on their world-renowned Bee stock, so you can be confident that these cards will endure hours upon hours of professional use. Every detail has been crafted to make the ELITES the most useable deck for modern card magic – from the sturdy minimalist box down to the dark green high-contrast back, to the hidden Mnemonica ‘crib’ card and two custom DMC jokers!
The Ultimate Marked Deck
The Ultimate Marked Deck is one of the last marked decks that still uses the Rider Back design. This was originally released before USPCC adopted a policy that disallows any markings on the card backs, but Magic Dream managed to convince them to do one last print run in 2015.
The deck is printed on Bicycle stock and is available in red or blue. These stock type and air cushion style embossing make them feel quite soft in the hand.
As a result, they handle pretty well, and their properties are very similar to those of a regular 807 deck. Besides the two Jokers, you get a double backer and a blank-faced card, so there are 56 cards in a standard deck.
The Ultimate Marked Deck is a terrific deck to own, especially if you are looking for a marked deck that will easily fool your audiences when performing card magic. It is also very practical and easy to use, making it the ideal choice for magicians who want to give their audiences a good experience with a marked deck.
The Bicycle Marked Deck
The Bicycle Rider Back design is one of the most popular back designs for marked playing cards. The reason is because it’s an easy-to-read design that allows for large markings.
As a result, it’s a very good choice for magicians who want to use their marked decks for card magic. But as USPCC has changed its rules regarding gimmicked backs, there are now very few decks that can be printed using the Rider Back design anymore.
Luckily, there are still many other options available. For example, Boris Wild’s marked deck uses the Maiden Back design.
With this design, the cards look just like normal Bicycle cards, but with smaller changes that make it less noticeable to casual observers. The only difference is that this deck also has a marking system.
In fact, this marking system is so ingenious that it’s even better for card magic than the other systems listed above! This means that the Bicycle Maiden Back will work perfectly for a variety of tricks, especially for beginners.