Homemade Stripper Deck




Introduction: Homemade Stripper Deck

Please note - you probably will need a bit of stripper deck knowledge to understand some parts of this instructable

I've always loved the effects of the stripper deck, but it costs so much more than a standard deck for a few cuts here and there. I was recently given a deck from a friend who never used it and I thought "Hey, a spare deck which isn't particularly good (it's cheapo). Lets turn it into something." And huzzah: my Homemade Stripper Deck!

Step 1: Materials

For this you will need a deck of cards you don't mind mutilating, a steel ruler, a penknife and a textured cutting mat (see next pic). If your cutting mat has no texture, you will have to measure out every single card....zzzzzzzzzz. The dots on my mat are 1mm in diameter. Try to use the smallest possible measurement (e.g. I could have used the thickness of the cutting mat lines).

Step 2: Cutting the Cards

Position the card along a line. Lay the ruler so that the top is at most 1mm wide and the bottom of the card does not show past the ruler edge (see pic 2). Cut carefully, ensuring that the card stays perfectly still. Repeat on the other side. Personally, when I do the other side (in my case the right for I'm left handed), I actually use my right hand to cut. It feels wierd but it works.

Step 3: Testing

After EVERY card you cut, you must test to see it works. Place it in the same position as the rest of the deck, and stroke. None of the cards should come up. Turn the one you just made over and when you stroke it, only IT should come up. If it fails these tests, see step Troubleshooting. Every now and then, give the cards a cut or shuffle and stroke again. Sometimes, cards are actually not cut far enough, but become stuck so they don't appear to come up.

Step 4: The Hard Part

Here comes the hardest part. Repeat with all the cards. In total, it should take around an hour and 20 mins (if you're efficient). Never try to do multiple cards at once - it doesn't work.

Note the next picture - the corners are not perfectly round because you've just cut it.
Note the 3rd picture - the bottoms are NOT ALTERED AT ALL. This is essential.

When making these, it is actually ok to take too much off as long as you DO NOT cut the bottom in any way.

Step 5: Troubleshooting

Problem 1: When you stroke it when in alignment, the card comes up.
Answer 1: Cut more off. Ensure you do not cut the bottom at all.

Problem 2: The card does not come up when upside-down.
Answer 2: You probably cut off a bit off the bottom. Hard luck. Get a new card or shave off more of every single other card.

Problem 3: You cut off too little and are trying to cut of more, but all that are chopped off are a few bits of dust.
Answer 3: If nothing is coming off, cut off more than you need, but as little as you can. As I said earlier, it is better too chop off too much than to chop of bits of the bottom corner.

Below: Model card. Cut at the top, untouched at the bottom.

Step 6: Perfection

This step is just to make your cards work as well as possible and look fine.

Tip 1: Try to make the way you cut all the cards the same as possible. The image below comes from the card that was used to demonstrate earlier. The left cut gave a spiral shaving whilst the right gave a straight one. This means that the left has slightly less chopped off than the right. If this can be maintained throughout the entire deck (which is hard) you get a very nice stripper deck.

Tip 2: Fairly obvious. Cut off as little as possible to make the card as normal as possible.

Tip 3: I emphasize: DON'T CUT ANY OFF THE BOTTOM!

Step 7: Congratulations

You have just finished your stripper deck. Happy cheer. Go play with it and be happy you saved 15 dollars. Thanks for reading my instructable whether you made a deck or not.


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    9 years ago on Step 7

    I have ni idea what a stripper deck is so I went to check the video. But I guess it is labeled as private.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable. I remember using a stripper deck when I was really into magic. I'm sure there are some professional magicians who have specific uses for them but I don't think they would use them as an everyday deck. Definitely handy though.

    DJ Radio
    DJ Radio

    10 years ago on Introduction

    You might want to give newbies like me some background info on stripper decks first...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    A stripper deck is a deck that when one, or more, of the cards are turned around you can easily "strip" them out.

    What was done with the deck is that the author made the top half of an entire deck of cards slightly more narrow than the bottom half. So when you turn one of the cards over your going to have one card that has a wider end than the others making it easy to pull that card out and place it where you would like.

    Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you will find a professional magician using a stripper deck. Of course if you're ever chosen to assist them you can always test for it and call them out on it.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know about professionals. However, this instructable was mainly for magicians who found Stripper Decks way too expensive. Ah well :)