My Favorite Billets (so far)

Whether you’re doing a reveal after a center tear, Acidus Novus, or nail-nicking cards for some quick pseudo-psychometry, you need blank cards. For many of those things I use a business card (mine has my web URL and then some things I can use for effects, such as ESP symbols, etc.), but in some cases what you want is a plain blank card. (Many people feel it’s a “bad look” to fold or mutilate your business card.)

Of course you can grab any bit of paper and use it for a billet (like a barbarian), but I’d rather have something that my “muscle memory” can get a grip on as well as something that has known properties.

After watching the billet section of Marc Paul’s Masterclass at Vanishing Inc and wanting to be as cool as he, I decided to try and find something better suited than my business cards. Something with more versatility. No matter how many different cards I had to buy, I’d keep going until I found exactly what I wanted. It was my new quest!

Fortunately for my wallet I got lucky on the first try. Well, first try this time — I’ve tried different types of billets here and there in the past. In fact, I’d actually settled on 3×5 index cards cut in half, or 2.5×3 as the size of the billet, but I was having trouble finding index cards that were thick enough so Sharpie ink wouldn’t bleed through. After watching Marc Paul I just decided to look for something ready-made that would hit everything on my wish list (so no more sitting in front of the TV and chopping a pack of index cards in half).

Here is what I found — blank white cards a little bigger than a typical US-sized business card at 3 7/16″ x 2 1/8″ (almost 3.5 x 2.2 which I think is about 87mm x 54mm), thinner than many typical business cards, but thick enough that not even a Sharpie bleeds through.

It’s a little on the small size for doing Osterlind’s Perfected Center Tear (especially if you’re used to using his magical special papers) but still workable for that. (Plus, if I have a choice I’ll do 50 Acidus’ over a single center tear. Yes, call me coward.)

They also fit well in both the SUC (Sight Unseen Case) and the Orphic Wallet (the only two wallets I carry every day).

These cards have a slight gloss on one side and are rough/matte on the other, which is really handy for when I’m using a swami gimmick… 

  • When I’m using the pencil lead version I write on the matte side of the card.
  • When I use the Listo lead version, I write on the glossy side and it writes smoothly and looks just like a Sharpie wrote it (which is what I use to do the pretend writing).

Here in the US I bought 300 of the cards for about $9 — and they also have a multicolor pack if you want something other than white. 

Primbeeks 300pcs Blank Business Cards
Premium Blank White Cards, 3.5″ x 2.2″

These cards are almost the same dimensions as bridge-sized playing cards, but because one side is unfinished (not slick/polished) you can’t really use them as a pack of blank playing cards, they don’t spread very easily, but for billet work I find them very nice. 

Top: Retractable Fine Pt
Bottom Line: Magnum Sharpie

Back Side: No bleed from either!

These are my new “go to” cards when I’m doing mentalism these days. If you’ve found something that works well for you, feel free to leave a description or link below.

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