The Double Black Classic deck is a redesigned version of the successful original Double Black deck. The first edition of the Double Black deck was produced around 2014, in both an unbranded version and a branded Bicycle version. One of its most striking features was its jet black tuck box, which was finished with a very classy looking silver foil. The vision for this deck was to create something that secret agents like James Bond would use and be proud of: "We envisioned a deck of playing cards that someone as deadly and debonair as James Bond would pull out of their suit at a card game-- Classy and sleek with just enough customization to be unique, yet still hold the classic style of traditional playing cards. With this concept in mind, Double Black was born."
The new Classic edition has more elaborate and clearer illustrations, for a bolder and more functional look. Like the previous version, two different editions of the main deck are available: an unbranded Classic edition, and a Bicycle branded Limited edition, with different tuck box corresponding to each. Both boxes are finished with a custom seal, and beautiful silver foil accents which really come to life on the dark black background, and look absolutely stunning and regal. Every secret agent needs a gun, and if you look closely you will see a pair of crossed revolvers as part of the exquisite artwork. Both tuck boxes have a very classy interior printing that adds to the sense of elegance and sophistication. No doubt Mr Bond would approve.
The artwork on the face cards has had a complete makeover. While there is still a focus on black backgrounds with custom designed faces that use white/grey along with some small instances of red accents to highlight some details, the use of a more distinct and vibrant white and red ensures that the artwork is more visual and clear against the backdrop of inky black.
The pips also have a whole new look, and the solid design that is embellished with single diagonal stripe offers a tuxedo like impression that fits better with the theme and artistic direction of this deck, and also makes them far more visible and recognizable. On the number cards the pips have a custom arrangement within a honeycomb design consisting of 13 faint circles, for a very creative and original look.
The branded and the unbranded versions of this deck have identical cards, but there is one exception: they have slightly different card backs. The unbranded deck changes the single-circle design to two circles separated by a diamond shape that includes our two double-black revolvers in the center.
Besides the two Jokers pictured above, this deck also comes with two extra cards, a double backer, and a split King-Queen gaff card.
Unlike the first edition of this sleek deck, which had darker tones that made the suits and values very difficult to discern, the Classic deck does a much better job of offering a classy feel while still being usable. It's a solid improvement of the original, that retains a jet black look that James Bond types will appreciate, and combines being suave and sophisticated, with style and discernment.
Printing has been done by USPCC, with their air cushion style finish ensuring smooth handling and playing cards that are long lasting. - BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame