To be be able to perform a variety of card tricks, a magician should not just settle with his basic deck of cards. Here are 4 basic trick decks that you should start with:
1. Normal Bicycle Playing Cards - Okay, this is not a trick deck. I have to include this in the list as to emphasize the brand that you should use for the most common card tricks. The Bicycle brand of deck is the standard deck for magicians and laypeople alike. Nothing fancy about this deck and probably you own one right now as you could purchase this deck not just on magic shops but on nearby convenient stores or supermarkets as well. Just be sure you are buying the genuine Bicycle playing cards. This deck is available in 2 colors, the red back and the blue backed but there is no difference in quality between the two colors. The deck is also available in poker-sized and bridge-sized deck. Poker-sized deck is considered as the standard size for cards used in card tricks. Bridge-sized deck is slightly smaller than the poker-sized which is 2-1/4" wide, there are times where bridge-sized deck gives a fair advantage for some card tricks.
2. Svengali Deck - The Svengali Trick Deck consists of 26 different ordinary cards and 26 short cards all of the same suit and value. The latter may be narrower as well as shorter, but short duplicates only are generally used. The pack is set up by arranging the two sets alternately, thus every other card from the top is a card of the same suit and value.
The Svengali Trick Deck has been in popular use for many years and in the hands of the right person it can be used to work miracles. There is a lot more that can be done with the svengali deck, and what's better is that you don't even need to know serious sleight of hand in order to put it to good use since it does most of the hard work for you. If you do possess advanced card handling skills, then you can handle this deck like a regular deck of cards and no one will be any the wiser. I personally use Svengali Black Tiger - Black
3. Stripper Deck - The Stripper Trick Deck is usually one of the most under-utilized concepts conceived of in the psychology of magic. This deck allows the magician to easily control the location of a card or group of cards within the pack. Even after being shuffled into the deck by a spectator, the magician can cut to a selected card; or after being lost in different parts of the deck, the magician can control multiple cards to the bottom or top of the deck with a few innocent shuffles. This deck is cut in sort of a subtle 'triangular' shape. meaning the top is wider than the bottom. therefore, if a card is place in upside down, the wider end of the card now matches with the decks lower end, thus making it easy to locate or even slip the card right out of the middle of the deck. The following tricks can be easily performed with the stripper trick deck:
* Locate the Aces instantly, even after the deck is shuffled
* Use it to control a card instantly to the top or bottom of the deck.
* Set the deck up ahead of time and be able to INSTANTLY separate red from black cards
* Be able to cut to any predicted card.
Check out the Black Tiger Standard Stripper - White
4. Marked Deck - The name of the deck says it all. The Marked Trick Deck has a subtle mark on the decorative side of the cards. Usually the mark is placed in a certain position to indicate the number of the card and the mark is a certain color or shape to indicate suit. This deck is usually used for mentalism effects and also for an easy way of forcing a card.