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Deck Reviews! / Video Review: Shiner Deck from Mechanic Indust.
« on: August 18, 2017, 08:20:36 AM »
video review:

Created to celebrate Mechanic Industries' 5th birthday; a tuck case embossed and wrapped with foil inside and out.

Features their signature flip book animation design which doubles as a marking system.

The black, metallic sliver and white make the marking system even easier to read.

The tuck case can even be used as a Shiner.

Printed by USPCC on Bicycle stock with Magic finish

Video review:

Fontaine Cards started with one red deck on IndieGogo in 2013. Zach Mueller was 17 and by the end of the campaign he had raised 21K. He only printed 2500 Red Fontaines, and shipped them all out with the help of his mom and dad.  Since then, Fontaine has become an internationally recognized brand.

Zach also makes cardistry videos and tutorials on his YouTube channel and has garnered over 84,000 subscribers from around the globe - cardists, magicians and those who just enjoy watching "dope stuff."

In just the past 6 months, Fontaines have been seen over 20 million times on Facebook alone. Zach Mueller's cardistry videos featuring Fontaines have gone viral, been featured on multiple TV shows, dozens of blogs and magazines, and local channel news in the US, Israel, and Chile; and they have been shared by over 100,000 people on Facebook.

This year, Fontaines were also exclusively used in the movie SLEIGHT, an official Sundance Selection which was released nationwide in 2017.

Joining cardistry and streetwear has been a longtime dream of Zach's. So lining up with Anwar Carrots at supreme in 2011 was that dream realized.

Anwar and Zach started working on this new deck and clothing collection over 10 months ago. 

Today Carrots Fontaines are a reality.

video review:

V is for Victoria, but also for Victory!

This is a deck that hides many treasures, from its subtle one-way back design to its secret reveals.

From designer R.E. Handcrafted comes a new deck perfect for cardists, magicians, and card players who just want something a little more stylish for their tables: Victoria. These cards are 100% custom designed, from the goggle-eyed kings and queens to the elegant, abstract pips.

Buy yours from:

Deck Reviews! / Video Review: Luxor Playing Cards from Gemini Decks
« on: August 14, 2017, 06:22:37 PM »

Luxor features elegant back design with it's main design element being the mysterious Luxor cat that can be also found on both of the jokers.

Every Luxor deck comes with a special gaff card - an extra joker with a clear 2 of spades reveal.

Slightly modified court and number cards feature beautiful green and orange colorway that perfectly compliment the white back design.

Manufactured by the United States Playing Card Co. Printed on high quality Bee stock.

Learn more here:

Magical Cardistry Bonanza / Magic Review: Travel by Mickael Chatelain
« on: August 12, 2017, 09:13:32 AM »
Title: Travel
Creator: Mickael Chatelain
Publisher: Murphys Magic
MSRP: $ 30
Skill Level: All
Video Run time: 14 minutes

Type of effect:  Signed card vanishes from the top of the deck with no steal!

Manufacturer's Write Up: In the world of magic, there are THOUSANDS of tricks and as many gimmicks, each one crazier than the next...

We're proud to offer you a trick using, as far as we know, a TOTALLY NEW gimmick! There's nothing like it on the market. That's why we're particularly proud to offer to the magic community our latest creation - TRAVEL!

Take out your cased deck. Remove the cards from the case. Close the case and leave it on the table in full view. No one touches it!

Show your spectators that the deck is completely normal. You point out that the cards have faces and backs and all the cards are different.

Offer one of your spectators a FREE CHOICE of a card - he can change his mind if he likes. In short, there REALLY is NO force - the choice is 100% free.

The card is placed face up on top of the deck and the spectator signs its face. You then explain that his card will travel from the top of the deck to inside the case!

Show your hand empty and bring it over the card as if to make it vanish. But your spectator is not an idiot; he easily notices that you have palmed the card! In fact, the card juts out beyond your hand, fooling no one. OK, OK!

You begin again, asking the spectator to watch closely this time. The card is replaced face up on top of the deck. The case is still on the table and your hand is empty. Everything OK so far?

As before, you bring your empty hand slowly over the card. Your spectator burns your hand with redoubled attention, but this time, the card does not jut out. Your spectator wants to see your hand. You turn it over. IMPOSSIBLE! The card isn't there. Gone without a trace! It's not on the deck; it's not in your hand. How is this possible?????

Explain that the card is now in the case! NO WAY, as the spectators will remember that the case has been on the table since the beginning of the trick!

Show the cards remaining in the deck. Not a trace of the chosen card!

Pick up and shake the case. You can HEAR there's something inside! Your hand is empty. You slowly open the case. You reach inside with your thumb and index finger and take out... the FREELY CHOSEN and SIGNED SELECTED CARD!

How is this POSSIBLE?

Pass out the deck for examination to prove there are no duplicates or other irregularities.

No need to remind you that the card is STILL SIGNED - PROOF of its invisible passage!

How accurate is the ad copy? I agree with the copy
What's in the box?  Device and matching colored card box plus extra material should it break and the download code

Key points:

The deck is ORDINARY - Use your own!
NO force! The chosen card is ORDINARY and UNGIMMICKED!
NO palming - NOTHING is hidden in your hand!
The card REALLY does seem to travel from the deck to the card case!
EASY TO DO, as the gimmick takes care of EVERYTHING for you!
Your spectators will THINK they're onto you, yet they'll be TOTALLY FOOLED!
How are the production values: You get 3 sections, a straight forward teaching of the routine in English or French, and then a silent section that gives you a close hand shot of the entire effect and then a tutorial at the end on gimmick repair.
Is it well made: It does seem well made, although my gimmick did not have the action that Mickael’s had in the video. My gimmick felt clumsy.

Is it well taught: I think 14 minutes was a little lacking, I would have appreciated more details on routining and more on troubleshooting the gimmick
Storage? Does it "pack flat?" It all fits invisibly into your tuck case
Does it "play big?" This is a super easy card to card box
Difficulty / Skill level required: This is easily for all skill levels
How much arts and crafts are involved? Only if it breaks
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) Like I said, my gimmick was clumsy, maybe with some more practice and breaking it in – it might work better, but Mickael made it sound like it should just “work” right out of the box.
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
_____ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
__X__ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
 My thoughts the trick is beautiful, and I bet a lot of people will be very happy with it. Initially was super excited to try it out, but the gimmick was slow, clumsy and it makes a noise when it moved. The “cover” you need to provide and the flash of the gimmick in motion I think would make a spectator suspicious.

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review:  ​

​Title: Triple C
Creator: Christian Engblom
MSRP: $ 30
Skill Level: Intermediate / Advanced
Video Run time: 1 hour

Type of effect:  Gimmick deck

Manufacturer's Write Up: 1/3 the fat but all the awesomeness, Christian Engblom (1/3 of the Fat Brothers) is now sharing his most prized SECRET... a secret that he has kept for 24 years.  It's that good.

Stop manipulating the cards. Start manipulating the audience.  Triple C, the CLEANEST way to control a card or several cards.  So clean -- there is even a hands-off version.

Imagine letting the SPECTATOR shuffle the cards under test conditions. After a FREE selection, the spectator's FRIEND proceeds to read the SPECTATOR'S MIND correctly!
No prearranged stooges! The spectator becomes an instant mentalist.

Now be part of the 'inner circle,' using Triple C.  Are YOU going to fool everyone with it... or if you wait to buy it -- are YOU the one to be fooled?

How accurate is the ad copy? No deception.
What's in the box?  Deck of Bicycle cards (red or blue) / Exterior tuck case from the Expert Playing Card Company

Key points: This is NOT a Stripper Deck. This is a true utility deck that can be used as a normal deck. It can withstand close inspection.  Even magicians that KNOW it is gaffed have trouble finding it.
How are the production values: This is Christian facing the camera sitting at a table. The room is dark, he is wearing a dark shirt and his voice is echoey. There are a few close ups when you need it.
Is it well made: The deck is beautifully made from USPCC – if you tried to make this yourself, I don’t know that you could get it THIS GOOD.

Is it well taught: It’s an hour of teaching over 10 videos, you’re going to learn how to control the cards you’ll learn a name reveal and a poker trick and a few others and you’ll also get a video on the history of the deck and some final thoughts.
Storage? Does it "pack flat?"  It is just a deck of cards, so… deck of cards “size.”
Does it "play big?" This deck has the chops to make you look like a master of card manipulation.
Difficulty / Skill level required:  I’ve seen a lot of back and forth on this, some have no difficulty at all, others say it takes hours of practice and THEN they get it, others I’ve read have NEVER been able to do it.
How much arts and crafts are involved? None
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) Nothing that would prevent you from performing with this in the real world.
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
__X__ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
My thoughts Christian Engblom is a student of Juan Tamariz and this deck comes with Juan’s “seal of approval” that should be good enough for anyone.

Also watch the live interview with Christian Engblom here:

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review:  ​

video review

Title: Four King Miracle
Creator: Henri White
Publisher: World Magic Shop
MSRP: $ 20
Skill Level: All
Video Run time: 10:25 minutes

Type of effect:  4 card transpo

Manufacturer's Write Up: From the creator of The Souvenir, Henri White Presents Four King Miracle - Two jokers are shown front and back.  Visually, one at a time, the first two Kings appear in between two Jokers. As a finale, the final two cards also change into Kings. The Jokers have vanished from the packet!

This leaves you with a Four King Miracle.  The effect is easy to perform, and you will receive custom printed cards so you can start astonishing others with this great little packet trick.

How accurate is the ad copy? No deception
What's in the box?  Gimmicks and Online Instructions.

Key points: Very easy to do  - cards appear out of nowhere! Looks great on video and in real life.

How are the production values: Has loud background music throughout, which was a little annoying – but Henri does a good job teaching. Filmed against a black backdrop and black table. Good close up shots, shot well and well mic’d.
Is it well made: Bicycle cards and made well – Henri even tells you how to do a little upkeep on them,

Is it well taught: Henri does a good job with the explanation – owners of NFW and POKER TEST will be very familiar with how to perform.
Storage? Does it "pack flat?"  Great packet trick, store it in a pocket or card wallet.
Does it "play big?" It wow’d me the first time I saw it.
Difficulty / Skill level required:  Very easy.
How much arts and crafts are involved? None, but you will need to do some “upkeep” from time to time.
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) Oh absolutely.
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
__X__ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
 My thoughts I loved this trick and will be performing this for sure!

Video review:

Title: Error 404
Creator: Les French Twins
MSRP: $ 30
Skill Level: All
DVD Run time: 26 minutes

Type of effect:  Card transposition.

Manufacturer's Write Up: The French TWINS ARE BACK!!!! The French TWINS are known for creating powerful and innovative magic tricks! Visually transform, one by one, 4 torn pieces into the chosen card -- and then restore it in the spectator's hand! Have this superhero power in your pocket ready to perform ANYTIME and ANYWHERE.

You don't have to do use cards. You can perform this with: predictions, business cards, papers, pictures... you name it!

How accurate is the ad copy? You don’t have to use cards, IF you are willing to build new gimmicks
What's in the box?  4 tiny gimmicks already made (but they need a little distressing) and materials and instructions to make your own.

Key points:
5 second RESET
How are the production values: Opening shot, two guys talking with French accents outside with techno music in the background – very jumbly hard to understand.
Is it well made: Yes it is well made.

Is it well taught: The explanation and performance are shown at the same time. I don’t think between the commercial and the explanations you ever see the full routine from beginning to end for a real audience. Which… that’s how I learn best. So when I don’t ever get a full uncut performance I feel cheated.
Your gimmick will come as 2 cards – the force card AND the miscalled card. To do the effect you will need a new copy of the miscalled card every time.
The twins offer you a few different trick ideas and transposition ideas, but … it all felt faced paced. They either talk too fast, or I listen to slow. A lot of the filming was done outside for good lighting, but the audio quality suffers for it.
There is even one part in the video where the phone rings and the performer runs off camera to answer the phone and they left all that in…. with dead space… the props lying on the floor….
Storage? Does it "pack flat?"  It’s 4 tiny cards.
Does it "play big?" I suppose the way the trick is presented you can pick how best to present this. Personally, I would not do the “in the spectator’s hands” transpo as I don’t trust spectators – especially with my $30 fragile card prop.
Difficulty / Skill level required:  Practically self working, although you will need to know how to force a card and switch out 4 card pieces.
How much arts and crafts are involved? Only a small smidge unless you want to build your own.
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) I would do this as street magic – where I could throw my cards on the ground or maybe into a spectator’s stretched out jacket or shirt. Restaurant magic I would be worried about my gaff cards falling in someone’s drink or food.
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
_____ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
___X__ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
My thoughts It’s highly visual – I think it looks great on camera. I think the challenge is to create an effect that plays THAT good in real life.

Title: ESP by the Numbers
Creator: John Bannon
Publisher: Big Blind Media
MSRP: $ 25
Skill Level: Beginner
Video Run time: 27:40

Type of effect:  Self Working Prediction effect

Manufacturer's Write Up:

You display your ESP ability testing deck to your spectator, explaining that the symbols and random numbers featured on the cards are used to gauge the extrasensory abilities of members of the public.

For the initial test the spectator freely selects five cards from the pack. Despite the hands off, uber clean selection process you clearly demonstrate that you predicted not only which five cards they would select... but in which order too!

So far, so incredible, however that is just phase one. The true moment of astonishment is about to land!!!

You draw attention back to the random numbers printed on each ESP card and ask the spectator to look at the five cards they selected and add their numbers together. The spectator has now created a totally random number. Indeed you clearly show the remaining ESP cards and highlight the fact that had they picked ANY other card, the total would have been different.

Which makes it all the more incredible when you prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you predicted the EXACT number they would arrive at! Utterly impossible - utterly mindblowing.

ESP By The Numbers is totally self-working. No sleight of hand. No gimmicks. No sticky stuff. Just a brain frying piece of magic that you'll want to perform again and again and again!

How accurate is the ad copy? This is everything that happens
What's in the box?  Download code, cards, pre-printed prediction and box to carry it all in. + you also get a Matrix reloaded bonus effect using normal cards

Key points: One easy set up (if you can count to 20) and you're set – no sleights.

How are the production values: BBM makes great videos – high quality with plenty of clear instruction.
Is it well made: The cards are high quality with crisp clean graphics and are built to last you a long time.

Is it well taught: The combination of John Bannon and Liam Montier is a powerhouse of easy to follow teaching.
Storage? Does it "pack flat?"  It’s a packet trick of about 20 cards
Does it "play big?" Mind reading always plays strong.
Difficulty / Skill level required:  Super super super easy
How much arts and crafts are involved? None
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) In any situation, although it helps if you have a table
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
___X__ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
 My thoughts to make this stronger and to disguise the method, use your best false shuffle and cuts – and then write your own prediction – don’t use the pre-printed card.

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review:

Magical Cardistry Bonanza / Magic Review: Acme Hole by Lloyd Barnes
« on: August 02, 2017, 10:26:55 PM »
video review:

ACME is the most highly developed healing hole gimmick ever devised.

A flap-less foray into the impossible that will deceive and perplex.

Visual Magic is Lloyd's forte and 'Acme Hole' does not disappoint. What started off as a instagram video swept into a global phenomenon and Lloyd's most requested reveal ever. Now it can be yours ! Pull any small objects through a completely genuine hole:

- Fingers
- Silks
- Cigarettes

Then with NO FUNNY MOVES, the hole is peeled away like a Roadrunner cartoon. In this trick you'll learn the face-palmingly simple secret of the healing hole. A gimmick you can make at home quicker than you can boil a kettle.

Comes with gimmick utilities and everything you need to build it yourself in about 20 minutes.

$15 retail at Hocus Pocus

Title: A New Angle
Creator: Ryan Plunkett & Michael Feldman
Publisher: Magic Inc.
MSRP: $ 45
Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced
DVD Run time: 155 pages

Type of effect:  New tricks with a stripper deck

Manufacturer's Write Up: A New Angle is filled with magician foolers, hard-hitting practical effects for laymen, and off-the-wall new ideas to springboard your own creativity. Many of the effects are all three of the above. That's because the authors have dusted off a secret weapon that you probably already have buried in the back of your magic drawer:
The Stripper Deck (AKA the Tapered Deck, Shaved Deck, Wizard Deck).

Written by Ryan Plunkett and Michael Feldman, photographed by James Murphy, designed by Heather Wood, edited by Susan Palmer Marshall and Pedro Nieves-Bosque, with a foreword by Lance Pierce.

By combining subtleties, sleight of hand and new ideas with this nearly forgotten tool that every serious magician already owns, Ryan and Michael will show you how to unlock mind-blowing effects you never thought possible. They invite you to work through the material proposed and search for your own angle in other overlooked places.
What is in the book? What’s it about?

“A tapered deck is not just for getting control over a single selected card. It’s not just for removing the black cards from the red, or the face up cards from the face down. It can hide any number of cards in the deck, up to and maybe even beyond half the deck. It can give you control over a selected block, create a break for you, simulate other gimmicked cards, unshuffle the deck, offer you a glimpse of the card, and much more. In this book, we’ll explore this wide variety of options.”
Ryan and Michael
I know what you’re thinking… hard back forty five dollar book about the stripper deck? Why? You can just buy the Encyclopedia of Card Tricks and get over 40 tapered deck tricks for $13.
Well… you’ve never seen a tapered deck book like this one, nor seen tricks like these.
Trust me.
Why is this book cool? It’s a collection of thoughts, principles and techniques regarding the tapered deck you’ve never even considered.
And this is one of the exciting things about magic in general. Once in a great while someone (or ‘someones’) comes along and forces you to look at something old in a brand new way.
Why is a stripper deck cool? Because it’s a gimmicked deck that does more than one thing – most gimmicked decks (gaff decks) only do one thing. You carry the entire deck around and it only does one effect.
So you can use it as a gimmick, but at any time you can simply do a NORMAL card trick with it. In other words – a tapered deck is cool because you can turn the “heat” on and off.
But, even more than that… Ryan and Michael are not just giving you some “new effects” – these are new – everything.
I watched Ryan perform a few of these tricks, and even though “I knew” it was a tapered deck and even though “I knew” the strip out move to watch for… Ryan still blew me away – probably MORE SO because I knew what to look for (or at least I thought I knew what to look for).
Like me, the tapered deck was probably one of your first gimmicked tricks you ever got.

And like me, you’ve probably since left it at the bottom of a drawer.
Are you ready for something exciting? Are you ready for a new angle?
In this book the authors discuss the misconceptions associated with tapered decks.
You’ll get a chapter about the cut of a deck and how to make your own deck with a card trimmer.
In the book you get 23 plots PLUS a whole lot of extras that either continue where the previous trick left off, or take it in a new direction. In the write up you get the perfect combination of technical and humor – plus you’ll never get lost. In other words, you won’t re-read a section in confusion asking, “What did I just read?”
Plus, the imaginary spectators are always named “Leah and Rachel.”
Did I mention 23 Tricks? (Here are a few I pulled out)
Collect Yourself – three spectators select cards. The cards are lost. The deck is shuffled.  Then the aces appear with the selections in-between them.
Shuffleupagus Redux – How about you shuffle the cards – show them shuffled and then place them in the box and hand the tuck to your spectators to shake (they’re in there!) but when the tuck is re-opened and the cards are spilled out – the deck is in new deck order.
Twin Peeks – this effect allows you to know the identity of any card your spectator peeks at as you riffle the corners.
Color Shift – a color changing deck routine
Trick Play – you fan 12 to 15 cards for a spectator and have a spectator “think” of any card – the spectator does and when the cards are spread again, only one card is reversed – the spectator’s thought of card.
There are other contributions from:
Nathan Colwell
Frank Fogg
Brian O Neill
Lance Pierce and Harapan Ong
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
__X__ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
 My thoughts: I love books, I love hardbacks even more. This new addition to my library will be loved for years to come. You’re going to want to read this with a stripper deck in your hand – if you haven’t picked up a new one in a while – add one to cart along with this book.

Video review:

Deck Reviews! / Video Review: Autumn Playing Cards from Bicycle
« on: August 02, 2017, 05:57:12 PM »
video review:

Updated from a classic card back design, Bicycle autumn playing cards Honor the changing of the seasons by bringing a modern twist on an archival classic, outfitted in tones of mixed metals and dressed to celebrate traditions, old and new

The stock is standard Bicycle stock, which at least means it's a familiar and good quality. The pips are done in the style of the 130th Anniversary deck. However, each is recolored and the backs feature an intricate design that also includes metallic inks in the copper colors. All in all, a lovely deck to use.

Looking to find a cool or rare deck, maybe even one sold out everywhere else? Have you tried here:

video review:

Bicycle is an iconic American brand proudly made in the United States for over 130 years. The Bicycle playing cards American flag deck celebrates our American heritage and history. These hand-illustrated cards feature Images of the stars and stripes in unique pips and face cards, and include references to the Brand's historical card back and tuck designs.

Standard index, Poker size
American made since 1885
Hand-illustrated tuck case, card back and Court card faces
Printed on premium Bicycle brand cardstock
Classic air-cushion finish for ease of shuffling and optimum performance

To find your favorite decks, or those rare decks you can't find - try here:

Deck Reviews! / Video Review: 7-Eleven Playing Cards from USPCC
« on: August 01, 2017, 05:28:34 PM »
video review:

7-Eleven is an American-Japanese international chain of convenience stores, headquartered in Irving, Texas, that operates, franchises, and licenses some 56,600 stores in 18 countries. The chain was known as Tote'm Stores until renamed in 1946

Founder: Joe C. Thompson
Parent organizations: Seven & I Holdings Co., SEVEN-ELEVEN JAPAN CO., LTD.

Looking for a cool and super rare deck? Try

My video review:

This is the sixth volume in this series of easy-to-do, subtle card effects from master card trick creator, Nick Trost. As with the rest of the books in this series, Mr. Trost's card magic is based on subtle moves and principles, rather than difficult sleight of hand - leading to audience astonishment. The majority of the material has not been previously published. There are over 100 tricks in 13 chapters, including Unique Card Effects, Coincidences, Court Card Capers, Blackjack Bafflers, Poker Puzzlers, Gambling Tricks, Divinations, Predictions and ESP Card Tests. Two chapters with new and different effects are also included: "Gilbreath Plays Poker, Part 3" and "Triple Dealing Effects."

You'll enjoy performing his style of magic, concentrating on presentation to WOW your audience!

237 pages

Title: Less is More
Creator: Benjamin Earl
Publisher: Vanishing Inc
MSRP: $ 50
Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced
142 pages

Type of effect:  Book on Card sleights and magic

Manufacturer's Write Up: When Benjamin Earl takes a shuffled deck and cuts to the four Aces, it feels completely authentic -- as if his deft fingers can somehow locate them by touch alone. But here's a secret: he has developed techniques and psychological methods that fake this seemingly impossible feat.

The journey starts by looking at Henry Christ's classic "Fabulous Four Ace" routine and improving it one piece at a time. His noble list of goals for the routine include removing anti-climactic moments and ensuring that the revelations build in progressively stronger and more distinctive ways. He achieves this in spades.

That routine is the springboard for further experimentation. Ben's analysis of the four-Ace effect leads him along many interesting paths, stripping away every unnecessary action. He teaches twelve complete Ace-cutting effects and gambling demonstrations (including a multi-phased routine that requires absolutely no sleight of hand), and provides thorough and thoughtful analysis on their construction.

Ben also teaches a collection of original moves and techniques, focusing on three areas: maintaining a stack while a spectator shuffles the deck, maintaining the stack himself, and producing the Aces. In particular, the Sting Cut and his Real Optical False Shuffle are two moves that introduce the idea of improvisation into the mix.

This is a gorgeous 142-page hardback book, bursting with high-quality photographs. It's as much a book on the theory and construction of card magic, as it is a tome of workable effects and world-class card technique.

What do I think?

The book has a beautiful layout and it’s packed with information.  Other people are saying “it’s the best book I’ve bought in years” and that it’s their “favorite book on card magic.” Benjamin Earl has brilliant thinking, coupled with exceptional magic. I would expect nothing less from him.

 Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
___X__ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion

 My thoughts: Love Benjamin Earl – top notch world class book, sure to become one of your favorite reads.

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review:

Title: Over The Edge
Creator: Landon Swank
Publisher: Hydra Entertainment
MSRP: $ 40
Skill Level: intermediate
DVD Run time: 2 hours

Type of effect: Deck Marking techniques

Manufacturer's Write Up: Over The Edge is the second release in the Complete Control series featuring renowned Illusionist, Landon Swank. These closely guarded, underground techniques built the foundation for Swank's gambling exposés performed around the world and with almost two decades of evolution, the scope and scale of this utility is enormous. Edge Work is the secret of secrets, and without a doubt the single most powerful tool a sharper can possess.

There are countless time-tested gambling practices that are extremely useful: crimps, nail nicks, peeks, daubing, the list goes on and on. What this video exposes, however, is in a league of its own for the simple reasons that it can be implemented almost immediately after it's learned, and it allows for the exceptional ability to know the position of every card in a deck, even after a spectator shuffles!
This is one of those incredibly rare skills that transcends the boundaries so often present when sleight of hand is required, and your imagination is the only limit to the miracles that can be performed.

Swank's exact edging methods have been a closely guarded secret for years, but now this powerful, versatile, and highly coveted information is being made available for anyone who shares the passion for controlling cards. Without a doubt, the secrets divulged in this video, when used properly, will astound not only laymen, but professional gamblers and magicians alike!

If you want to learn more gambling secrets, Complete Control is an in-depth exposé of powerful techniques used by master card sharps worldwide. The four-part series provides a meticulously selected, comprehensive collection of sleights, secrets, and skills that, when combined, are arguably the most versatile and practical collection available.
Every move has been obsessively reengineered and continually performance-tested for over fifteen years, resulting in virtually a nonexistent line between what's fraud and what's fair. Regardless of your current skill level, if you want the ability to impress friends, perform professionally, or simply have the knowledge to protect against potential cheats,
Over The Edge gives you the necessary arsenal to build a masterful reputation.

How accurate is the ad copy? No deception
What's in the box?  DVD and “normal” Bee casino deck in red or blue

Key points:
- Quickly Learned, Easily Implemented & Unimaginably Powerful!
- Know The Location Of Any Card In A Shuffled Deck!
- The Most Powerful and Versatile Weapon In A Card Sharp's Arsenal!
How are the production values: He is mic’d - A lot of it is Landon standing behind a table, but I really would have appreciated a lot more close ups – especially for the gimmick construction. I felt the camera was too far away
Is it well taught: 30 minutes is gimmick construction, Landon teaches you how to “mark” a borrowed deck (provided it is a casino back) and he will also teach you how to: cut to a marked card. 
A few of the Tricks Taught:
Full Control – magician allows the spectator to select any four of a kind and shuffle the deck – and the magician cuts to all four cards.
Omniscient – once again the spectator is allowed to shuffle the deck, the magician then proceeds to do a deck memorization routine, calling the suits or pips of each top card and ends by cutting to all 4 aces.
There is also an unnamed Poker deal demonstration.
Homing Beacon – a selected card is “marked on the fly” and then using the two jokers – the chosen card is sandwiched between the Jokers. (also marking one card on the spot, makes a good ‘key card’ for future effects)
Instant Aces – a cutting to the aces effect
Out of my own world – a out of this world effect
Beyond a Flourish – a cut and shuffle flourish that reveals all 4 aces
Double Estimation – spectator shuffles and calls out either the red or black aces and you call out the exact position (by number) where both aces are in the stack from the top down.
As far as the explanations to the effects, much of what takes place depends on your spectator, so Landon tells you how to “navigate” the trick as it progresses. For these types of effects, each time you perform them – the effect will play different.
Landon also expects you to have a working knowledge of card work – second deals, culling, double undercuts etc.
Does it "play big?" This deck has the potential to create several different routines – the concept of knowing the location and value of any card – is limitless.
Difficulty / Skill level required: You will need to learn how to read the markings, get fast at reading them and develop the skill to cut to those cards.
How much arts and crafts are involved? You will need to modify the entire deck per Landon’s instructions … and you’ll need to be careful… and patient.
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) Absolutely, but work best for those of you who do gambling and poker demonstration effects.
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
_____ Very Satisfied
__X___ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
My thoughts: It was good, there is a lot of potential there, but I was left feeling like there should have been more.

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review:

Title: QuAntum Angel
Creator: Paul Harris (Special Thanks to Bro Gilbert)
Publisher: Paul Harris Presents
MSRP: $ 35
Skill Level: All
DVD Run time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Type of effect: Inspired by Dan Harlan's CARD-TOON

Manufacturer's Write Up: "A Bicycle Angel Hand Delivers a special Message to your spectator!"  A printed angel visibly reaches into the card's "hyper-dimensional quantum zone" to pull out a tiny "angel" envelope. Sealed inside the envelope, written in ruby red ink on golden paper, is the spectator's secret name or word.
If you can riffle cards, you're ready to QUANTUM!

Watch the Astonishing Demo: No presetting the spectator's word. This is a self-contained real-time miracle. Super Easy. Nothing to palm, load, steal, switch or ditch. Features a killer card prediction with gimmick built right into the unit. Convenient self-contained small packet fits into your shirt pocket ... So no need to carry an extra deck. Resets in seconds. Performed and Taught by Chris Turchi and Brandon David Based on Cardian Angel By Paul Harris and Mike Maxwell


How accurate is the ad copy? Yes, this is what happens
What's in the box?  Gimmicks, envelopes, parts and pieces – everything you need to pull off this miracle.  (no construction necessary)

Key points: Your Quantum Angel can deliver birthday wishes, your phone number, corporate logo, thank you notes... even a tiny love letter.
How are the production values: The video is “ok” nothing special. About on-par with other Paul Harris videos. You get a set up section filmed at chest high level on a table, the camera pans when the teacher is gesturing or speaking, there is a full studio routine without edits and on screen text to clear up any confusing instructions.
Is it well made: Very well made using USPCC cards. Chris and Brandon do say at the beginning that this is the only opportunity to get this effect, they are more than likely made from old stock that Paul Harris had in his warehouse – so USPCC will not print these anymore.

Is it well taught: Chris Turchi and Brandon David teach you 2 versions – one is a preset force and the second one is where you can do the trick impromptu with a name and card reveal.
On the video you will also get ideas for preloaded messages, tons of tips and move advice, the full impromptu routine is taught twice, once quickly, the second time in a more longer explanation. There is a svengali deck routine included and a “gimmick repair” section.
You can even jettison the envelope out into your spectator’s hands!
Storage? Does it "pack flat?"  It all packs into a black envelope that you could carry in a breast coat or top pocket.
Does it "play big?" Card animations plus a kicker ending? This trick kills.
Difficulty / Skill level required:  It feels like it should be a harder trick to learn, but it’s as simple as “card toon” to perform.
How much arts and crafts are involved? None
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) Absolutely
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
__X___ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
 My thoughts I love Paul Harris – who doesn’t? This is certainly an astonishing moment that packs a one – two punch.

+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review:

video review:

A mind-blowing collection of card magic that is easy to perform (mostly self-working with options to add some simple sleights if you want to)!

Ryan Schlutz is known as a genius creator of easy to do card tricks. His bestselling DVD’s ‘Miracles Without Moves’ and ‘Effortless Effects’ have armed countless magicians with material that has blown spectators away but required no sleight of hand skill to perform.
On ‘Only Slightly Sleighty’ Ryan unleashes seven brand new barnstorming card routines that take everything to the next level. Most of the routines are still sleight-free or super easy (and those that aren’t are still easily achievable by magicians of any skill level), but Ryan also teaches extra options for those who want to incorporate some sleights into the equation and add extra layers of deception to the material. Everything is taught on the DVD, so you can start simple and then build your way to card ninja expert!
The focus of the tricks on ‘Only Slightly Sleighty’ is giving your audience the feeling that THEY have control of everything. Ryan has honed and refined these routines with the implicit target of making the audience feel like they have made every decision. Because if THEY made decisions, then the tricks truly ARE magic! It’s a masterclass in audience control and relaxed misdirection. You’ll have a lot of fun performing these routines, and you WILL fool people!
Future Card
Shuffles Therapy
Long Way Out
Any Card To Any Sum
Magic Camp
We Do As We Do
Plus a great bonus section on how to use Pencil Dots & Edge Marking to expand your magical skill-set and add a very special tool to your magical armory.

Deck Reviews! / Best Playing Cards - Top 10 Decks for Cardistry
« on: July 08, 2017, 09:06:50 AM »
video review:

video review:

Get all of your favorite cardistry decks here:

Cardistry is a name given to the performance art of card flourishing. The term is a portmanteau of "card" and "artistry". Unlike card magic, cardistry is meant to be visually impressive and appear very hard to execute. People who engage in cardistry are nicknamed "cardists". Some popular cardists are Chris Ramsay, Dan and Dave Buck, and The Virts; a team of 5 Cardists.

Honorable Mentions

3. Vanda (violet)

2. Big Boy

1. Encarded

/////////////  TOP 10 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\

10. Fontaine

9. Mondrian

8. Frostbite

7. Metropol

6. Cherry Casino

5. NOC

4. Cardistry deck:


2. The Virts SS16

1. ICO 2016

Deck Reviews! / Deck Review - Hocus Pocus Playing Cards
« on: July 08, 2017, 08:48:11 AM »
video review:

Created by Maxwell Gross in celebration of 40 years in the magic community, HP is excited to introduce their 40th Anniversary Playing Cards!

40 years ago, Paul Gross started Hocus Pocus Magic and grew it from a small corner shop into one of the world's largest family owned and operated magic suppliers. Paul has equipped famous magicians and hobbyists alike with everything imaginable from stage props to coin shells, from head twisters to silk scarves, all while providing unparalleled customer service. Paul, along with his sons and family continue to operate the business with the same enthusiasm and dedication to the customers that got them this far. 

To honor the 40th year of the business, his sons Max and Cole sat down with renowned card designer, Edo Huang, to come up with a deck that would capture the heritage and feel of the company as well as appeal to all areas of card community. 

Get yours here:

Deck Reviews! / Deck Review - Cardistry Playing Cards by Bocopo
« on: July 08, 2017, 08:44:48 AM »
video review:

The back of the card ingeniously combines the the geometric and aesthetic beauty to provide awesome visual effects when performing tricks -  like fans and spins

The springy stock and pristine finish bring benefits to all aspects of your performance. The United States Playing Card Company was chosen for stock and inks as they used can ensure the cards have a great snap and feel to them.

If you’re a big fan of Cardistry then you just can't miss out on this fantastic deck.

You can find all of your favorite cardistry styled cards here:

Deck Reviews! / Deck Review - Styx Playing Cards from Eric Ross
« on: July 08, 2017, 08:36:06 AM »
video review:

It is the dark river that waits for us all, the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. The grim ferryman Charon watches here in an endless vigil. If your loved ones have buried you with a coin in your mouth for payment, you may be transported across upon your death—if not, you may be stranded to wander its shore forever.

Now groundbreaking card designer Nick Vlow and celebrated magician Eric Ross have created a new, Bicycle-branded deck inspired by this famous myth, and the Styx Death’s Head moth (Acherontia styx) that bears its name. The card backs feature a detailed rendering of the moth, with its haunting, famous skull motif, and the custom jokers and ace of spades bear funereal imagery of their own.

Printed by the USPCC.

Buy yours here:

video review:

Worried about your straw house? Is the Big Bad Wolf knocking at your door and threatening to huff and puff?
Have no fear: the Three Little Pigs are here to shore up your card collection against any difficulty. Famed designer Joe White of Ye Olde Studio has learned his lesson well from this classic fable, lavishing so much care on this deck that even the most diligent little pig would be proud. The card backs feature a rich red-and-white scrollwork pattern, while the charming custom court cards and aces include detailed portraits of porcine royalty. The Ace of Spades features the menacing Big Bad Wolf himself, while the joker portrays the boiling cauldron that waits for him beneath the chimney.

Printed by the USPCC in a limited edition of only 2500 decks.

Get yours here:

Title: Gaff Tacular
Creator: Stephen Tucker
Publisher: Big Blind Media
MSRP: $ 27
Skill Level: Beginner

Stephen Tucker invented some AMAZING magic, and here, Liam Montier collects 6 of the very best tricks using GAFFED cards!

First up, all of these tricks are EASY - well in the reach of anyone who has done a few cards tricks before! (No Elmsley Counts or Half Passes here!)

All the tricks are fun, social and FOOLING! Blank cards become printed, and then blank again in a heartbeat. Cards change into selections, and then into a bizarre mish-mash! Signed cards vanish and appear in different pockets, then jump BACK even more impossibly, and take on a life of their own in a staggering cards across routine! And 'Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder' is the PERFECT multi-phase trick for your wallet!

Together with these incredible routines, you get all of the gaff cards you need, and Liam Montier's acclaimed teaching, together with professional hints and tips on how to perform them, make them commercial and practical for professional use, and much, much more!Get ready for GAFF-TACULAR!

All the necessary gaffs are provided.


Fade In / Fade Out
Spectral Beast
Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Decenial Delight
Time After Time
Also - learn how to do super easy double lifts from a packet of cards!

video review:

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