Bicycle playing cards are one of the most frequently used decks of playing cards in the world.
If you have seen any magician performing magic tricks, its almost guaranteed that he/she was using Bicycle playing cards or some of its branches.
Are Bicycle Cards Waterproof? Standard Bicycle cards are not waterproof. Bicycle cards are made of paper so they get wet, and water can destroy them easily. But there are special editions existing that are waterproof.
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Why Bicycle Cards Are Not Waterproof?
Paper is material that was used to produce the first decks of playing cards several centuries ago.
This material is very light and easy to manipulate.
And manipulation is also the main reason why Bicycle cards are made of paper.
These cards are most frequently used for performing magic tricks, and magicians need light and flexible cards, with a surface that is suitable for card manipulations and card sleights.
So Bicycle cards are excellent for performing magic, and of course for casual gameplay.
The negative side is that the cards wear out pretty fast and they are in general not resistant to almost any kind of damage.
Is There Any Waterproof Alternative To Bicycle Playing Cards?
If you’re looking for waterproof playing cards, you need to look for plastic cards.
These cards are practically never used by magicians as they are typically heavier than paper playing cards and manipulation with them is not what magicians would like to be.
While the surface of standard paper Bicycle cards is allowing advanced card manipulation, the surface of plastic cards is normally just flat, so cards are kinda sticking together which is a true nightmare for any magician.
Plastic cards are therefore frequently used in casinos thanks to their durability and longevity.
What Cards Should You Choose?
The offering of plastic waterproof cards is not as wide and diverse as in the case of Bicycle cards.
As these cards are used mainly for gameplay, you need to mostly rely on standard “boring” designs; no fancy pips, no fancy patterns.
Let’s compare several decks of plastic playing cards and decide what’s best.
Plastic Bicycle Cards
If you like the design of standard Bicycle cards (Bicycle Rider Back 808 design), you can choose “Plastic Bicycle Cards.””
You can get them in some magic shops, I found them for example here, at Vanishing Inc. Magic Shop.
This generation of Bicycle playing cards is very durable and also waterproof so you can take them with you on a trip or vacation without the necessity to worry about the environment or weather – these cards can survive almost anything!
The negative side is that these cards are heavy, sticks together and there is also a noticeable unpleasant plastic smell to it (the smell was so bad that after some minutes of using the cards, my hands were smelling too).
Bicycle Prestige is another deck of plastic playing cards with Bicycle branding.
The back design is different from standard Bicycle Rider back cards and they feel different from previously mentioned Plastic Bicycle Cards.
Having both decks in my collection, I can for sure tell that this is a better deck – it’s not as heavy, manipulation is better and the plastic smell is not as noticeable (it’s still there but it’s not something that bothers me).
I also found this deck at Vanishing Inc. Magic – here.
Other Plastic Cards
There are many plastic decks of playing cards that you can find in any shop with poker supplies, for example, thepokerstore.com.
Bicycle playing cards are not waterproof but there are many alternatives available if you search for a waterproof deck of playing cards.
Possibly the best plastic deck of playing cards I used was the Bicycle prestige deck that was closer to standard Bicycle cards than any other plastic deck that I ever used.
If you decide on another deck, go with well-recognized brands in the poker industry, such as Copag or Modiano.
TIP: If you’d like to learn magic tricks, don’t forget to check the following lists: