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Oyster Playing Cards (Marked) – by Think – A Review

Oyster Playing Cards (Marked) – by Think – A Review

Oyster (Marked) Playing Cards by Think – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

Luxurious and elegant custom playing cards based on the fascinating process that enables a pearl to be created inside an oyster.

It was long ago, my dad used to work as a fisherman.
Growing up with him I got to learn quite a few things about the sea.
One that has fascinated me since, is the process in which a pearl is created inside an oyster.

A foreign substance slips inside the shell and to protect itself, the oyster covers it with a nacre. A true mystery and beauty of nature itself.
The layers of an oyster’s shell somehow reminds me of the art of magic.
Layers of deception.
Layers of mystery.
Layers of secrecy.
There is always more to uncover.

With the Oyster Deck, that is what I’ve wanted to share with the community.
A back design that reflects complexity yet bold, minimalistic and classy.
Standard faces for everyday uses and situations.
As you scrutinize the cards, you will discover the hidden pearl.
A work in constant progress.
An intripid and deceptive marking system.
One that will ineluctably sparks creativity.


I am a huge wielder of the power of estimation and memorized deck (mnemonica).
In order to facilitate the use of it, I needed a simple and effective marking system.
For the one that knows mnemonica, you will be overjoyed by its simplicity. There won’t be any reasons as to why you wouldn’t take advantage of it.

For others. It will become a memorized deck trainer.
You’ll get to practice anytime, anywhere.
Instantly know the identity of a card.
Instantly know its position.
Instantly know where you need to cut the deck.

My Thoughts:

Credit where credit is due.. Think Nguyen has created one very nice deck of cards. The Oyster Deck not only appeals to collectors.. but to magicians who are seriously into their card magic.

First.. the Oyster Deck is slightly thinner than typical Bikes and has what is labeled as “premium stock’. Don’t quote me on this.. but the stock feels and handles like crushed Bee stock. Since its maker is the USPPC, it is most likely Bee stock. It handles good straight out the box. The edges were slightly thick, but it shuffled and faro’d like a premium deck from the onset..

What makes the Oyster Deck unique is this… It is a marked deck. It is not marked in the traditional sense, but marked for the Mnemonica stack. The deck arrives in ‘almost’ Mnemonica order. One cut gets you in position. With the stack, you know both the position and identity of any card in the deck. This is powerful stuff. Of course, you need to know Mnemonica.. but even if you don’t, this deck serves as both a good excuse and a teaching aid to spur you along.

In addition, the backs are one way.. aiding in a number of card effects. There are two Joker cards, plus one double-backer and a fancy-do advertising card.

Again, Think has done a very good job putting this together. Although there are no instructions for Mnemonica, you can find info via Google. Tamariz wrote the definitive word on it, since he created it. Also, there are a number of trainers available online, as well as photos of the order of the cards. Here is a good, free site for you…

I was a little hesitant to do this.. but I’m going to anyway. There were no instructions detailing the ‘secret’ of the Oyster Deck. I suppose if you’re familiar with Juan’s stack, and look at the cards closely, you can cypher the secret. But.. I noticed a couple of selling sites who publish this PDF as part of their advertisement. So.. I’m assuming there’s not really a secret. This link will enable you to download the PDF and see the location of the number on the backs of the Oyster Deck. Remember, this number tells you the location of a ‘specific’ card in the deck, and that location, if you know Mnemonica, tells you the identity of the card.

The Oyster Deck is a wonderful tool for anyone who knows, or wants to know, the Mnemonica Stack. Aside from being well-crafted pasteboards, you can arm yourself with a secret completely unknown to your audience. I have bought many marked decks costing much more than 15 bucks, and I consider these a real bargain. Recommended..

$15.00 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic and the Magic Roadshow..

Cherry Casino Playing Cards – Pure Imagination Projects – A Review

Cherry Casino Playing Cards – Pure Imagination Projects – A Review

Cherry Casino (Black Hawk) Playing Cards by Pure Imagination Projects

This is the Ad Copy:

Based off vintage Las Vegas casino playing cards, Cherry Casino Playing Cards pays homage to the classics of Sin City. Like Jerry’s Nuggets or Wynns, the Cherries back design was designed by Sam Devins to incorporate a simple, symmetrical back, perfect for card games and magic performances alike.

Now, we’re back in black! Pure Imagination Projects is very excited to present our newest release: Cherry Casino V3 True Black Playing Cards with a darker scheme. The black version is even better than the last. It is new and improved, on crushed Bee stock with metallic red ink throughout. The cards look as beautiful as they handle, and we cannot wait to get them into your hands!

My Thoughts:

I have handled so many decks of playing cards, hundreds upon hundreds, it’s hard to find something that attracts my attention. Cherry Casino does..

I measure a deck, in part, by how it handles straight out the box. I want something that doesn’t have rough cut edges and faro’s nicely from the get-go. Traditional Bikes don’t meet my criteria. Although Cherry Casino’s ARE made by the US Playing Card Company, they are made of the crushed Bee stock.. which is not only one of my very favorite finishes, but is very thin and easy to both shuffle and faro.

I did make the mistake of opening the tuck box, removing the deck, and wondering why they were not stacked in typical black, red, black, red descending order. Then, shuffling like crazy for a minute or two, before I remembered reading the decks come pre-stacked in a mnemonic stack. (I can be dense at times) A stack out the box is great for performing a little mental magic. Nice touch..

The cards are specially colored in a true black, which is great in the right light. Although the numbers and faces are traditional, which is a good thing, the darker black separates Cherry Casino from most decks.. and gives it a richer, more expensive look.

The Ace of Spades and Jokers are custom designed. Also, you get a blank face and double backer gaff cards.

Although my review deck was the Black Hawk, there are, I think, 14 different colors.. All the traditional colors, plus pink, purple, silver, teal, and black and gold. Most decks are priced by Murphy’s at $11.95.. BUT, there are low production decks that range from $25.00 (2500 decks) to $250.00 (144 decks), have numbered seals, and generally sell for higher prices on the popular selling sites.

Again, these are smooth handling cards, not to mention collectable cards. Their basic design has a strong appeal to both magicians and collectors. The limited run decks may become the next Jerry’s Nuggets. I am adding these to my collection of NOC’s, stashed by my computer and ready for the next ZOOM meeting.. You should too. I think your only regret will be you didn’t order more decks…

$11.95 .. Available at Murphy’s Magic and their Associates

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic and the Magic Roadshow..

AM/FM Deck – Michael Breggar – A Review

AM/FM Deck – Michael Breggar – A Review

AM/FM Deck – Michael Breggar – A Review
Deck and Online Videos & PDF

This is the Ad Copy

The perfect forcing deck for working pros and a few cons.

The spectator calls a number and deals down to that card… it is the card you predicted! Or, they just start dealing until they wish to stop. It’s the predicted card. Or… well, you get the point.

Here’s the thing…. they call the number, they remove the deck from the box and they start dealing. It ends on the force card. And then, you show that any other number would have brought them to different cards.

No static at all. It’s Michael Breggar’s “AM/FM Deck”

My Thoughts:

I don’t normally preface a review with a comment about the creator. But.. I’m a fan of Michael Breggar. That doesn’t mean I’m a fan of every single effect produced by Michael.. but I’m certainly a fan of most. That said.. I’m a fan of THIS one. Brother.. that little fact makes my life so much easier..

To quote Michael…
“I cannot believe I am the first to come up with a configuration like this, though I have not seen this deck construction and general handling together. In a way, its family tree could be traced to the Svengali, Mirage, Pop-Eyed Popper, etc. gaffed decks of the golden-oldies era. Nods to one-, two-, three-way forcing decks and their ilk.”

AM/FM Deck is not a trick. It is a tool. It is an intriguing way of forcing a card or producing a card from a named location in a deck. If you watch the video, you get a good notion of just a couple of the productions you can achieve. This is much more than a.. “ down to a number and there’s your card..” effect. It is a series of effects made possible by being able to know, in advance, the identity of a card at a predictable location… AND… being able to convince the spectator the deck is a conventional deck, full of different cards. It’s not. But that’s the secret behind AM/FM Deck.

I don’t like to comment on reviews by fellow reviewers. It’s not nice.. and I try my best to be a nice guy. That said.. A very popular reviewer recently reviewed Michael’s deck and did his best to classify it as nothing more than a Svengali deck. It’s not. It cannot be used as a Svengali deck, as the math doesn’t gee-haw. Yes, there’s a number of the same cards in the deck, but, as Michael says, the ” deck construction and general handling ” is different from a Svengali deck.. as well as some of the other popular forcing decks. You are paying for the madness behind the method.. and there’s plenty of madness to go around. I promise…

AM/FM Deck was created using a variety of psychologically motivated moves. Michael furnishes buyers with two separate videos.. one 18 minutes long and one 30 minutes long.. detailing the why’s and what for’s. All the steps are explained and justified. Ultimately, his philosophy is..’don’t let the forcing deck become the center of attention. Bring it into play.. let it do its thing.. then take it out of the spotlight.’

Aside from forcing a card, its very basic purpose, Michael teaches a zoom show method, where a prediction card is mailed days ahead of time to the host.. for the grand reveal during the zoom meeting.

Video two, titled – More, Better, Other Tricks with the AM/FM Deck – features a variety of effects that do not rely on simply forcing a card, but expand the concept. One.. the Happy Birthday effect, begins with the spectator’s birthday serving as the numerical location. The spectator is then given a birthday card with the same card dealt to – found printed or attached to the inside of the birthday card. Another effect uses six dice to decide on a location within the AM/FM Deck. Yet another revelation uses a giant card concealed under your mat as the final reveal.

One of my very favorites is based on the classic Out For Lunch, probably by William Larsen Sr… but maybe Edward Bagshawe.. The notion is very visual and surprising.. and happens in the spectator’s hands.. always a big plus. And finally, Michael has devised a compelling use of the AM/FM Deck to reproduce an Invisible Deck effect.. except it isn’t an invisible deck effect.. much to the chagrin of the poor magician(s) who were on the edge of busting your measly carcass.

AM/FM Deck is available in Red or Blue backs.. (Bicycles) The video, although filmed in Michael’s office, I assume, is a very good production, using multiple cameras and picture-in-picture technology. The sound is ideal and everything is up to Murphy’s Magic standards.

There is also a PDF included with the videos, giving you an overview of most of the effects taught in the videos. All the basics are discussed, including the deck layout should everything become displaced.

Remember, when you purchase AM/FM Deck, you are purchasing a tool. You are given tutorials to seven or eight different effects, some which could easily be sold as stand-alone effects. Honestly. I am going to recommend this to my friends and readers. It is well worth the time and effort, and your magic will grow exponentially…

$29.95 ..   From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

Review by Rick Carruth for The Magic Roadshow