Somewhere a long the way - we were influenced to believe the subtleties of either a fraction of a millimeter in card thickness or the amount of ink applied to paper stock could be felt by the experienced card handler. In talking about the latest deck we would marvel at the design, but then quickly add, "Yes, but how do they handle?"
I hate this question.
Not because I disagree with it, but because there is no way to answer it. I have written two previous articles as introduction - and if you didn't read those, I would suggest you back track and start there.
Why do I not like the question? There are just too many variables and in this article I want to address one of them. You
How does a deck handle? Well, it all depends on you.
Think of it like a car, a bike or a skateboard. All are inanimate objects and yet we would ask the same question of all three. How does that car handle? Well, it depends on you. Right? How good are you? A great car can handle like crap with the wrong person behind the wheel.
So let's address some factors:
Talent - As mentioned above, how cards handle strongly depends on you. There is a phrase in the magic community "there is no bad magic, only bad magicians." (paraphrased from Raynaly) Meaning, even the poorest trick can handle amazingly in the right hands.
I can't answer the "handle question" because I don't know what your talent level is. Nor do I want to mislead you if my skill is better or worse compared with yours. The right deck might handle amazingly in your agile fingers. Which leads to...
Preference - _Each of us have difference preferences. And the truth is, the subtle differences in playing cards might resonate with you more than me. You might be a person who prefers a smooth finish on a deck. I might prefer Legends cards over other manufactures.
It's the same as asking a Ford owner how a "Chevy" handles. Call it biased. We each have our favorites. I have listened to card collectors SLAM United States Playing Card Company - but my preference is I would rather own a Duck Dynasty or Sleeping Beauty deck from USPCC before I'd use any other brand....
One last factor.
Care - how you take care of your cards is CRUCIAL in how they handle. So most questions about how cards handle are only applicable to their feel and performance straight out of the box. But all decks change over time though the owners care.
The best care for cards is the best care for all paper goods. Stored in a container with limited air exposure and in a cool dry place - preferably low to the ground. I store my cards in cardboard long boxes in the floor of my closet.
Air and humidity deteriorate your cards over time.
So do the oils and dirt in your skin. You should always wash your hands before card handling and if you are worried about resale on collectible cards, then I would wear clean white cotton gloves. (but no, your fontaine's wont be worth a million dollars in 50 years)
Breaking the deck in also is a factor in care and how they handle. There are a lot of people who prefer a deck that has been "broken in" to their preferences over a few weeks time. The same way your bed or your favorite chair has worn an indent where you sit or sleep. Cards can also "bend to your will" making it "feel" amazing, but in truth - you've just conditioned it over time to fit your style.
Ok, so that's my last piece of input - I hope this was helpful. If you ever have questions please post them below or contact me directly through my channel.
Out of the three criteria above - what do you think has the most influence in how a deck handles? Talent, Preference or Care? Comment below:
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