Cards, Cards, Cards
Review of Hole by Mickael Chatelain
"Hole" offers an effect where one playing card passes through a sticker. It looks great and the gimmick is a precision, quality one. But I have my reservations about this one.
Bicycle 809 Mandolin Playing Cards
Here are images of the Bicycle 809 Mandolin playing cards that are used for gaffed magic cards.
Close-Up Card Primer - "Out of This World"
Just about every magician knows the effect and has performed a version of it at one time or another. Paul Curry's "Out of This World" is an amazing card trick that seemingly makes order out of chaos and compliments spectators.
A New Card to Impossible Place - Pandora System
A new innovation in “signed card to impossible place” with “The Pandora System,” a spectator finds his or her signed card inside of a brand new, sealed deck of cards.
All About One-Way Magic Decks
Technically not magic cards because they aren't actually gimmicked, one-way decks have designs on the back that are oriented in a single direction. This can be exploited by magicians.
Review: Button Up by Etienne Pradier
Another "card to impossible place" effect, with "Button Up," a spectator's selected card is found attached to your shirt button. At the end, you even rip off the card and give it away as a souvenir. This one can provide a great ending to a card set, but this one is for experienced magicians.
Beginning Card Flourishes
If you would like to learn card flourishes, here's a place to start.
Specialty Playing Cards
Themed and special edition playing cards offer the potential for new angles on tricks. Here's a collection of those that I have looked at here at Magic.About.com.
Colossal Blizzard by Oz Pearlman
It's a seemingly fair plot with a stunning ending. A freely named card turns out to be the only normal one in a deck that is all blank-faced cards.This one is worthy, but you may want to stick with Dean Dill's well known version that is cleaner. And another contender comes in Kenton Knepper's Blank.
Review: Clutch by Oz Pearlman
Here's a strong "find a card" effect that is combined with "pick-pocketing." Clutch not only appears to be particularly clean and fair, it teaches you a powerful method that is off the radar for most. This one will fool magicians as well as lay people and there's no complicated sleight of hand.
Review: Karnival Deck by Big Blind Media
Recently, there's been an explosion in the variations on classic Bicycle cards. There's the Tiger deck, Ghost deck and Bicycles in every color of the rainbow. The latest deck, and it's an attractive and high quality one, is the Karnival Deck by Big Blind Media.
Review: Crystal Method
With this set of gimmicks, you can perform a wide range of innovative effects with playing cards. The gimmick is a clear card that feels like a normal card but can act as an overlay to superimpose images on top of other cards and more. Also, there are lots of great ideas and applications on the DVD.
Review: Disappearing Deck by Ron Wilson
An excellent closer to a card routine, you put a deck of cards back into a card box and then rip the card box to pieces. The deck has mysteriously vanished. You can perform this one standing or sitting and won’t need any special clothing.
Review: Blockbuster by Jay Sankey
Offering another version of "card to impossible place," in Jay Sankey's "Blockbuster," a spectator's selected and signed card appears, nailed, to a block of wood. With this, Sankey offers another solid close-up card effect.
Review: Thoughtless by Peter Nardi
With "Thoughtless," Peter Nardi offers a powerful mentalism routine that will boggle spectators' minds. The effect uses two decks of cards and effectively bends reality with a hypnotic theme. The trick is also easy to learn and perform.
Review: Jill Deck by Annabel de Vetten
Themed and special edition playing cards offer the potential for new angles on tricks. Based on the art of Annabel de Vetten, the Jill Deck features images from the artist's "Beautiful Strangers" series. While the number cards are fairly standard, the face cards feature sexy and scantily clad models. The deck is also designed for magicians because it comes with gimmicked cards and markings.
Review: Heartbreaker by Paul Gertner
Based on the concept that "you never forget your first secret crush," Paul Gertner's excellent "Heartbreaker" offers an involving, baffling and entertaining close-up card routine.
Review: Prophecy by Peter Eggink
This variation on the "signed card to impossible location" is very strong. You'll need to have fundamental card handling skills, but the gimmicks do much of the work for you.
Review : ScanTastic by Larry Becker and Lee Earle
An intriguing and clever blend of magic and technology, ScanTastic, by Larry Becker and Lee Earle, allows you reveal a chosen card through a spectator's fingerprint. The trick comes with a small electronic device that effectively acts as a "scanner" and display.
Review of NEVERmind by Jon Maronge
Here's an easy packet card effect where four cards turn into four aces. ThereÂ’s no sleight of hand or tricky moves as the effect happens courtesy of gimmicked cards. Also, this one can play strong and work to different themes.
Review: Jokers Wild by Rodger Lovins
In what amounts to a mechanical card or color change, in Rodger Lovins' latest, "Jokers Wild," a joker visually and seamlessly turns into the spectators selected card. This one is easy to learn and perform and the simple mechanism is reliable and repeatable.
Review: Colour Burn by David Forrest
Here's a stunning color change where you transform the back of a playing card from blue to red. The catch here is that spectators see the card change in stages.
Review: Cabaret Card Magic by Bill Abbott
Playing cards have the potential to pack small and play very big, and this is the premise behind Bill Abbott's Cabaret Card Magic. In this first rate book, Abbott shows how to entertain and mystify large audiences with card routines and provides themes and detailed scripts for some well known effects.
Review: Branded by Tim Trono
You show a painful looking blister on your thumb. A spectator selects a card and concentrates on it while gazing into the flame from your lighter. You pinch the flame and the blister morphs into symbols that represent the chosen card. Tim Trono offers an innovative and practical method for the blister effect.
Review: Master Card Routines by Chris Priest
A second winner from magician Chris Priest, this time it's his take on playing cards. I thoroughly liked Priest’s sponge ball routine as taught on his "Protons" DVD. This title offers his commercial and entertaining routines with playing cards that feature lots of audience interaction.
Review: The Castle Routine by Ed Ellis
This DVD tips Ed Ellis' visual and entertaining 10-minute card routine that he performed at Hollywood's Magic Castle. He bills himself as the "world's fastest hands" and who's to argue? The routine is flashy, impressive and magical, and just about anyone can carry away some new moves and techniques.
Review: Liquid (Card Through Window) by Taylor Lewis
This card through window offers an angle that I have not seen before. With a gimmick, a spectator's selected card not only isolates itself from the rest of the deck, but appears to pass through the glass. The spectator can tap his finger on the card to verify that the card is "on the other side." It's an intriguing concept, but the effect feels rather insecure to me.
Review: 52 Ways to Cheat at Poker by Allan Kronzek
Paul Simon said in a song that there are 50 ways to leave your lover, and Allan Kronzek proves in his excellent book that there are 52 ways to cheat at poker. This book will appeal to anyone who is interested in card magic, card cheating and/or poker. There were some techniques that I was already familiar with and many that were new to me.
Build Your Own Card Fountain For Under $20
With card fountains priced anywhere between $60 for a basic model and $130-$500 for an upper-end, radio controlled version, you can save some bucks by making your own device. And if you're so inclined and have the time and tools, this DVD shows you how.
Trick Review: Wipe The Slate Clean by Chris Webb
This color change effect relies on a heavily and cleverly gimmicked card, but it takes work to make the gimmick pass the scrutiny of close-up crowds. And in the end, most of what you can do with the gaff can be accomplished with sleight of hand.
Review: Card Stab (World's Greatest Magic)
This DVD offers seven different and entertaining ways to find a selected with a knife that fall into five categories. It's a great overview and if you're interested in the effect, you'll probably find a method that you can use.
Review: Hypervisual (With Cards) by Jay Sankey
Sankey's DVD explains some impressive tricks that you can perform with its set of gimmicked cards, but the bulk of the DVD is devoted to teaching color change techniques. It's a great way to learn these moves.
Trick Review: Secrets Of The Octopus Deck Revealed by Bill Abbott
A cool mentalism prop that has the potential for as much if not more impact than a standard tossed-out deck routine, Bill Abbott's Octopus Deck offers an intriguing gimmicked deck. This giant slayer is a complete mind reading routine with three phases. Wait until you get your tentacles on this one.
Trick Review: Timecard by Gordon Bean
Here's another brilliant trick from Gordon Bean. It's a powerful and surprising prediction effect that's been combined with a card revelation. And as the name implies, it's about time.
Trick Review: Wild Poker Trick by Boris Wild
Another poker-related title that capitalizes on the game's recent popularity is Boris Wild's Wild Poker Trick. This effect offers a visual and spectacular transformation where a poor poker hand suddenly turns into a royal flush in spades.
DVD Review: Captured by James Clark
In Captured, a spectator selects a card and then you bring out a Polaroid camera and take a picture of the spectator. You hand the Polaroid picture to the spectator and as the picture slowly develops, the spectator not only sees his or her image, but a picture of the selected card as well. This is high-impact magic with lots of possibilities.
Trick Review: Falling Angel by Christopher Gustin
Falling Angel is a gimmicked card effect that makes it look as if you are removing an angel from the back of a Bicycle-based ace of clubs and placing it onto the front of the card. It's a good effect, but the handling is probably too difficult for a good number of beginning magicians.
Trick Review: Snap Shot by Thom Peterson
A fun card revelation where a blurry picture mysteriously develops on a blank card, Thom Peterson's "Snapshot" offers a strong walk-around and close-up effect that leaves a souvenir with spectators.
Trick Review: Bikers by Gordon Bean
There are lots of packet tricks on the market and Gordon Bean's "Bikers" is the finest that I've reviewed. Here, four jokers visually turn into four kings in four phases. And the last card changes as it's held in a spectator's hand.
Review: Casino Cut Card by Thom Peterson
Something different, you show a blank card that represents "an old style casino cut card." Like a "wild card" routine, the "cut card" takes on the identity of three freely selected cards. At the end, the "cut card" becomes a mish-mash card that displays parts of many cards. It's a good, if offbeat effect that entertains.
Trick Review: Lottery Card by Peter Eggink
An intriguing and offbeat card effect, Peter Eggink's Lottery Card allows you reveal a spectator's selection in an unusual manner. The player's chosen card is turned into a virtual lottery card that allows you rub off a revelation on its back with a coin. It's different, but is probably not a stunner.
Review: I Hate David Copperfield Trick by Geoff Williams
Despite the name, I like David Copperfield as well as this trick from Geoff Williams. Here a single card mysteriously changes location in a three card pack. I don’t know if this part of a new trend, but Williams previously released this effect on his Miracles for Mortals Volume One DVD. It's the exact same footage.
Trick Review: Infallible by Al Lampkin
Here's an easy packet trick with playing cards that offers a strong prediction and an easy, straight forward method. The instructions leave something to be desired as there are effectively none, but there is a good demo on the enclosed DVD that will allow magicians with some basic knowledge of card techniques to piece together the routine.
Review: Point Blank by Michael Ammar and Jordan Cotler
You bring out a deck of cards, shuffle it and spread it face-up on the table. The spectator can see all the cards and then freely selects one. You pick up the cards in the spread and then immediately show that they are all completely blank. You take back the spectator’s card, and then show that it has turned blank as well.
Review: Super Clipped by Cosmo Solano
This close-up effect is a strong enhancement of a well known, classic trick that we called "The Clipped Card," which is based on an optical illusion. "Super Clipped," which starts as "The Clipped Card," results in a stunning five card change.
Trick Review: Hypno Aces by David Penn
An impressive packet trick that's easy to learn and perform, four "hypno" cards, playing cards with standard "Bicycle" backs and a hypnotic swirl on the front, almost instantaneously turn into four aces. It's an astonishing change that relies on a couple of basic sleights and gimmicked cards.
DVD Review: Stealing Pips by Oz Pearlman
A refreshingly different DVD on card magic that teaches innovative moves and then shows how to use them in excellent routines, Stealing Pips: The Card Magic of Oz is a winner. The DVD's routines are commercial and strong, and throughout, Oz Pearlman offers thorough instruction. Learn the moves and you'll be able to perform Pearlman's bafflers, and you'll also gain some new moves to apply to existing routines.
Review: Past Midnight (3 DVD Set) by Benjamin Earl
This three-disc DVD set was a pleasant surprise. I had never before heard of Benjamin Earl, but he's an accomplished card worker with impressive techniques and routines. There's lots to like about this DVD set which will appeal to those who love advanced card techniques and sleights.
Trick Review: Bling by Adam Topham
An entertaining card revelation where individual jewels end up spelling the name of the spectator's card, Bling has lots of possibilities. Perhaps most notable for its hip and clever name, the effect can handily entertain close-up audiences and fits well into a theme of extravagance and luxury.
Review: Falling For You by Andrew Gerard
As card tricks go, "Falling For You" is a decent effect with a different revelation, but the ad copy deliberately misleads. The effect is a card revelation where you drop cards, one by one, onto the floor, and the spectator's selected card takes a decidedly different path to indicate that it's the chosen one.
Trick Review: Mutanz by Bob Farmer
Yet another packet effect, Mutanz starts with the usual cards that turn face-up and face-down. The difference comes in the trick's ending when the cards mutate into mixed-up cards: two face-to-face and two back-to-back cards. Reset is fast and this one is great for strolling situations.
Review: The Royal Scam - John Bannon
A great packet card effect, John Bannon's The Royal Scam offers two powerful phases and leaves you clean at the end. If you're adept with basic card sleights, you have the skills to perform this winner.
DVD Review: Time and Space by Justin Miller
How about a card trick that alters time and space? Such is the premise in this excellent Justin Miller effect. It's something of a powerful card sandwich routine that's been combined with the merging of several cards into a souvenir that spectators can take with them. It's got the Miller touch because it adds a significant kicker that occurs after spectators think that the effect is effectively over.
DVD Review: X Marks The Spot by Justin Miller
When Justin Miller marks a spot with an "X," he's not messing around. This effect is a stunning baffler where a spectator's signed card changes from a red-backed card into a blue-backed card, and the entire deck suddenly sports "Xs" on the back of each card. Miller brilliantly creates two stunning phases that amazes audiences.
Review: Pop Card by Steven and Michael Pignataro
The motivation to perform ever-more impossible "card to impossible location" drives us this effect. As the name implies, In Pop Card, you produce a spectator's signed card from inside of a gooey Pop-Tart.
Review: Alpha Cards by Jesse Feinberg
Here's an interesting idea, heat sensitive cards that allow a four of hearts to change into a four of spades and back again. The cards are completely reusable and can allow for some fun transpositions and literal color changes.
Review: Toasted by Rodger Lovins
In "Toasted," a spectator's card suddenly pops up from the deck. It’s essentially a fast rising card that is visual and quick.
Review: Mesika's Wallet (Card To Wallet) By Yigal Mesika
If you want to perform "card to wallet" where a spectator's signed card ends up inside your wallet, Yigal Mesika offers a version that is great for producing folded cards. The prop is a quality one that's made of leather and it looks like a regular wallet that most men would carry around.
If you want to cause a card to magically rise from the deck, here are resources.
Trick Review: Final Fusion by Jay Sankey
If you want to reveal a spectator's chosen card in a spectacular manner, how about fusing its image onto a card box? This is what you can do with Jay Sankey's "Final Fusion." The effect is strong and visual and Sankey offers lots of clever variations that you can learn and perform. My only reservation is that the gimmicked card boxes will quickly wear out with repeated use.
Review: ZED+ Wallet
The ZED+ Wallet is a "z"-fold wallet that allows you switch one side of the wallet for the other to execute exchanges, vanishes, appearances and more. Using the wallet you can secretly exchange two cards in your wallet, swap-out written billets, exchange flat objects such as credit cards and business cards, make flat objects disappear, make drawings or writing appear on paper, exchange paper currency and more.
DVD Review: Blank by Kenton Knepper
The theme is "blank" and on this DVD, Kenton Knepper tips two powerful card effects. What Knepper has done is take two simple and well known card tricks that reveal a particular card or set of cards, and created routines that allow the rest of the deck to be shown blank at the end. As a result, the routines have solid initial revelations, where most card tricks would end, and considerable kickers that are downright devastating.
DVD Review: Card To Wallet (World's Greatest Magic)
Card to wallet is one of many standard routines where a spectator's selected card somehow ends up in an impossible place, in this case, the magician's wallet. On this DVD, it's a pleasure to watch the likes of John Mendoza, Alexander deCova, Michael Ammar, Eddie Tullock, Dan Fleshman, Alex Elmsley and Eric DeCamps in action. And if you want to learn such a routine, this DVD offers a good place to begin.
DVD Review: Business Card Card-iographic by Brian Curry
A spectator selects a card and returns it to the deck. You show your business card which has an image of a deck of cards drawn on it. Slowly, and in full view, a drawing of the spectator’s card slowly rises from it. After the rise, you peel off the card and give it to the spectator.
"Hyper-Bent-Elation" is an unusual and refreshingly different card trick that warps spectators into the fourth dimension and leaves them with a souvenir, and if you like, your business card in their hands. The effect applies a well known optical illusion/puzzler to playing cards. It's a brilliant idea that makes for an impressive and entertaining effect, and another great product from Daryl.
Review: Elite CardGuard
You know you're a magician when you want to protect and maintain your playing cards. For this, Elite CardGuard is a card case that's made from lightweight and sturdy aluminum that offers excellent protection for your cards. The sleek and classy guard also looks great and will probably impress your friends and audiences.
Trick Review: Psycolor Change Deck by Kenton Knepper
Here's a card color change effect that is part conventional method and a bigger part psychology. The method is so simple that it will appear to magicians that it could never work, but its simplicity creates a stunning change that also leaves you clean. And unlike most color change effects, there’s no sleight of hand.
DVD Review: “Neo Change” by Daryl Sato
A ten-minute DVD that explains a single move, a card color change, "Neo Change" is indeed visual, but comes with certain angle considerations. With the deck held sideways in your left hand, card faces towards spectators, you slowly pass your hand a few inches from the deck and the card visually changes. If you like, there's a second phase that changes the first card into a second one.
DVD Review: Accidental Discovery by Tank
Taking the "card to impossible location" effect to a new level, a chosen card can now be produced from any place that a spectator wishes. While none other than Kenton Knepper and Tank say that this is one of their favorite effects, I have mixed feelings about this one.
Trick Review: Ascension by Nick Langham
Here's yet another take on the rising card effect. While most rising cards are much the same - a spectator selects card, returns it to the deck and the magician causes said card to rise from deck - Ascension offers a stronger revelation. Some may prefer the traditional plot, but I’m sure that many would welcome this fresh approach.
Trick Review: Autobahn by David Forrest
If you can use a "card at any number" effect - a spectator's freely named card ends-up at a freely chosen number in a deck of cards, David Forrest is definitely onto something here.
Trick Review: Deep-Rising Card Unlimited
Another card effect where a selected card mysteriously rises out of the deck, Deep-Rising is clumsy and over-priced. The deck and card box are cleverly gimmicked and can withstand a good amount of examination, but the rising is hard to perform while holding your hand in a natural position. I’ve seen stronger methods.
Trick Review: Lady Travels by Kenton Knepper (w/ DVD)
The torn corner is a classic convincer that tells a spectator that the card or bill that’s now found in an impossible location is indeed the very same one that they held in their hands a moment earlier. In "Lady Travels," Kenton Knepper offers a great effect where a chosen card travels to a truly impossible location, and a corner that’s been held by the spectator fits. This one is very strong.
DVD Review: Mental Influence by Kenton Knepper
Kenton Knepper is a master at psychology and magic and has the keen ability to take well known tricks and apply subtleties and suggestions that turn them into bafflers. This is the case with two card tricks that are explained on this DVD that are loaded with psychological twists and turns.
Trick Review: Riser Deck by Mark Elsdon
Want something different to end your ambitious card routine? If you’ve done the wallet or the envelope or any other “card to impossible place,” you may like the Riser Deck. This impressive gimmick allows you perform classic ambitious card where a chosen card repeatedly rises in the deck, but it happens while the deck is in its box.
Fingers of Fury Vol.2 (Death By Cards) by Alan Rorrison
Does the world need more card tricks? I often ask this when I pop in the latest card DVD for review. But in Fingers of Fury Vol. 2, I was pleasantly surprised with some new approaches and fresh ideas from Alan Rorrison. You may find a close-up card trick that you like and will want to learn.
DVD Review: Master Card Technique Vol 1, 2, 3 - World’s Greatest Magic
If you want a solid video reference on card technique, you’ll find it in Master Card Technique. The three disc DVD set offers a comprehensive assortment of key card moves and their variations, and suggestions on how to successfully execute them. The moves are taught and performed by Sepp Holzer and Andy Edmüller.
DVD Review: The Cloak by Justin Miller
If you can use a practical IT hookup, you may find it here on Justin Miller’s DVD. The Cloak offers a standing and sitting-down table hook-up that lets you perform rising card and haunted pack effects - there’s no floating bills or hovering cards here. Millers’ hook-ups are practical and workable in the real world, and the results are superior to the results when you use loops.
DVD Review: Ellis Aces by Ed Ellis
Worker Ed Ellis teaches a fast and visual four ace production and offers some tips for performing common sleights. If you don’t yet have a four ace production routine, you may like Ellis’ approach. I liked his Stair Step Control that he teaches here and the fact that this four ace production doesn’t require a table. This one is great for walk around.
DVD Review: Sam The Bellhop by Bill Malone
Sam The Bellhop is a smashing signature piece of Bill Malone’s that he unveiled to the world in 1994 on the “World’s Greatest Magic” television special. The routine is an offbeat card effect where cards are turned-over, in order, to tell a story. In this case, it’s about Sam the bellhop and the mythical “654" club. He teaches everything that you need to know on this DVD.
Guide to Packet Card Tricks
Here's a guide to some of the many packet card tricks on the market. Are they worth the money? Read our reviews and find out.
Trick Review: Royal Stab by Richard Sanders
Instead of throwing a bunch of cards into the air and somehow stabbing a spectator’s selected card with your knife or pen, in “Royal Stab,” you use the King of Clubs to enter the deck, seek two selected cards and impale them on his swords. The picture says it all. This effect only requires basic sleight-of-hand skills and is easy to perform. It’s a good close-up card trick that you can always carry with you.
Book Review: Fandango - Part 1 by David Forrest
Fulfilling a periodic inclination, in his "Fandango" booklet, David Forrest releases a set of good close-up effects, mostly with cards. I particularly liked his "Seal the Deal" where a previously used deck of cards is found completely sealed in its box - an impressive "back in time" plot. There’s some commercial close-up material to be found here.
Poker Themed Tricks
Here are magic tricks and products that are related to the game of Poker.
DVD Review: Bootlegs And B-Sides - Vol. 1 by Sean Fields
This DVD with the unusual title offers Field’s approaches to classic card plots such as “Twisting the Aces,” “The Open Prediction” and Paul Curry’s “Out of This World.” There’s also a killer closer to classic “Ambitious Card” that will excite card enthusiasts. The DVD features some great material, but the routines are probably more for showing off to other magicians than for presenting to lay spectators.
DVD Review: Strip by Jon Thompson
If you've long shunned the lowly stripper deck, Jon Thompson may change your mind with the techniques on his new DVD, "Strip." As you'll see, a stripper deck in the hands of a skilled magician can form the basis of some astounding effects. The deck is not just for beginners.
Trick Review: About Face by Jay Sankey
A variation on a classic packet card trick, Jay Sankey’s “About Face” makes the printed Jokers on four Joker cards turn around, one-by-one. Spectators actually see the back of the head of each Joker on each card. Sankey offers brilliant handling that makes it appear that all the Jokers are normal in the beginning and that all have turned their heads at the end. And he offers first rate instruction on the accompanying DVD.
Trick Review: Excalibur Deck by Devin Knight
When you have to force a card under the most scrutinized conditions, consider using Devin Knight’s Excalibur Deck when a slip, hindu, cross-cut or even classic may feel too obvious.
DVD Review: Card Trick Magic by Stephane Vanel
If you’re a beginner and want to learn some good card magic, Stephane Vanel’s “Card Trick Magic” offers first rate effects that don’t require complicated sleight-of-hand and are easy to learn and perform. The DVD features 12 card tricks and offers an introduction to basic card sleights. The routines here are excellent for beginners.
Trick Review: Honest Cheat Poker Routine by Alan Bursky
“The Honest Cheat Poker Routine” offers an entertaining five-minute poker themed routine. It’s not hard to perform, requires no sleight of hand and can be performed with any deck. It will take some practice and there’s a setup that needs to occur beforehand, but this one is good.
DVD Review: Paperclipped Special Edition by Jay Sankey
With two-and-a-half hours of video, Jay Sankey leaves no stone unturned and no aspect uncovered on his famous “Paperclipped Special Edition.” On this DVD, Sankey talks in-depth about technique, patter, psychology and more. It’s a downright video dissertation on the effect.
DVD Review: “The Wedding” by Bruno Copin
I’m all for magic routines that tell stories and Bruno Copin’s “The Wedding” offers an unusual card effect where the individual cards become characters in something of a play. I’m not sure that the story really goes anywhere beyond a basic boy meets girl, gets married and lives happily ever after. The technique and mechanics behind the effect are impressive, but the story telling pales in comparison.
Trick Review: Numberground by Mickael Chatelain
You reveal a spectator's card as one that you’ve written on the back of a playing card. When you're told that the prediction is wrong, you shake the card and the writing turns into the selected card. The change is visual and the gimmick is a quality one that looks like a normal card. This one is expensive, but the effect and its precision gimmick are impressive.
Trilogy Streamline by Brian Caswell
“Trilogy Streamline” offers a “lite” version of “Trilogy.” Like the original “Trilogy,” this mentalism effect with playing cards offers three strong revelations with three audience members. This one is just as strong as the original “Trilogy” and better suited for strolling magic.
Trick Review: Trilogy by Brian Caswell
This mentalism effect with playing cards offers three strong revelations with three audience members. It’s easy to perform; spectators make free choices with a tiny bit of suggestion; the audience sees you working with a single deck of cards and there’s no sleight-of-hand or difficult handling.
Book Review: Uncovered (Secrets For The Serious Magician) - John Luka
John Luka’s “Uncovered” offers a strong compilation of first class card magic and a few non-card items that will appeal to serious and commercially-oriented magicians. The effects in this book are visual and have a strong impact on spectators and Lukas serves excellent and detailed instructions. And despite the power of his routines, none are “knuckle busters.” This is one great book that I highly recommend.
DVD Review: The Trilogy (3 DVD Set) by Dan And Dave Buck
Dave and Dan Buck are well known to anyone who’s into magic and surfs the internet. Their creative and wild card flourishes are legendary. The Trilogy offers some six hours of flourishes, moves and fast card tricks. This is visual and flashy card magic that you can incorporate into your own routines. And throughout, from the moves to the menus to the packaging, the Bucks offer a contemporary and relevant feel.
DVD Review: Open Traveller by David Acer
An eclectic travelog that’s interspersed with various effects and moves, David Acer’s “Open Traveller” DVD covers his trip during the Fall of 2002 where he toured various cities along with Rick Bronson before performing at an Edmonton Oilers Home Opener. The DVD teaches some strong close-up magic and features some hilarious segments from the road as well as from Acer’s and Bronson’s acts.
Trick Review: “You Blue It” by Ed Ellis
Ed Ellis offers a powerful and commercial close-up card effect that involves a signed card and multiple color changes-the back of the card visually changes colors and the spectator’s signature on the face vanishes and reappears. This one is great for strolling and restaurant work and the spectator gets to keep the signed card as a souvenir.
Trick Review: Crystal Card by Pieras Fitikides
Piera’s Fitikides' Crystal Card offers an intriguing prop, a laminated card that can be shown blank and then displays the suit and value of two chosen cards, in sequence. It’s a brilliant concept that is easy to use, does everything that the ads say, but has some minor drawbacks.
Book Review: Long And Short Of It by Mark Lewis
However, Mark Lewis, in his book, “Long and Short Of It,” explains some intriguing moves with a Svengali deck beyond the standard ones and offers a powerful routine. He also explains various effects that may be performed with a Svengali deck. While most of these can be done with a real deck and sleight of hand, they’re effective routines.
Trick Review: Vanishing Point by David Eldridge
Vanishing Point is a decent packet trick with playing cards where four of a kind, say, the queens, are shown front and back and then, one at a time, the cards turn blank until all are blank. And at the end, the cards reprint themselves to their original state.
Talking Deck by Rodger Lovins
Is it a powerful card revelation or a strong bit of mentalism? Or is it simply some cool technology that’s posing as a great magic trick. With “Talking Deck” you get a cool electronic gizmo that allows a deck of cards to speak the name of a card, but the resulting effect just isn’t as impressive as the gimmick and secret.
Standing Room Only: Vol 2 - Steve Draun
Steve Draun has a reputation as a card man. His Volume 2 DVD is for those who want to learn and master classic gambling sleights and incorporate these techniques into their magic. Here you’ll learn about crimps, the Hermann pass, false and controlled shuffles, second dealing, cutting to aces, stacking a deck as you shuffle it and more. For card artists who want to move to the next level, there’s lots to like.
DVD Review: Covert Magic by Iain Moran
On Covert Magic, Iain Moran offers a series of excellent close-up card effects and a single coin routine. I like the way that Moran mixes accomplished sleight-of-hand with gimmicks to produce great results. I liked several routines and consider the material here to be quite commercial. However, I think many of effects will appeal more to those who perform for other magicians.
Ambitious Card (World's Greatest Magic)
A classic card routine that a majority of close-up magicians, particularly pros, regularly perform, Ambitious Card offers a plot where a chosen card is placed anywhere in a deck of cards and somehow, continually rises to the top. This DVD offers solid advice on learning and performing Ambitious Card from experts. If you want to learn Ambitious Card or want to improve or expand your current routine, you’ll find lots to like here.
DVD Review: The Session 2007
Take a camera crew to the “Session 2007" convention, a gathering that’s dedicated to serious sleight-of-hand, record the offerings and routines of numerous magicians and you have this DVD. Many of the routines and techniques on this DVD are of the high-level, finger-flinging variety and span the gamut and tend towards playing cards. There may be some routines and insights that serious practitioners can gain from this DVD, but fifty bucks seems pricey.
3D Paradox by Steve Shufton
A spectator is given a sealed envelope which can even be mailed ahead of time if you’re so inclined. A playing card is freely selected, signed and shuffled back into the pack. The envelope is opened to reveal a greeting card. When the card is opened, a colorful 3D scene pops-up with a small envelope. When the small envelope is opened, it’s found to contain the spectator’s signed card. Performed correctly, this one is a stunner.
Printing by Dominique Duvivier
Duvivier’s “Printing” offers a variation on classic “Wild Card” where a series of playing cards take on the image of other cards and even various objects. The trick is entertaining, plays well and is easy to learn and perform.
Cash Card by Jesse Feinberg
In this penetration effect, a playing card passes through a dollar bill. A dollar bill is folded around a playing card, which traps the card inside. The card is then slowly pulled through the bill as if melts through it. This one is visual, convincing and easy to learn and perform.
Underground Jam by Jay Sankey
On this DVD, Jay Sankey recreates a late-night magic jam session where he and three other entertainers perform and explain their pet close-up effects to each other. This DVD offers some 20 effects, a majority that use playing cards, but there are others that use coins, keys, film canisters and more. This DVD offers a good mix of effects and among the 20, you’re bound to find one that you can use.
Trick Review: CTW (Card Through Window) by David Forrest
Beyond his self-levitation, most lay-people seem to recall David Blaine’s "card through window" from his early television specials. The excellent “CTW” offers a two phase version of the effect that is powerful and relies on an innovative and clever gimmick. I thoroughly like this one and find it to be far better than Kevin Parker’s “Edge,” another card through window trick that we reviewed earlier.
DVD Review: Mix N' Mingle - Shaun McCree
Mix N' Mingle is an outstanding two-disc DVD set that presents strong close-up material, mostly with cards. Shaun McCree is a UK-based entertainer who explains routines that are designed for real-world, walk-around conditions where you’re standing and surrounded.
Review: Bicycle Masters Edition
For card handlers, a fresh new deck that is worked in just right is one of life’s pleasures. And if you’re lucky enough to own Ellusionist’s Bicycle Masters Edition, a high-end Bicycle deck that’s printed by the United States Playing Card Company, you’re working with the best quality deck that’s probably out there. And its stunning, redesigned Ace of Spades adds icing to the cake.
Bar Magic Resources
Bar magic is just as the name implies. It's close-up magic that's performed patrons at a bar. Here are resources for bar magic.
Beginner’s Magic Demo: Svengali Deck
A Svengali deck is a trick card deck that allows you to easily perform some seemingly amazing feats and it’s a great trick for beginners of almost any age. We take you on a virtual demo of what the deck can do.
On Learning Card Magic
Forum member, and noted magician and writer Brad Henderson generously contributed this comprehensive and informative post about the major texts for learning card magic. If your goal is to become a proficient card worker, Henderson discusses and compares Card College, Royal Road to Card Magic and lots more.
DVD Review: Incredible Self-Working Card Tricks Vol 5
Now with a fifth volume, Michael Maxwell offers another set of "self-working card tricks" that require no sleight-of-hand or skill with cards. This DVD is good for beginners and comes with some decent effects and a couple of no-sleight variations on card classics.
Review: Black Tiger Deck, Gaff Deck & Black Book
Imagine a deck of high-quality Bicycle playing cards that has been reversed and you have the striking Black Tiger Deck. And to complement the deck, there's a Gaff Deck with 56 gimmicked cards, as well as an accompanying book that describes and teaches effects. It’s a whole new world of entertaining, edgy and spooky card magic.
The Best of the Easy Card Tricks
With just a deck of cards, you can practically put on a show. Among the many card tricks that we have explained in our library of easy tricks, here are our favorites.
DVD Review: Fans, Flourishes, and False Shuffles-Richard Turner
Richard Turner’s ability to convincingly perform almost anything with cards is about as legendary as his 16 hours of practice a day. This DVD offers a mix of fans, flourishes, false cuts, controls and shuffles. Some are basic and may be found on other flourish DVDs while others are flashy and twisted Turner variations. All can add visual interest to your card routines.
Review: Bicycle Red Gaff Deck
Ellusionist.com's "Bicycle Red Gaff Deck" offers an intriguing and comprehensive collection of gaffed playing cards that you can use with a normal red Bicycle deck. Some are well known standards and the deck goes far beyond with amazing and visual variations that will spark your imagination and dress-up your card effects.
Trick Review: “Gobsmacked” - Costas Damianou & Simon Lovell
“Free Will Has Left the Building.” So goes the tagline for “Gobsmacked,” an effect where a spectator freely deals cards until he or she wants to stop. When the spectator stops, the magician shows that the rest of the cards are blue backed cards and the spectator’s freely chosen card has a red back with a message written on the back. The power in this effect lies in its perceived free choice.
DVD Review: "Stack Attack" - Lew Brooks
As the name implies, "Stack Attack" offers a collection of impressive card tricks that are based on stacking the deck--putting the cards into a specific, prearranged order. All of the tricks, which end with the magician dealing a winning hand, require no complicated sleight of hand. As a result, the easy tricks on this DVD are perfect for beginners.
Trick Review: Mag Card DVD
"Mag Card DVD" is a kit that allows you to make your own magnetic cards. While such cards aren’t tricks in themselves, they allow you to perform three effects that are explained on the accompanying DVD. The DVD offers thorough instructions on making your own cards and the resulting tricks are good ones.
Trick Review: Chaos 2 by Mark Elsdon
This is a good, visual card effect that is not difficult to learn, is easy to perform and is great for beginners.“Chaos 2" offers a gimmicked deck that can be cut with the halves placed face to face, and then shown to be completely interlaced with face-up and face-down cards. And afterwards, the deck can be immediately straightened out so all the cards face the same way.
Trick Review: Psnype by Kevin Parker
The spectator is given a deck of cards. The magician turns his back and tells him to cut the deck to any card and peek at it. After the spectator peeks at a card, the magician tells him the card he peeked at without fishing or even touching the deck.
Trick Review: Edge by Kevin Parker
The magician displays a card with a torn corner and puts his empty hand around to the other side of a glass door, keeping it there with his fingers spread wide open and the palm visible. The other hand taps the torn card against the opposite side of the glass and the card's corner visually falls into the hand on the other side of the window, seemingly passing right through the glass.
DVD Review: Zoom, Bounce, And Fly- Jeff McBride
Jeff McBride’s “Zoom, Bounce, And Fly” teaches you how to spin cards in flashy ways to dress up your card manipulation act. This DVD provides some new variations and the complete work on performing McBride’s amazing “floor bouncing” where cards are rapidly spun and thrown from a deck that’s held in one hand and bounced off the floor. And for the first time, McBride unveils a secret gimmick.
Easy Trick: The Card Divination
A series of six cards are laid out on the table. The magician turns away and a spectator silently points to one of the cards to select it. When the magician turns around, another person who acts as an assistant points at the various cards and asks the magician “is this the card?” When the assistant comes to the correct card, the magician identifies it as the chosen card.
Easy Card Trick: With the Grain
In this easy card trick, you quickly find a card that a spectator has cut to. The spectator can mix the cards and freely cuts the deck to a selected card. The spectator replaces the cut and squares the deck. The deck is not a trick one and you don’t even touch the deck until the revelation at the end.
Easy Magic Trick: "Do As I Do"
“Do As I Do,” is a great card trick that offers lots of audience interaction, can be performed at any time that you have two decks of cards, has lots of opportunities for comedy and the ending is surprising with an inherent build-up. And once the trick is over, the secret is long gone. There is nothing for spectators to find.
Easy Trick: Standing Card Find
This is a good and easy “find a card” trick that works great in situations where you’re standing and performing for others. There are no complicated moves; you use an ungimmicked, real deck; the conditions seem fair (the spectator examines and shuffles the deck) and your ability to find a card is baffling. All you have to do is add the build-up and presentation.
Easy Trick: Mental Card Spin
Here’s an ultra-easy trick that you can do. It’s a bit of mentalism where you tell a spectator the exact card that they touched and turned around without any way for you to know. (Okay, there is a secret and a way for you to know.)
Easy Magic Trick: Aces From Your Pocket
In this easy card trick, you mysteriously locate four aces from a shuffled deck. This one is easy to perform. All you need is a deck of cards and a jacket that has an inner pocket.
The Nine- or 21-Card Trick
This well known sequence allows a person to discover a spectator’s card simply by dealing cards. Simply follow the instructions. If you like, you may adapt this sequence to work with a pack of 21-cards.
Easy Magic Trick: The Reversed Card
The spectator selects a card and places it back into the deck. After placing the deck behind your back and bringing it out again, the selected card is shown to have reversed itself in the deck.
Easy Magic Trick: Incredible Spelling
A spectator shuffles a deck of cards and memorizes the card at the bottom of the deck. So you can't see the selected card, the deck is slipped back into its box. After a bit of mumbo-jumbo, psycho-babble, you’re able to tell the spectator the exact card that he is thinking of. The secret to this one is simple and diabolical.
An Introduction to Magic Cards
When you perform magic with playing cards, you can either rely on trick magic cards or skill (sleight of hand). Here's an overview of popular magic cards that are available from dealers.
All About the Princess Card Trick
The Princess Card trick is a well known mentalism effect. Here's background on the trick.
Card Flourishes Versus Card Magic
Flourishes are somewhat controversial as some magicians feel that flourishes and impressive displays of skills detract from card magic. The premise is that the presentation of manipulative feats indicate to spectators that a magician is skilled with cards and can effectively "cheat" with them. And a magician "cheating" with cards provides an explanation that nullifies any concept of magic.
Review of Blink Color Changing Card
"Blink" offers a well gimmicked playing card that allows you to quickly and visually change one card into another. The change itself is fast and stunning and the prop is easy to work with, which makes it great for beginners.
All About the Mene Tekel Deck
The Mene Tekel deck is a trick deck of cards that is configured in such a way that you can accomplish the following: 1) someone can freely select a card and place it into the middle of the deck and it immediately comes back to the top; 2) someone can freely select a card and you can immediately know its value; and 3) someone can freely select a card and you can immediately access a duplicate of the selected card.
Which is the Best Blizzard?
The classic plot of Dean Dill’s well known card effect, "Blizzard," continues to resurrect itself in new versions by other magicians such as...
Review of Nothing In Transit
"Nothing in Transit" offers a portable hole effect where a hole in one playing card mysteriously moves to another card. The innovation here is a sequence where the hole visually moves in slow motion.
Case to Playing Cards and Cards to Case - Freedom Deck and Mash Pack
Magicians have long enjoyed bringing out a deck of playing cards and after applying a short shuffle, immediately showing that the cards are actually still in their box. And a logical variation would be to bring out a box of cards and suddenly show that the box has vanished and cards are all that remain in your hands. Two new magic products:...
"SuperSlim Hip Pocket Mullica"
Compared to a standard "Mullica Wallet," the "SuperSlim Hip Pocket Mullica" is smaller and looks more like a wallet that most men may carry and use. I highly recommend it for "card to wallet."
Passing a Glass Through a Card
Here's a bar bet style challenge where you are able to cut a playing card in a certain manner and cause a larger object to pass through it.