Can cards throw you off your game?

You probably read the title of that and thought, “Of course, a string of bad cards is all I need to jolt my concentration. It happens all the time.”

Well let me clarify, I’m not talking about the value of the Full Tilt Poker cards in your hand, I’m talking about the actual, physical cards themselves. Something often overlooked but a potential factor in playing with a player’s mind all the same.

What’s your brand? Most poker players are used to Bee. I know I am. It’s second-nature, you don’t even think about it. But what if a casino (either one you’re just trying out or one you’ve made a name for yourself at) breaks out a different brand, with a different feel to it? Ever heard of Carta Munti? Neither had I. You wouldn’t have even needed to see it written to tell the difference, though. These cards were light and thin, almost like printing paper. They felt awkward in my hand, and for a little while, I could concentrate on little else, putting me at a distinct disadvantage to those who were used to them already.

I mention this as a poker issue, because in blackjack you’re not touching your cards at all, but in poker you have to hold them, and arranging them (and how much time you take) is all part of the strategy.

This will sound vain to some, but I much prefer red decks to blue when I’m playing on Full Tilt, too. Just one of those superstitions I’m sure many poker players have (just like any other professional “sport”). If I had the option, I’d play red decks all day. Sometimes casinos throw a green deck in there, and I make due.

Going back to the deck stacks of different brands, though, there is one valuable observation to take away from understanding the differences, and that’s stack height. And this does pertain to blackjack. If you’re into deck estimation or shuffle tracking, seeing six to eight decks of a much thinner brand stacked will play tricks on you if you’re used to a Bee deck that’s much thicker. When you get to eight decks, we’re talking about half a deck difference in thickness.

Of course, the casinos have a reason for doing this, and it comes down to quality. These brands (including Gemaco) are often of much higher quality and durability that the tried and true but extremely markable Bee variety.