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Ted Lesley's Working Performer's Marked Deck (refill)
by Ted Lesley


(3 customer ratings) ★★★★

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Ted Lesley's Working Performer's Marked Deck (refill) by Ted Lesley

This is a sheet of custom-made white rub-on transfer numbers, characters and symbols. This is exactly what you need to make several Ted Lesley Working Performer's Marked Decks - or other similar decks like the Boris Wild Marked Deck. (The cards you have to supply yourself.)

Please note that you do NOT acquire the right to make and sell Ted Lesley marked decks with these transfers. They are for personal use only.

This marking system is considered the very best by many professionals. It combines super easy and reliable reading of the markings - which is crucial for real-world under-pressure performances - with 'invisibility' if you are not familiar with it.

"I must congratulate Ted on producing the most remarkable “reader deck” I have ever seen." - Billy McComb

"A bold yet deceptive marking system that reveals the cards as fast as you can glance at them. An absolute boon to the professional performer." - Larry Becker

"This marking idea is brilliant. It is quite the cleverest idea I have seen in a marked deck for magicians." - Jeff Busby

Ted Lesley designed this marking system primarily for Bicycle cards, but it works equally well and sometimes even better for many other decks like the new Mandoline or Phoenix decks or Tally Ho, etc. Any deck that uses an intricate white design on a color background can be used.

Please note that these rub-on transfers are custom-made. They are smaller than the ones you can buy in office supply and art stores, the adhesive is stronger (which makes application a bit tougher but also results in longer lasting markings), and the selection of characters, numbers and symbols is tailored to marking cards. With over the counter transfers you will need to buy several sheets to get the same number of necessary symbols you get here with one sheet, the markings will be more noticeable because they are not as small as the ones provided here, and the adhesive is not as strong and will rub off much faster. If you want the original exactly as Ted Lesley designed it, then our rub-on transfers are the right product to get. On top of this we are the owners of the Ted Lesley marking system and therefore this is not a cheap knock-off. Currently no other manufacturer is licensed to produce them.

Besides the numbers and characters you will need for the Lesley Marking System you also get additional symbols (card symbols, ESP) and additional numbers to allow you to experiment with different ways to use this idea and to mark other cards like ESP, Tarot or Zodiac cards.

A number of different marking systems have been created over the years. The enduring question is: "Which is the best marking system?" Online there are heated debates of what is the better system, the Ted Lesley or the Boris Wild. Of course, this can't be answered without knowing the circumstances, the boundary conditions, the type of routine you would like to perform and the type of performer you are. Each system has its pros and cons. The smart performer will learn as much as possible about this subject, try out different marking systems, and then decide what is best for what situation and what routine. But don't forget that the quantum leap innovation of using white rub-on transfers of easily readable symbols comes from Ted Lesley. All other such systems are minor variations of where to place the markings and exactly how to encode the card. They are all heavily borrowing from Ted Lesley.

The two primary design variables for a marking system are 'how quickly, reliably and easily can one read the marks when one knows what to look for', and 'how hard is it to detect the markings when one does not know what to look for'. The Lesley system leans toward the first variable - it allows for a fast and reliable reading of the marks for the magician. Other systems are stronger on the second variable and are harder to spot for an uninitiated spectator, but typically are also harder to read and require more visual and mental processing. The Boris Wild system for example cannot be read as fast as the Lesley system but it has other advantages. You have to decide what is best for you. No marking can really sustain careful audience inspection, but a good routine and professional audience management avoids any problems.

Here are some suggestions of how to apply these transfers:

  • If you find your sheet is sticky and symbols stick to your fingers and easily come off, then take the product out of the package and remove velum backing paper and allow the sheet to air dry for a day in a cool dry area.
  • Cut the sheet into sections. This allows two things, first it's easier to manage a smaller part of the large sheet, and depending on which system Boris Wild or Ted Lesley layout you like to use its easier to only have what you need in your hand. It also keeps unwanted marks from becoming messed up while working with what you want.
  • Use a hard table with a sheet of wax paper about 18" X 18" under the card. The marks seem less wanting to stick to the wax paper.
  • If the symbols do not stick well on the card use steel wool on the card before applying them.
  • After the marks are on the cards apply fanning powder to get rid of any stickyness on the marks.

[Note that you will not get any instructions. This is a refill. We assume you already know what the Lesley Marking System is, how and where to apply it to the cards and how to use it.]

This product is licensed from Martin Breese who owns the rights to the Ted Lesley marking system. Unfortunately this is one of the most pirated products in magic. If you do not buy this directly from or Martin Breese, please make sure that at the bottom of the sheet you see the copyright notice. Otherwise you could be buying a pirated product.

This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic & Conjuring / Cards / DIY Playing Cards

Magic & Conjuring / Cards / Marked

Magic & Conjuring / Physical (Non-Digital) Tricks & Gimmicks