Cards review

Thomacetti

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The line-up:

DSC05361.jpg


  • Kem Pantheon
  • Modiano Platinum
  • Copag texas hold'em SE Silver
  • Zero Tabriz (Rizzello e Romagnoli)
  • Piatnik optic blue
  • J-design/Desjgn Classic Paisley
  • Hooooo-Laaaay Club Casino
  • Gemaco PCA Plastic
  • Cartamundi Acetate Casino

1. Kem Pantheon (poker size/jumbo index/red & blue
)

Manufacturer: KEM

The company was founded in 1867 as Russell, Morgan & Co., a printing company. They began printing playing cards, with the "Congress No. 606" line being the first, in 1881. They began printing Bicycle cards, which would become their most popular line, in 1885. The playing card business was successful enough that it was spun off a separate business in 1894, as The United States Playing Card Company.

USPC (United States Playing Card Company) has owned Spanish playing card manufacturer Heraclio Fournier since 1986. In 2004 they acquired Kem Playing Cards, makers of plastic playing cards. (Wikipedia)

Price
$18-$25 (USA) / 25-30 € (EU) for 2 decks, depending on the vendor. They are among the most expensive cards available.

Feel
The first thing you will notice about the cards is how thin and fragile they are, also a bit slippery (not like Copag). But I like the feel of these KEM's, they are easy to handle & shuffle. They do tend to bend easily; shape retention is not the best I’ve seen.

Looks
The decks come in red and blue and have the specific pantheon design. The faces are nice, nothing special but a lot of detail and nice colors.
They are available in bridge & poker size, regular & jumbo index. All KEM playing cards are made of acetate.

Durability
KEM's are considered fragile (chipping, warping), but for now I have had not issues with my set.

Packaging
Black plastic case with a lit that opens to easily

Reviewers Comments
KEM's are a bit on a downfall, considering you can find a lot of negative post on poker/card/chip forums regarding post-USPC decks. The reputation KEM had, been built on the pre-USPC card... but I’m in no position to evaluate if there is a significant difference between pre- & post-USPC production.

For me, the KEM Pantheon’s are great, but at a price... so I will always consider alternatives that give more 'bang for the buck'.

Pictures:


DSC05380.jpg



2. Mondiano Platinum (poker size/regular index/red & blue)

Manufacturer: MODIANO
Modiano has been making smooth, durable playing cards since 1868 (+ 135 years of experience). 100% made in Italy, only KEM, Dal Negro & Mondiano (Platinum) use acetate for producing playing cards (and not PVC).

Price
$25-$30 (USA) / 25-30 € (EU) for 2 decks, depending on the vendor. They are among the most expensive cards available.

Feel
Modiano Cards are thicker and heavier than any other 100% plastic playing cards in the market today. A very substantial feel to them, absolutely no flimsy light weight cards !

Handling & shuffling the cards is a bit harder to get used to, but I do like the texture & grainy feel of the Platinum's. They are hard to bend and shape retention is excellent. These cards are loved or hated…not much in between.

Looks
The decks come in red and blue and have the specific acetate design. The faces are nice, again nothing special less detail (vs. KEM) but I like the colors (safety ink).
They are available in poker size, regular & jumbo index

Durability
These modiano platinum are build like a tank !
Reviews of Dal Negro acetates are horrible (breaking & chipping) but the Modiano platinum don't seem to have these issues. No troubles with my set...

Packaging
Black plastic case with a lit that seals well, with a nice golden logo

Reviewers Comments

This is a difficult one, I like the grainy feeling & texture of the cards, but the stiffness of the cards put me off a bit... Excellent cards, durability is awsome but this would not be my first or only choice @ a decent table.

Pictures:

DSC05384.jpg


3. Copag texas hold'em SE Silver (poker size/jumbo+peek index/black)

Manufacturer: COPAG
Copag is a company based in Brazil
. The company has produced plastic playing cards
for poker
and bridge
since 1908.

In 2005 Copag became
part of the (Belgian) Cartamundi group

Price
$10-$12 (USA) / 7-10 € (EU) for 1 deck, depending on the vendor. They are in the average price range for plastic playing cards, especially compared to the previous KEM & Mondiano sets.

Feel
Smooth, light weight cards but in a more slick and slippery way then the KEM’s. Handling & shuffling the cards can be difficult, floating of the cards on top of a deck is very normal. Non textured feel and easy to bend, shape retention is excellent.

Looks
This special edition (silver) comes in red and black and have the classic Copag Export design. The faces are nice, nice details and the colors are ok.
They are available in poker size, jumbo index

Durability
The Copag’s are known to be very durable but slippery cards. Looking at the feedback on the forums, a LOT of people play with Copag. Only known issue is chipping of the ink. This deck is new, but my 1.5 year old one is still in pristine condition. No ink chipping with my decks for now...

Packaging
Silver cardboard box.

Reviewers Comments
Copag was my first love, but I’ve been cheating a lot lately… Copag’s are an excellent choice if you want affordable, durable cards that are easily available. My advice is to own at least one deck, but also try other brands…

Pictures:

DSC05375.jpg



4. Rizzello e Romagnoli Zero Tabriz (poker size/jumbo index/red)

Manufacturer: RIZZELLO E ROMAGNOLI
Rizzello e Romagnoli is an Italian manufacturer and distributor of professional and home gaming equipment. Based in Milan, the company hosts a wide assortment of products ranging from casino games, to backgammon, chess and various other merchandise for gaming aficionados and enthusiasts.

All of the playing cards produced by Rizzello e Romagnoli can be found in their online catalog.
In both paper and plastic, they offer a variety of unique back designs (outlined border and full bleed) in just about all of the contemporary indice styles, although not all indices are available for both poker and bridge card sizes.

Price
$10-$12 (USA) / 8-10 € (EU) for 1 deck, depending on the vendor. They are in the average price range for plastic playing cards, especially compared to the previous KEM & Mondiano sets.

Feel
They feel smooth but stiff, a bit like modiano stiffness meeting KEM’s smoothness. There has been a lot of interest in these cards after the posting of a video that shows the ‘magnetic top card trick’… That looks cool but IRL you can’t feel or notice any difference when playing or shuffling with the cards.

Looks
The Tabriz cards come in red, green, yellow and blue and have a classic design. The faces are nice, nice details and the colors are great.
They are available in poker size, jumbo index, only a few retailers that are all situated in Europe.

Durability
Very durable, rigid cards... no known issues.

Packaging
Black cardboard box.

Reviewers Comments
Besides the hype of the ‘sucktion effect,’ I don’t think that these cards are special enough to become widely known, used and preferred…. especially with the lack of retailers in the USA. Nice cards tho, but I prefer a more flexible playing card.

Pictures:

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Part 2 will follow soon...

5. Piatnik bridge size, jumbo index, optic blue back

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6. J-design/desjgn poker size, jumbo index & purple paisley back

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7. Hooooo-Laaaay Club Casino poker size, regular index, blue back

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8 Gemaco PCA Plastic, bridge size, regular index, green & brown back

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9 Cartamundi Casino Acetate, bridge size, regular index, green & brown back




 

CdnBeerLover

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I thought the only poker-sized jumbo index Desjgn cards were the Classic Victorians. Interesting. Nice review! I wrote a similar style review on another site a few years back...I'll dig it up and re-post it here once your reviews are done.
 
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Milo013

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Pre-USPC Kems are still available from Cara-Gails, iirc, and they are worth the effort to acquire. MUCH better than the current iterations. Colour fade with the Copags starts after about 2 years (~ once a week play), depending on usage. I got three years out of my first set of 1546s. Modiano Acetates are the best of the best, and worth the premium price tag. I own a set up of Piatniks, and like them very much, so I will be interested to see your review of them. Like CBL said, there have been a few posts about this subject on various sites. The Tabriz cards have intrigued me for some time, and I think I would like a set-up just for the novelty. You going to review Da Vincis, Fourniers, Dal Negros? If not, I can add them to this thread if you like . . .

Can do the following:
Fourniers
Gemaco Super-Flex
Da Vincis
Pre-USPC Kems
Four52s
Dal Negro Torcellos.

Cannot remember if I have any NTPs, but I will go through my stash of cards Wednesday (sorry, to night is darts night).
 
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CdnBeerLover

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I can cover the following
Bicycle Prestige (poker size, regular index and jumbo)
Cartamundi ACE (poker size, "jumbo" index)
Desjgn Classic Victorians (poker size, jumbo index, V1 and V2)
Four52 (poker side, regular and jumbo index)
Fournier (WSOP Breakout and EPT, poker size, jumbo index)
Fournier / Congress cards (bridge size, jumbo index)
Marion (poker size, jumbo index)
Ovalyon (poker size, jumbo index)

I'll just have to revise my write up and snap some pics. Watch this post for updates. Depending on how long this wall of text becomes, I may split it up into separate posts - one per review. Here are the setups that I will cover:

20141111_112810 (Medium).jpg

Without further ado...

Following in the footsteps of Thomacetti, here is an overview of some of the setups I have. I will add pictures in the coming days (my pictures from this morning were horrible).

In no particular order...

1) Marion Pro Poker (poker size/jumbo index/red & blue)

Manufacturer
Kuo Kau Paper Products (www.playingcards.com.tw) (Taiwan).

Price
$10 CDN / deck

Feel
They are between the Prestige and Desjgn for thickness, and do not have a lot of texture to them. They are fairly flexible and have decent "snap" (speed they return to flat). They do seem to break in, and while many manufacturers claim to have a papery feel, these cards are the closest of the setups I have.

Looks
The colours are quite dull, especially compared to other cards on the backs. The cards do not use security ink, so the reds are lighter in colour than the red used by Modiano. The pips are quite large, even compared to other jumbos. Smaller than Kem jumbo, but larger than Fournier.

Durability
I was disappointed with the ink on the cards, as it started to rub off of one of the cards within 1-2 games.

Case
Single decks are used, which is handy for storage within an aluminum case. However, do not lose the paper cover...the case top will not stay on without it.

Overall
These are decent cards, but not as nice as other cards at the same price point. The ink also started wearing off after two games on one of the decks, so I'm not impressed.

Marion_Pro_Poker_small.jpg


2) Desjgn Classic Victorian (poker size / jumbo index / red & blue (v1 & v2), purple & green (v2), orange & brown (v2))

Manufacturer
Desjgn (www.classicplayingcards.com) (USA)

Price
$20 USD / two deck setup

Feel
These feel similar in thickness and flexibility to the Copags, but are not as slick. They have some texture to them. They have a decent snap, and return to flat fairly quickly.

Looks
Currently available in a number of colours...purple / green as a combo, and orange / brown as a another. Previously, they were also available in red/blue. There have been two generations of the cards...the original version was only available in red/blue, and used a slightly duller card stock, so the card faces were not as white.

The newer version was available in red/blue, but those were dropped at some point. The remaining colours are all v2. The card faces are brighter, and the Ace of Spades is different.

The pip size is great. It's between the regular index and jumbo on other cards. The non-face cards also have an ivory centre which give the cards a classy look. The red used is not the darker security ink.

Durability
I've had no issues with any of the setups I have.

Case
They ship in a two-deck cardboard case. While very classy-looking, I would recommend using a rubber band to secure the lid.

Overall
Very nice cards. If the plastic was a bit thicker, these would be my go-to cards, bar none.

Version 1
Desjgn_CV_v1_small.jpg

Version 2
Desjgn_CV_v2_small.jpg

3) Fournier WSOP "breakout" cards (poker size / jumbo index / red & purple)


Manufacturer
Fournier (www.nhfournier.es) (Spain)

Price
$26 USD/two decks

Feel
These cards are thicker than Desjgns, and thinner than the Modianos. They are very flexible, easy to shuffle and deal. They have some texture, and are easy to shuffle.

Looks
Like the Desjgn CV's, they have the ivory centre. The pip size is fairly large (not as large as Kem jumbos), but are very pleasing to look at. The red used is not the darker security ink.

Durability
These are my go-to cards, and have seen more table time than my other setups. The card faces are starting to show wear, with the ink starting to come off of the pips. This seems to be typical of other Fournier cards (Bicycle Prestige also have this issue), and is their Achilles heel.

Case
These come as single decks in a standard playing card cardboard box. A bit disappointing for cards of this calibre.

Overall
I love these cards. I have to buy another setup. I just have to find a distributor that will send to Canada that has them in stock.

Fournier_WSOP_small.jpg

4) Fournier EPT Gold cards (poker size / jumbo index / red & blue)

Manufacturer
Fournier (www.nhfournier.es) (Spain)

Price
$26 USD/two decks

Feel
These cards are thicker than Desjgns, and thinner than the Modianos. They are very flexible, easy to shuffle and deal. They have some texture, and are easy to shuffle. They seem to have less texture than the WSOP's, so I don't like them quite as much. Maybe if I play with them more...

Looks
Like the Desjgn CV's, they have the ivory centre. The pip size is fairly large (not as large as Kem jumbos), but are very pleasing to look at. The red used is the darker security ink. The colours used on the backs of the cards are vibrant.

Durability
I haven't used them enough to know yet if they will suffer the same issues with fading ink as my other Fournier-made decks. Time will tell.

Case
These come as single decks in a standard playing card cardboard box. A bit disappointing for cards of this calibre.

Overall
These will become my go-to cards if I can't replace the WSOPs. Unfortunately, there is also no Canadian distributor for these cards.

Fournier_EPT_Gold_small.jpg

5) Bicycle Prestige (poker size / regular index / red & blue)


$13 CDN / two decks. Look for regular sales for these at Walgreens in the US (2-for-1).

Manufacturer
Fournier (www.nhfournier.es)

Feel
Like the other Fournier-made cards above, they are thicker than Desjgns, and thinner than the Modianos. They are very flexible, easy to shuffle and deal. They have some texture, and are easy to shuffle.

Looks
These are your standard Bicycle faces, so if your players are used to Bicycle paper cards, they will feel right at home. The red used is not the darker security ink. The colours used on the backs of the cards are vibrant.

Durability
As with the WSOP's, they suffer the same issues with fading ink on the faces.

Case
These come as single decks in a black cardboard box with a slip-on top that does not come off. All card cases should be made as well as these.

Overall
These were my first plastic cards, so I have a soft spot for them. However, I also have Modiano Platinum Acetates in both jumbo and regular indexes, and the regular index cards get more play than these. However, these are significantly cheaper.

Bicycle_Prestige_Regular_small.jpg

6) Bicycle Prestige (poker size / jumbo index / burgundy & green)

$20 CDN / two decks.

Manufacturer
Fournier (www.nhfournier.es)

Feel
Like the other Fournier-made cards above, they are thicker than Desjgns, and thinner than the Modianos. They are very flexible, easy to shuffle and deal. They have some texture, and are easy to shuffle. The corners are sharper than on other Fournier-made cards, though, and are more square.

Looks
These are your standard Bicycle faces, so if your players are used to Bicycle jumbo paper cards, they will feel right at home. The red used is not the darker security ink, and the non-face cards use a white centre. The pips are quite large...only the Kem jumbos are larger in my experience.

The backs of the cards use a nice design, but I have a real problem with the back colours. The shades of burgundy and green used are fairly close, and I'm slightly red/green colour blind. As a result, I have a hard time telling the cards apart if both decks are in use. I would like these cards a lot more if they used red/blue.

Durability
I haven't used them enough to know yet if they will suffer the same issues with fading ink as my other Fournier-made decks. Time will tell.

Case
These come as a dual deck setup in an embossed black plastic box with a slip-on top that does not come off.

Overall
I like these cards, but would like them a lot more with red/blue backs.

Bicycle_Prestige_Jumbo_small.jpg

Still to come...

7) Fourier / Congress (bridge size / jumbo index / red & blue)

8) Four52 (poker size / regular index / red & green)

9) Four52 (poker size / jumbo index / burgundy & green)

10) Catamundi ACE (poker size / jumbo index / red & blue)

11) Ovalyon (poker size / jumbo index / red & black)
 
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ellased

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i've tried kems, copags, fourniers, modianos and dal negros.
i now tend to stick mostly to desjgn victorians. not too stiff, not too flimsy. a great overall feel imo.
i like the fournier poker peeks for travelling.
 

Milo013

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I think the Fourniers probably had the most functional of all the "peek" designs. No one I have ever played with seems to like "peeks" though . . .
 

Thomacetti

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Thanks, please feel free to post additional reviews in this thread !
 

Milo013

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GREAT !!!. When I get home I will add the last pic of my set-ups. I have to update it, though, as I bought more recently, but nothing "new" to my collection.

Does anyone have ANGELS? They are my "white whale" . . . still kicking myself for passing on a chance to get some a while back.
 

Toonexile

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GREAT !!!. When I get home I will add the last pic of my set-ups. I have to update it, though, as I bought more recently, but nothing "new" to my collection.

Does anyone have ANGELS? They are my "white whale" . . . still kicking myself for passing on a chance to get some a while back.

I have some Hard Rock London cards which may be Angels - I'll check when I get home. (one deck shown in my avi). If they are not Angels, then they are something else equally as obscure/rare.
 

Milo013

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Toon . . . that would be unusual. Angel is primarily in the Australasian markets, as they are a Japanese company (I think). Would be very interested if they are.
 

MoscowRadio

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I just bought a set-up of Fourniers a few weeks ago, and I'm crazy about them. I'm definitely considering getting more. Thank you Thomacetti for the reviews thus far; these kinds of threads are always incredibly helpful for people who are new to the site.
 

detroitdad

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Nice card collection, and excellent reviews.

At one time I had 33 set ups, lol. A tad much for someone who only hosts a few times a year. Now I'm down to about 6-8 set ups.
 

Toonexile

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Whoooops, panic over - I've just checked and they are..........

Casino quality playing cards......

All plastic, jumbo index.......

Made in Japan........

Aristo Club - sorry for the tease

They are slightly flimsier than Modiano Cristallos (which I really like) but more rigid than a copag.
The face is slightly textured with the backs being slightly smoother, which is the opposite of the Modianos. I have only played with them a couple of times so not sure how they will hold up but I like them.
I would probably rate them above Kems, level with Copags but behind Modianos.

Edit :blurred and shakey pics added for your entertainment
 

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Toonexile

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Yes Geordie born and bred but living south of the Tyne now:(

I had never heard of them either - I have some Aristocrat plastic coated cards (from the Rio, LV) but these Hard Rocks are definitely all plastic Aristo Club. It was the 'made in Japan' bit that made me think they were Angels. I'll try and post some of my usual dark and crappy pics tomorrow.
 
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Milo013

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Okay, here is my plan of attack. Tomorrow night, pics and details on my Modianos. Thursday I will take care of my Kems (pre- and post-USPC). Some time this weekend, I will take care of the various and sundry set-ups that are left over. This is going to take some time, as I am going to catalogue them all for myself, and save it to a Word doc for posterity. Thanks to Thomacetti for the inspiration.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

Modiano catalogue is complete. Pics and text to be completed this afternoon. Post coming tonight.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

Thanks, please feel free to post additional reviews in this thread !

As mentioned . . . today it is Modiano Playing Cards.

Modiano's web site claims their cards possess a "substantial feel" due to their thickness and weight. This is true on both counts. While the weight difference may seem negligible, I am certain that over a night of riffling and pitching, it will be noticed. The thickness claim is borne out in the shuffle. Modiano cards are stiffer/thicker and thus require a small amount of getting used to when first starting to shuffle them. Once you do, however, it will be like shuffling any other brand.
One benefit to this thicker card is that Modianos do not seem to hold a bend as easily as some other cards. That said, when they do eventually acquire a "bow" they are a little harder to make "true" as well. Modianos have a textured feel that makes them feel less slippery in your fingers. This texture may be responsible for the lack of "floating" by the top card after you are done dealing. This is not exclusive to Modiano, however, but textured cards in general. There is a slight difference in feel between the Cristallo/ Acetate lines and the regular Modianos. The higher end cards have slightly more feel to them. Whether this is a function of the PVC Acetate composition or a deliberate formulation I do not know. I group the Cristallo Acetate line with the Platinum Acetate line because I have noticed little, if any difference between the two.
Modiano, in the Cristallo/Acetate lines, uses a deeper red ink than in their standard lines. Also, their standard index is slightly taller then other manufacturers, which helps older eyes somewhat, and means their large index is bigger, as well.
The last picture is a deck of Cristallo Acetates. This deck has seen, conservatively, 40 hours of play on my table. As you can see, it sits like it did when I first unwrapped it.

Pictures (L. to R. top to bottom)
Modiano Beehives - Narrow - Standard Index - Standard pips
Modiano "Old" Trophy - Wide - Standard Index - Four pips
Modiano Poker Vision - Wide - Large Index - Standard pips (?) **NOTE** full bleed
Modiano Classic Bike - Wide - Standard Index - Standard pips
Modiano Cristallo Acetate - Wide - Large Index - Four pips
Modiano Platinum Acetate - Wide - Standard Index - Standard pips
 

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cyberottweiler

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Here are my ANGEL cards ("CLUB POKER", PVC, bridge, jumbo) :

IMG_2245.jpg IMG_2247.jpg
IMG_2266.jpg IMG_2267.jpg
IMG_2261.jpg IMG_2262.jpg


"CLUB POKER" utilizes a proprietary, newly developed embossed PVC material...

IMG_2265.jpg IMG_2254.jpg



Just after... and few seconds after...
IMG_2271.jpg IMG_2272.jpg IMG_2273.jpg
 

Milo013

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Putting my offer in now, for any extra set-ups you may wish to dispose of.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

Kems have been catalogued and photographed. Review to follow . . .
 

Milo013

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Today it is Kems. Kem began manufacturing their plastic (okay, cellulose acetate) cards in 1935, which means they are the first card manufacturer to do so. They were, for the longest time, almost the exclusive supplier of cardrooms, until other manufacturers began to get in on the act. These days, you are just as likely to see Copags, Gemacos, and a few other manufacturers as well. But Kem was first. In 2004, Kem was purchased by the United States Playing Card (USPC) company. This led to much speculation as to whether or not Kems would retain their standard of quality after the takeover. USPC promised that nothing would change, as they purchased EVERYTHING to do with Kem (logos, trademarks, formulas, etc.). Sadly, in the opinion of many, this has not been the case, which is why card nuts make a distinction between pre- and post-USPC Kems. Not surprisingly, the one thing that HAS remained since the purchase is the pricing. Kems were always among the most expensive brands to buy and, in the pre-USPC days, there was some justification for it. But no longer. At least not in my opinion.
The pre-USPC Kems that I own are all a "smooth" finish, even the casino set-up from Foxwoods. This smooth finish should not be confused with "slippery", because they aren't. The WSOP set from 2009 is smooth, but the 2011 set-ups have a very slight texture to them. The 2013 WSOP set-ups are manufactured by Fournier for Kem (USPC) and have a more obvious texture. Going forward, if Fournier continues to make these cards for the WSOP, I will buy a set-up EVERY year.
The major thing I have noticed between pre and post USPC Kems is how "flimsy" they seem now. Kems have always been a flexible card, which is probably why they were in so many casinos, but the post USPC versions seem to hold a "bow" much more readily than the pre-USPC models. My '09 WSOP decks have a slight bow in them, but my Jumbo index set-up is flat as a board, and I have had that one for three years longer. So, to the pictures . . . and later, an explanation for the last few pics.

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I tried editing that last one to avoid any pulchritudedness, or violation of site rules. That is why the boobs are obscured.
 

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Toonexile

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"CLUB POKER" utilizes a proprietary, newly developed embossed PVC material...

View attachment 3009

The textured finish on those Angels looks good. I much prefer a textured card to a smooth finish

(I have had to edit this post several times as it is the post after Milo013's nudie Kem pics and posting about wanting to feel the finish didn't sound quite right:D, although what I eventually posted is not much better)
 

Milo013

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LOL . . . sorry about that. Those "nudie" Kems are from the Playboy Club in San Francisco. If I am reading the packaging right, they are from 1978.

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With CBL having added his reviews, I will post this weekend on the following:

Dal Negro Torcellos
Piatnik
Gemaco superflex
Da Vinci

I will also have some added comments about the Four52s, Fourniers, and Prestige lines that CdnBeerLover covered so well previously.
 

palindrome

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I suspect Milo is now checking flights to France...

This made me chuckle.

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I was pretty obsessed with buying cards for a long time and then I got into buying poker chips. No new setups have been bought a looooong time but I still have a healthy collection.

setups.jpg

I did a pile of reviews over on 2p2 at one time. You can find them here.
 

Milo013

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I remember that thread fondly. As a treat for the link, I present my Piatniks.

These Austrian cards have an exquisite back design, and very bright ink on their faces, despite what my cell camera says. They have a very slightly textured feel to them, and the four pip design does not look cluttered to my eye whatsoever. It is a shame that these cards are not more readily available in this market, as, next to the Modianos and Fourniers, they are probably my favourites. Sadly, I do not use them that often, as I do not want to wear them out unless I can find another set-up somewhere.
 

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CdnBeerLover

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Was going to try to do one setup per post, but it keeps appending (I wish that was user-configurable...). Oh well...why waste a post?

One thing not always mentioned is that not all pip sizes are created equal. Some "regular" size pips are smaller than others, and there is some variation in the size of "jumbo". I posted this in another thread, but it deserves a mention here

Left to right, top to bottom, we have
Bicycle Prestige regular, Four52 regular index, Kem Arrow regular, Cartamundi ACE, Desjgn CV
Modiano Platinum Acetate, Ovalyon Jumbo, Four52 Jumbo, Fournier WSOP, Fournier EPT Gold, Marion Pro, Fournier Congress Jumbo Bridge
20130902_153801_Medium.jpg

Same order
20130902_153844_Medium.jpg

(Note: borrowed this idea from a post by Schmendr1ck (I think) on 2+2).

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1) Ovalyon Jumbo (poker size / jumbo index / red & black)

Manufacturer
Ovalyon (no website...appears to be dead)

Price
$6-$8 CDN / deck

Feel
The cards are definitely thinner than the Fournier. Side by side, the Fournier's are 2 cards taller. However, they have a similar stiffness with decent snap. The backs are quite smooth, but the faces have a slight texture to them. Overall, quite nice.

Looks
The backs are just ok.

The faces are very similar to Fournier cards. They have an ivory / yellow center, and the PIP fonts are very similar to those used by Fournier, but the Ovalyons are slightly thinner and smaller. The center also has a blue border, similar to Copags that I've seen. The red ink is not the security ink.

Durability
Unknown, as I haven't used them a lot.

Case
Typical paper box. Nothing to write home about.

Overall
Very little not to like. If you prefer a stiffer card, but don't want to shell out the $$$ for Fournier or Modiano cards and you are in Canada, you might be able to find these locally. However, I also have to believe that these may be discontinued. I am seeing fewer of them available.

Ovalyon_small.jpg

2) Four52 (poker size / regular index / red & green)


Manufacturer
Four52 (www.four52.com)

Price
$18 USD / setup

Feel
These cards are in the middle of the range on most fronts. They are between Fournier-made cards and my Desjgn Classic Victorians with respect to thickness and flexibility. They have excellent snap. They are pretty smooth on the back, but there's a bit of texture on the face. They are also a very square card.

Looks
The pips are shorter than the pips on the Prestige, but are also bit wider. Back colours are acceptable. I would have preferred red/blue backs, but maybe that combo will appear later. They are not as close as other red/green combinations. The white on these cards is noticably brighter, which makes them pretty easy to read. The red ink is darker than many other brands, but not as dark as the security ink on the Fournier EPT's.

Durability
Unknown, as I haven't used them much.

Case
Nice looking cardboard box, similar to a Desjgn case.

Overall
Very nice cards. The main downside is that you have to order them directly from the website, so there are no local deals to be had.

Four52_regular_small.jpg

3) Four52 (poker size / jumbo index / burgundy & green)

Manufacturer
Four52 (www.four52.com)

Price
$18 USD / setup

Feel
Identical to their regular index cousins. These cards are in the middle of the range on most fronts. They are between Fournier-made cards and my Desjgn Classic Victorians with respect to thickness and flexibility. They have excellent snap. They are pretty smooth on the back, but there's a bit of texture on the face. They are also a very square card.

Looks
The letter / number in the pips are smaller than most other jumbos, but the suit is larger. It's a unique look. Like the Bicycle jumbos, the background on non-face cards is white. The white on these cards is noticably brighter, which makes them pretty easy to read. The red ink is darker than many other brands, but not as dark as the security ink on the Fournier EPT's.

Like the Prestige jumbos, the back colour combination of burgundy and green is problematic. They are very close. This is my main issue with these cards. I really would have preferred red/blue backs. They make their bridge-size cards in many other colours, so I don't understand why they chose these.

Durability
Unknown, as I haven't used them much.

Case
Nice looking cardboard box, similar to a Desjgn case.

Overall
Very nice cards. I just dislike the back colours.

Four52_Jumbo_small.jpg

4) Cartamundi ACE (poker size / jumbo index / red & blue)

Manufacturer
Cartamundi (www.cartamundi.com)

Price
$5 CDN / deck (available at Target)

Feel
Very similar to Copags. Very little texture, and they are thinner than most of the other cards I've reviewed.

Looks
These cards use a mid-size PIP. It's larger than regular index, but they are smaller than most jumbos. Overall, it's an excellent size for most games. The red ink is the security ink.

The back design isn't anything to write home about, but the colours work well.

Durability
I haven't had an issue with them so far.

Case
Typical paper playing card box.

One odd thing: my decks had a very strong chemical smell to them...much stronger than with any other decks I have. I ended up putting them in a tupperware container with a box of open baking soda for a week, which helped quite a bit. Others who have them didn't have the same issue. Just be warned.

Overall
Decent cards at an excellent price. These are very easy to find, so shipping costs are non-existent. If you want to introduce your crew to plastic cards, these would be a good choice.

Ace_small.jpg

5) Fournier Congress Cards (bridge size / jumbo index / red & blue)

Manufacturer
Fournier (www.nhfournier.es)

Price
$20 USD / setup (I've only ever seen them on eBay).

Feel
Typical Fournier. On the thicker side with excellent snap and a bit of texture.

Looks
These cards use the same font as the poker size jumbos, but it's a bit smaller. An excellent size for most games. The red ink is the security ink.

The back design isn't anything to write home about, but they look quite nice.

Durability
I haven't had an issue with them so far, but I prefer poker size cards. Will they have the same issues with the ink on the faces? Only time will tell.

Case
A nice plastic case, similar to those that ship with Copag 2-deck setups.

Overall
Very nice cards. If you like bridge size cards, I highly recommend them.

Congress_small.jpg
 
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MoscowRadio

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I actually just received a set-up of the Fournier Congress bridge-size/jumbo-index playing cards today, and I was thrilled from the second I saw them. I'm not normally a fan of jumbo-index cards, but the pips are not overly large. I also really like the backs, plain as they may be. This is my second set-up of Fourniers, and they are quickly becoming one of my favorite cards to use. It looks like it's Modiano/Fournier from now on.
 

Milo013

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CBL, I have those exact Fourniers in your pic, along with a few others. |I agree with you about the whole red/blue thing. Very early on I switched back to the traditional colours for my set-ups whenever possible. The contrast is just more consistent regardless of manufacturer. I have a set-up of CartaMundis that look almost identical in low light.

Question: Do you have any of the Acetate CartaMundis? Poker sized Fourniers?

Loved your pip comparison photo. going to try and do one to compare the various "reds" with my next post.
 
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