Top Ten Playing Card Decks of 2018

In this episode we ring in the new year by
counting down my Top Ten decks of 2018, make a very special announcement, give you the
heads up on a mega giveaway, announce the winner of the Bicycle Monster deck and more
coming up next! [Music] About a year ago I walked into the bedroom
of our apartment to tell Lady Wake about my latest and greatest idea. I was going to start a youtube channel and
review a different deck of cards a week. 52 cards in a deck. 52 decks in 52 weeks. It all made perfect sense! I still remember the puzzled look on her face
when she turned to me and skeptically said “They make so many card decks?” Ah how far we’ve come. There may be 52 brick boxes in the closet
by now and there’s seemingly no end in sight! That’s because, thankfully, the playing
card community has embraced this channel and in 2019 we hope to continue to bring you the
very best in content aimed at the playing cards enthusiast; whether you’re a cardist
or a magician, a poker player or a collector, we hope you’ll find the added value you’re
looking for–enough to like subscribe and hit that notification bell if you please. This video is just about the 52nd video I’ve
posted. Granted not all of them are deck reviews,
but seeing as how it coincides with the end of the year what better time to bring you
a list of my top ten favorite decks of 2018. Be sure to stay all the way to end for a couple
of huge announcements! Let’s kick things off with number 10. The first deck on my list is one of the first
decks I reviewed on his channel, way back at the end of February, the Dead Man’s Deck
by Vanishing Inc. Looking back on that review I notice three
glaring things… one how much our presentation has evolved, two how embarrassing my cardistry
skills are and frankly continue to be, and finally what a great deck this was. Vintage inspired and well thought out, the
Dead Man’s deck celebrates the lore behind one of the most revered figures of the American
West; Wild Bill Hickok. My two favorite aspects of the deck are, of
course, the bullet hole through the deck and the fantastic attention to detail with the
individualized scorch burns and blood smears from card to card. To cap it off there’s even a round lead
ball rolling around in the hole! Number 9 is the Luna Moon deck by Bocopo Playing
Cards. This deck, featuring an amazing tuck case
design with a fanning mechanism, was a huge success on kickstarter and spawned a couple
of subsequent reworked and recolored releases; the Helius Sun and Ester Star decks. My favorite however remains the Luna Moon
version, the only edition of the three to feature additional artistic flourishes, designed
specifically for cardistry, on the cards themselves. Making a deck (and box) that earns the phrase;
‘made for fanning’. Number 8 is the National Playing Card Collection
Day 2018 blue gilded deck. I’m planning a more in depth review for
these cards in early 2019 but for now I’ll touch on the best aspects. For one thing the tuck box design, by Alex
Chin and Seasons Playing Cards, is brilliant and features a either red or blue color tinted
see-through window designed to filter out the opposing color and change the design depending
on which color the art is perceived through. The deck is an homage to chess and prominently
features chess pieces on the jokers. Available in 6 different color tuck cases,
my favorite is a blue gilded edition with white and silver tuck case. All 6 decks were limited to runs of 500 each. Number 7; the Tally-Ho Olive Limited Edition
by Kings Wild Project. Didn’t take long for designer Jackson Robinson
to find a design of his notched among my top ten and spoiler alert… it won’t be the
only time he appears on this list. The Olive Tally-Ho deck is the quintessential
players deck. Easy to read. Amazing Handling. Enough luxury to make the deck the talk of
game night. My favorite aspects include a fantastic foil
embossed tuck and court cards that should be hanging in a museum. Number 6. The Cobra deck by Jp Games LTD. This deck was the first deck I owned that
featured Cartamundi’s impressive and industry altering B9 True Linen Finish and it did not
disappoint. A premium feeling deck, featuring a cool serpent-themed
design by Rick Davidson. With standard courts perfect for magic and
gameplay, the Cobra deck achieves more with less. The stock is smooth and a joy to handle. Even the tuck is perfectly minimalistic. I reached out to Jp games sometime after the
deck’s initial release and was disappointed, however, to discover that the were no plans
to continue the ‘animal’ theme any further which is a real shame. Let me take a moment to once again thank all
of the Patrons of this channel for their generous contributions this 2018. If you are interested in adding your name
to the list of producers seen here please visit Your support can help us improve the quality
and frequency of our content. We would love nothing more than to make content
full time for you and that’s what this patreon is hopefully helping to create. Ultimately if you’re able to support us
It would be a big help, but either way, don’t worry, we’re committed to giving you the
same great content–with all the value you’ve come to expect. Moving on, into the Top Five! The next deck on my list is another deck getting
a full-featured review in 2019 but for now it’s worth showing you my favorite aspects. Number 5 is the Outlaw deck by Kings and Crooks. Designed by Lee McKenzie, the Outlaw deck
features a fantastically embossed tuck case regardless of black or red version. My favorite is the classic black. The biker motiff offers a great riff on the
standard Bicycle playing cards. The back design is fantastic. The courts are fun and well thought out and
the jokers features a badass king riding his bike The deck is USPCC printed and handles
great. Number 4 is the Maduro Gold Edition Playing
Cards by Kings Wild Project. Winner of the top spot of my top ten tuck
cases video, this cigar-box inspired, magnetically clasped, case is a masterclass in design. Add to that the tobacco brown inner tuck case
with gold foil cigar band and you’ve got a brilliantly executed motif. The cards feature brown tobacco leaf coloration
and the court cards offer many details consistent with the deck theme while still remaining
true to the design of Jackson Robinson’s original court cards. My only qualm? The Expert Playing Card Co., printers of this
deck, often don’t produce the best handling decks. Number 3; The Arabesque deck by Oath Playing
Cards. Another deck which only suffers in the handling
category, the extremely limited Arabesque deck is one of the most beautiful examples
of playing card design not just this year, but ever. The gold foil embossed tuck case is stunningly
shiny. The cards don’t fall too behind in this
category either, featuring not one but two color foil stampings, which are in perfect
registration with the deck’s gorgeous full color arabian inspired artwork. The spot cards feature pips printed on wonderful
metallic ink fields and the court cards are amazing arabesque interpretations of standard
courts. Number 2 on my list? The Kings Wild Tigers LTD deck. The third, and final appearance of designer
Jackson Robinson on this year’s top ten decks, but certainly not his least. The matchbox inspired tuck case is probably
one of the best design choices of the year. The cards themselves are USPCC printed and
handle amazing. They feature wonderful distressed art work
consistent with the look of the 19th century ephemera Jackson was going for. Some of my favorite court cards of the year
are part of this release; colorful faro style one-way regal tigers. Incidentally Jackson’s consistently great
and prolific output this year wins him my Designer of the Year 2018 award, despite not
ultimately winning the top spot in this particular deck of the year category. But guess who does have a chance to win? You do! I’m going to give you a chance to win a
brand new sealed Tigers LTD Deck. One of only 1000. Here’s what you have to do… 1. Like this video. 2. Be a subscriber to this channel and 3. Comment below and let me know if I introduced
you to a new deck or designer this year and if so, who or what was it? Congrats to Justin Fincher! Winner of the Bicycle Monster Deck. Contact me via instagram to claim your prize
Justin. Ok, time for number 1 and stay tuned for an
exciting announcement after! My top deck of 2018 is the House of the Rising
Spade Gatekeeper deck from Stockholm17. This deck has it all. Quite possibly an almost perfect combination
of design, artwork, execution, stock, finish and packaging. The only drawback? Perhaps that the tarot-style indexless deck
isn’t really well suited to gameplay. But it’s a small price to pay for such a
gorgeous deck. The tuck box is premium matte cardstock with
brilliant silver foil. There’s a die cut opening that reveals an
amazing miniature resin gate. The card backs are fantastic, and really excels
at putting Cartamundi’s cold foil process on full display. Despite the gorgeous box and card backs, the
faces of the cards is really the most beautiful element in the deck for me. Cohesive and well thought-out, the hand-painted
style art hints to a deeper lore and really awakens the imagination.The gold foil borders
make them feel luxurious and expensive. Yet the B9 true linen finish and stock ensures
the deck handles effortlessly. The best deck ever designed by designer Lorenzo
Gaggiotti. I was so impressed by the House of the Rising
Spade Faro Variant prototype when I previewed that deck early last year that when the time
came to think about collaborating myself with an artist I decided to reach out to Lorenzo… What might we be collaborating on? Well, remember that big news I was going to
announce? Well, here it is… This is The Parlour. The first Gentleman Wake branded deck of playing
cards and it’s designed by Stockholm17. What you’re looking at here is a very early
prototype and it’s subject to change of course, but we’re both really excited and
in the coming weeks we’ll be sharing much more information, including insight into the
design and info about the launch of kickstarter campaign for the Parlour. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time
to create a deck with the TGW brand and I’m humbled and excited that it’s finally happening
and in collaboration with artist I greatly admire and respect! Amazing. Let me know if you guys are excited too! Ok, back on topic… Some of you might not have agreed with some
of my earlier top deck choices, that’s cool too, in fact head on over to
and take part in their Deck of the Year awards and let the world know how you would rank
them! And the best part? They currently have 16 different prizes up
for grabs just for voting! Vote on everything from best card backs to
best decks for cardistry, magic and more. Voting is opening up in January and runs for
a month. Click on the link in the description. It’s pretty easy to register and take part
in a great community–oh and did I mention PRIZES? As always, it’s been my pleasure to share
with you, i’m looking forward to a fantastic 2019 making content and I hope to have you
along for the ride so be sure to click here if you haven’t subbed already. To check out another video click here. I’ve been the Gentleman Wake…ready? 3. 2. 1… happy new year!!!

Posts created 5600

100 thoughts on “Top Ten Playing Card Decks of 2018

  1. Very glad to be at the 1st place with the Gatekeeper! 😀 Thank you for the effort you put into this channel, great high quality entertaining reviews! And yes, The Parlour is going to be great too! 🙂

  2. You introduce me to a lot of decks and creators i didnt knos, also i found the best channel of cards reviews, the effort you put on your videos is amazing, love the edit . Greets from Argentina

  3. Hi TheGentlemanWake, I found your channel when you did the collab with PigCake and I am a subscriber from that time. I love your content. In my opinion you are one of the best channels on YouTube that review cards. I am very happy for your success and I wish you even more of it. And also 60% decks on your channel I did not knew about.

  4. Wow thanx for introducing so many dope decks. I never even seen those House Of The Rising Spade cards before. They are pretty awesome. I wouldn't even b able to work that deck be too afraid to mess them up somehow. Lol.

  5. The review for the Dead Man's deck was the first video from your channel that I've watched. Thanks for introducing me to this particular deck of cards.

  6. I just discovered your channel and I love it! I shared this video with a few friends. I love Jackson Robinson’s work! I never seen so many beautifully designed cards!

  7. you have introduced me to a lot of the new decks which came out this year and you have motivated me to start collecting different decks of cards! Wish you a happy new year 2019! best regards

  8. I didn't even know kickstarter was a thing until I saw your channel so yeah, I've seen a lot of new decks on this channel. When I saw the bicycle coffee deck I found it and bought it because of this channel and I love it. Love the Videos, reviews and giveaways. Keep it up! 😉

  9. Congrats on designing and releasing your own deck in the coming months! Your videos are always top notch and entertaining. You helped get me turned on to the kings wild shorts which I luckily got into this December!

  10. I am very glad I came across your channel in 2018. You introduced me to the Ravn playing cards and I actually ended up backing her new decks on kickstarter. I also must mention that your very well written and concise reviews actually helped me pinpoint and tweak some aspects of my own design work. Thanks for the great content!

  11. Amazing video as always. The very 1st video of yours I watched was the Dead Man's deck. I'm glad I watched your review as I wouldn't have thought to buy it when it was sold only on PCD. Glad I got my deck as it sold out quick! Been hooked to your channel ever since. Somehow we all love lists, for looking for more top 10s in 2019. Keep up the great work and looking forward to the Parlour deck!

  12. My favorite deck on this channel was a the Subrosa deck!! What a great design. It reminds me of playing cards with my grandparents and bring backs a lot pf good memories

  13. Man I just love your reviews.
    You introduced me to Wheels deck and I was new to playing card community and you helped me find out more decks.

  14. Honestly the only people I knew of before your channel were Chris Ramsay Peter McKinnon and Daniel Madison. Oh and Dan and Dave. So you've introduced me to everybody else.

  15. I’ve been introduced to a lot of decks through this channel… I just got into cardistry/collecting this year, so I am playing catch up on all the designers out there. I think the one that really just blew me away though was the Arabesque… what an amazing deck that I would kill to own.

    Grats on the collab by the way!

  16. Another great video! The designer you have introduced me to is TGW in collaboration with Lorenzo! So excited to see the parlour deck go on KS.

  17. Just found about this channel and Im already amazed by the veriety of guys knowledge and interest in playing cards… by the way my favourite magitians of the year were Chris Ramesy and Shin Lin

  18. You introduced me to buy three of the Planets series. And I`m so lad you made me to do that:). Thank you for all youre amazing videos!

  19. Please reply sir
    Hello sir
    I wanted to ask how would you rate these cards on the basis of feel, look, price, everything and everything
    Bicycle black tiger, bicycle archangel, tally ho decks

    Just overall
    Please reply sir

  20. My favorite were the King Wild Tigers! I never saw this deck but it looks amazing and I love the style!! You have showed me so much decks that I never heard about, really looking forward to future videos!!

  21. Gotta say you put me onto alot of designers. Especially trying to save up for an arabesque set for my father. Just bought the house of the rising spade and it reminds me of Disney Fairy Tale lore like the beauty and beast mosaic glass scenes. Thanks for opening me to this, I just found this place like alice stumbled down the rabbit hole and found wonderland 😁

  22. oof new playing cards by the GentlemanWake came across your channel later in the year, you deck review on Alex Pandrea's Summer NOCs is what made me get them. Looking forward to seeing more content in the future.

  23. I recently discovered custom playing cards and a shortly after that your channel. Thanks to you I discovered Jackson Robinson and his awesome work. Can not wait for future decks and your reviews! Thanks

  24. You introduced me to quite a few new decks and designers this year, but my favorite has to be the Dead Man's Deck. The combination of design, handling, presentation, and history have made it a jewel in my collection.

  25. You definitely introduced me to some new designers. I bought the House of the Rising Spade deck because of your videos. Can't wait for the Parlour deck.

  26. I have been jealous of many of the decks you have reviewed the white regalias was one deck I had ordered as soon as I watched your video on it.

  27. Your last video introduced me to the gold split spades, and I just knew that I had to get a deck! I live in Denmark though, so I haven’t gotten around to it yet

  28. I want these Tigers!! You did introduce me to.. uhm.. Chris Ramsay?
    Never heard of him before, his "1st" are something!
    .. also love the blue memento moris.

  29. You introduced me to the Dead Man’s Deck. I didn’t know about the hole, and lead ball. I need to pick one up now 🙂

  30. So jealous! Amazing decks
    Edit: Just reached the end, and i just told you this via IG, but you did introduce me to the planets by Vanda playing cards, and to playing cards as a whole! Thanks for the amazing content and keep it up!

  31. I'm a new viewer and just discovered your superior work via the Hudsons review (one I was interested in purchasing)
    I really like the KingsWild project decks that you've introduced to me.
    I've been so impressed with the jackson Robinson work as well.
    I really love the" Federal 52" latest edition from them. The Wild Tigers are another stunner and I'd love to add them to my collection.

  32. I didn't know eny of these decks, but thanks for showing us.i am only now bigining to go into magic but i cant afford any nice decks

  33. hey bro…. I was unknown to you as pigcake showed me your channel…….love to get the deck as in your previous video I said you that I can't afford plastic decks and I'm using plastic coated decks…….please let me have one….,

  34. Oh haha I don't wanna sound rude but… what even? What kind of quiestion is that??!!??!! Of course we are exited! I mean… at least I am 😂 I already like the designs quite a lot and the color option is classical but with style 🙂 I hope I can get my hand on those precious cards when they come out !

  35. I love your content and just subscribed! You’ve definitely introduced me to MANY new card artists ! I especially love this tiger deck and Jackson! Hope I win it 😜 I love also, Stockholm17! WOW!

  36. I never knew about most of the decks on this channel till I found it today. I have ordered the maduro gold edition because, well, I could not resist, what a beautiful deck and so well made. 10/10 from me

  37. Thanks for the deck reviews man! I really loved your video on the Olive Tally Hos, they're one of my favourite decks now

  38. Every time i see a video of u man i say what an amazing playing cards presentation and what a great job done behind the camera for such a nice video result! Keep on doing this fine work and providing us all these new and exciting decks! (You deserve much more subs for sure) ♠♣♥♦

  39. These are some of the sickest decks I have ever seen. I just came across your channel recently and I cannot stop watching your videos! Thank you for introducing Jackson Robinson to me, he's definitely someone whose releases I will have to start keeping up; those designs are just unreal. I began collecting decks a few months ago, so I missed out on some of these gems.
    Anyway, thank you for such great content!! Happy New Year!

  40. Those Arabesque cards look amazing. All of that shine is gonna leave me blind (unintentional rhyme— which also unintentionally rhymed with that sentence lol). Good stuff, as always, my dude.

  41. You deserve 4.2 MILLION subs… Your quality control is top-notch, and you do a great job of coming across as a chill, relatable guy. Keep it up man.

  42. I am incredibly happy to have found this channel. As someone who has only recently become fascinated with playing cards, it is wonderful to see so many creative and awesome deck designs. I am looking forward to all of your future videos.

  43. Dude, I have no freaking idea about cards, but I could watch you shuffle and let them fall together in slow-mo for daaays. Looks so satisfying 😍

  44. Hello gentleman wake,
    Im a poker player who has just begun to explore the world of card collecting and cardistry. With that being said you have introduced me to a huge number of designers and deck designs i had never seen before. Dan and dave of art of play and jaspas of the new deck order, just to name a few. Thank you for producing such quality videos and helping people like me enter the world of cards!!

  45. ommg i wanna winn to a deck of cards a cant by them cs i live in moroco and its too difficult to find a good palying cards you can just fimd the Chinese eddition i wish if i can have one

  46. I was really inspired by the artwork on the Arabian deck… as well as that you also introduced me to the dead mans deck. I wish myself best of luck!

  47. I am fairly new to playing card collecting and cardistry so naturally I haven't heard of Jackson Robinson but after looking at some of his decks online, I am blown away! No wonder he was your 2018 designer of the year. I immediately ordered a deck of Kings Wild Tigers after watching this video and I also want the dead mans deck. Loved every deck in the video. Keep up guys!

  48. They look all pretty cool but as poker player I wouldn’t use any of these decks , they kinda seem to be more of magician or casual/fancy player type of card thing but damn they look beautiful as hell and really want one or two decks of them just not for poker.

  49. They look all pretty cool but as poker player I wouldn’t use any of these decks , they kinda seem to be more of magician or casual/fancy player type of card thing but damn they look beautiful as hell and really want one or two decks of them just not for poker.

  50. My favorites playing cards is monarch,bicycle,liturgy,high victorian,hellion, because they have premium design offer pleasure of collection,i really love this review

  51. Stockholm 17 and House of the rising spade just won 52 plus joker’s diamond awards for artist of the year and deck of the year for 2019

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