If you are well versed in the world of playing cards you would have read the stories about how the USPCC cards printed in the original Ohio factory are far superior to any of the decks turned out these days at the Erlanger factory. Whilst there is some truth to this and certainly some of the decks have better handling and finish much of the problem comes from the move to the Erlanger plant in late 2009. During a lot of the initial runs due to the new machines they were using and the fact it took time to perfect the finishing process much of the 2010 stock is either badly cut or seem to stick together like the cards have been dropped in a fizzy drink. I have decks of Bee cards and Aladdin cards from around this time that are truly truly awful and confined to the bottom of the magic drawer. This being said there is still a lot of love for the Ohio decks but whilst the supplies of the Arrco, Stud and Steamboats from the Ohio days start to dwindle most people overlook that a lot of old sealed casino cards are still in plentiful supply most of which were produced in the Ohio factory. Printed on a thicker stock these cards tend to last a lot longer and depending on the casino you also have the added bonus of having unique back designs, joker designs and customised Ace of Spades like the example above. Probably a tip I shouldn’t have given away but maybe it will distract the attention from the remaining decks of Arrcos and Stud cards 🙂
Despite all of the above I would have no hesitation to buy a deck of Erlanger printed cards circa 2011 once the printing process became more refined in fact the Theory11 Aristocrat reprints and the White Arrco decks by the New York Magic Project handle superbly. Note don’t buy the reprinted Red and Blue Arrco decks from 2010 they are not a patch on the originals and have a habit of clumping together.