- Apr 5, 2008
- Total posts
i like the feal of kems myself
As long as they say "Made in China" on the back, and cost less than 50p a packet, they're fine by me.
No matter the brand, I play so much with cards that they get ruined real fast with me.
Im sure nice cards last alot longer. But when you play alot of poker, its only a matter of time before you switch to back to cheapys.
I am a certified poker dealer and have investigated all the plastic cards on the market (as far as I know).
Here are my findings [note that the two main brands are Kem and Copag]:
Kem: the best of the best, IF you get a deck that isn't "bowed"-- sometimes the deck has a bend, either, down or up (down is better if you have to pick, as you will be riffling the deck "up", which should compensate in the long run; but you don't get to pick, the cards come as they are). Highly recommended with the caveat of getting a good deck.
Copag: the best as far as price to value; best consistency in that I have never gotten a set up (two decks, diff. color backs) that has been bowed one way or the other (vs. kem). Print/color is the weakest of any. Highly recommended as an into plastic deck. You are guaranteed not to be disappoinited (vs. a perhaps bad Kem deck), but they are not the "best".
Gemaco: I found these to be a bit too "stiff" for professional dealing. If you shuffle/riffle your cards like most home games do, I am sure they would be fine. Price might be a consideration, as they are less than Kems. Not recommended.
Del Negro: by far the stiffest of the brands, almost unusable with the professional riffle. Good color/ink. Same consideration as Gemacos if you are not using the professional deal/riffle. Not recommended.
A-Plus: I would suggest these as the best "off" brand plastic card (Kem and Copag being the established). I thought the print on these was superior to the Copag (but no one can compete w Kem's ink job). They are slightly stiffer than either of the two main brands, but not so much so that they are bad (vs. Gemaco and Del Negro). Recommended.
Hope that helps....
Ok, I got a set up of the following, so I want to add reviews:
Modiano: recommended; these are nice cards, they shuffle very well; nice back designs. Also, they use a lot of blues in their court cards, even on the hearts and diamonds, I think it looks good.
Fourneir (Spain): recommended; nice cards, on par with A+ and Modiano, maybe even the best of the three as far as feel and shuffle. The only criticism I could give is that they tried to give the court cards flesh colored faces, and I don't think it works all that great.
NPT (ace of spades reads: "Long Life Player's Cards"): these are ok, but not as good as A+, Modiano, or Fournier. A little be harder to shuffle than the three mentioned.
Royal (Taiwan): by far the least expensive of all the plastic decks (at around $5 each). They are ok, but they have a very slick gloss feel to them. This makes them "stick" a bit to your finger during the pitch. If you are just a home game (vs. professionally trained) dealer it probably wouldn't be a problem, however. Another nice thing is that the decks all come with individual plastic carry cases, something I have only been able to find with Kems (usually the carry case if for two decks together, know as a 'set up'). I am just using the cases for the other brands!
1. Kem. But only if you don't get a bad deck that is bowed, or an older (pre US Playing Card's purchase of Kem brand) deck that is defective.
3. (tie) A+
3. (tie) Modiano
4. Copag-- could be three (tie), or maybe even two (based on shuffablility alone), but I am going to give the other brands a slight edge because of looks/print faces. Also, Copag is so common that everyone has them, and who wants to be like everyone else, right?
Not recommended (mostly based on professional riffle/shuffle and pitch only; these would probably all be fine durable cards for home games, etc.);
4. Del Negro
Of course these are just my opinions, everyone will have their own idea of the aesthetic of the court cards, the feel of the decks regarding texture and stiffness, etc.
I have a review of two more plastic decks:
1. Piatnik (made in Austria). These have a decent riffle and pitch to them, comparable to the level of A+ or Modiano, so they are recommended on that level. However, the ink/print is less than desirable: the red in the hearts and diamonds is more of a sickly orange color. Also, they are 'four indexed'-- so the little rank and suit that usually appears in the upper left and lower right of the card is on all four corners. Some players thought his made the card too crowded looking. Also, I noticed that not all the diamonds were of a consistent shape: some were curved in, others seemed 'bloated' out. Weird.
2. Stud King. I got these here. These have a GREAT riffle and pitch, and might be one of the best out there. HIGHLY recommended. Next to Royal these are the least expensive plastic cards out there, at $13 per set up (two decks). The price to quality ratio is fantastic on these, so if you have been considering investing in good cards, scoop these up while you can!
Dude I am the absolute expert here with this topic.
My favorites are the jumbo Copags. Why?
1. Unbelievable quality. They WILL last 20 times longer than those regular bicycle decks!
2. If you are playing a home ring game with 8 or 9 people chances are there will be people that will say things like "I can't see the cards!" and do stupid things to adjust themselves because the dealer is at the other side.
3. You get 2 decks in pack, one green and one red. That way you can run the game with 2 decks and get in more hands.
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