Why do cardists prefer Linoid finish Tally Ho decks?

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Why do cardists prefer Linoid finish Tally Ho decks?

Unread postby EndersGame » Fri May 05, 2017 11:19 am  

I've heard it said that cardistry enthusiasts prefer the handling of Tally Ho decks with a Linoid finish above most other decks. Why is this?

I've done some research into USPCC produced decks - see my article here. As best as I can tell, USPCC only produces two types of finishes: smooth or embossed. Most decks use an embossed texture, which simply means the paper has dimples to help reduce the amount of friction on the cards for best handling. Sometimes this is referred to as an "air cushion".

In older decks, the texture and dimples of an embossed card were created at the end of the production process by the application of the card's coating using cloth rollers. Standardization in manufacturing and cost-cutting has resulted in the embossed texture being stamped into the paper itself with metal rollers, thus eliminating the cost of replacing cloth rollers (which also had a greater potential for causing problems, e.g. clogging). Many finish names still used today (e.g. linen, cambric, linoid) originated in the fabric used on these cloth rollers, and these names persist even though cloth rollers are no longer used, and nowadays the texture is created by pressing a metal roller with bumps into the paper before the printing process even happens.

As a result, all USPCC produced cards that are produced with an embossed rather than a smooth finish, actually have an identical embossing. There is actually no difference between a linen finish, cambric finish, or linoid finish - these terms are still associated with particular brands ("Air-Cushion finish" - Bicycle decks, "Linoid finish" - Tally Ho decks, "Cambric finish" = Bee decks), and that is why USPCC still uses these labels. But in fact they are identical.

1. The finish: Smooth or Embossed. Nearly all USPCC decks are Embossed, including Tally Ho decks.
2. The stock: Bicycle Stock or Bee Casino Stock. The Bee Casino Stock is thicker, stiffer, more durable, and needs some wearing in. Most of USPCC's mass produced decks used Bicycle stock, including (I think) the Tally Ho decks.
3. The coating: Magic Finish or Standard Finish. Orders of less than 15,000 decks all get the Magic Finish coating, which is more slippery and preferred by magicians, instead of the Standard Finish, which is only used for decks that are mass produced. I think that the Tally Ho decks use the Standard Finish, or it perhaps possible that they use the Magic Finish, and this is what makes them different?
4. The cut: Traditional or Modern. USPCC's default cut is the Modern cut, and while this can affect the ability to do faros, I don't think it is this difference that accounts for cardistry fans preference for Tally Ho decks. I suspect they have a Modern cut the same as most of USPCC's decks.

If this is correct, then most differences between USPCC decks must be more imagined than real. Most custom decks are Embossed and have the Magic finish, whereas the massed produced decks (e.g. Bicycle Riderbacks, Tally Hos) all are Embossed and have the Standard finish, and so actually they handle the same. Unless perhaps the Tally Ho decks don't use the same cardstock as Bicycle Riderbacks, or there is some other difference I'm not aware of?

If any of the information I have above is incorrect, I'd welcome correction, but what I have posted here is based on quite reliable and informed sources (see this thread for more information on this).
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Re: Why do cardists prefer Linoid finish Tally Ho decks?

Unread postby MagikFingerz » Tue May 09, 2017 2:21 pm  

Well, first of all I would ask where you "heard" that statement, and how many confirmed it.

I can only theorize based on my own experience, but I think that that statement is an old one. More specifically, pre-USPCC factory move from Cincinatti, Ohio to Erlanger, Kentucky. First of all, most people seem to agree that Ohio decks feel superior than Erlanger decks, even today. I don't know whether they had more stocks and finishes than now, but I suspect they did. Tally Ho's certainly felt superior to Bikes, anyway. But I have no facts to back this up, so it may well be (at least partially) psychological. And there were also other reasons Tally Ho's were preferred, such as back designs more suitable for cardistry.

It's an interesting topic, though. Would love for others to chime in if they have relevant information. Just too bad there's so few cardists here nowadays.
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Re: Why do cardists prefer Linoid finish Tally Ho decks?

Unread postby rousselle » Tue May 09, 2017 3:01 pm  

My understanding is the same as yours. In Cincinatti, they still printed Tallys with the "Linoid" rollers, still printed Bees with the Cambric rollers, and so on. That slight difference made a difference in feel that made some cardists and magicians favor the handling of Tallys over Bikes.

I think the card back design also played a part, as well.

I have not heard this preference repeated much after the company moved their facilities to Kentucky, and even then, it was only for a year or two (while Cinci decks were still available).

I'm sure more practiced Cardists like sinjin7 would be able to speak more directly to the point of view of the cardist, but this has always been my understanding.
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