Theres no replacement for good sleight-of-hand and solid card handling skills. But with entertaining presentations, some of the self-working effects here have potential. And Maxwell has compiled good tricks with clever and easy methods.
The strongest trick, Stolen Cards is an entertaining effect that uses a colorful deck consisting of cards from 52 different decks-all of the backs are different. Two different cards are pulled from the deck and placed by spectators in different parts of the deck. When the cards are brought back out with the cards immediately next to them, it is shown that the backs and fronts completely match. And the rest of the deck is shown to be of different backs and different values.
This one is easy, strong and disarming. But Im not sure why Maxwell is explaining a marketed effect here. Spectators should simply purchase the trick as its not practical to make your own deck.
Something of a mini Out of the This World is Hummer's Revealed Mystery. A portion of the deck is cut and given to a spectator. The spectator is asked to place the pack under the table or behind his back and continually turn over two cards and cut the deck. The pack is handed to the magician who correctly predicts how many cards are face-up in the pack. And the red cards are shown to be face-up and the black cards face-down.
The second phase of Hummer's Revealed Mystery is basically a Triumph routine where a deck is shuffled with face-up and face-down cards, and a selected card is laster found. Like the prior Hummer effect, I dislike all of the sneaky action that takes place out of sight.
Follow the Leader
In Flight of the Knave & Queen, the twelve court cards are taken from the deck. The magician counts 12 cards, and after a bit of tomfoolery, claims that two cards were made invisible and put into the main deck. At the end, the spectator counts ten cards instead of 12 and two court cards are indeed found in the deck. This is a great effect, but the method, which relies on miscounting is bold. Beginners may get nervous trying to pull this one off.
This one relies on the same bold count that is used in Flight of the Knave & Queen. For simple cards across, I prefer the method by Andrew Normansell (titled Economy Flight) which is just as easy and more direct.
In Mind Mirror, a spectator is asked to count several cards onto the table and then look at the card. The spectator then puts the card back, shuffles the deck and cuts it. The magician looks through the deck and find the card or reveals it in an interesting way. This one is a no-sleight card control.