I’m not a big fan of people fancifying my playing cards, so I never bothered with things like premium or plastic cards. I assumed all plastic cards felt funky, shuffled badly, and cost too much. I was a little dubious when USPC sent me some KEM and Bicycle Prestige, but after a lot of play time I have to admit that I’m convinced.
Bicycle Prestige are made with USPC’s “Dura-Flex” technology. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds better than “that machine we use to make them there plastic cards.” The result is a card with a texture like paper, and an appealing springiness. These don’t feel slick and stiff like some plastic cards. They actually shuffle better than paper, and retain their shape better.
Yes, they cost a lot. If I hadn’t spent time with them, I’d be reluctant to shell out $10 for a single deck of cards. However, I’ve blown more money than that buying multiple decks that wore out or got damaged much faster. If you play in public, particularly in bars and restaurants where wet spots, food, and spilled beer are common, then this will actually be a money saver. They’re harder to damage and easier to clean. You can just wipe them off with a wet rag. They even come in a handy little travel case, and, as you can see from the screens, have a handsome re-designed back.
If you’re an occasional home player, I don’t see a lot of point in premium cards. But if you’re a little more serious, play with kids who are hard on paper cards, need some added durability, or play in public, then this is a good bet.