Bicycle or Bee - What's the Difference?

Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Props and other Magic topics.

Bicycle or Bee - What's the Difference?

The two major brand of playing cards, in the US at least, is Bicycle and Bee. Many cardsharps have argued the virtues of the two for decades. Each is distinct, and each has a purpose that is better suited than the other brand.

Bicycle brand playing cards have a white border on the back. This is of particular importance if you are performing an effect where cards are being carefully manipulated during the deal, such as an elmsley count or a double deal. The white border offers a neutral view where the edges of the cards can be slightly off-set and no one is apt to notice.

Bee brand playing cards have a back design, usually lines running at 45 degree angles, that form a diamond appearance. The lines run to the extreme edge of the cards and do not create a border. It's slightly more difficult to perform manipulations that require careful handling.

Despite this difference, I personally use Bee brand playing cards because they are considerably easier for me to shuffle. I frequently perform a faro shuffle, and Bee brands are much smoother on the outer edges and fall in sequence better than Bicycle brand. That said... Bicycle remains the cards of choice of most magicians.

Buy a pack of each and see which you prefer.



Nobody has commented on this tip yet. Be the first.


URL: (optional)


Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Magic Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
PJ Campbell