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USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (updated21/04/13)

Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 pm
by sprouts1115
Disclaimer: So, you want to make a deck of cards. Here are some good links and fun facts. Facts and prices do change. Post them If you know them; I'll change them.

Smooth- Aviators are famous for this.
Embossed* - Paper with dimples that look like woven cloth.

Magic* - USPCC's defalut coating.
Standard - Mostly Bicycle Rider Back or another retail deck that is printed on the Web press. You need a minimum of 15,000 + decks and have the design be Web press appropriate. So unless your printing 15,000 decks your getting Magic Finish. That's ok. Most of these ppl here think Embossed/Magic Finish* is great.

Bicycle or Bike - Also known as Aristocrat. Minimum order 2500 decks.
Bee - Minimum order 5000 decks. Approximately .08 more per deck. Grade Bee stock is thicker and stiffer, and has excellent snap, and is very durable, but they require a little bit of breaking in. The casinos demand this stock and require Q1 quality.

Q1 - Casinos get Q1 to us it means about .50 more per deck for quality control.
Q2 - This is default and free.
Q3 - Many novelty and decks for children use this. As a deck creator don't even go there.



USPCC uncut sheets - Minimum order 25, 21 ⅛" x 26 ⅜", weights ? - Coins for anything seems like the place to go for coins. 1.5" coin is approximately 1.4 ounces , 1.75" coin is approximately 1.6 ounces, and the 2" coin is approximately 2 ounces.

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RESOURCES: - It's everything you want that you wish Kickstarter had.

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:59 am
by crazyfandecks
how abt UV500 and Air Flow Finish?! do you have information abt those?!

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:44 am
by fredv
Very interesting post, thanks.

I wanted to have details about the Jerry's Nugget / Golden Nugget finish from the 60's : does it have a particular name ? was it used on all cards at this time or only on very special cards ?

People say they stopped using this finish because of environmental issues but is it true ?

Handling these 'almost plastic' cards from this era is very different from the cards from 1970+, i would love to know more about that


Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:50 am
by Draken

May I know the update on the decks now?

I want to know about the standard decks mainly bikes,tallys and aladdin smooth finish,are they still the same and feel diffrent from before? Ive notice the ones from erlanger dont handled well,so i want to know how they handled as of now .

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:45 pm
by Blake
Very cool post I would like a tad bit more information though I thought that it seemed a bit to simplified especially in the finish section

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:49 pm
by dazzleguts
Playing cards were originally run through the rollers with an expanse of linen to give the textured surface that allowed easier handling of the cards - better "glide" or "slip". The air cushioning USPCC uses is more of a dimpling of the surface.

Cards were originally just plain paper and would wear out quickly. Varnishes were eventually used to make them more durable and easier to use - don't know when exactly they started varnishing cards. Plastic coating came in the 20th century with the developement of plastics. Before that there were cards made from celluloid and other experimental materials.

If you think there should be more why not do some research and add it in here? The above is just what I remember off hand from my own research into the history of cards.

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:42 pm
by Blake
Dazzleguts--- I am working on it, it just takes time is all

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:00 pm
by dazzleguts

I know the kind of time that work takes, and sharing the results is much appreciated here.

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:18 pm
by mrterrychen
very cool & useful. thanks! :D

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (Updated 1/11

Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:43 pm
by Don Boyer
I think there's an error there regarding the traditional and modern cut used for playing cards.

The traditional cut is actually the "face-down" cut. The card sheet is penetrated front to back, creating a beveled edge that's easier to work with in shuffles straight out of the box, will faro face down from bottom to top and will table faro easily without the need to be broken in.

The modern cut is the "face-up" cut. The card sheet is penetrated back to front, making the beveled edge reversed, meaning that decks require a breaking-in period before they can do what a traditionally-cut deck can do right out of the box.

Casinos don't have time to spend breaking in their decks, so they generally insist on getting traditionally-cut decks. However, for a custom-deck customer working on a smaller scale, they try to discourage you from using a traditional cut, claiming that with the new equipment in Erlanger it makes the cut rougher. Zenneth Kok said as much when he raised the issue with USPC - he asked me about the differences between the cuts.

I learned of the precise names and differences in a phone conversation I had with Bill Schildman a few years ago.

Another point that's inaccurate, at least as of the past year or so - USPC no longer offers their card stock by weight in grams per square meter, so you can no longer state that Bicycle stock is 325 gsm, 300 gsm or any such number. I learned from talking with one of USPC's biggest custom customers that they now offer just two stocks, Bicycle (lighter) and Bee Casino (heavier), they're measured by thickness, the thickness of each stock actually falls within a RANGE of thicknesses, you do NOT get to choose the precise thickness, and that the two ranges actually OVERLAP. That means that a designer ordering Bicycle stock can end up with paper that could be considered as thick as some Bee Casino papers, and that someone ordering Bee Casino paper can get something so thin it could be considered as thin as some Bicycle papers...

A final caveat to any of USPC's production rules - most of them can be broken, if you're willing to spend the money. David Blaine, Bill Kalush and others have shelled out a fair amount of cash beyond normal costs in order to have a run made to their unique specifications, and in some of the decks they've produced you can see the results. A color-changed run, where the ink for the card back is changed midway through a print run, was only one of the results each of the men I mentioned had done for them by USPC, a process they won't let your typical custom deck designer use, but that these men shelled out extra for and got.

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grade (Updated 21/04

Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:26 pm
by montecarlojoe
Thanks Don. I've updated the post to reflect the stock info, and I've qualified the cut information.

Funnily enough this was discussed recently:


I qualified the explanation in the post with the direction of cut rather than correct it because I don't think it was actually wrong per se. When I read 'face up' my immediate assumption is that it would be cut face to back (imagining the sheets sitting face up, with blades coming down from above and touching/cutting the face first).

I also edited for tone. The original author was know for being somewhat adversarial... ;)

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grade (Updated 21/04

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:26 pm
by LesL
That was a great update. I have carefully measured the weight of many of my decks that are on Bicycle stock and found a large variance (from 90.7 gm to 97.3 gm) that I didn't understand thinking that they had the same weight per Sqm. Oddly, there is little variance in the height of the decks, so I assume the the rolling process presses the various thickness stocks to the same final card thickness.

Re: USPCC - Stocks | Finishes | Quality Grades (updated21/04

Unread postPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:03 am
by EndersGame
This thread was last updated four years ago. I've done some research on the same topic recently, and have summarized my findings in the following article:

USPCC deck vs EPCC decks: analysis of quality and handling

I'd welcome any comment/critique, because I'd like the information I have posted there to be as accurate, up-to-date, and detailed as possible.

My article also includes an analysis and comparison with the cards produced by Expert Playing Card Company. They use their own range of finishes, and along with Legends Playing Card Company, and by partnering with a factory in Taiwan, they have emerged as another industry leader in the last number of years, with the ability to produce high quality playing cards that rival or surpass the quality of those produced by USPCC.