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Old 08-12-2008
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Palm Imports Custom Plastic Playing Cards Review

Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards
by Whataboutj
Manufacturer: Palm Imports



Retailer(s): Palm Imports
Average Price: $2.50 per deck (CT member price 1000 deck order)


Material: Plastic playing card material
I received two decks of the Plastic Playing cards from Palm Imports. One .31mm deck and one .28mm deck. Both decks were poker size cards. These are the tester decks that Palm Imports got to evaluate before offering them as a custom printed palying card option. For the purposes of my evaluation I ran numerous tetst on the cards to gage feel, shuffling, slide on a table, durability, longevity of the ink, and deck stack slide when sitting on a table. While I did take into account the print quality of the cards I did not judge the actual graphics. These are going to be custom printed cards so the graphics on the test decks did not matter.
When I first picked them up from my PO box I opened them and did a quick riffle shuffle with each deck. My first impresion was that the .31mm deck was like my Modiano cards and the .28mm deck felt like my KEM and Copag cards. If the cards passed the rest of the tests Palm Imports is going to have a big hit!!!
Pros of the .31mm Cards
  • Great stiffer feel when shuffling
  • Slides well on a poker table
  • Durable
  • Excellent print quality
  • Cost effective custom printed cards
Cons of the .31mm Cards
  • Slight "Plasticky" non textured feel
Pros of the .28mm Cards
  • "Loose" flexible feel when shuffling
  • Slides well on a poker table
  • Durable
  • Excellent print quality
  • Cost effective custom printed cards
Cons of the .28mm Cards
  • Slight "Plasticky" non textured feel
Price
$2.50 per deck (Chiptalk.net member price) with a 1000 deck order.
Looks
What I was going after for the looks of the cards was the quality of the print not the actual graphics. The print quality on both cards was very sharp and deep colors. There was no fading or "messed up" printing on any of the cards. Any custom graphics will be well represented by the print quality on the cards (see pics below)
.31mm Cards

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

.28mm Cards

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Click the image to open in full size.






Feel
I gaged the feel of the cards two ways-
1. The actual feel of the cards
2. The feel of the cards when shuffling them
The actual feel of the cards is a little bit more "Plasticky" than the feel of other plastic cards I compared them too. Specifically Modiano cards for the .31mm Palm Imports cards and KEMs or Copags for the .28mm Palm Imports cards. Modiano cards have the textured feel that is missing in the Palm Imports cards. KEMs felt textured but the Copags I had to compare did not. The .28mm Palm Imports cards felt the most "Plasticky" of the two decks I received. All in all the feel of both decks was not to the point that the cards would be unusable. They were just a bit different than the other brands I compared them too. I was concerned about their ability to stay put when sitting in a stack on a table and not being dealt -- see below for the positive results of that test
The shuffle tests were next. For each deck I did a riffle shuffle, a corner to corner shuffle, and an end to end shuffle. The .31mm deck felt stiffer during all three of the shuffle tests just like a deck of Modiano cards. The cards did not catch or stick during any of the shuffle tests. Fans of Modiano cards will definitely like the Palm Imports .31mm cards.
The .28mm deck had a looser feel during all three of the shuffle tests. The "looseness" of the cards was in between the feel of a deck of KEM and Copag cards. The Palm Imports .28mm cards were a little looser than Kems but not as flexible/loose as Copags. Fans of either Kem or Copag cards will definitely enjoy the Palm Import .28mm cards
Bend Test
The purpose of the bend test is to see how the cards would hold up under use in a game. Specifically when players bend the cards up to see what hole cards they were dealt. I performed two tests for this on both decks.
The first test was to bend the cards in a game simulation like I was checking my hole cards - I did this to a 90 degree angle on both decks. Both decks went back to normal (straight) without leaving a noticeable bend in the cards
The next test was to bend the ends of the cards together so that they touched (see pic below). the cards from both decks hand a very noticeable bend in each card after I released them which was what I expected (see pics below). The .28mm card had a slightly more pronounced bend than the .31mm card did. I was able to very easily get both cards to straighten out by simply flexing the card the opposite direction - no noticeable mark was left on the card after I straightened them out. This was the case for both the .31mm and .28mm cards (See pics below)
.31mm Cards

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

.28mm Cards

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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.






Slide
The next test performed was how the cards slid when dealing on a poker table. For this test I used the octagon poker table made by Highland games. This is a very common table used by poker players and I felt it would be a fair gauge of the cards ability to slide. Both decks of cards glided across the table very easily. When dealt correctly there was no issue with them catching on the fabric or stopping short of their intended destination. The .28mm cards were a little more prone to flipping up when being dealt, but that could be a cause of dealer error (I usually use .31mm cards when playing).
Durability
I viewed durability two ways -
1. The actual durability of the cards when playing with them
2. The durability of the printing over time and heavy use of the cards
To test the durability of the cards when playing with them I set up a test where I dealt them into stacks of clay chips. I purposely was dealing the cards harder (see pics below for reference) into the stacks to see if they would crack, chip, or damage the printing while playing. Both types of cards held up very well to this test. No cards cracked, chipped, or had damaged printing after 3 full deals with each deck into stacks of clay chips (see picks below- note the bottom chips in the stacks for how hard I was dealing the cards into them)
To test the durability of the printing I took a card from each deck (.31mm & .28mm) and rubbed them between my thumb and first finger vigorously for an hour each while watching TV. I felt that an hour of continuous friction on the cards would be similar to the wear and tear the cards would take over hundreds of games. Neither of the cards showed any wear on the printing after the hour was complete.
.31mm (blue) & .28mm (red) - Note the bottom chips in the stack

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.





Stackability / Deck slide
Some plastic cards are notorious for sliding and spilling when sitting on the table and not being dealt and even sliding out of the dealers hands. To test this on the Palm Imports cards I did two tests.
The first test I did was to deal out cards for 6 players and then quickly place the deck on the table. Both decks did not move at all when put down after dealing. Neither deck was a problem sliding out of my hands when dealing either.
The next test I did was the card drop test. The purpose of this test was to see if the cards suctioned to each other when a card was dropped onto the top of the deck or if it would repel off the top onto the table - another test to see how well the cards would stay put on a table. I dropped a card onto of each deck three times each.
The .31mm cards slid across the top and positioned itself almost dead center on the top of the deck - this was the case on all three drops
The .28mm cards slid across the top and stayed on top, did not slide off but was off center - this was the case on all three drops.
Reviewer's Comments
Overall both decks of cards tested out very well. The .31mm cards are more comparable to Modiano cards. The .28mm cards are more comparable to something between KEM and Copag cards. With the ability to custom print the cards and the price point these will make an incredible addition to custom group buy chip sets.
If at some time in the future Palm Imports can come up with a good price point for orders under 1000 decks these will be an awesome addition to custom chip orders for an individual as well.

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Old 08-13-2008
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards Review

Pics are great. Info on the tests conducted is strong too. Would suggest running the article through a spell checker though as I caught several spelling errors on my first read-through - palying, tetst, impresion, memebr, littl, loosness, felxible and platicky for example.
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Old 08-13-2008
In the Money
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 263
Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards Review

Great review. I'm thinking these are going to feel like Gemacos, which have a "plasticy" feel to them... If you could get your hands on a deck of those, they may make for a better comparison than Kems or Modianos.

Soxfan
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Old 08-13-2008
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamby View Post
Pics are great. Info on the tests conducted is strong too. Would suggest running the article through a spell checker though as I caught several spelling errors on my first read-through - palying, tetst, impresion, memebr, littl, loosness, felxible and platicky for example.
Thanks for the compliments Jamby. I knew there were spelling errors when I hit submit but I did it on my work computer and I couldnt download the spell check fetaure -- crazy thing is now I can't go back and spell check it when I edit or advance edit it -- weird. I will try to pull it section by section to correct I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soxfan View Post
Great review. I'm thinking these are going to feel like Gemacos, which have a "plasticy" feel to them... If you could get your hands on a deck of those, they may make for a better comparison than Kems or Modianos.

Soxfan
I don't have any Gemacos and probably won't be getting any but if someone has a deck they want to send me to try to compare I will - but the PI cards are already back to PI
J
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Old 08-13-2008
jmc jmc is offline
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards Review

Do you have any reason to believe they will get dirty/sticky quicker than other types of plastic cards?
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Old 08-13-2008
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards Review

Awsome, thanks for the great review!
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Old 08-13-2008
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Cards Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc View Post
Do you have any reason to believe they will get dirty/sticky quicker than other types of plastic cards?
No. They felt like they would be the same as most other plastic cards. That being said I didn't have the cards more than a couple of days so there is not way to say for sure. The ink test I ran didn't leave the cards dirty/sticky if that's any indication. I guess it also depends on what is on your players hands when they are playing (food, candy, etc)
J
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Old 08-15-2008
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Playing Cards Review

is it possible to see the 6 and 9 next to each other? thanks
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Old 08-18-2008
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Playing Cards Review

would u happen to have a pic of the 6 and 9 together? thanks!
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Old 08-26-2008
On the Bubble
 
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Re: Palm Imports Custom Plastic Playing Cards Review

Where do I go to order the decks? Thanks,
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