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Dal Negro Playing Cards Reviews

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Dal Negro Playing Cards are manufactured in Italy by a business that has been in operation since 1756. These playing cards are similar to Modiano Playing Cards, also made in Italy, in that they are fairly stiff and papery cards when compared to the more familiar North American made playing cards. Dal Negro has a reputation as being a bit more artistic than other brands of playing cards.

The Dal Negro's have more of a 'paper' feel to them than the other plastic cards I have reviewed. The texture feels similar to Copag cards but have much more of a 'sandpaper' feel. The cards feel less 'plasticy' than the other decks and anyone who handles them up immediately notices the difference in feel - they feel like little pieces of cardboard. When you look closely at the paper, it looks like particle-board. The Dal Negro cards have more of a fuller, chiseled feel to them than most other plastic playing cards and the corners are a bit more rounded.

Overall, Dal Negro playing cards are very good cards. They have beautiful graphics and are some of the best playing cards that you can purchase.

Dal Negro Net Plus Acetate

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

These Dal Negro Net Plus Acetate playing cards are very similar to the Dal Negro Freedom Star Acetate cards reviewed elsewhere on this page. The back design is very simple but elegant and features a wide white border. There is a beige background on all the non-face cards. These are jumbo index cards with rather large pips and indexes.

Trident logo The cards themselves feel very nice. Dal Negro playing cards have always had a nice feel and texture and these acetate cards are no different. They do feel different than the non-acetate cards, but they still have that Dal Negro papery feel. Being acetate cards, they are more durable and should last longer than non-acetate cards.

The Dal Negro Net Plus Acetate cards some in setups of one green deck and one brown deck in a standard Dal Negro cardboard box. The box is not great, and is the same style of box as that used in most casinos. Each deck contains 52 cards, 2 jokers, and 1 information card with the Dal Negro coat of arms. The cost is $29.99 for a two-deck setup from Trident Cards. March 2008

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Dal Negro Freedom Star Acetate

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

These are acetate of pvc playing cards that are very similar to the Dal Negro Net Plus Acetate cards reviewed elsewhere on this page. This deck appears to be the new substitute for the previously available Dal Negro Freedom decks, which are quite popular.

Trident logo The back design features two Statues of Liberty with a wide white border and silver detail, which is a bit unusual. The magenta color is more of a simple red color than what is shown on the TridentCards website. These are very large jumbo index cards with a beige background on all non-face cards.

The Dal Negro Freedom Star playing cards come in a standard Dal Negro cardboard box. The box is not great, and is the same style of box as what is used in most casinos. Each deck contains 52 cards, 2 jokers, and 1 information card with the Dal Negro coat of arms. The cost is $29.99 for a two-deck setup from Trident Cards. March 2008

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Dal Negro Freedom

Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

Sample deck provided by
Poker Gaming Products

Dal Negro Freedom Playing Cards (Poker size)

The Dal Negro Freedom plastic playing cards are identical to the Dal Negro Torcello cards that I have already reviewed above except for the much deeper and richer color of the red security ink. The red on the Freedom deck is a blood-red whereas the red on the Torcello is a cherry-red (see the scanned images below). The feel of both decks is identical and everything else seems the same so please read the above review of the Torcello deck for more information about these cards.

Security ink
Normal Ink vs. Security Ink

Dal Negro cards come in two different ink types - Normal Ink and Security Ink. Here is a scanned image of a normal ink Torcello (left) and a security ink Freedom (right). The security ink is a deeper blood-red color compared to the bleached red of the normal ink. The darker, richer color of the security ink is stunning but might be mistaken for black from across a poker table. There is no difference in the quality of the black color and the typeface is the same on both cards.

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Dal Negro Freedom Acetate

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

Dal Negro Freedom Acetate playing cards review

This is another deck of acetate playing cards and are a new version of the existing Dal Negro Freedom playing cards that have been available for years. This is a more durable acetate version but they feature the same back design and security ink as the regular Freedom cards. They are available in both standard and jumbo index, but only in poker size. (The Net cards are available in both poker and bridge sizes.)

Sample deck provided by
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Like the Net cards reviewed above, these cards feature a new acetate plastic that make these cards tougher and more durable than regular plastic playing cards. I thought that the Net playing cards reviewed above were a bit stiffer than a normal plastic card but these acetate Freedom cards seem to have the same stiffness as the older non-acetate Freedom deck - they seem to have the same amount of bend and play. This leads me to believe that the Net playing cards may not be as stiff as I first thought.

There was no problem with any of the card graphics chipping off. This seems to have been a problem with one batch of Dal Negro cards that made it to market in the past year.

The price of these cards is $31.99 compared to the normal Freedom setups at $17.99. What do you get for double the price? ... a better box (plastic vs. paper) and a much sturdier card. It's not that the regular (non-acetate) Freedom cards are bad, they are still some of the best and most popular playing cards out there, but these new acetate cards are the cat's meow! They combine the sturdy feel and great graphics of Dal Negro cards with the acetate feel and texture of the old Kem cards. My personal preference in playing cards has always been for jumbo index cards with colored backgrounds and security ink. These are my new favorite playing cards!

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Dal Negro Grand Slam

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card

Sample deck provided by
Trident Cards
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Dal Negro clear box These are 4-pip bridge size Dal Negro cards. They seem to be somewhat in demand by players who want a 4-pip design, but in a bridge size card with regular ink. These cards are similar to the other Dal Negro cards. There is so little difference in feel and texture that you should probably just buy the cards that look the most appealing to you.

Dal Negro Grand Slam cards come in a clear plastic double-deck box. It's a nice box but the lid does not stay closed without using an elastic band. The cost is $16.99 for a two-deck setup from Trident Cards.

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Dal Negro Net Acetate

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

Dal Negro Net playing cards review

This is a new bridge size, normal index plastic playing card from Dal Negro. They are a new acetate type of plastic that is suppose to more durable and last longer than normal plastic playing cards. Acetate is the same material that Kem cards are made of and these cards have a bit of the same feel as the old Kem cards - that is a very good thing!

The Dal Negro Net playing card back designs remind me of the Kem Select or Casino brand cards - simple designs that are meant to be used commercially in casinos or other high-usage poker venues. The back design features a wide white border.

The cards themselves are more durable than the average playing card and should last longer. The feel of these cards is a cross between Kem cards and Gemaco playing cards. They have a bit of sturdy and substantial feel to them and the acetate coating has a bit of a plasticy feel to it. There is a nice texture to the card and it reminds of the feel of the old (pre-USPC) Kem cards. These cards feature the best texture and feel of any playing cards that I have reviewed and the only complaint that I can imagine anyone having is that the cards are a bit stiff and plasticy, but I guess that is the price that you pay for toughness and durability.

Sample deck provided by
Trident Cards
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The Dal Negro Net playing cards come in a clear plastic box that is identical to the Dal Negro Grand Slam box shown above. The box is similar to the Kem and Copag boxes, except clear. A clear box is actually a little better because it makes it easier to differentiate between several boxes of cards. There 52 card, 2 jokers, and one information card in each deck. They are available in standard or jumbo index in bridge size, but only jumbo index in poker size.

The price of these cards is $31.99 for a setup of two decks. That is almost twice the price of a non-acetate Dal Negro card. What do you get for double the price? ... a better box (plastic vs. paper) and a much sturdier card. The (non-acetate) Freedom cards have always been a very nice card but these new acetate cards are simply the best! They combine the sturdy feel and great graphics of Dal Negro cards with the acetate feel and texture of the old Kem cards.

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Dal Negro Net Acetate Jumbo Index

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card

Sample provided by
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Dal Negro Net Jumbo playing cards review

This is a jumbo index and poker size version of the Net acetate playing cards reviewed above. They come in the same box and have the same feel and characteristics as the standard index Dal Negro Net playing cards.
 

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Dal Negro Star

Card image Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

Dal Negro Star (Poker size - Large index)

Playing card box These are poker size, large index cards with yellow centers. Large index Dal Negro cards have been somewhat hard to find in North America, but more and more suppliers now offer them for sale. These cards have the same papery feel as the other brands of Dal Negro cards. The yellow centers give a lovely European-style elegance to the cards. The large index pips make it easier to see the board cards in the middle of a poker table, but they also make it easier for the player seated beside you to sneak a peek at your hole cards when you view them yourself.

I prefer large index playing cards with beige/yellow centers (45 year old eyes!) and think that these Dal Negro cards are very nice. The back design is a little bland, but the overall effect of the card is lovely.

The Dal Negro Star playing cards come in a nice red/black cardboard box. The box is similar to the KEM Select or casino-style cardboard boxes. There is a center tab, that is made of cardboard, and keeps all but the top couple of cards from shifting from one side to the other.

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Dal Negro Torcello

Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card Playing card

Sample deck provided by
Rounders.se

Dal Negro Torcello playing cards review

Dal Negro cards are manufactured in Italy. They make several types of cards but the deck reviewed here is the Torcello 100% PVC acetate card. It is a very, very nice card and certainly ranks up there with the best plastic cards.

Numbers and pips Numbers and pips The Dal Negro Torcello decks have the numbers and pips on all four corners of the card. Most decks, including the Dal Negro Freedom, only have the numbers and pips at the top left and bottom right corners. The four pips make it easier to bend up any corner of your hole card (your face-down card on the table) to view it. The Copag Export's are the only other deck that I reviewed that have this rather nice feature which seems to be more common in Europe than in North America.

The Dal Negro Torcello cards have bright and deep colors. The artwork on these cards is nice, very detailed and fine.

Box image The Dal Negro single decks came in a paper box. The box is only a little better in quality than a box of Bicycle or Bee paper cards.

The thickness of all 52 playing cards is 16.75mm. Ten cards weigh 25.0 grams. These are the heaviest and thickest cards that I reviewed. You can feel the difference, they feel more like 'chiseled' pieces of cardboard than the other cards. The thickness makes it a little more difficult to riffle the cards while shuffling.

Give me a couple weeks to play with these cards before I report on how well they handle and how durable they are. I have shown the cards to a couple players already and everyone liked them very much. Everyone thought the cards felt very different than all the other plastic cards.

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Playing Card Reviews

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