There’s a lot of hype about marked deck card tricks, but the truth is that a marked deck won’t produce miracles on its own. It’s important to combine it with other elements, such as clever trick construction, smooth handling, and presentation. It’s also important to use a deck with a hidden marking system.
Large, easy-to-read markings are essential, too, because if you spend too much time staring at the card backs it will give away that you’re using a marked deck. You must catch a glimpse of the markings when the spectator is looking at the deck in a natural manner.
Some magic purists may even say that using a marked deck is cheating. But the truth is, all card magic involves some form of deception, and using a marking is just one more tool to achieve this. A marked deck will make your card trick more impressive.
There are two excellent factory-printed reader decks: Penguin Magic’s Marked Deck, and the new Ellusionist Blue Cohort Deck with its Mandolin Back design. Both decks include two helpful online tutorials that teach you to read the markings, and give some good ideas for routines.