This Week's Top 20

Water Tiger Playing Cards (Single Deck)

2022 is the year of the Water Tiger. Limited to 2,500 individually numbered decks, and inspired by the Chinese Zodiac, these premium cards will add theme, story and maybe luck to all your tricks.
Price: $10.00
In stock: usually ships within 24-48 hours!

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In the Chinese Zodiac, each year is represented by one of 12 different animals. The Zodiac also has a cycle of 5 different elements - Metal/Gold, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. 2022 is the year of the Water Tiger.

We worked with artist & illustrator Panji Putra Prima Aji to create a beautiful, playable deck of cards that celebrates the strength and beauty of the Water Tiger. The card backs feature a front-facing tiger head with waves crashing around him, printed in a gorgeous blue.

The faces feature completely custom number cards, pips, and court cards with tiger royalty. The aces have enlarged center pips with detailed artwork. Two different custom jokers can be used as wild cards in all of your favorite games, while two bonus gaff cards can be used for magic tricks.

The custom tuck box is made from a bright blue paper with a matte finish, with the inner & outer designs completely crafted from white foil for amazing visual contrast and a subtle luxurious texture. The box is topped off with a custom, individually-numbered sticker seal.

Water Tiger playing cards feature UltraLux™ Finish and AquaFlow™ Coating. This blend of casino-grade European card stock and water-based coating, with a perfect linen texture and vegetable-based inks results in a deck that handles like an absolute dream. The cards are traditionally cut with smooth edges that provide just the right amount of grip. These cards are soft enough to get to work straight out of the box, but durable enough to meet the needs of a full-time magician, cardist, or card sharp.

Available singly or in 6-packs with custom half brick collector boxes, get your Water Tiger decks for a year of good luck!

•Limited run of 2500 decks
•100% custom artwork
•Designed by Panji Putra Prima Aji
•Custom tuck box crafted from blue paper & white foil
•Individually-numbered sticker seal
•UltraLux™ Finish with AquaFlow™ Coating
•Traditionally cut
•2 custom jokers
•2 bonus gaff cards included
•Available as singles or 6-packs with collector's half brick box

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Excellent deck Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on February 14th, 2022
These cards are great! The box has a sturdy, high-quality feel. I like that all of the seals are numbered.

The back design is stellar. The detail and depth are really amazing.

The custom faces are fun. The hearts and diamonds use a dark red, while the clubs and spades are blue instead of black, which fits the water theme. The courts have a pretty classic style but the characters are tigers instead of humans.

The feel on them is so good. They fan and shuffle really nicely and the edges are super smooth.

I think these are tied with the Oaknut set for my favorite of all the UltraLux decks so far.
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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Beautiful cards that don't handle so well Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 15th, 2022
The Water Tiger Cards are a very beautiful and artistic collectors deck but don't reach USPCC deck standards for magic or cardistry. (NOTE: I did not buy these outright; I received these as an extra with an order from Penguin.)

The tiger theme of the deck is in honor of 2022 which is the Year of the Tiger. The artwork by Panji Putra Prima Aji is really quite incredible. The card backs show a striking, somewhat angry tiger surrounded by ocean waves. There is a standard, white border around the tigers.

The faces of the cards are also unique. Rather than black and red, the cards are blue and red. Indices are standard, but smaller than Bicycle card standard. The number cards feature highly stylized pips. The hearts and diamonds feature a scalloped pattern within the pips and the clubs and diamonds a more circular/target like pattern. Pips are slightly smaller and more widely spaced than you might be used to but are in usual formations.

The royals are all unique and kings, queens, and jacks are now all stylized tigers. (Tiger kings?) The royal cards are in full color with the hearts and diamonds clad in red and the spades and clubs in blue. Apparently, tigers have no more of a sense of self preservation--the king of hearts is still the suicide king. Aces all have an intricately decorated, enlarged central pip. All feature renderings of tigers. The jokers are completely different and both are blue. One features the word 'JOKER' in large caps and below this a tiger running towards the viewer. The other has standard 'JOKER' indices and a tiger in mirror image, similar to what you see on the royal cards but just in blue.

Extras include a single double backer and a single blank card. There are no ad cards. Also included was a beautiful sticker featuring a red tiger on a white background. The seal for each deck is unique and will give you the exact number of your pack--only 2500 will be made.

The box is premium quality and made of a stiffer cardboard than standard. The box is blue and the details are in white foil which gives it a really nice look. The front of the box features a tiger that is staring you down and the back are two tigers in a circle chasing each other. The box has a scalloped pattern on the outside and even on the inside. The box flaps were also emblazoned with tigers.

On opening the cards, I noted a very acrid, chemical smell. I have only noticed this on cards from Home Run Games (HRG), such as the Magnificent deck (short review: Magnificent is not magnificent). These cards are made in China and were very similar to the present deck in using a 'European card stock' which had a round feeling to the edge and a similar odor when opening. If Penguin did use this company, however, they did help them improve their coating and handling. Sadly, this isn't quite up to the usual standard.

The bad news is that these cards do not handle like USPCC cards or Copag 310s. They do have a linen-type finish (Ultralux with AquaFlow Coating) but the cards tend to clump rather than flow.

The added friction is not all that bad. You should be able to do most major sleight, but waterfalls--and any move that requires the cards to flow one over the other--will be much harder as the cards tend to clump.

The cards are traditionally cut but are harder to faro than USPCC or Copag 310s. The edges of the cards feel somewhat rounded compared to other brands, which you would think might facilitate the faro but, sadly, it does not. Sure, you can faro these with a little practice. However, first you are going to have to work the cards in a bit and get the knack of it. Still, standard Bikes are much easier. In spite of working the cards, though, I still have trouble with a one handed shuffle.

The cards are stiffer than Bicycle standard cards, but not excessively so. They do spring quite well but will take a little more effort than you are used to. They also get back their shape well.

This is a really nice, designer deck if you are a collector. If you are heavy into cardistry, I don't think this would make the cut. As to magic, different magicians like different kinds of cards. It's possible that these would suffice, depending on the kind of magic that you do.

However, I was and I think most magicians will be disappointed in how these handle. As noted above, you will find a better pack of cards for magic--Bicycle Standard--for under $5 at your local drug store.

When a confused Dr. McCoy asked Mr.Spock why he didn't like tribbles--after all tribbles are soft, furry, and make a pleasant sound. Spock quipped, "So would an ermine violin, doctor, but I see no advantage in having one." These cards concentrate on the ermine rather than the violin. We need cards that are both pretty and practical.

I am confused as to why Penguin would go with this card manufacturer. The cards are great for collectors--and I'm sure plenty collectors shop here. That said, most of us who who shop at Penguin are interested in cards for magic purposes. There's no reason, though, why you can't have your cake and eat it to.
3 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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One of my favorite decks! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on October 13th, 2022
Water tigers have a lot of detail on both the pips and the courts. The cardback is also beautiful. It is a fun, yet elegant deck.

My only regret is for not ordering the half brick!
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Drown these cats Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on September 12th, 2022
Beautiful design on the backs. The faces have small pips that may look better if they were a little larger. Court cards are a hybrid of tigers and royalty - I personally don't enjoy them. They handle okay, but the finish and cut feel off. Nice looking box design inside and out.
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2022 Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 19th, 2022
I haven't opened these as I am collecting them, but I really want to. Really cool back design, ace design, interesting courts and even the pips are custom. It represents this year, 2022, the Chinese year of the water tiger. The design has a Japanese influence, I think, but that's why I like it. I am very glad to have these in my collection. Thanks, Penguin!
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