Anglo: Standard Index (AKA Anglo Poker Edition Deck)
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Where to buy: $6.00 / deck (price varies depending on exchange rate) http://www.el-duco.se/start.asp?languag ... +the+World
Also here: http://www.gycklaren.com/
And here: http://www.bmpokerworld.com/
Information about my reviewing methods: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156760Initial Impression:
My Initial interest in the Anglo cards came from viewing some pictures of the Rug decks. I almost passed these up thinking that they were the same card only printed on standard index and with different color schemes. Fortunately the staff at Gycklaren(currently the primary distributor of Anglos) informed me otherwise. The Poker Edition Anglo cards were created specifically to cater to the needs of magicians. (At least that is what the ad copy says.) These cards were built to handle more like the more familiar brands from the USPCC line. They are slightly thicker and softer flexing than their older brother, the Rug deck, however, other that that they seem to handle almost identically.
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Like the Rug decks these decks have almost a circus like look to them. This is especially apparent in the limited edition 2009 green and purple decks. The standard colors are white on black, black on white, red on white, and white on red. As for the special edition decks, it is my understanding that they intend to release a different color combo every couple of years. Over all I have to say that there is just something about that Rug gold. These just don’t trip my trigger like the Rug decks.
The court cards are completely new designs. Another reviewer said they had an art deco feel to them and I tend to agree. Definitely a modern look. Poker purists might get uptight when they realize the King of Hearts is not stabbing himself in the head but for the most part I think they are tasteful new design. The Aces are a bit on the boring side. The Ace of Spades has nothing more than a small spade in the center. The Ace of Hearts is the unique Ace for the Rug decks with a small silhouette of a unicorn under the center heart and “Offason-Sweden” printed under that. Unlike the Rug decks they chose to make the 7s a one way design yet again. Magic wise this was probably a good choice. I think passing a 7 off as an 8 is one of the more powerful convincers out there.
The Anglo Poker cards go back to a standard index and the Kaki box highlighting the pip arrangement is gone. Most of the suits seem to be elongated compared to North American artwork. This gives the clubs in particular a very unique, European look. Card construction:
The first thing to note is the finish. The finish “feels” just like a Rug deck but a close examination shows an almost checkerboard pattern in the dimples. Like the Rugs the dimples are much smaller than standard dimples. The box is printed with an “Embossed Finish” banner just like the Rug deck. My assumption is that the final coating is the same for both decks but each deck is just dimpled with a slightly different pattern.
The Anglo Pokers decks are cut just like the Rug decks with rounder corners that you may be used to. This may affect some spinning moves but so far I have not noticed an obvious drop in performance.
The last major difference is the length of the deck. Wile the width equals a standard poker deck the Anglos are actually about a half a millimeter longer. Nothing you will really notice when performing with them but worth noting all the same.
In all the deck was about 15 mm thick and weighed in at 95 grams. This makes it about the same width but just a few grams heavier than a Bicycle.Handling:
Overall they handle almost identical to the Rug decks with the exception of the spring and flex. Fanning:
I can’t tell any major difference between the Anglos Poker Edition fans and the Bike 808. Both fans “feel” about as smooth. What you will notice is that the thin border on these decks seem to advertise fanning inconsistencies a little more. Spring Moves:
The spring on these is almost identical to a way UV500s spring and flex. If you have been scared off by other high end decks because you were afraid they would be more than you could handle these might be worth a look.Dribbles:
This was the worst performing characteristic. Sometimes breaking in the cards will help this a bit. Indeed the Tally-ho deck went from one of the worst dribbling decks OOB to the king of the dribblers. Time will tell but for now I’ll shy away from the dribble pass.Crimp hold and recovery:
It seemed to do pretty good in this regard. This has tended to be an indicator of longevity since this category is highly dependant on the stock quality. I’m hoping to get two to three weeks out of this deck at least.Single card glides:
A good performance here in the top card glides and an excellent performance in the bottom card glides. This category seems to be the toughest one to balance out. If the finish is too slick several cards may tend to follow the glide card and if the finish is too sticky cards seem to clump. The Anglo won’t quite beat the Fournier in this category but it is definitely one of the top decks in this category.2+Card Obfuscations:
Opposing corner spin displays were a little weaker than the Rug decks and like their older brother deck you may need to get used to the rounder edge before these become comfortable. Push-off doubles should pull nicely and display well from a single corner. Diving-Board doubles were okay but did not hold together as effortlessly as with a Rug Deck or a Fournier 605. Overall it performs a little better than the Bike 808 in this category but these moves are no where near some other decks I have reviewed. Another note for this category: Many of these moves are dependant on applying certain pressures on the corners. If you can’t get used to the rounder edges you should expect problems with various 2+Os that require a spinning action. Ie. Derek Dingle DL’s and Floop moves.XCM cuts:
Where the Rug decks seemed perfect for flourishers this deck was specifically geared towards the magicians needs. It should perform as well as most but I doubt it will excel in this area.Card Splitting and Gaff construction/availability:
These not only have gaffs available but for about $25.00 you can get a special assortment deck similar to the gaff decks E sells for it’s UV500 line. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this assortment pack. For one the assortment pack includes gaffs for several different backs available in the line. So you won’t need to buy a new gaff pack for each color deck you own. The disadvantage is you might wind up with gaffs for deck colors you don’t own. Still producing a gaff pack in this way saves them, and you, money in the long run. Buying one $6.00 deck to go with a gaff you have is cheaper than getting a $25.00 gaff deck to go with each color you have. Who should not buy?:
People who don’t want to pay $6.00 for a deck. Who should buy these?:
This is a well made deck that caters to the center. Rank amateurs and seasoned pros will get good use out of this deck. In particular, magicians who like using Gaff cards in their magic may want to begin a collection of Anglo Poker Edition decks. USPCC is cracking down on their gaffs. Soon any gaff that alters the back of a bicycle will be gone. Anglos, on the other hand, were designed for magicians by magicians so don’t I foresee any difficulties with making gaff cards in the future.Final Thoughts:
We shall see how they hold up but overall I think these cards will appeal to most of you. They will move very similar to a standard Bicycle card. The real potential is in the gaffs as I had previously mentioned. I’m not sure yet if USPCC’s legal troubles will force them to shut down production of the E gaffs? (Well to clarify: it will cause an end to the UltraGaff, Red, and Blue masters Gaffs but I’m unsure of the Ghosts, Tigers, ect.) If it does this will be the only brand of card I know of that has an assortment deck of gaffs available. So depending on the current supply of Gaffs on the market the popularity of these cards could be on the rise.
Aside from their obvious appeal to fans of gaff card magic this is also a comparable deck to most of the decks in the 5-7 dollar range, though certainly not a stand out in that price range. While I wasn’t as impressed with this deck as I was the Anglo Rug it will likely get an overall thumbs up from me provided it can make it two weeks.