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Review of Ambideckstrous by Jonathan Pickard

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Review of Ambideckstrous by Jonathan Pickard

Ambideckstrous by Jonathan Pickard

When the US Playing Card Company unveiled the new card box for its Bicycle brand cards, many in the magic community were less than enthusiastic. The reason is that there are numerous effects that rely on the depiction of the card’s back design on the box. With the new card box, these tricks were now obsolete. However, magicians are coming up with some new ideas that take advantage of the new box.

Thinking in the Box

The first card trick that I have seen that has effectively adapted to this new order is Jason Dean’s “Threesome” (click here to read my review) which offers gimmicks for old and new boxes. And now, there’s “Ambideckstrous,” a strong transposition and double-phased prediction effect. “Ambideckstrous” relies on the new card box and won’t work with the old one.

Despite the name, “Ambideckstrous” has nothing to do with ambitious card or being ambidextrous Here’s how the excellent card effect plays. Two spectators freely select two different cards. After being lost in the deck, the first card is shown to be on top of the deck and it’s laid facedown onto the table (or on a spectator’s hand). But the card has not only risen to the top of the deck, you show that the card box predicted the chosen card by its picture on the box. The playing card is shown to be printed on the backside of the Bicycle box.

You place the rest of the cards into the card box and when you bring them out, one card is found to be reversed in the middle of the deck. But when the reversed card is shown, it turns out to the first chosen card that has already been revealed. And when the “first” card is turned over, it’s shown to be the second chosen card. But wait, there’s more. The grand finale is when you show the card box and the “prediction card” has changed to the second card.

The Kit

The kit comes with a gimmicked card and a 20 page instruction booklet. You provide your own deck of Bicycle cards. As you would expect, you will need sleight of hand skills to accomplish this miracle. Any card worker will have moves that he or she may apply and adapt to the effect. For beginners, there are easier approaches and the booklet provide some basic instructions to apply them. Anyone with a foundation in card sleight of hand will be able to perform this one.

“Ambideckstrous” is a great effect for table hopping and strolling. Just as a routine, I love the multiple layers of its double-prediction that’s combined with a transposition and the mysterious changing of the box. This one builds to a strong finale.

At the end, the box is clean and my be carefully examined. The deck of cards, on the other hand, look clean but may not be examined. And you will have to accomplish a minor task to make the deck completely normal to be used in another effect. While this is possible, I’m inclined to dedicate a box and deck to the effect.

A Worker

The entire effect fits into a single card box so it's easy to carry around. Reset isn’t complicated and can be done in a short time but you will have to do this in private.

I immediately knew that this was an effect that I wanted to try out right away. I quickly worked it up along with a simple presentation and went at it at my restaurants for a week. It’s been getting great reactions. After 20 or so performances my routine is getting stronger. While I had a good feeling about this effect after reading about it, I hadn’t realize its ability to foster interaction with multiple spectators. And while the transposition is very strong (and the box acts as great misdirection to cover the transposition as well as a secret move), the change on the box at the end is a stunner. This one clearly exceeded my strong expectations.

”Ambideckstrous” is commercial and powerful and it’s a keeper. And it’s earned a spot in my close-up and strolling toolkit.

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